Crime Time ~ Frenemies, “The Snitch”

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

Frenemies,  Season 1, Episode 11, “The Snitch”

Fort Worth, Texas, December 7, 2000

Murder in of itself is incomprehensible enough, but when a murder is committed by a family member or friend, it’s even more disturbing and unfathomable.

“The Snitch” is about two best friends Misti Mayo and Christine Smith, who were inseparable, as close as sisters. The two small-town girls began going to nearby Fort Worth to party and ended up connecting with some rather shady people. Misti and Christine eventually moved to Fort Worth and got an apartment together. By this time, Misti had given birth to a baby boy and she wanted to leave the wild life behind. Christine continued to hang out with the criminal element and often had her seedy friends over to the apartment. One evening, Christine and three others robbed a tire store. They brought the tires to the apartment to hide them. Misti was furious. She was worried she’d get blamed and go to jail, leaving her young son behind.

Shortly after the robbery, the cops came around asking questions and Misti told them who had committed the robbery. Christine and her cohorts learned that Misti snitched on them. One evening, they invited her to go out with them. Misti agreed, thinking they were going to dinner. The group drove her to a secluded area and began attacking her, stabbing, bludgeoning and basically torturing her—all with her son in the car. Misti begged Christine to stop them, but Christine participated. When Misti realized she was going to die, she requested that she be allowed to hold her baby one more time. They granted her wish, then took the baby away and headed to Shreveport. On the way, they wrapped Misti’s head in packaging tape to stifle her screams. She died en route. Oil was poured on her body, presumably to cover fingerprints, then Misti’s body was dumped. The group abandoned the baby in a van outside a Dallas restaurant, then went on with their evening. Ravenous, they went out to eat after the murder.

After Misti was reported missing, Christine at first told police that she had been raped in an alley and disappeared with her 4-month-old son, but she recanted her story and confessed. The episode included an interview with Christine and one of the other offenders. Christine didn’t appear remorseful in the least. She almost seemed to expect kudos for not murdering the baby as well.

Despicable…sick and twisted. I just don’t understand how the incident went so far. How do you progress from anger at your friend to savagely, painfully slaughtering her? Putting aside morals and conscience and basic human emotions, one thing that always baffles me about these types of cases is the thought process of the killers. You are afraid of getting in trouble for stealing tires, so you MURDER someone? Do they really think they’re not going to get caught? Sure, some do get by with their crimes, but the likelihood is very small.

All four of the perpetrators were found guilty, Christine and the two males were sentenced to life in prison, while the other female was sentence to 30 years in prison. Misti’s baby was given to a foster family. I was surprised there weren’t family members who would take the baby. Misti was only eighteen years old. What an all-around tragedy.

[I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.]

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Author Interview with Jeny Heckman ~ New Release: The Sea Archer

I’m happy to introduce today’s guest, Jeny Heckman who has a new release with The Wild Rose Press…

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family?

I’m from the great state of Washington and have lived here most of my life. My husband, Jeff and I just celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and we have two beautiful children, Paisley and Charlie, who both just recently graduated from university this past summer.

Where did you get the idea for The Sea Archer?

The Sea Archer title was easy to come up with. I needed to incorporate Apollo and Poseidon together so decided to choose from some of the symbols they’re known for. Although Apollo is primarily known for music he was also an archer that would shoot his arrow across the sky to bring forth the sun. And Poseidon is of course, god of the sea and this book is heavily grounded there, taking place primarily on Kauai and the hero being a marine biologist.

Why did you choose this genre?

I have never written this genre before but love reading it, so decided to be brave and give it a try.

It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible. The paranormal genre has a natural fluidity for a series and I was looking to write one, so it worked out beautifully.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down. When you’re distracted or have a lot of demands that pull you away from writing but have all those ideas in there just waiting to be forgotten! It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t stop. So invariably need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when interrupted.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

Well, I’m not sure most people don’t like it but many people don’t understand us introverts. Many writers are introverts and I think the perception is we’re hermits, and that we don’t like people or are somehow lonely and unhappy all the time. It’s really unfortunate because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I gain energy and inspiration from quiet, where others might gain energy and inspiration from others or “busyness” around them. For me, I have to be in the mindset and prepare to be around a lot of people or it stresses me out.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

What a great question! There were definitely visual inspirations for my characters. However, they were in fact only visual. Jennifer Aniston, was the perfect model for Raven Hunter. She had the best girl next door, golden beachy waves and kind, beautiful and intellectual face. The absolute gorgeous Ben Dahlhaus was my inspiration for Finn Taylor. You could not get a better blend of beautiful, masculine, and cool all wrapped into one. Pierce Brosnan was the model for Donovan Fortner. Now, while I don’t believe Mr. Brosnan could ever be as awful as Fortner, that kind of Thomas Crown conceit worked well for him in my mind. Then sexy Gerard Butler was the visual for Wyatt Hunter. I have a picture of him on his motorcycle and scruffy beard, along with the others on my character board. The rest of the characters also had models for inspiration, however they were more unknown models.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Oh, definitely a mystery! However, I do feel like really good mysteries are hard to write! If you aren’t careful your audience is solving the puzzle before they’re supposed to which can be so frustrating for a reader. I love it when you never see it coming and it was the aunt’s, boyfriend’s, sisters, cousin.

What is your favorite quote?

Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up and it will.

–Hope Floats

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

It would have to be a laptop with a huge hard drive, then uninterrupted electricity and Wi-Fi. Spoken like a true writer, right?

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have! I wrote my first novel which was self-published, entitled, “The Catch.” Then I wrote another book, entitled, “Civility.” It was a book about a kind of second civil war in America. This was well before the last election but funny enough that was the catalyst in the book for trouble too. I was still trying to decide what to do with it when things started getting really heated in our country and decided I didn’t want to be part of the vitriol tearing everything apart, so shelved it.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

That’s funny, I didn’t even hesitate until you said PG-13, then of course I changed characters. Dee, would have to be my go-to-gal. I find older people fascinating. They are so full of knowledge and wisdom and no longer feel it necessary to play games. They are just real and genuine, and those are my favorite kind of people.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely. I believe women are pretty powerful beings and yet can sometimes lose their way or get caught up in an inner made up story. I would love for a woman that struggles with some of the same insecurities that Raven does, to find a voice and role model in her. You must be brave in the world, and that you are entirely capable of most things. The same would be said for men. I feel like they don’t always get a fair shake. They are expected to be these strong individuals, the driving force in most things. I would hope a man might read this book and let go of some of those beliefs and feel safe to be just a little bit vulnerable, especially to a woman.

How much of the book is realistic?

I think the modern day story is very realistic, especially the emotions and awkwardness. I’ve seen or experienced many of the scenes in the book. Some made me actually laugh and some made me cry.

How did your interest in writing originate?

Wow! Well I’ll try and make this concise! I’ve always thought in stories and pictures. My imagination was always very vibrant and I loved to read and enter those “other” worlds. I never thought about writing until I was older and walking one day. My father-in-law was very ill and I was taking a break from caring for him. I had an idea for a story and the character wouldn’t stop talking in my head. When I got home, the kids were in school and I didn’t have anything going on so decided to write it down. At one point, I looked up and four hours had passed! I decided to play it out and in three days had a somewhat fleshed out story. I sat on it for a long time, just being busy with my active family and job. People read it and encouraged me to, “do something with it.” However, it wasn’t until my son (who isn’t a big reader), read it and said he wanted me to publish it. I decided to try and, “The Catch,” was created. I fell in love with the craft and started writing another book which was picked up by The Wild Rose Press and the result is or hopefully will soon be in your hands, The Sea Archer.

I’d like to thank the readers for taking the time to listen and hope they enjoy reading The Sea Archer.

 

Great, Jeny. Thank for joining me. I enjoyed getting to know you. Sorry I stifled you with that PG-13 thing. 😉 

Now, about your book…

When opposites meet the attraction is undeniable, but Fate has other plans.

Blurb:

Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding.

Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men’s fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own.

The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?

 

Author Bio:

Jeny Heckman, loves romance. She especially loves romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. Educated as an artist, banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife, she felt her calling lay elsewhere. While taking care of an ailing loved one, she was inspired to write her first novel entitled, The Catch, about a female Alaskan crab fisherman, and self-publish it. Wanting to try something very different she pitched an idea to a New York agent who told her to run with it. This book is the first of that seven-part endeavor. When not ignoring her family and friends by writing you will find her time exclusively on them and photography. Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of over twenty-five years.

Contact:

My Website:   www.jenyheckman.com

My Email:      jenyheckman17@gmail.com

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/heckman.jeny/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter:           https://twitter.com/jenyheckman

LinkedIn:        https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeny-heckman/

Instagram:       https://www.instagram.com/jenyheckman/

Goodreads:     https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41823002-the-sea-archer

Links for Purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Archer-Heaven-Earth-ebook/dp/B07H51823S/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538697812&sr=1-1&keywords=the+sea+archer

Barnes & Noble Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sea-archer-jeny-heckman/1129487886?ean=2940161651582

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2444_jeny-heckman

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New Release Spotlight: Between The Shadows by Casi McLean

I love Casi’s writing…I am sure this is another great read, and I plan to find out soon! And, guess what? It’s on sale for 99 cents!!

A Gripping Novel By Award-Winning Author Casi McLean

Blurb:

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…

After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold.

An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart.

Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?

 

Excerpt:

“Don’t you dare die on me, James Adams.”

Kenzi pressed the blood-soaked gauze against the left side of his abdomen. “I won’t lose you. Not now.”

Barely clinging to life, he opened his eyes a slit, raised his hand still clenching Colin’s gun, and shot two rounds.

Stunned, Kenzi snapped around. “No.” She screamed and dove for the gun through the hazy blue mist engulfing them.

“Brady…” His voice faded as he slipped into semiconscious mumbling.

Yanking the pistol from his grip with her right hand, she maintained pressure with her left. A heartbeat later, the cylinder encasing them rotated open. Kenzi stood then sprinted across the room and pounded on a fist-sized alert button affixed to the wall. The resulting alarm shrieked through the underground chamber, reverberating as it radiated throughout the compound. Two men dressed in white jumpsuits burst through double doors.

“Gurney. Now.” Kenzi screamed at the attendants. “And O-Neg blood. Hurry. Go, go, go.” She ran to James and knelt beside him. Lifting his head, she slid a knee underneath it for support and smoothed a chunk of his dark brown hair from his face. “I’ve sacrificed way too much to have you die now,” she whispered. “My ass will burn for this. Not to mention the repercussions for abandoning York.”

Pulse racing, she checked his bandage. Despite her efforts, streams of crimson still oozed from the wound. Pressing again on the gauze, she shook her head. “Geez. You’ve lost so much blood. Please, hang on.”

Again, the double doors swung wide. This time, a gurney pushed through, followed by the two assistants. One man ran to Kenzi.

“Help me lift him.” Her hands, slick with blood, shot to her white T-top, already drenched in crimson. On second thought, she swept them down the rear of her jeans. Sliding her slippery arms beneath his back, she braced her stance with one bent knee.

“One, two, three.” They heaved him in tandem onto the gurney. She doused her hands with Betadine then splashed more on James’s forearm, snatched an IV from the attached supply basket, and punctured a vein on the inside of his wrist with the sterile needle. Once connected, she hooked the blood pouch on the IV pole and barked at the team, “Let’s move. If this man bleeds out, there will be hell to pay.”

The men, poised with hands on the side of the rails, awaited their next move. “Where to, Dr. Reynolds?”

Kenzi stared at James’s ashen face, worried her meager experience wasn’t enough to save his life––but she had no option. “Surgery.”

Springing into action, one man rolled the gurney down the hallway, while a second leapt onto the base and slipped an oxygen mask over James’s nose and mouth. “I hope this guy isn’t allergic to Propofol.” He attached an anesthesia drip to the IV. “Damn, what caused this gaping wound?”

“He was shot…with a musket.”

********************

If  you sign up for Casi’s newsletter, you’ll receive a free story! After clicking the link, you can scroll down to receive an additional special prize.

http://casimclean.com/welcome-to-my-inner-circle/

 

Casi McLean

Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Supernatural Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic ….

Award Winning Author

2016 Best Romantic Suspense  Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence

Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine

2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense

2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews

2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist

2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award

Fiction:

Lake Lanier Mysteries

Beneath The Lake

Beyond The Mist

Between The Shadows

Destiny Series:

Destiny

The Gift

After Midnight

Convergent

The Pegasus Chronicle

Deep State Mysteries

Reign Of Fire

The List

 

Nonfiction:

Wingless Butterfly

So You Want To Be An Author

Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads Amazon Author Page Blog Pinterest Instagram

 

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Author Interview with Julie Howard ~ New Release: Crime Times Two

#WRPbks, #AHAgrp, #99Cents

Please help me welcome Wild Rose Press author, Julie Howard…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My heart is torn between two states where I’ve lived most my life: California and Idaho. Because of this, I do believe you can call two places your home. I’ve lived in Idaho for the past fifteen years and it’s where I plan to stay, but California is still tops on my vacation list. I’m married with two children and a little sheltie who is my constant companion.

Where did you get the idea for your Wild Crime series.

My Wild Crime series came to me when we first moved to Idaho from the urban crush of California. My husband and I were taking a driving tour of the state to get to know our new home and I was struck by how remote many homes were. I mean REALLY remote. I imagined the stories of the people living in these houses far up in the mountains, up a dirt road, cut off during the winter snows. The what if scenario played in my mind: What if a woman moved out there with the wrong sort of man? What if she believed her only escape was killing him? What if he was murdered? I knew I had to write this story.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Anything by Charles Dickens. I get such a kick out of the characters he creates and how dead-on he captures certain personalities.

What was your first job?

When I was in high school, I typed up divorce documents for a lawyer. I must have helped split up dozens of marriages. I hope there weren’t too many typos.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Sleeping. That’s eight perfectly good hours, wasted!

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I’d much rather have a bad review. I spent a career as a journalist and worked with some pretty tough editors. The tough ones taught me the most. If I need to work harder or better or differently, I’d rather know so I can make the adjustment and move on.

What is your favorite quote?

“The flies have conquered the flypaper.” From John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

A beach chair, a good book and a bottle of wine. Why worry?

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

Oh, I love the little five-year-old girl in my books. She’s the daughter of the main character and is a feisty spitfire. She’s so much fun to write and I know she’ll go on to be a strong woman. Wait…she’s imaginary…

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve written a historical fiction set during WWII that is inspired by family stories. It’s in final editing stages, but I’m having trouble letting go. This one is close to my heart and I want it to be perfect – and of course nothing can ever be perfect.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

I’ve met a few since I was a journalist and worked in Las Vegas for a while. My most interesting interview was with Oscar winner Patricia Neal. She was in movies with Ronald Reagan and was married to (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) author Roald Dahl.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

We are all stronger than we think, and there is always a path forward.

Tell us about your favorites…

Movie – Bandits

Music – Modern folk

Place you’ve visited – Istanbul

Place you’d like to visit – the Philippines

TV show from childhood – Gilligan’s Island

TV show from adulthood – Fargo

Food – anything Mexican

Sports team – Boise State Broncos (football), of course

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board games, especially playing with my kids.

 

Thank you, Julie. I loved getting to know you, and your book sounds fantastic. Congrats!

Now, Julie has a question for readers…

If you were on a deserted island and could only have one book to read over and over, what would it be?

Julie Howard’s Wild Crime series continues with the release of book two, “Crime Times Two.”

When divorce is out of the question, can murder be forgiven?”

Blurb from “Crime Times Two” (coming Oct. 8, available for pre-order now)

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…

She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

Excerpt from “Crime Times Two”

Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.

Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.

Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”

The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.

He shook his head, morose.

“To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”

 

About the author

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.

http://www.facebook.com/juliemhowardauthor

http://juliemhoward.com

BOOK SALE ALERT! The first book in the series, “Crime and Paradise,” in on a 99-cent flash sale until Oct. 18.

 

 

The story follows a young abused woman who ends up in a remote Idaho town. When her husband is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. The local sheriff develops an interest in her beyond the investigation, and together they uncover some unsavory secrets in their small town.

https://www.amazon.com/Crime-Times-Two-Wild-Book-ebook/dp/B07H4X7WQJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1537197504&sr=1-1&keywords=Crime+Times+Two

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Author Spotlight: Claire Marti – SUNSET IN LAGUNA

Please help me welcome Claire Marti with a new release and a fabulous giveaway!! Enter for your chance to win a $15 gift card, just for liking her Facebook page!! – https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/  (Winner chosen in approximately 1 week)

 

Blurb

Returning to Laguna Beach after four tours in the Middle East, Christian Wolfe leaves the military behind and buys a wine bar, vowing to keep his life simple. He fights to keep his devastating PTSD a secret and refuses to burden anyone else with his baggage. When stunning Kelly Prescott and her red stilettos saunter into town, she drives him past the bonds of his self-control.

Successful in her father’s stuffy law firm, Kelly’s too compassionate to survive in the cutthroat world of corporate litigation. Leaving behind both family and courtroom drama, she moves to Laguna to become general counsel for a nonprofit veterans’ organization.

She didn’t bargain on a gorgeous modern-day Heathcliff, and in Christian, she sees another kind of challenge—one she can’t resist.

Excerpt

She’d restrain her natural tendency to fill the silence with words. Cool, calm, and collected. She leaned forward and selected a heavy-metal-rock station. Metallica barked out it was time for the sandman to enter.

“Nice choice.” He aimed a sidelong glance at her but still hadn’t smiled.

She grinned. Someone who could appreciate her eclectic taste in music. “Thank you. It’s my ‘get fired up to kick ass in court’ music. The courthouse parking attendant used to crack up when I rolled in dressed in a navy suit and pearls, blasting rock and roll.”

“Nice. So why did you move up here?” He kept his gaze on the road, his long tanned fingers gripping the steering wheel.

“Oh, it’s a long story. I don’t want to bore you.” Or reveal too much about my soap-opera family.

“We’ve got time.” He glanced at her again and smiled a crooked smile.

Had she noticed he had a dimple in his right cheek? “Okay, Reader’s Digest version. My father’s kind of a shark.” Actually, he’d make the shark in Jaws look like a tadpole.

He nodded and gestured with one strong hand for her to continue.

She sighed and glanced out the window. Savored the brisk breeze on her face cooling her now warm cheeks. Here goes nothing.

“I was expected to work for the family firm and take it over when my father retires. Let’s just say the clients and the cases began to wear on me.” She rolled her now tense shoulders back and kept her gaze fastened on the passing scenery. “Everything is about making money or destroying and dismantling what others created. I hit my breaking point last month.”

“A particular client or case? Or just in general?” His quiet voice encouraged her.

“In general—for years, actually. I realized I just didn’t care about those battles. They seem so meaningless, all about money. I’d always hoped to use my law degree for justice, to help people, to create, to rebuild.” She braved a glance at him. He hadn’t stopped the car and run for the hills yet. She took a deep breath. She didn’t want to divulge too much.

“So you were too idealistic for corporate law, right?” He smiled again.

“Well, in a nutshell, yes. And recently the corruption of some of the clients became too much. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.” She’d had “idealistic woman” tossed at her by her father on countless occasions. He’d used it as an insult, though. Christian made it sound like a strength.

Buy link(s)

AMAZON: https://amzn.to/2uaYvEm

B&N https://bit.ly/2NAsbmu:

iBooks: https://apple.co/2O5XDtL

TWRP: https://bit.ly/2KENE0i

Bio:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

Contact Links

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/

Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Instagram: @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

 

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Author Interview with Anna Kittrell – New Release: The Commandment

I’m thrilled to welcome today’s guest, author and friend, Anna Kittrell. Anna is one of my favorite people in the world. She’s a talented writer, she’s beautiful, inside and out, and she’s soooo much fun. (Boy, do we have some stories! :)). She’s a member of my local RWA chapter, OKRWA, which is awesome, because I get to hang out with her often. I adore her and I’m so pleased to introduce her today with a new release that sounds amazing! And, a great interview. Take it away, Anna…

Where did you get the idea for your book? 

The premise for The Commandment approached me somewhat like a dream. I kept picturing a girl lying in a hospital bed, coming out from under anesthesia. A doctor asked the girl if she “still remembered,” and she replied, “yes.” This made her mother sob hysterically. I kept wondering why the girl’s mother didn’t want her to remember. What exactly was it that her mother so desperately wanted her daughter to forget? It seemed like a reverse-amnesia situation, but I didn’t have a clear idea of what was taking place until I began to outline and the story started to take shape. As it turns out, the book takes place 35 years in the future, and is the story of a girl who faces elimination on her 18th birthday because her body rejects a mandatory, God-erasing vaccine.

Where did the title come from? 

In the story, the government is attempting to “level” the thought process of all U.S. citizens by removing God (therefore, sin) from the brain. By order of The Commandment, all references to God have been erased from society as well as cyberspace.

Why did you choose this genre? 

Actually, the genre chose me. I’ve never written futuristic scifi before, and to be honest, neither have I read books from that genre. As the story unfolded, I just went with it. If I would have put too much thought into genre, I would have probably talked myself out of writing the story!

Was there anything unusual about the book that you’d like to share? 

There are so many unusual things in this book, I’m not sure which to share! Guess I’ll go with the first one that comes to mind. Main character Briar Lee’s brain is resistant to SAP, a serum formulated to numb the area of the brain that holds all God-related thought and emotion. While doing story-related research, I learned that there really was, in real life, a research tool invented to investigate the brain’s role in religious experiences called the “God Helmet” (originally known as the Koren Helmet, after its inventor, Stanley Koren.) Apparently, some people had “visions of God” while participating in experiments with the helmet. The helmet applies complex magnetic signals to the head of the person wearing it, exposing them to a very weak magnetic field near the temporal lobes.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

Time constraints. Hands down. Although I prefer to write in large blocks of time, working full time and helping to raise my four-year-old grandson rarely allows that luxury. I’ve learned to write in tiny snatches instead— before work, during my lunch hour, and on the occasional free weekend or holiday break. In doing this, I’ve discovered, with amazement, how much I can get done in those small snippets. At the time, it feels I’m crawling at a snail’s pace, barely getting the keyboard warmed up before snapping the laptop closed. But before I know it, I have a completed outline, rough draft, and then novel—one lunchbreak at a time.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular? 

My daughter-in-law passed away tragically while I was in the middle of writing The Commandment.  She was like a daughter to my husband and I, and was the mother of our only grandchild. My story stopped cold. I couldn’t eat or sleep, and certainly didn’t feel like writing. Three months later, I trudged back to the keyboard. In another three months, the book was finished.  The Commandment is a testament to how God’s gifts (in my case, writing) give life purpose and bring healing to the broken.  This is my “one word at a time, sweet Jesus” book.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? 

I have worked as a secretary in my hometown middle school for the past 17 years. Middle school children are unique—some look (and sometimes act) like itty bitty babies, while others tower over me like grown men. I enjoy my job, and often refer to my office as the “funnest” place on earth this side of Disney Land.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself? 

Introverted

What is one word you think others might use to describe you? 

Extroverted

What would you want readers to come away with after they read your book? 

I hope readers come away with an awareness about themselves as well as society. That they might take spiritual inventory, to determine what beliefs they would or would not compromise, if faced with “The Commandment.”  I also hope readers find it fun and enlightening (as I have) to ponder the “what ifs” of our future.

What is your favorite quote? 

I have two:

“Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”

–Jerry Rice

and

“I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.”

–Oscar Wilde

Loved the interview, Anna, thank you so much for joining me! Now, please tell us about your book.

 

Blurb:

 Ten years ago, Briar’s body rejected a government mandated vaccine known as SAP (Serum to Advance Progressivism), formulated to erase God from the mind. Briar was seven years old. She’s been on house arrest ever since.

Now, just weeks from becoming a legal adult, Briar remains non-responsive to her mandatory SAP injections. Along with her rapidly approaching eighteenth birthday looms a grim reality: by order of the Commandment, adulthood means institutionalization for those resistant to SAP.

In a matter of days, Briar will become a permanent resident of the ARC—a facility shrouded in dark rumors of torture, experimentation, and death. Her only alternative is to accept a last minute ultimatum to become a laboratory test subject for a new God-dissolving serum.

With a decade of solitude behind her and a lifetime of confinement before her—what does she have to lose? Except maybe her soul.

Excerpt:

Briar turned from the scalpel cuts crisscrossing the old woman’s spine like mountain switchbacks. Tears, hotter than the rinse water stung her eyes. How could this be happening? They were human beings. Flesh, blood, and bone. Their only crime—a predisposed ability to believe in God. Something no one had any control over.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://goo.gl/Fuca4k

Pelican/Prism: https://goo.gl/9BbDod

Barnes and Noble: https://goo.gl/UWgq3Y

Bio:

Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim. She has written for as long as she can remember, and still has many of her tattered creations—stories she used to sell on the playground for a dime, written on notebook paper. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.

 

Contact Links:

Website:          annakittrellauthor (https://sites.google.com/view/anna-kittrell/home)

The Commandment Trailer:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRLTQp4S-aA

Author Facebook Page:          https://www.facebook.com/AKittrell

The Commandment FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheCommandment2017/?ref=br_rs

Amazon Author Page:            https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009OWBPMM

Email:                                      kittrellbooks@gmail.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Min Edwards ~ New Release: Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Min Edwards with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, Precious Stones, Book 4 in the High Tide Series

Hi, Alicia and thanks for having me on your blog. Today I want to tell you about the 10 moments that changed my life. Actually, the title is daunting. How to pick just 10 moments in the long life I’ve lived so far. But here goes:

1) The first I guess should be when my Aunt Corina came to live with us before she married my Uncle Don. Corina Montez, a gorgeous young woman from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her heritage was French and Bolivian, and she grew up in the upper echelons of Bolivian society. Her father was in government, a railroad commissioner: Her grandfather was as well… one of the many early 20th century Presidents of Bolivia. She left all that behind and came to the states when I was a very small child, bringing hand embroidered baby dresses from the nuns who schooled her and adored her. She taught me Spanish before I could speak any recognizable English. I’ve loved her throughout my life.

2) My mother’s disappearance into the hospital the early part of my 1st grade year. I say disappearance because I only knew she was gone but I didn’t understand where or why. In those days small children weren’t allowed on to Patient floors. She was gone the entire school year except for a few short and scary returns. In just a few days, I remember my father picking her up and taking her away again.

3) The return of my mother in the summer after my 1st grade. I couldn’t believe she was home. My mother would be waiting for me with cookies and love every day during my 2nd grade and throughout my schooling. I can’t believe that was all I was thinking about. But she was home and our house seemed right again. It took her a while to get her strength back as she’d been bedridden and recuperating from numerous surgeries for months. But by the fall and the beginning of school she was an active young woman again.

4) When I was in High School my grandmother came to live with us. Of course, our house wasn’t big enough for everyone, so my father rented her a small cottage across the street, just steps away. She was a seamstress and though she was retired, she began taking in sewing again. Before too long everyone was raving… Page is so talented. Don’t use anyone else to sew for you. She’d been the head of the alterations department in a very large department store in Tulsa, Oklahoma for years… and she didn’t know how to retire.

The only draw-back to this change in our family dynamics was the tension between my grandmother and her daughter (my mother). It colored my life for years, even on my wedding day. I didn’t understand the tensions between these two loving women, and it wasn’t until my mother was elderly that she told me the reason. Then I understood, but I loved them both so much.

5) Going away to college… Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas… the most gosh-awful, sandy, windy, tornado-ridden place on the earth, or so I thought at the time. But the campus was beautiful, the college football team was fun to watch, the quarterback was gorgeous, and I was majoring in Mechanical Engineering… all those boys! It was too much to bear. But I slowly over several years changed my major to Architecture, then in my Junior year to my great love, Anthropology/Archaeology.

6) My marriage in my Junior year at Tech was pretty life changing and probably not in a good way. I was way too young as was my husband. But my wedding was nice. Of course, the tension was still in the air between my mother and grandmother and they each made me a wedding dress. My grandmother’s dress was elegant (she was always trendy), white, short and very simple but very 60s. My mother’s contribution was elegant as well (she was as talented a seamstress as her mother), but long, ecru with a trailing French lace veil in a shaded ecru… I have the veil to this day. My grandmother didn’t come to the wedding because she caught the flu. She finished the dress though… what a trooper.

7) My arrival in the Philippines. My first visit to a 3rd world country and I wasn’t prepared. The country however, was beautiful, the people were so helpful and friendly, but the politics were brutal. One Sunday my husband and I went to the cockfights just a few blocks from our compound… and ate wonderful barbequed chicken (the losers in each fight). The next Sunday we stayed home, and a rival political group swept into the arena and killed many of the opposing party right where we were sitting just a weak earlier… it was like a 1920s crime wave! Lots more happened in the two years I lived in Angeles City, 50 miles north of Manila, and I’m sure the stories will creep into my books in the future.

8) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: I spent four years here and had my son at the Naval Hospital. This was very life changing. I’d waited almost a decade for him through 4 miscarriages and moves around the world. This was long before Guantanamo was the terrorist prison it is today. Then it was an American leased property, estranged from Cuba by a tall razor-wire topped fence. In fact, one of my favorite beaches was watched over by a Cuban guardhouse peopled by Cuban snipers with guns pointed our way and an American guardhouse with equally scary guns pointed at the Cubans. Our base commander said that our guard tower was there to protect the swimmers from sharks… but that wasn’t a very believable story to any of us.

9) Moving from my home of 30 years to property I’d owned since the 70s outside the most eastern town in the U.S. It’s 9+ acres of Maine waterfront… towering Spruce and Fir trees, groves of Birch and Poplar, lush meadows and abundant raspberry bushes and blackberry canes… and apple trees… everywhere! It’s beautiful but I still haven’t recovered from leaving all my friends behind in Texas.

10) My life as a single mother raising the most precious son that ever lived is my No. 1 most important Moment in my life. Most of his upbringing was in Texas but when I retired I moved north, to a piece of property I’d owned since before he was born. He was bored with Austin, Texas and wanted a change so he came along. The first couple of years were a little dicey but he’s now comfortably situated as an IT Tech for the University of Maine System… The village misses him enormously, but he likes the steady paycheck, the benefits and the work. He’s been wonderful throughout his lifetime: No drinking, no drugs, no jailtime, no divorces. Really, I’ve been blessed. Raising him to be the man he is today has been my most rewarding accomplishment.

 

Wow, Min, fascinating! You’ve had quite an interesting life. I’m so envious of where you are now. I’ve always wanted to live in Maine. Thank you so much for sharing!

Precious Stone

Book 4 in the High Tide Suspense series

by Min Edwards

 

Collee McCullough is the beloved town baker in Stone Bay, Maine. She’s always ready to serve you a luscious treat or offer you a helping hand, but very early one morning trouble comes to call. Two men, in suits—no one wears suits in Stone Bay—asking questions about her great grandmother and something she brought from Russia.

Just as Collee decided to pull out her shotgun which she kept behind the pastry counter, her brother, Nick, the Chief of Police arrived for his morning coffee. Of course, all hell broke out because her brother was her protector even when she didn’t need him. But today, he was needed.

After the melee was over, a jogger stopped by, also for morning sustenance. He, Jake, took one look at Collee… and her shotgun and named himself her knight in shining armor much to the chagrin of her brother, Nick.

And so begins the story of Collee, Jake, Russians and Collee’s mysterious great grandmother. Follow along from the Maine coast to the Dordogne area of France and then to the Highlands of Scotland. I promise you a wild ride!

 

And follow me on my Amazon Author Page to see other books in the High Tide Suspense series as well as my upcoming prequel to Precious Stone, The Russian Phoenix,

Coming in the fall of 2018

 

An act of bravery, a gift of unimaginable worth.

But the outcome haunts a young Russian girl through the years.

The Russian Phoenix is the story of Collee’s great grandmother Natasha, the Russian noble women who was kidnapped on the eve of the last ball of the Romanov’s Jubilee Celebration of their 300 years of rule. Natasha was taken on a mad dash across Russia and into the east German woods. Her adventure continues across Europe on the brink of war and the English Channel to Scotland, a place she’d never imagined. Join me on her journey.

Website

http://www.minedwards.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards

Pinterest

www.pinterest.com/MinEdwards

Amazon Author Page

http://amzn.to/2bHJ1kb

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release