Category Archives: New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Barbara Bettis  – Frontier Newspapers & New Release: Last Stop, Wylder / Historical Western #WRPbks #Blog

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Barbara Bettis…

 

 Emily and I Share a Fascination with Newspapers

cheyenne frotn pag 1875 (2)

When I decided to write a story for The Wild Rose Press series Wylder West, the choice of a major plot element was almost a given.

There was no question of what my heroine would do. Work at a newspaper of course. The fictional town of Wylder is set in 1870s Wyoming, some fifteen miles from Cheyenne.

Nearly every frontier town had a newspaper of one kind or another. Daily, weekly, twice-monthly—didn’t matter. Having news and information available to residents was considered almost a necessity. News reports from around the world that could be accessed by newspapers were sent via telegraph, although news organizations like The Associated Press charged a fee and contracted with only one paper per town (at that time).  Formed May 22, 1846 by five New York newspapers, the AP is still in operation.

Back to frontier news—not every paper that came into existence lasted long. In fact, papers had a tendency to pop into existence and then out again fairly regularly. On the other hand, some produced both daily and weekly editions. Editors of course were influential.

In the1870s, real Cheyenne newspapers flourished. It seemed easy to have a weekly paper nearby. And of course, Emily should have a contact there—actually, her brother had just purchased the Wylder Sun a year or so before Emily decided to visit him and give him a hand with the operation.

She was a natural for the job. In Kansas City, where she lived with her parents, she periodically wrote an opinion column for the fledgling Kansas City Star. Of course, she published under her initials and last name so none would know the author was a female.

Respectable females didn’t write political comment that doubled as opinion columns. Respectable females would never allow their names to be used in such a manner. If they wrote at all, it might be a society piece that reflected a women’s place in the home. They all had pen names of some sort.

(You’ve undoubtedly heard the old saying that a lady’s name should appear in newspapers only three times during her life: birth, wedding, and death.)

Emily’s career as a columnist came a few years before the famous Nelly Bly went to work for the Pittsburgh Dispatch and ultimately did a tremendous job of enlarging the role of women in newspaper reporting and writing.

Emily, as my first Western heroine, was rather doomed to become a newspaper lady because that’s what I was every day of my life for twelve years before I went into teaching. And after that, every other summer during my teaching career. (Alternate summers I worked on my doctorate). Throughout the year, as a stringer, I occasionally did stories for the local daily news. I taught newspaper reporting and editing at an area four year college, and I firmly believed—and still do—the  discipline demanded practice in order to keep up with the changes in the industry.

Yes, I am saddened at the demise of many newspapers now that technology makes television and internet news so available. But both have a place in the news business.

The ability of newspapers to do thorough, often lengthy, investigation into topics is one that most electronic organizations don’t duplicate.

Although retired, I still share with Emily a passion for getting accurate, objective, complete reports out to readers.

In Last Stop, Wylder, her passion for newspaper writing is central to her personal story. I hope you enjoy reading, as well, how it plays a part in her romance with Morgan.

 

Last Stop, Wylder, bestA gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s heart can shatter.

Blurb:

Gunman Morgan Dodd is headed to a new life in California, where no one knows his name. Or his reputation. Just one last job to raise money for his fresh start—gunhand for a railroad agent in Wyoming. Easy enough. Until he meets the woman who could change everything.

After ending her engagement, Emily Martin longs for independence. She sets out for Wylder, Wyoming, to help her brother with his newspaper. But when she arrives, she finds he’s off investigating a story. Well, then! She’ll simply publish the paper herself until he returns. Emily’s prepared to face challenges, but not the dangerous stranger who ambushes her heart. The same man hired to destroy her livelihood.

When a common enemy threatens, Morgan and Emily must find a way to defeat danger and save their budding love. But a gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s trust can shatter.

Excerpt:  

The stranger had winked, cool as you please. Should she be insulted? Angry? Oh! She’d neglected to thank him. Now she was embarrassed.

Her brother had much to explain. And I have a lot to learn. More than she’d imagined.

Tommy unwrapped the reins, unlocked the brake, and the horse clopped forward. “Where to, ma’am?”

She straightened her back, firmed her shoulders, and waved her hand in front of her nose to dispel engine fumes. “The newspaper office, please.”

The reins jerked and the horse stopped. The youth’s face beamed red again.

“That wouldn’t be such a good idea, ma’am.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Stop-Wylder-West-ebook/dp/B0B7KH6D86/

B & N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-stop-wylder-barbara-bettis/1141875393

Me-snapshot

Bio:

Multi-award-winning author Barbara Bettis can’t recall a time she didn’t love adventures of daring heroes and plucky heroines. A retired journalist and college English and journalism teacher, she lives in Missouri where she tries to keep her grandchildren supplied with cookies. When she’s not editing for others, she’s working on her own stories with heroines to die for– and heroes to live for.

Author Links:

Website/Blog – http://www.barbarabettis.com

BookBub – www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-bettis

Facebook – www.facebook.com/barbarabettisauthor

Twitter – www.twitter.com/barbarabettis

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Gini Rifkin  – Raising Goats & New Release: Break Heart Canyon

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Gini Rifkin…

 

    In my new historical romance, Break Heart Canyon, my heroine is a Scottish immigrant who raises goats in Colorado. While in the process of researching weaving, spinning, and farming during 1878, I began to consider following in my heroine’s footsteps.

PRECIOUS 022 (2)

    I have been rescuing farm animals for over 20 years and my first rescue was a three footed angora goat named Precious. When I got her, she was in bad shape, with a heavily matted and tangled coat, blood sucking lice, and the three feet she did have were overgrown.

  Every year I would trim off and keep her mohair. This procedure had to be done by hand as she was terrified of the electric clippers, but those hours were a special time for us as we bonded and listened to the oldies on the radio in the barn.

    I have previously experimented with felting, but that was as far as I got—until recently. This year I decided to take lessons at the yarn shop to learn to spin and weave those bags of mohair. Although sweet Precious is gone, I think of her with heartwarming memories as I card her hair and try to achieve “greatness” at this ancient art.

    The process of weaving being many thousands of years old, think of all the hands that plied the yarn and threw the shuttle to make cloth so vital to everyone from the common man to royalty.

    Working on my rigid heddle loom is going better than spinning on the drop spindle, but both offer hours of relaxation, reflection, and the rewriting of chapters in my head. Now I’m spinning tales along with weaving tea towels. Had it not been for one brave little goat, I would never have thought of making this wonderful hobby a part of my life. 

    In Break Heart Canyon, there are also two lovable donkeys inspired by my two rescues, Jack and Rosie. Burros are incredible animals, thoughtful rather than stubborn, and intelligent with the gift for frequently outsmarting me. Along with the goats, ducks, and cats they have brightened my days and brought wonderful people into my world.

    Wish I could show my heroine, Una MacLaren, the scarf I’m working on now. I’m sure she would agree we are fortunate to be surrounded by animals who keep us grounded, give us joy, and teach us what is most important in our lives. You can meet Una, and the handsome rascal who steals her heart, in Break Heart Canyon.

Excerpt:

With her fiery red hair and apparent love for the land and animals, she seemed the perfect person to live in this secluded vale surrounded by a canyon brimming with tall-tales and legends.

Standing now in her cabin, inhaling the tantalizing aroma of food, and dowsed in the fragrance of the hanging herbs and spices, Ryker believed this woman was capable of casting a spell on him. She needn’t bother, he was already smitten. Yes smitten. Never in his life had that term seemed relevant. The rampage of feelings she stirred in him ran the gambit from wanting to bed her, to wanting to protect her, to wanting to walk away from her as fast as possible.

She was a danger to his way of life. Or maybe his way of life was a danger to his happiness. Una confused him. Made him unsettled. And what a fetching picture she created, one easy to commit to memory and long for at a later date. But he wasn’t fond of wasting time on lonely reflections—he needed to vacate the cabin.

“Anything I can do for you other than get out of your way?”

“More firewood is always appreciated.”

He hurried outside, relieved to have a legitimate reason for performing any activity other than standing and staring at her like a randy schoolboy. Returning with all the split wood he could carry, he deposited the armload by the stove and turned to leave.

“Thank you, Ryker.”

For the first time, she’d called him by his Christian name, and dang he liked the sound of it wrapped in her unpredictable Scottish burr.

“You’re welcome, Una.” His reply came over his shoulder as he left. The jaunty tune she hummed hesitated for a moment. He smiled. Did she like the sound of her name on his lips as well?

https://books2read.com/u/mqExL6  

http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com   

https://amzn.to/2R53KA9

 https://www.facebook.com/people/Gini-Rifkin-Author/100001680213365

Gini Rifkin writes stories of romance and adventure. Her settings include the American West, Medieval & Victorian England, and Contemporary thriller & fantasy. When not reading or writing, she keeps busy spinning goat hair and weaving. She also has the privilege of caring for a menagerie of abandoned animals including ducks, goats, donkeys, and cats. Born in Illinois, when struck by wanderlust, she moved to Colorado and met her husband, Gary. They shared the journey for 30 years, spending vacations canoeing, doing Mountain Man reenacting, and traveling around this great country. Although Gary has passed on, a little bit of him lives on in every hero she creates. Gini considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts.

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Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Amber Daulton – Belle’s Love of Music & New Release: Arresting Benjamin

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Amber Dalton and her heroine, Belle Hamlin…

Female singer with crowd

Hi, readers. I’m Belle Hamlin, the heroine from Amber Daulton’s new romantic suspense novel, Arresting Benjamin. I’m excited to talk about my greatest passion—playing music. It’s also my career, but the money I make from it dumps it into the hobby category. Yep, that’s right. I’m a struggling musician with a dreaded day job at an insurance company that is sucking the life out of me.

I live in Denver, Colorado, but I travel all across the state for a paying gig. I mostly play at bars and clubs, but sometimes I perform covers of classic songs for weddings, birthdays, and funerals. I can’t afford to be picky when it comes to a reputable gig. You’ll often find my best friends—Mia, Chanel, and Shea—running the merchandise table for me at a bar. They’re my biggest supporters. (By the way, have you checked out their oh-so-sexy books yet? You can find them here.)

Anyway, I need my music like I need the air to breathe. My heroes are music legends like Melissa Etheridge, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks, so I write both folky and rock ballads. Since I draw inspiration from my own personal experience, most of my songs delve into relationships gone bad. I’ve met a lot of fans at my shows, and I’m honored and humbled every time someone tells me how much they relate to the pain, frustration, and rage I’ve vented into my songs. I write from the heart, but sometimes it’s hard to share my pain and humiliation so openly. It’s worth it, though, if I can make anyone feel better about themselves and let them know they aren’t alone. Music should heal and offer hope, and that’s my goal in writing and playing music.

Since several of my songs lean toward man-bashing and revenge tales, I thought for sure that Benji, my new guy, would run far away once he heard them. Thankfully, he proved me wrong. I gotta say, Benji has made me happy and healed some of my wounds, but that’s put a dent in my angsty creative process. Now, I’m not knocking our relationship or anything, but I’ve written a few sappy love songs lately and they clash with my damn-all-men-to-hell songs. I’m worried I’ll lose fans if I don’t keep up my angry, bad girl rocker persona with lyrics that match, but I write what I feel, and I’m in love. Sue me.

All in all, though, songwriting and performing is who I am. It’s my hobby, career, and passion all wrapped into one. I can’t be anyone other than who I am, and I don’t want to be.

Are you interested in reading about one of my performances? Check out the excerpt below. It’s in Benji’s POV, but I think he did a good job of describing the situation.

Thanks so much for visiting.

PS – Do you want a $25 Amazon gift card? Check out my Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a0982c528/

Arresting Benjamin

With enemies at every turn, how will they survive with their lives and love intact?

Blurb

A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.

Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.

Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.

When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.

Excerpt:

Benji’s heart pounded harder as Belle strutted onto the stage from a rear door. Her hips swayed with a ba-dum beat as her hair flapped behind her shoulders. Was there an air vent above her? Dark eye shadow, mascara, and a dark slash of blush on her cheeks deepened her sultry eyes. Her lips swelled like a juicy plum. God, was her lipstick purple? Burgundy, maybe? She bent over, showing off her fine ass, and plugged her acoustic-electric guitar into the amp.

A baby-faced gopher carried a stool and a water bottle to the middle of the platform.

She patted him on the back and stared out at the crowd.

Several men ogled her, despite the baby bump. Their lady friends laughed, but some frowned and slapped the guys’ arms.

Wow. Benji swallowed hard. What he wouldn’t do to unzip her knee-high leather boots, pull down her stockings, and flip up her short pleated skirt? Her red sleeveless blouse emphasized the breasts he couldn’t wait to suckle.

“Hiya, Tempes lovers! How ya doin’? Thanks for coming out in this cold weather.” Her voice echoed through the speakers. The lights lit Belle and the stage in a soft white glow. She strummed the guitar, testing it, as the audience shouted. “I’m Belle Hamlin, and this badass girl is Matilda.” She held up the sunburst-finished instrument. “We’ll rock you for the next hour, so let’s get started.” She ignored the stool, jumping into a song as her fans applauded. Deep, rumbling chords reverberated from the guitar and speakers.

“She’s starting with ‘Stay True’.” Chanel clapped. “It’s my favorite.”

“This is rock-and-roll. She sang folk and singer/songwriter-type stuff the night we met.” He bit his lip as her friends stood and danced in place.

“What did you expect? She’s a solo female artist sandwiched between testosterone-filled rock bands. She has to up her game.” Shea tapped his CD case and flashed a grin. “Give it a whirl later. Belle is a cross between Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks, and Eric Clapton. Her guy issues and social opinions bleed into her songs.”

Wonderful. Guy issues. He had his work cut out for him.

Buy links:

Only .99 cents until October 18, 2022

Universal link – https://books2read.com/arrestingbenjamin/

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3usC6SN

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940186751144

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id6443054336

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-benjamin

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=JHJ5EAAAQBAJ

About Amber:

Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

Find out more here: https://linktr.ee/AmberDaulton

Sign up for her exclusive newsletter (free ebook to new subscribers): https://bit.ly/amberdaultonnewsletter

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Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

Author Interview with Patricia McAlexander ~ The Student in Classroom 6 #RomanticSuspense

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Patricia McAlexander… 

 

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

I grew up in Johnstown, New York, a town of about 11,000 in the foothills of the Adirondacks. I lived for a time in New York City and Madison, Wisconsin, attending graduate schools, and in Denver, Colorado, where I taught at an extension of the University of Colorado. I now live in Athens, Georgia, where I moved with my husband when he took a position in the University of Georgia’s English Department—and soon I taught there myself. Our grown-up son lives and works in Atlanta. I’ve had various much loved pets throughout my life—a turtle, a guinea pig, a cat. And there were the dogs. I grew up with a cocker spaniel named Rusty (one of my first words was ‘Russ,”) and later a beagle named George. Here in Athens there was Daisy, a poodle, and Peanut, a dachshund. Right now, however, I’m “between pets.”

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)? 

The genre of The Student in Classroom 6, like that of my first two published novels,  is romantic suspense. I chose romance because love is something most of us need and hope for in our lives—look at the themes of songs, movies, literature.  Now, in these difficult times, we need such themes more than ever. Also, romance can involve personal growth, something I’m interested in as a teacher. In my fiction, I portray individuals further developing their own values and identities as they discover love. I included the suspense (in this novel, a murder mystery) to add extra drama to the romance. 

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share? 

A specific event inspired this novel. I live on an historic street in Athens, Georgia, lined with old houses and huge, old trees. One night my husband and I came out of our house to find the road and sidewalk in front of it completely blocked by gigantic magnolia limbs. Part of the ancient tree across the street had split off and fallen. The city cleaned up the road, but a private tree service had to come and take down the dangerous remaining portion of the tree. From our porch we had a front row seat, watching the drama of the tree removal and the skilled men up in the bucket and at its base taking it down. That event inspired me to create one of the main characters in The Student in Classroom 6—Tyler McHenry, the young arborist taking Katherine Holiday’s continuing education course. 

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

Fort me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is accurately portraying situations and actions I’m not familiar with. I do a lot of research, a lot of Googling, to find answers to questions that arise. For example, for The Student in Classroom 6, I researched the arborist profession—I even read an instruction manual on operating bucket trucks—and interviewed the owner of a local business, New Urban Forestry, who answered my questions and let me come with his team to one of their work sites.

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

I’m now retired, but I taught literature and writing at the college level—first as an instructor at the University of Colorado, then as teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, and finally as a professor going through the tenure and promotion process at The University of Georgia. In all these places, one thing stayed the same: I loved working with students.

What was your first job?

In the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century, my hometown, Johnstown, New York, was a center of the glove-making industry.  I worked in a glove factory for two summers while I was a college undergraduate. Maybe someday I’ll write a novel  about those experiences. It would be an historical novel—according to some sources, these novels are about a time period at least 25 years before the book was written.”(It’s hard to believe, but novels set in 1987 would thus be considered historical.) The glove factories have all closed now. 

Have you written any other books that are not published? 

I’ve written Second Wives, an historical novel based on my ancestors who emigrated from Baden (now part of modern Germany) to New York in 1850. It is about my widowed great-great-grandfather, Martin Kornmeyer, who sold all his belongings and, with his seven children and a servant, Rosa, sailed from Rotterdam on the Jane E. Williams, arriving in the New York harbor on October 7. He married Rosa, bought land in Boonville, New York, and farmed, as did his oldest son. The novel goes on to describe the life of Martin’s granddaughter, my grandmother, who was twice married. I’ve visited the cemeteries where Martin and Rosa and my grandmother’s two husbands are buried and the farm where my grandmother grew up. I’ve just returned from a cruise on the Rhine—tracing the route the original family surely traveled by barge to reach Rotterdam. Second Wives has not yet been published. I say “not yet,” as I hope someday it will be, and in the meantime,  I continue to learn more about these ancestors and revise it.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? 

Many of the characters in my novels are at least in part based on real people. In The Student in Classroom 6, Tyler’s mother, a strong woman who home-schooled Tyler, is inspired by my own mother. Also woman with a strong personality, Mom was my high school Latin teacher, and before that she homeschooled a physically handicapped girl who at that time could not attend the high school in person. Just as Tyler’s mother was a contrast to his arborist father, my intellectual mother was a contrast to my more pragmatic father, a coach and teacher of what was then called “industrial arts.”  Of course, my English teacher protagonist, Katherine Holiday. is based in part on myself.

What do your friends and family think of your writing? 

They are some of my biggest fans, and I appreciate them greatly. 

How did you come up with the title? 

I thought the title “The Student in Classroom 6” reflected both the suspense and the romance of the novel. There has been a murder on the campus of The University of Georgia, and for all anyone knows, the murderer might be a student—even one of the students in protagonist Katherine Holiday’s continuing education class, which meets in Classroom 6. And in the back of that classroom there is that the sexy, intelligent young man to whom she is strongly attracted.

How much of the book is realistic?  

Much of The Student in Classroom 6 is grounded in reality, drawing on my experiences teaching at the University of Georgia and living in Athens. At the same time, of course, I tweaked that reality to advance my plot. For example, Katherine teaches adult continuing education classes, but by 2009, the year most of this novel takes place, such classes for UGA credit were no longer offered—and even when they had been, they were not part of faculty members’ regular assignments.  The campus murder takes place near an outside elevator with a glass through which the killer apparently saw his victim descending. An outside elevator does exist at UGA’s Psychology-Journalism building, but it has no window.

Blurb:

Although a faculty member has been killed on campus and the murderer is still at large, English instructor Katherine Holiday never suspects the criminal might be one of her students. In fact, there’s a man in her adult evening class she wishes she could know better.

Seeing no need for a college degree, Tyler McHenry, a partner in his father’s successful tree service, writes fiction for his own pleasure. No one at the University needs to know his personal reasons for enrolling in a first-year composition course. Still, he finds himself fascinated by the pretty teacher, who believes his writing should be published.

Excerpt:

“You know, Ms. Holiday,” Tyler said as he walked with her back to her porch, “it was against regulations to bring you up in the bucket. Only accredited personnel are supposed to go up.” He paused. “Just like it’s probably against regulations for University instructors to get too friendly with students in their class.”

“It is,” she said, feeling somehow bold. “But if you can break a rule, I can. Would you like to come in for a beer?”

“That may not be so wise. I am an owner of this tree business and an owner of the bucket truck. I was not worried about breaking that rule tonight. I knew it was safe for you when I brought you up in the bucket. That is not the way it is with you and the University.  And you don’t know—” he hesitated.

“Know what?”

He smiled a little, as if joking. “Whether you’d be safe alone in your house with me.”

Buy links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Student-Classroom-6-Patricia-McAlexander-ebook/dp/B09THQ2FDT/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1648132789&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble (includes Nook):  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-student-in-classroom-6-patricia-mcalexander/1141068087?ean=9781509241750

i-books: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781509241767

About the Author: 

Patricia McAlexander is from upstate New York. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of New York at Albany, a master’s from Columbia University, and a doctorate from The University of Wisconsin, Madison, all in English She is now living in Athens, Georgia, with her Southerner husband, whom she met as a graduate student in Wisconsin. As a teenager, Pat wrote fiction for her friends, but she turned to academic writing with her career. Now retired from the University of Georgia, she has renewed her interests in photography, travel, and history—and in writing fiction.

Website: https://patriciamcalexander.weebly.com

Email: mcalexanderpatricia@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/patriciamcalexanderwriter/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/PatMcAlexWriter

Instagram: www.instagram.com/patriciamcalexander/

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

The New Guy by Dex Rivers ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Dex Rivers with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  The New Guy...

Fun Facts:

My story is loosely inspired by a movie I watched years ago called Sometimes They Come Back. Have you seen it? It’s pretty wicked/cool.

Another Fun Fact…

I wanted a mention of Elvis Presley in my story. I also wanted the prologue to take place in the 1950s and my character to be at a movie theater and for a murder to happen on a Friday the 13th. Jailhouse Rock was released in November, 1957 and, as it turns out, December 13, 1957 was a Friday. I love it when a plan comes together.

 

 

Blurb:

Brielle hates being the new girl at school. She’s made exactly one friend and her fellow students’ favorite activity is tormenting her. Then a new guy arrives in town. He’s offbeat, with a low-key retro vibe like he’s from another century, but she likes him. And he somehow understands what she’s going through.

When one of the mean kids is murdered on Friday the 13th, Brielle isn’t sorry. But when another ends up dead, she starts to freak out and wonders if the new guy is involved. Is the killer only taking out bullies, or does she have reason to fear for her life?

Excerpt:

Mariah slapped her hands down on the book Bri held and knocked it to the floor. When Bri bent to pick it up, Hannah brought her knee up into Bri’s nose. Pain exploded in her head and warm liquid ran over her mouth and chin. Bri cried out and slapped her hand over her nose, tilting her head back to stem the blood. She tried not to cry but it hurt like hell and she was bleeding all over the place. She could taste the rusty fluid dripping down her throat.

Male laughter rang in her years. She squinted one eye open and looked over Mariah’s shoulder. Gabe, Eric, and Hayden stood there, laughing and pointing.

“Ironic, huh?” Gabe said. “Yesterday, you stuck a pig, now you’re bleeding like one.”

Trinity stepped forward. “You assholes. What is wrong with you? Leave her alone.”

“Fuck off, nerd.” Hayden shoved Trinity’s shoulders. She stumbled back into the lockers and landed hard on her ass.

Carley and Hannah had joined them and the six of them were guffawing like a bunch of hyenas.

“Apologize.” A low male voice broke through the laughter. The words weren’t said loudly, but they held a command that got everyone’s attention.

A guy Bri didn’t recognize was helping Trinity to her feet. His face was pale and he wore his dark, wavy hair in a retro, slicked back style. He was slender, but she could see defined muscles beneath the white t-shirt he wore under a leather jacket. He took a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and gently laid it on Brielle’s bleeding nose.

“What did you say, freak?” Gabe puffed out his chest and glared at the newcomer.

“I said, apologize. To both these ladies. Right now.”

Gabe shook his head in disbelief. He opened his mouth to speak, then his expression suddenly changed as he stared at the new guy. His mouth clamped shut and his face paled. “I—what the—” He moved backward, and his posse moved with him. “What the actual fuck?”

Bri frowned and looked at the guy. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. “What just happened?”

The new guy shrugged. “You okay?”

She nodded.

Trinity’s face split in a wide grin. “Bri, meet Vince Ramono. The new guy.

About the Author…

I live on the East Coast where I spend my free time devouring horror novels. I enjoy them so much, I sometimes wonder if something is wrong with me… To be safe, I decided to channel my affinity for the macabre into writing about it rather than acting it out…you’re welcome.

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How to Trap a Soul by Tamrie Foxtail ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Tamrie Foxtail with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  How to Trap a Soul...

Interesting Fact:

 

Growing up I had a friend named Mary. We lived one street apart from the time I was seven.

My Junior year of high school I was walking down the hall when another friend ran up to me and said, “Did you hear about Mary? She was murdered last night!” Kids on their way to school had found her body in a field.

That was the year I began to think about murder. I couldn’t help wondering what went through the mind of both the killer and their victim. I’ve often wondered at what point my friend realized the person she was with intended to strangle her to death. What were her thoughts? Did her life flash before her eyes? Was she filled with thoughts of her family? Her infant daughter? Was there time to regret the things she would never have a chance to do?

What goes through the mind of the killer? Is there a moment when they think “I could stop. I don’t have to do this.”

I married a Federal Police Officer, so talk of murder was common in our house. Even so, all these years later, I’m still haunted by the memory of my childhood friend who had her life and her future stolen from her.

 

Blurb:

He only kills women who have thirteen letters in their name; so why is he after Melissa Richardson?

After Lissa’s roommate is murdered, she becomes convinced the killer is after her. The police are quick to point out that Lissa doesn’t quite fit the profile of the Number Thirteen Killer’s victims, but she can feel him watching her.

He collects the souls of beautiful young women. He knows something special about Lissa—something that makes her soul more precious than most. All the others have been leading up to her. Her soul will be the jewel of his collection.

Lissa’s right to be frightened. The killer is someone close to her—and he’s moving closer.

Excerpt:

“You’re very beautiful,” he said as his hands tightened around her throat.

She clawed at him as he knew she would, but the gloves and flannel protected his skin.

One bright red fingernail popped off.

He kept up the pressure. Her hands fell away. She began sinking to her knees. He followed her down, letting up on the pressure—just a little—enough to allow some small amount of oxygen to reach her brain. He pulled the mirror from his pocket and set it on the ground.

Again, his fingers dug into her neck, cutting off blood flow and oxygen, this time for good.

Her breath ceased; her body slumped.

He let go of her and picked up the compact, turning it this way and that until he caught a thin, smoky wisp darting to one side.

Ah, there it was. Her soul.

About the Author…

 

Tamrie Foxtail was raised in the sunshine state. She married the best man she ever met, an Okie who brought her to the Sooner State. As soon as she recovered from a rather serious case of culture shock, she fell in love with Oklahoma and its people.

She loves books, carousels, scrapbooking, and coffee. She works with the special education program in her local school district.

Tamrie is published with The Wild Rose Press and is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Central Region Oklahoma Writers.

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A Gentleman from the Darkness by Mark Edward Jones ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Mark Edward Jones with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  A Gentleman from the Darkness...

Fun Fact:

I had been outlining a prequel series to my current Detective Henry Ike Pierce series. It included the origin stories of several of the protagonists and antagonists. I adapted that idea with a thin layer of paranormal activity from the main antagonist for a Friday the 13th

Blurb:

It is 1968, and the secretive Group of Thirty has resisted the new Czech regime installed after the Prague Spring. Professor Valentýn Hrubý leads this campus group, fighting for the reforms crushed by Russian tanks. Hrubý keeps lists to help his forgetfulness, and the authorities discover one of these lists, one that shows the names of his associates. The new government hires an assassin to track and dispose of the group’s members. Dressed in a three-piece suit and topped by his ever-present black fedora, Karanosz Tasev stalks his prey.

It is Friday, twelve days before Christmas, and the wolf has arrived.

Excerpt:

Dominika let her kitchen door drift open, pushed by a frigid gust. All appeared as they had left it—no power, but the moon glowed in the clearing skies, shafts of light flashing through the shabby curtains. Still shivering, she slunk into the living room. All seemed quiet.

She sucked a deep breath, knowing it was time. The creepy, moldy basement waited with its archaic circuit breaker box hung from a wooden stud near the last step. The door squealed as they all did in this residence, and she instinctively reached to the left, flipping the light switch as if it would do any good. Moonlight filtered through the half window at the basement’s ceiling, offering a sliver of white flowing into the dungeon-like space. She slid her hand gently down the splintery rail and counted the seven steps to the bottom.

Dominika had never had the strength to snap open the latch to the circuit box’s cover. Valentýn had always been the one to take care of this, including replacing dead fuses. But had he not shut the lid the last time? The latch dangled, and spider webs hung fragmented below the box, dancing in the stirred air. She spewed an icy breath, guessing this was not her husband’s doing.

She yanked open the cold metal cover. The individual breakers were on, but the master switch had flipped. She used both hands to pull the switch up. A flash over the stairs, and a yellow glow flooded the dusty space. Dominika exhaled, at once proud she had fixed the issue but wondering how many lights she had left on while running about the house that evening.

She clutched her stomach, consciously slowing her breaths … the sounds, though. Her chest movements slowed, but the breaths grew faster and heavier. She sucked in and held, but the breathing continued. She touched the rail and took a step.

A round object ground into the middle of her back. A man’s snicker blew against her neck, followed by a whiff of cigarettes and body odor.

“Surprise,” a voice mumbled with a heavy Russian accent.

A silhouette emerged from under the stairs. It bumped into the staircase, knocking a fedora cockeyed as the man came into the light. She shivered while she mouthed his name—Tasev.

About the Author…

Mark retired from higher education finance in 2017 and started writing as a new career. The first of the Detective Henry Ike Pierce series, Peculiar Activities, was published in October 2021. The second in the series, Shadowed Souls, is in the editing phase will a publication later in 2022. A Gentleman from the Darkness is his first short story, and his first in a Friday the 13th

Website: mejbooksllc.com     Email: mejbookllc@gmail.com    Buy Links: Books2Read

Facebook: mejbooksllc       Twitter: @mejbooksllc          Instagram: @markjones_author

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The Last Wife by Krysta Scott ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Krysta Scott with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  The Last Wife...

Fun Fact:

There is a tiny black cat in this story named ‘Spot’. When I was in college, I had a black cat and couldn’t think about what to name it. My roommate suggested the name ‘Spot’. I protested that was a dog’s name. She acknowledged this was true but enjoyed the irony of calling a cat ‘Spot’. She offered a compromise. Why don’t I name the cat ‘Ink Spot’ and we could call him ‘Spot’ for short. That worked. I liked the irony in his name too. That’s why Spot makes an appearance in this story.

 

Blurb:

Delaney Endicott’s boring job covering social events for the local paper is not enough to feed her lust for a hot story. So when she learns of unsolved murders close to her hometown that seem to be connected, she dives in to investigate. Her involvement intensifies when she receives threats from the killer, and she knows she’s close to breaking the case wide open.

Before she realizes what’s happening, Delaney is caught in a sadistic trap and in a fight for her very survival.

Excerpt:

Maggie,

Well, I met someone at work. This probably doesn’t sound anything like me, but the attraction was instantaneous. One minute he was sitting in the chair next to me, the next we were giving each other soul searching stares. It was like I’d always known him. He gets me and he totally understands how lost I am without my family. It’s impossible to describe how he lifts up my mood. Even when I’m having one of those foreboding feelings, he shows up and all my fears disappear. I don’t worry when he’s around. It’s so strange but also wonderful. Wish you could meet him. I know you’d like him.

Love always,

Delaney

She’d left out the part about how anxious she was when he wasn’t around. How anxious she felt at that very moment. That was the confusing part. It was more than the impression something bad was going to happen. It was a shaky sweaty need that could only be cured by his presence. She’d never experienced anything like this before. In truth she was a little scared.

About the Author…

Krysta Scott has always been a daydreamer, imagining worlds far away with happy endings. When she was in fifth grade, she was so caught up in fantasy she earned the dubious distinction of being named the girl who daydreams the most. The award for this questionable honor was a colorful transparent plastic poster made to look like stained glass. It was very cool. Given her flights of fancy, it came as no surprise to her family when she announced she was going to be an actress. Unfortunately, her pursuit into theater didn’t last long, because she was too withdrawn and shy to exhibit any talent in this area. Left with no other choice but to pursue a more practical avocation, she decided to major in psychology and then go to law school. Not able to let go of the worlds she created in her head, she returned to writing. She is excited to be a part of the Friday the 13th series.

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Little Darlings by Alicia Dean ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th #ahagrp

Please help me welcome myself with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  Little Darlings...

Fun Fact:

I got the idea for my story from my cousin during a family reunion. He mentioned the legend of the Black-Eyed Children and it sparked the idea. (While our family members were discussing their children and grandchildren and swapping recipes, he and I were discussing horror and the best ways to creep people out. :)) Supposedly, people have actually encountered these frightening little beasts, though I haven’t actually heard of the Black-Eyed Kids murdering anyone…until my story. 🙂 The below is an interesting article about the legend:

Black-eyed Kids: The Chilling Legend that Began in Abilene

Blurb:

Mollie Burrows and her friends, Caroline and Beth, rent a cabin in Colorado for a therapeutic getaway. Beth is despondent after a recent miscarriage and Mollie hopes the trip will alleviate Beth’s depression. The owner of the general store in town warns them about the Black-Eyed Kids—supernatural entities who pose as children and terrorize anyone who allows them into their homes—but Mollie scoffs at the ridiculous notion.

Not long after they get settled, four children knock on their door—and their eyes are as black as a starless night. Beth is drawn to them and is ready to offer them shelter, but Mollie and Caroline are freaked out and refuse.

When Mollie discovers the bodies of obviously murdered victims, she realizes the store owner was telling the truth. As the evil children begin their homicidal rampage, their determination to gain entry into the cabin becomes terrifying. Help won’t arrive until the following morning and a long, torturous night looms ahead. Can Mollie and Caroline prevent Beth from opening the door to the Little Darlings? If not, they could all end up dead.

Excerpt:

Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she stood again, this time remaining on her feet. Unsteadily, she crossed the room and gripped the curtain in her hand, tugging it back just enough to peer around it. Involuntarily, she yelped. The same four children stood on the other side of the glass. Rain poured down on them, but they seemed oblivious to the fact they were getting soaked.

The tallest girl swiveled her head toward Mollie, black eyes gleaming beneath the patio light. Mollie’s heart leapt into her throat, and she let the curtain fall back.

“Hey, miss. Please let us in. We’re cold and wet. Won’t you please let us in?”

Mollie pressed her back against the wall, willing her heart to stop racing. What was the deal with these kids? What were they doing all alone at night, and why did they creep her out so badly?

“Come on, miss. We can’t hurt you. We’re just little kids. We just want to play.” That sounded like a boy, though his voice was high. He probably hadn’t yet reached puberty.

Maybe she should call the police. The parents needed to be reported for not keeping a closer eye on their kids. But for now…should she let them in?

On the one hand, she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving children outside alone in the dark, but on the other hand… she was quite frankly terrified. Something was not quite right. And she couldn’t dismiss the stories about the Black-Eyed Kids. Most rumors were based on some kind of fact, so there might have been some truth to the legend…

But then…if there really was a killer on the loose, how would she feel if she found out these kids had been murdered?

She blew out a long breath and shoved the drapes back. She reached for the latch to unlock the patio door but stopped. Her gaze fell on the object the smallest boy held in his hand. A large rock. He hefted it, his black eyes staring through the glass at her. “We wanna play rock with you. Just let us in so we can playyyyy…” The last word was drawn out, ending on a keening wail.

About the Author…

It’s me…I’m the author. 😀 

Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite television shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Website: http://atomic-temporary-24849064.wpcomstaging.com/

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

Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Instagram: AliciaDeanAuthor

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alicia-dean

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

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13 Sessions by Christopher Farris ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Please help me welcome Christopher Farris with the next story in the Friday the 13th Series,  13 Sessions...

Fun Fact:

The story started off as throwback to the character, Renfro, from the novel Dracula. I had initially intended for Patient 13 to be a Renfro-type who brought about the downfall of the doctor. That’s not where it ended up. 😊

Father Dragos Tepesch, asylum administrator, does not fit Dr. David Montaine’s expectations. His new employer is too religious, too old world, too—too, he can’t quite put his finger on it. Frightening, maybe? It doesn’t make sense. The priest is old and frail, his voice kindly. It’s his eyes, David thinks, something in his eyes. Hunger, maybe?

The Wallachian asylum is hopelessly behind the times. His wife, Sally, seems to have left him and, more troubling, his mind is playing tricks on him. Still, this new job is far better than the old. The authorities no longer hound him. The booze is free. He has a whole new practice to build, lunatics desperate for his particular brand of salvation and, right down the hall, Patient Thirteen. She’s silent, young, and oh, so beautiful. Her pain calls to him. And pain, Father Tepesch says, is a meal that must be eaten one bite at time.

Excerpt:

“All considered, Father, I think things are looking—” Movement under Tepesch’s chair caught his eye. A giant rat, black as midnight and scarred from a hundred savage battles, sauntered from under the old man’s soutane, stopped on the oriental rug, and fixed David with a beady, red eye.

He stiffened. A shudder of disgust and fear coursed down his spine. The malevolence in the creature’s eye, the sheer hateful hunger froze him with his hand half-way to his mouth.

Tepesch cocked his head, “David?” He spoke as if he didn’t see the evil thing, though the beast stood not a foot in front of his black boot tips.

The rat rose on its hind legs and sniffed the air, exposing its long, yellowed incisors and its bare belly. The skin, the awful, wattled, bare skin of its underside showing through the wiry hair was too intimate, too… It was too much. And the thing smelled. A reek that settled into his nostrils and clawed its way into his throat. This was no common rodent. His imagination took him to dark places, dank holes and caves, to the morgue deep in the basement, to the trenches of World War I where millions of the damned things had swarmed the dead and dying. When he’d pictured those monsters, they’d look like this in his mind. Two-and-a-half feet tall and savage. No natural rat ever grew so big. He pointed with a quivering hand, “L—look!”

“What David?” Tepesch’s face registered confusion. “What?”

The rat grinned at David and shuffled forward on its hind legs, front paws waving in the air like a dog doing tricks for its dinner.

He shoved the chair back with a shriek. He wanted to cry out. “Don’t you see it? It’s right there? What’s wrong with you? Are you blind!” But all he could manage was a hurk-hurk-hurking sound in the back of his throat.

The animal leapt under the desk. Before he could get his legs up onto the chair, the thing pounced into his lap. Its weight pinned him to the chair, heavy as a bowling ball. The creature’s questing nose nuzzled into the soft flesh of his belly and groin. He screamed and a flush of hot urine spread across his lap as his bladder let go.

About the Author…

Christopher Farris Christopher Farris lives in a very old, very small house in a very old, very small town nestled deep in a valley of the Boston Mountains of Northwest Arkansas. He is not a hillbilly, but he is trying. He has four well-adjusted children and the two best granddaughters available.

His horror novel, The Fountain, was published by The Wild Rose Press in January of 2021. His Christmas novel, Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol, was published in November of 2021. Both are available at Amazon.com.

The Fountain: Amazon.com: The Fountain eBook : Farris, Christopher: Books

Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol: Amazon.com: Intersection: A Trucker’s Christmas Carol eBook : Farris, Christopher: Books

Facebook: @ozarkgothic

Facebook: c_farrisauthor

Instagram: c_farrisauthor

 

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