Chameleon – Blog Tour – Paranormal

Chameleon
by Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA Paranormal Psychological Suspense
FIVE GIRLS. AN ISOLATED CONVENT. A SUPERNATURAL PRESENCE. A DARK SECRET.
SHORTLISTED for the 2017 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction!
I can’t believe it has come to this. The way things have blown out of proportion. I only wanted to contact my dead father. Ask his forgiveness.
Seven months.
Seven months isn’t that long, is it?
I’ll go through the motions, no need to make friends that I’ll never see again. When you get close to people, you end up getting hurt.
Puerto Rico, 1973
17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.
At night, the waterfall’s dark music haunts her dreams of drowning…
When Paloma holds another séance, she accidentally awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. The body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…
Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?
If you love the vibes in “The Orphanage,” “The Craft” and “Pretty Little Liars,” you’ll enjoy this mess-with-your-head, YA supernatural/psychological thriller!
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
She’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Comparative Literature. She lives in Belgium with her husband and two evil cats.
$25 cash paypal
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Excerpt 1:

I cannot clearly say how I had entered

the wood; I was so full of sleep just at

the point where I abandoned the true path.

–Dante Alighieri, Inferno 1. 11-12

 

Chapter 1

 

Puerto Rico, 1973

 

Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss embraced us from both sides, but not enough to shield us from the prison that would be my home for the next seven months. The high stone walls and neo-Gothic bell tower loomed over us as my stepfather drove his Mercedes through the spiked iron gates and into the sloping, curving driveway.

A spider of dread crawled up my back. Prison indeed.

I couldn’t believe it had come to this. The way things had blown out of proportion. I’d only wanted to contact my dead father. Ask his forgiveness.

My mother reached for my hand from the front seat without turning around to look at me. I stared at her perfectly polished red nails and the glittery square cut emerald on her ring finger. Her fingers flicked, silently pleading for my attention, but I was frozen inside. Her hand retreated.

I stared at the convent, my eyes studying the dark arched windows, the worn, age-blackened stones. The place looked haunted. Perfect for my state of mind. What was my mother thinking?

Something moved behind one of the windows. A face. For an instant my pulse raced at the sheer paleness of it, at the two dark holes that made up its eyes.

“What are you looking at?” Sara, my six-year-old half sister, asked.

I pointed. “A girl.”

She followed my line of vision. “Where?”

“There. High up. In the window.”

She dipped her head so she could have a better look. “I don’t see anything.”

            I felt a shiver, but not from the cold. It’s white. It’s watching us.

Then the car moved too close to the building, and the face vanished from view.

“Is this your new school, Paloma?” Sara asked.

I nodded. Sara was the child, female version of my stepfather. Her bottomless dark eyes, framed by velvety lashes, stared at me with misery. “I don’t like it,” she whispered, grabbing my hand.

“It’ll be okay,” I whispered back, and gave her hand a little squeeze.

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

“Well, here we are,” Domenico said in his strong Castilian accent, stopping the car in front of the entrance. He climbed out and opened the door for my mother. Then he proceeded to take out my suitcases from the trunk.

My mother was silent. She stepped out like a wooden mannequin, her eyes shimmery with unshed tears.

I climbed out, followed by Sara, the gravel crunching under our shoes. The early morning air was cool and a blanket of mist still lingered—not surprising, since the convent was on the outskirts of El Yunque, the island’s rain forest. More Spanish moss hung from the oak trees and rippled in the breeze like long, shivering memories. I could smell the dew on the leaves and the rich perfume of moist earth, redolent of open graves.

I glanced at the ominous clouds. “Beautiful morning.”

An ongoing distant hum resonated all around us. One, two beats passed, before it struck me: Waterfall.

Something within me shut down—or exploded, I couldn’t be sure.

I shut my eyes for a second, wiping out memories of chilled water searing my lungs.

I repeated the eighth multiplication table in my head.

“After you,” Domenico said, interrupting my thoughts.

I wanted to loathe him. Tried to, anyway. I could see what my mother saw in him: a powerfully charismatic, handsome man with the infinite skill to make people do his bidding. My mother, with her small delicate features and petite frame, looked invisible beside him. A mere spectre. But that was just a façade. I knew better.

The big oak door opened and a nun clad in black habit and a wimple came down the steps to greet us.

Sara wrapped her arms around my waist. Her gesture both comforted me and heightened my anxiety. Nuns in habit made me think of great black birds.

“Bienvenidos,” the nun said. Like my stepfather, she also had a Castilian accent. “I’m Madre Estela and I’m second in charge to Madre Superiora. You must be Señor and Señora de Aznar.”

They exchanged small talk. Madre Estela sounded polite enough, but she didn’t offer to shake hands with my parents, which I found strange. Maybe nuns weren’t allowed to shake hands. I wouldn’t be surprised. I noticed the wedding band on her ring finger. Married to God. Absurd.

“You must be Paloma,” she said tonelessly.

“Yes,” I said. Wasn’t it obvious? I didn’t know what else to say.

The cross on her chest caught my attention. It had a crucified Christ on it and I noticed the thorns cutting Christ’s forehead, the little drops of blood glistening on His fragile body.

“Welcome to our school, Paloma.” Her critical gaze scrutinized my makeup, my tight jeans. “I’ve heard much about you.”

I didn’t miss the hint of cold disapproval in her voice. I wasn’t sure how much my parents had complained about my behavior, but considering I had been kicked out—well, actually, kindly asked to leave—my previous school in the middle of October, it couldn’t be good.

“Are you ready to resume your senior year of high school?” Stress on resume.

“I can’t wait,” I said. There was no point in being nice—or pretending to be. That just wasn’t me. I felt miserable and couldn’t hide it. Besides, I could tell from our short exchange that she’d made up her mind not to like me long before meeting me, and I had the sinking feeling that no matter what I said or did, her opinion wouldn’t change. I had already been stamped in her Inquisition book, tagged a criminal.

Madre Estela’s stony eyes moved to Sara. My little sister’s arms clutched my waist even tighter. From the nun’s expression, I could tell she was wondering if I had infected Sara with whatever plague ailed me. She dismissed us and turned back to my mother and stepfather. “Madre Superiora is expecting you in her office.  Let’s not keep her waiting, shall we not? Don’t concern yourselves with the suitcases. Someone will come for them shortly.”

They thanked her and followed her up the steps.

“I don’t want to go in,” Sara said.

“It’ll be okay,” I said. I glanced at the window. I wanted to see the pale face again. But there was nothing.

A drop of rain hit my cheek and I wiped it off. Then I held Sara’s hand and together we walked up the steps and through the arched doorway.

I felt my throat closing up.

            Seven months.

Seven months wasn’t that long, was it? Besides, Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Six weeks, to be exact. I had already marked my calendar. I couldn’t wait. I would go through the motions, no need to make friends that I’d never see again. When you get close to people, you end up getting hurt.

 

Excerpt 2 (from Chapter 9):

Madre Estela remained standing by the door. “Get a bucket and fill it with water.”

Her hypercritical eyes sliced through my self-worth as I grabbed one of the metal buckets, lifted it into the sink, and turned on the faucet. I watched, transfixed, as the water gushed like a torrent spurting from an open artery. The cold spray raised goosebumps on my arms.

Madre Estela snapped her fingers. “Move.”

As I hauled the bucket to the door, some of the water slushed over the edge and splattered to the floor.

“Add the detergent,” she said stiffly, irritated by my clumsiness.

I chose a green bottle, twisted the cap, and poured. The acrid pine smell stung my nostrils.

“Get a sponge and a brush from there. Get going. We don’t have all evening—unless you want to work in the dark.”

I gritted my teeth, but pretended not to be bothered. I suspected that the one thing that this nun couldn’t stand was indifference.

Outside, it was almost dusk. In spite of the intense screeching of the coquíes, the drum of the waterfall hit my ears. It was louder now than the last time I’d been here. How was that possible?

I felt a drop of rain. Great.

Madre Estela put one hand out, palm up. “My, my. What’s this?” She looked chagrined, and I suddenly realized why. If it rained, I would have to go inside, ruining her plans. “What are you standing there for? Start scrubbing.”

I was tempted to throw the bucket of greenish water at her face. Instead, I prayed for rain as I walked across the rose garden. Once at the gate, I glanced back at her.

“You’ll work until I come for you, understood?” she said, hands on hips in her usual stance. She pointed to one of the second-floor windows. “I’ll be watching from there.”

And that was it. She was gone.

For a moment I just stood there. If only my friends could see me now. They would never believe it.

I opened the gate and walked into the graveyard. The statue of Gabriel greeted me, its face fiercer in the dusk. The temperature must have been in the low seventies. I was glad I had my cardigan.

Suddenly, the garden lamp post lit up. I turned, startled. I wasn’t sure if it had automatically switched on or if someone, maybe Madre Estela, had done it from indoors. I glanced up at the second-floor window, expecting to find her face. I had the chilling sensation of being watched. There was nothing. The windows glowed with yellow light, a multitude of feral eyes keeping guard.

However, behind one of the ground-floor windows on the right, a figure appeared. Tall, blurred. Madre Superiora? I was sure that was her office. Yet, something about the shape of the head and the shoulders made me think of…Rubia. What was she doing in Madre Superiora’s office?

Just as abruptly as it’d appeared, the figure vanished from view.

The incident left me strangely unsettled.

Focus.

I splashed some of the water on one of the tombstones and got to work. The sound of hard bristles against stone blocked the hum of the waterfall. Almost.

Go away, damn it. 

As I crouched to work on a second tombstone, doing my best not to get wet in the process, something shifted at the edge of my vision. I jumped to my feet, my heart thudding. Gabriel. Its wings had rippled with movement.

Dear God…what’s happening to me?

I rubbed my forehead and grimaced, my fingers shaking.

I felt another drop of rain. If it was going to rain, why didn’t it? The sky was playing with me, too. Mocking me.

I cursed the clouds and started scrubbing again.

I had another sensation of being watched and this time, yes, it was Madre Estela behind the window. I pretended I hadn’t seen her and tried to keep focused on the task at hand.  The water had turned blackish with grime.

I don’t know how long I scrubbed. I lost track of time. But it was dark. My back and shoulders were sore and my hands stung from the harsh detergent.

Madre Estela was long gone from the window.

Half panting, I sat down on the edge of the tombstone and tossed the brush aside in disgust. I looked at the statue again, but it was motionless. I turned to the windows again, my eyes slowly moving from one to the other.

From one to the other.

Expecting to see the face. Wanting to see it.

Nothing.

Yet, that weird sensation of being watched, again.

My gaze shifted to the woods, to the exact place where the cemetery ended and the forest started. There was a path there. Narrow, obscured by the trees. For a long moment I sat, mesmerized. Then I stood up and began to approach it. The breeze picked up as I got closer, carrying with it the cool, slightly pungent smell of the waterfall.

I stopped at the very edge, the darkness enveloping me, the dampness seeping through my clothes.

The wind sighed, rustling the leaves and fluttering my hair.

Icy breath, on the back of my neck.

I’m in here… a voice whispered from the shadows.

I spun around in terror.

Then I hit something hard.

 

Excerpt 3 (from Chapter 11):

 

The foliage swallowed me. Sodden leaves gave under my shoes. Twisted limbs and giant ferns reached out to scratch my arms, my legs.

“Adelita!” I called, hastening my pace.

Flash of white ahead.

“Adelita!” No response. “Damn it. It’s getting freaking dark!”

Voices? I halted, panting.

Then broke into a run again. The mist, carried by the waterfall, clung to my lashes, my cheeks, my lips. I tasted its bitterness on my tongue.

Giggling.

“I’m here!” Adelita called.

I slowed my pace. Toward the end of the path, fibrous vines hung from branches like a curtain of snakes. I pushed them aside and staggered forward. Slowly, I looked up.

Against the blackening sky, the monster roared, cradled by twisted, stunted trunks and wisps of fog, looming over me in all its brutal magnificence. Its crystalline waters gushed ferociously, cascading into a murky, swirling pool that spiraled into a descending rock-studded stream gurgling with white iridescent foam.

A cloud of spray enveloped me, cold and impersonal like the wings of some giant bat. Had it not been for one of the vines, I would have fallen to my knees.

Cold water, sucking me down, searing my throat, my eyes. Can’t see, can’t breathe; his hands grab me; blackness, like tar, steals its way down my lungs, spreading its web and filling every corner, every crevice; utter agony before oblivion settles—  

The sight of Adelita, standing at the edge of the pool, shook me out of my trance. She was very still, her skirt puffing from the thundering falls.

“Step back!” I shouted.

Slowly, Adelita lifted her arm and pointed to the center of the waterfall. “She’s in there.”

“Who?” When she didn’t answer, I answered for her. “The ghost? Your invisible friend?”

Adelita lowered her arm. She seemed to have fallen into one of her sudden spells.

“Is that who you were speaking to?” I said urgently.

She was silent.

“Adelita,” I coaxed. She was about ten yards from me. I took one step toward her, my toes curling. “Please… step back.”

“She wants to speak to us,” Adelita said, moving closer to the edge.

“What’s wrong with you? Stop!”

She turned her head to look at me. When she smiled, her teeth looked unnaturally white, as if the iridescence of the foamy water reflected on them.

I edged a little closer and extended my hand. “Please.” I clenched my teeth. “I can’t come any closer,” I said, stressing each word. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing reality to go away, willing it all to be a nightmare. But when I opened my eyes, Adelita’s toes stood just over the edge. For an instant, as if suspended, she seemed to sway, before she opened her wings like an angel about to take flight.

“No!” I sprang forward and seized her arm. She twisted, lost her balance and clutched at my gold chain—“No!”—The gold snapped. I grabbed her shirt and jerked her toward me. We staggered in a drunken embrace before stumbling to the ground. My hand groped wildly around my neck, but my pendant, the most precious object I possessed, was gone. I searched for it on my hands and knees, my flesh sinking into the cold, wet earth.

Then I stood and stared hard at her.

Smudged with dirt, she sagged against a moss-covered boulder. “It’s in there,” she said, her gaze lowered, pointing to the water.

“How do you know?”

“I saw it fall,” she said.

A jolt of nausea hit me and I held my stomach. “That can’t be.”

I stared at the swirling pool and thought I saw it twinkling in the depths. I squeezed my eyes shut—for an eternity, it seemed—before I spun and grabbed Adelita and shook her violently. “You’re lying! That’s what you do. You lie.” I kept shaking her. I wanted to hurt her, hurt her. That was the only way to ease my pain.

She started whimpering, in a manner not unlike my sister Sara. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept saying.

I shoved her away and reeled backwards. I felt breathless, delirious.

I glanced one more time at the swirling pool, before I grasped her muddy hand and we headed back. She didn’t resist, an obedient, repentant little child.

By the time we got back to the graveyard, it was already dark. The lamp post cast an iridescent glow on the white roses and tombstones.

To my dismay, Madre Estela had just stepped out of the garden gate and was marching in our direction. With the light behind her, her face was a black mask. But her chin was high and her stride purposeful.

As if out of habit, she went for Adelita first. “What are you doing here? You haven’t done any of your chores.”

I stepped forward and shielded Adelita with my arm. “This isn’t her fault,” I said quickly. “I told her to come and help me.”

She bared her teeth. “Help do what?” she said, her eyes sweeping over our dirt-covered hair and clothes.

“We heard voices coming from there,” I said, gesturing. “We thought one of the girls had gotten lost, so we decided to take a look.”

This made her pause, but only for an instant—before her hand came down, hard and brutal. I staggered backwards, more from shock than pain. No one had ever slapped me before. I touched my burning cheek and just stared at her.

“Voices here, voices there,” she said, disgusted, as if she couldn’t stand to hear more of it. “There are no voices, do you understand? No voices,” she repeated, as if she were trying to convince herself of the fact. “You should know better than listen to Adelita’s lies.”

Adelita didn’t even flinch when Madre Estela twisted her ear. I thought she was going to wrench it off her head right in front of my eyes.

“Pick up the things and go change immediately, both of you,” she ordered, “before you catch pneumonia.”

Before we went inside, I glanced back at Madre Estela. The vegetation rose up behind her, dark and menacing. Her eyes seemed strangely unfocused. She was clutching her wooden cross and murmuring a prayer. A gust of wind rattled the branches.

 

 

 

False Memory – Book Spotlight and Blog Tour – Meli Raine – Romance/Suspense

Out Now—False Memory by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor)

 THE FALSE SERIES: False Memory (Book 1), False Hope (Book 2) & False Start (Book 3)

Author: Meli Raine

Release date: November 13, 2018

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series Description:

She’s faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer.

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FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)

Release Date:  11/13/18

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-memory/id1387687477?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40405827-false-memory

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-memory-by-meli-raine

It all started with the bereavement flowers with my name on them.

Not the best way to wake up, right? I work in a flower shop. I know a funeral arrangement when I see one.

I know a killer when I see one, too. And one is standing in my hospital room right now, straight behind the man who saved my life.

I can’t tell anyone the truth, because that’s the fastest way to really die. So I do the next best thing. I “lose” my memory.

I fake my amnesia.

Pretending not to remember a brutal attempted murder has its perks. The killer is backing down, spending less time around me, loosening the noose.

The less I claim to recall, the more my rescuer, Duff, works to help me “remember.” I hate lying to him.

But he doesn’t understand that my memory is dangerous. To me. And to him.

Fooling everyone isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Except it’s starting to look like I’ve been fooling myself.

In more ways than one.

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FALSE HOPE (Book 2)

Release Date:  12.11.18

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-hope/id1421994196?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42088265-false-hope

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-hope-by-meli-raine

FalseStartEbookCoverUse

FALSE START (Book 3)

Release Date:  01/15/19

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-start/id1421999168?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42088271-false-start

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-start-by-meli-raine

 

Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

 

Social Media Links:

 

Website:  http://meliraine.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/meliraineauthor

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meli-raine

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536295.Meli_Raine

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

Book Spotlight – A Sudden Gust of Gravity – Laurie Boris

Basic Book Spotlight

Title:   A Sudden Gust of Gravity

Author:  Laurie Boris

Genre: Romance, romantic suspense

Main character description (short).

Christina Davenport is a twenty-five-year-old waitress living in Boston. She’s a graceful and athletic young woman, green-eyed and curly-haired. She’s down on her luck at the moment, surviving on tips and her sardonic sense of humor, but buried within her is the desire to build a new life for herself. All she has to do is figure out how.

Synopsis:

Waitress Christina Davenport lands in a world of trouble when she accepts a job as an assistant to a charming street performer. She’d wanted to be a magician and vowed to never again stand in the background holding some guy’s props, but Christina has a score to settle—with her traumatic family history, with people telling her she can’t hack it on her own. Reynaldo the Magnificent is more than a little full of himself and has a dark side, but to Christina, he could be her second chance, her redemption, her ticket to something bigger. If only she can learn from him before he discovers her secrets.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

“Got a résumé?” he asked.

Christina shook her head.

“Video?”

Again, she shook her head.

“Performing experience?”

She wondered if waitressing counted. Because she damned sure wasn’t telling him about her father.

He leaned back, tapping a pen against his open notebook, and narrowed his eyes at her, grinning a hitch as if she were an intriguing puzzle he couldn’t solve. Then he pointed the pen in her direction. “I like you, though. There’s something about you. And you’re easy on the eyes. I think we can work with that. What do you know about magic?”

Again, not talking about her father. What he’d taught her. The hours she’d practiced. Or why she’d stopped. In case he got the wrong idea about her intentions, Christina decided it was better to plead ignorance. She swallowed and curled a hand around her mug.

“Um…abracadabra?”

“Cute. You’re cute.” He scribbled some notes. “We can work with that, too.” He paused a moment. “What were you doing in the magic store?”

“Like I said. I saw something shiny in the window.”

He gave her a long, flat stare. She exhaled and let her shoulders relax. “Okay. I was looking for a present for my little cousin.”

He tapped the pen again. “Tyke wants to be the next big thing?”

“I guess.”

“Well, tell him to stop it. We don’t need the competition.”

“Fine,” she said. “I’ll get him socks and underwear.”

“And she has a sense of humor. We’ll have to train you out of that. I do the jokes in this act.”

 

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

Sparking with intrigue and romance, A Sudden Gust of Gravity is set into the world of street magic in contemporary Boston. Beyond that, it’s an uplifting and entertaining tale about redemption, second chances, and not settling for less than you deserve.

 

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Links etc.

A Sudden Gust of Gravity:  https://www.amazon.com/Sudden-Gust-Gravity-Laurie-Boris-ebook/dp/B017QEIES2/

 

Returning author Juliet B Madison – Crime/Thriller

Today I’m pleased to welcome back Crime Author Juliet B Madison to talk about her latest DI Frank Lyle related project Alternate Voices.  Over to you Juliet.

Last year my friend and fellow crime writer, Andrew Scorah put together an anthology to raise money for the UK charity Women’s Aid and to raise awareness of the thorny issue of domestic violence. In this day and age, where same sex marriage is legal, domestic violence is not necessarily confined to heterosexual relationships. I contributed a story to Andrew’s anthology, Shadows and Light, and am pleased to have been associated with the project.

Those who know me well will be aware that my long term partner, David, died of renal cancer in 2008. Taking care of him was tough, both emotionally and financially, but we had a Macmillan nurse who gave us both tremendous support and enabled us to get access to resources we could not use ourselves given that we did not have a computer or internet access. I decided to try and collect stories for a similar anthology and donate some of the proceeds to Macmillan to enable them to continue their great support of people living with cancer as well as their relatives and carers.

You can learn more about Macmillan cancer support and the work they do here

I launched an online appeal for stories, but this is the twist, the stories are not run of the mill. I wanted to set people the challenge of writing a DI Frank Lyle story of their own. The story does not need to be crime based, it can be in any genre as long as it utilises characters from the main DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series. All stories, as long as I’m not inundated with responses, will find their way into the anthology, which I have titled Alternate voices as this does not only echo the fact that the contents are written by other authors, but it also reflects the multiple first person POV of the series itself. You can write in British or American English and use first or third person.  You can read more about the requirements here.

I have to admit that the entries I have received thus far have really captured and done justice to the fiction series I have created. It’s quite fun to see what people have done with my characters.  The closing date for submissions is 1st July 2015 so still plenty of time. Even if you have never read a DI Frank Lyle book before you can get plenty of fan fiction scope from my DI Frank Lyle efanzine and my website

I am extremely impressed with the calibre of stories received so far and look forward to reading many more DI Lyle fan fiction pieces in the next few weeks.

At present the provisional release date for the anthology is 23rd September 2015. I chose this date because it’s the seventh anniversary of David’s death and as such a bad day for me. I thought I would give myself something more positive to focus on to help me through. The anthology will be dedicated to David’s memory.

If you feel like checking out a DI Lyle book or two then please visit Amazon’s Juliet B Madison page

Anthology test copy[1]

Author Interview Number Eighty-Seven – Chambers Mars (Carter Seagrove) – LGBT and Thriller/Crime Fiction

Welcome AUTHOR – CHAMBERS MARS (who, together with Alp Mortal, is also Carter Seagrove)

BIO

I am French, living in Saint Tropez. I travel widely, collecting and dealing in art. My childhood home is in a village not too far from the place where Alp Mortal lives in France.

I am vegan, a Buddhist and a dog owner – I have a Jack Russell/Italian Greyhound mix by the name of Pinocchio (Jack Russell with long legs and a superiority complex to match).

Together with Alp Mortal, I am half of Carter Seagrove, author of Dust Jacket and The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries.

Alp Mortal, Chambers Mars and Shannon M. Kirkland are The Carter Seagrove Project LLC – an independent book publisher. Find us at http://www.carterseagrove.weebly.com, on Twitter @carterseagrove and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.

Q&A

Where do you live and write from?

I generally spend my time in Saint Tropez – I prefer the climate! I do spend time at the house in Saint Hilaire in Haute Saone, near to the spiritual retreat where Alp lives for part of the year. I generally only write when I am at home in Saint Tropez, on the balcony.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc.

I write LGBT-themed fiction – the Zac Tremble Investigates series – he’s the gay PI; and the Life & Times of Johnny Sante series – he’s the young bisexual Parisian con-artist.

In 2014, I began writing with Alp. First we did Dust Jacket and then The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries – the gay, crime fighting duo of Inspector Alfred Fenchurch and PC Adam Cowley. I would like to write something different – maybe Sci-fi but I am also keen to produce either Zac or Johnny as a graphic novel series.

Where do you find inspiration?

The inspiration for the Zac series really came from the series of short novels which Le Monde publishes each summer – pocket-sized, fast-paced reads. Alp says James Bond meets Fawlty Towers – I love both. Johnny is partly inspired by John Cusack’s character in The Grifters; Zac partly by the film Renaissance (with Daniel Craig) and Zac and Paul partly by the relationship between Lola and Manni in Run Lola Run.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why?

I like Paul in Zac Tremble Investigates and Adam in The Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries because they are quiet heroes. I love Johnny because he has the spirit I would really loved to have had when I was his age.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why?

Not exactly dislike – I create bad guys so that my heroes can despatch them.

Are your characters based on real people?

A little of everyone – all of the characters are really studies of human nature – I study cultural anthropology.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?

Not in the sense that the person was someone I knew/know personally.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources?

I have to do a lot of research because first, English is my second language – and English humour is not like French humour so Zac incurs me in lots of studying – old TV sitcoms are very rich material. Fenchurch is based in the 1930s. I use the internet a lot of course and I am lucky that I have access to some magazine archives.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book?

Always a study of an aspect of our nature – it is important for me because the story would be thin without it. I wanted to create a different kind of gay male character – role models are very important – as is diversity – there isn’t enough diversity in our genre hence why I created Johnny and have him be bisexual – also Cindy and Delphes in Zac – the lesbian couple.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)

Character, character, character and character … nothing else matters.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?

All of my titles are available as eBooks – in all formats – and some are going to be produced as audiobooks. I want to produce Zac as a graphic novel or animated web series – probably Johnny too.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?

I have to have my work thoroughly checked because of the translation aspect – I could not publish anything without my editors.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?

Yes; it is sadly the case that traditional publishers are very risk averse – they go with the sure bet but they miss great opportunity by doing it.

Do you read work by self-published authors?

A lot and more and more.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

Get inside your character’s skin and live his life if you want to write great characters; read to be a better writer; don’t play safe …

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst?

Twitter. Fortunately, Alp does our social media for us – I am terrible at updating my blog – but I am older than my colleagues at The Project.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it?

We by Yevgeny Zanyatin

Two Night Stand Ellis Carrington

The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Anne Bronte

I struggle with some of the stuff I get recommended to me – I like comics best – especially Largo Winch.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author?

Traditional published author would be Georges Simenon

What are your views on authors offering free books?

We all do it but it is madness!

Do you have a favourite movie?

The Good Thief with Nick Nolte.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Book links – http://carterseagrove.weebly.com/books-by-our-authors.html

Website/blog – http://chambersmars.weebly.com

Author links – use the book links – above – (a new gallery we have created) to find all of the links to the other author/retail links

The publishing house – www.carterseagrove.weebly.com,

on Twitter @carterseagrove

and on Facebook www.facebook.com/thecarterseagroveproject.

Author Interview Number Eighty-Three – Sharon Kae Reamer – Spec Fic

Welcome to Sharon Kae Reamer

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in Philadelphia, PA and am now an expat American living in Cologne, Germany.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I’m a speculative fiction writer, writing in both the fantasy and science fiction subgenres. I’ve dabbled a little with writing horror short stories and plan on doing a historical mystery in the near future. My first fantasy series, The Schattenreich, is a cross-genre work combining science and fantasy with suspense and a strong love story. It’s a curious mix of seismology, Celtic mythology, and German aristocracy.

It started out as a standalone with a sequel and then grew to five books. So the whole thing wasn’t planned. I’m not sure I’d do a series that way again, but then again, it made for a much more organic process than if I’d planned each book and the whole series. I’m a pantser, so it’s easier for me to write that way.

Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere. Seriously. A man’s face. A TV documentary. A small wooden cat was the inspiration for my current series. Odd phrases that run through my head. Looking out the window or lying in bed on my day off and just letting my thoughts wander – I do that a lot. I believe the technical term is goofing off. I prefer the term daydreaming.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? I like most all of my characters. At times, I will think more about a certain character than another, mainly when I’m writing certain parts of the story that heavily feature that character. I even like my bad guys. It was fun keeping them evil but also giving them motivations and background.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Yes, but I’m not going to tell you why or who. It would be unfair to that character. And it would hurt their feelings.

Are your characters based on real people? Not directly. There are people who serve as models for my characters, either visually or the way they talk or walk. Sometimes it’s not a conscious thing. I just get a vision of a character and I don’t know where it comes from.

Some characters are an amalgam of people I’ve met or observed. I have a couple of cameos in the series featuring real people (with changed names), but not without their permission. There are a few characters that aren’t reality-based, like the Celtic and Germanic deities and some of the other supernatural creatures.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Yes, which is why I was so evasive above.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources?  love research and have done a whole bunch of it for The Schattenreich series. I knew relatively little about Celtic and Germanic mythology when I started out, really nothing about druids or the history of the Celts. I read a bunch of books to educate myself, books about the Celts, about their mythology, about whether or not the druids really existed, about the demise of the Celtic culture.

I recently tackled the Germanic mythology and history, including the rune language. I’ve done a fair amount of reading on modern Paganism and a bit on the history of witchcraft and Satanism.

I do some reading on the Internet, but my favourite resource so far has been books. Luckily, I love to read non-fiction including history and mythology, so it was a labor of love.

For the science fiction novel I’m writing now, I have read a lot about quantum physics, string theory, extreme biology and the evolution of plate tectonics on our planet. I am a geophysicist in real life, so the last two subjects were also fun to research and gave me an excuse to buy a few books that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to justify.

Since I live in a non-English-speaking country, I have to buy most of my reference materials. I do read some German reference books, but it’s much easier for me to read in English if I can.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I don’t write to theme, but themes do sometimes emerge during writing. I just try to tell a story. I don’t mind reading books with a message, but if it’s heavy-handed or if the story is just there to illustrate a certain political stance, then I’m usually not keen on it.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Your order is pretty good. I’d probably put solid plot ahead of world-building in some cases, but it depends on the genre and the type of story – is it a fast-paced thriller or a deeply complex world with lots of interacting characters? Each has different demands. But great characters are always at the top of my list as a reader and therefore, that’s my first consideration as a writer. Figure out who the characters are, what their motivations are, and write the story around them.

I don’t believe technical perfection is something I ever worry about when I read. I doubt I will ever be able to achieve technical perfection in my own writing. I just try to write the best book I know how to with my current skills. That’s all any writer can do, really.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? My Schattenreich series books are available in print and ebook formats and in a variety of places. I’m not exclusive to any one vendor. I would like to do audio books now that I’ve finished the last book in the series, but currently the Audible/ACX option is only available to U.S. residents. I’m researching other audio options.

I plan on releasing a few short stories in the near future, and will do ebook format exclusively on those at first. If I get some requests for print, then I’ll consider it.

I’d love to have my books translated into German, but it’s financially beyond my reach at present.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I have all my writing professionally edited. My very wonderful editor, John Kenny, is as much The Schattenreich series as I am. He’s helped me shape the series, and I can’t imagine having gotten this far without him. I hope he will continue to edit my books in the future. I feel like I won the lottery finding him right away. I’ve learned so much from having him edit my books. It’s money well spent.

I do a lot of self-editing as well both before and after sending my manuscripts to my editor. There are different types of editing for different phases of writing, and I’m still learning how and when to use them.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Yes.

Because self-published works are not considered to have been ‘curated’ for the most part. It’s true. But many readers don’t seem to mind that.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes. I don’t really pay attention to publishers any more. I look at the cover, at the subject matter, at the description. If it’s something I think I will like, and the price is right, I’ll try it. I read on a Paperwhite as well as in print (but increasingly more ebooks all the time) and find that many trad-pubbed ebooks are too expensive for my budget. I read a lot (my Goodreads goal is 100 books this year – I probably won’t make it, but I wanted to try). Generally, I’ll take a chance on any author for under 5 bucks. I will not pay more than 10 bucks for an ebook unless it is a non-fiction book that I can’t do without.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Good question. I think reviews are important but perhaps not in a direct monetary sense. I do not comment on them. I once contacted a reviewer because they made a statement about one of my books that was factually wrong, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. If I know the reviewer, then I might say something to them personally about my choices, but never criticizing their review and my policy is to not make comments as a public statement. The only comment I allow myself to make to any reviewer, in public, is ‘thank you’.

But I would be lying if I said a bad review doesn’t bother me. I do try to take it for what it’s worth and then just move on.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Yes. But I don’t always take them seriously.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? It’s okay. We do it. It’s not always optimal. I review books on GR – mostly from authors I don’t know and less often from authors I do know. If someone I know asks me to review their book, if it’s a genre I read a lot in, I will usually say yes. I mostly use GR as a reader and so I think that reviewing books there is a thing I can do as a reader without having to feel bad about it. As a rule, I don’t review on Amazon any more.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Books are better for getting inside a character’s head, for expressing complicated emotions, for allowing the reader to absorb content at their own pace. Movies are watched usually all at once. In a video game, the pace can be controlled to a certain extent, but books are better.

Movies and video games are also visually oriented. So if a writer is doing his or her job, they can provide the reader with a complete sensory perception of a world, and this is especially important in the speculative genres. You can get that to a certain extent with movies and video games, but books are waaaaaay better. I much prefer to read sex scenes rather than watch them (with certain exceptions). I can control what I visualize and how I visualize it.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

  1. Write as much as you can.
  2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  3. Don’t give up.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I just recently finished The Martian, by Andy Weir. I did enjoy it, which surprised me. It was our book club selection for February (four women who read SFF – yes it definitely counts as a book club) and probably is not something I would have picked up otherwise.

Do you have a favourite movie? Impossible to name just one!!

The Raiders of the Lost Ark is at or near the top of the list.

The Hunt for Red October

Gone with the Wind

Star Wars – IV-VI

Groundhog Day

Music and Lyrics

Any Cary Grant movie, even the bad ones – I’ll watch them anytime.

Do you have any pets? My European shorthair, Ramses, 17 years old

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I’m easily startled. Earthworms and grubs used to terrify me. But I’ve learned to get over that. I scream like a girl on roller coasters and in the movies when a scary part comes and in traffic when my husband is driving and I get spooked by another car making a sudden move. Makes him angry. I don’t blame him.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

 

Books 1-4 of The Schattenreich:

Primary Fault

Shaky Ground

Double Couple

Shadow Zone

www.sharonreamer.com

www.sharonreamer.blogspot.com

 

 

 

2014 – A Year Filled With Words

I can’t believe it will be 2015 in a few hours, where has the year gone?! So what has 2014 brought? Words! Knowledge! Friendship!

It’s too many years for me to confess to since I left university but my thirst for knowledge hasn’t abated. As some of my followers know I love history, especially ancient history. The course https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/hadrians-wall Hadrian’s Wall – Life on the Roman Frontier was fascinating. Well presented and interesting this was a good look at life in Roman Britain, and the challenges facing both occupiers and occupied.  There may well be a story from this era…. watch this space.

Next year – January I am hoping to complete another course about Roman Architecture and archeology, and later on the Coursera course about Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I’d planned for Book III of the Chronicles to be out by year end, but for one reason or another this hasn’t occurred. It is, however, done in draft so should appear in the springtime. I’ve not been idle, this year has been a year of short stories, planning and promotion.

My books this year:

Nine Heroes: Tales of Heroic Fantasy. This includes a Tale of Erana not featured anywhere else. Coel is the reluctant hero of this tale of slavery and revenge. Look out for Coel again in 2015

Kiss and Tales – the Romantic Collection (with the Indie Collaboration).

Summer Shorts (with the Indie Collaboration) – this includes some poetry about the British Summer Time, and a short story about the Kitchen Imps.

Spectacular Tales (with the Indie Collaboration) – (free) featuring some poetry and a fairy tale retelling.

Tales from Darker Places (with the Indie Collaboration) (free) – featuring some poetry, a dark and twisted story about Jack the Ripper, and a dark tale about a lonely vampire.

Bellator – I have to say I haven’t had that much fun for ages. It was such a joy to be co-writing with Diana Wicker again.  Perhaps these characters might appear again. This charity anthology is raising money for wounded service personnel, a cause close to my heart. Books for heroes and stories about heroes – what a marvellous combination.

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends – a collection of tales set in Erana featuring errant gods, magic, myth and mayhem – Also in Audio. On the subject of Audio I started running Audio Book Narrator interviews, which were fascinating. For me a whole new world was revealed – a book read aloud is a treasure indeed, it brings forth emotions of joy from memories of parental and grandparental story telling, sitting down at school and being read to, and reading aloud to friends. Story telling is as old as the hills, and is central to our culture.

Wyrd Worlds II – this free anthology features another tale of the Kitchen Imps, plus a short fantasy tale of the god-keeper of a small bluish-green world.

Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – new release. A short story of myth and magic set in the world of Erana.

Blog-wise there have been:

18 character interviews with everyone from William Shakespeare, a horse, a dog, several aliens, a few witches and wizards, a couple of demi gods, a vampire and even Satan himself.

42 author interviews covering fantasy, science fiction, suspense, paranormal, children’s fiction, crime and historical.

3 narrator interviews, including Chris Morris.

6 editor interviews.

5 cover designer interviews.

5 reader interviews.

2 reviewer interviews.

Several blog tours stopped by, plus there’s been advice about audio books, Thunderclap, book reviews, course reviews, giveaways, new releases and much more. It has been a busy year!

So what will 2015 bring?

The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III will appear in the spring.

Plus there will be more short stories, including more from the Kitchen Imps, Coel and the Thiefmaster, and more Tales of Erana. Book IV of the Chronicles is in planning, and I dare say more short stories will spring from that. A murder mystery, plus perhaps some more grimdark.

There may also be an erotica collection, co-written with a friend.

Wow I am busy already and the year hasn’t even started!

There will be several guest posts discussing the influence of fantasy on our culture, plus, of course many more interviews. The first of these is scheduled Jan 2nd 2015 from Joe Bonadonna. If you are interested in participating in an interview, a guest post or blog tour stop-off please contact using the form below or on the Contact Details page.

Returning Author Devorah Fox

I’d like to welcome back, Devorah Fox.

  1. Please recap briefly about your books:

I’m the author of The Lost King, The King’s Ransom, and The King’s Redress, Books 1, 2 and 3 in the acclaimed literary fantasy series The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam. I also co-authored with Jed Donellie Naked Came the Sharks, a contemporary thriller of murder and mayhem in the Texas Coastal Bend.

  1. What has changed since you last visited? Tell us your news!

When we chatted last year, I was working on Naked Came the Sharks which hadn’t been released yet, and hadn’t even started on The King’s Redress. The former was released in December, 2013 and the latter in June of 2014. And I got another pet: Scottie, a rescue cat, who joined Sago, the senior cat, and Shumba, who was adopted from the local animal shelter in 2012. So my bookshelf and my lap are a little fuller now.

  1. Do you read work by self-published authors?

These days I read primarily self-published work. I find they’re especially fresh and original.

4. What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors?

I must think it’s OK for authors to review other authors since I do that myself, and readers of my reviews find them helpful. For the most part, I approach a book as any other reader would. I want to be entertained and enchanted. I want to become invested in the characters and engrossed in the plot. My reviews relate the degree to which I had that experience and what elements of the book contributed to that. It’s only after I’ve finished the book that I put on my author hat to see if there’s something that I can learn about craft from the author.

  1. Do you have any unpublished novels under the bed/in a folder anywhere which you thought were awesome at the time, but now will never see the light of day?

On the contrary, it’s the other way around. I have some “drawer stuffers” that came this close to being traditionally published but never did because of changes at the literary agency that represented me at the time. With all the self-publishing platforms available, I can now get those stories between covers after all. I even had the most curious experience of discovering nine—count ‘em, NINE—chapters of a book that I didn’t remember writing. I still like the story and hope to finish it.

  1. How have you progressed as a writer since you started?

I believe that I’ve gotten bolder, more daring with my writing. I’ll get an idea and think, “Nah, that’s outrageous” but then I’ll decide “What the heck, let’s see where that goes.” I’ve been pleased with the results. What seemed risky in concept worked out surprisingly well once I got it written.

  1. What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?

The aspect of writing that I least enjoy is … writing. Well, at the outset, at any rate. It seems to take me a long time to get going. Fortunately at some point I get up to cruising speed and then it becomes enjoyable but when I first begin I have to keep cranking the engine before it will kick in. There’s a lot of sputtering and false starts.

  1. What are your views on authors offering free books?

I will admit to taking advantage of giveaways. I discovered an author whom I really enjoy that way and I might not have otherwise. This year, I tried a giveaway for the first time. It did help to make some new friends for my books. That said, I don’t like the idea of free books. We put so much effort into our writing and our work has value. In our society, that’s means a price tag. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously as an artist and command appropriate remuneration without giving our work away. It also concerns me that “free” implies to the reader that a book has little merit. In addition, so many of us struggle to squeeze our writing in while we labor at some other job to pay the bills. I fear that the more of us who give in to the pressure to give away our work, the harder it will be to get paid for it. I will say that I believe “FREE” has lost a little of its power as a marketing tool because so many giveaways are being run these days. It’s not so special anymore and I don’t see authors getting tens and hundreds of thousands of downloads the way they may have only a few years ago.

  1. Do you have a favourite movie?

If I had to pick just one, I’d name “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I never tire of watching that and I learn something new about storytelling every time.

10. If your book was produced as a film who would you like to see play the lead?

Ooo, I played this game with King Bewilliam’s fans. They suggested Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. Either would be great. Someone else suggested Liam Neeson. He’s one of my favorite actors but I think he’s too old for the character, although if this series goes on long enough, he’ll be just right. I tend to picture Sean Astin when I write.

P.S., The King’s Redress ranked in the Top 25 Kindle Free books and The Lost King ranked in the Top 100 Kindle Paid sales.

Links etc.

http://devorahfox.com

Twitter: @devorah_fox   http://twitter.com/devorah_fox

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devorah.fox

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

Google+: https://plus.google.com/115373271462004436975/posts

amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006L9BJAO

smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mbapub

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/devorahfox/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/devorahfox

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Amazon Links:

The Lost King: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-King-Devorah-Fox/dp/0977824527

The King’s Ransom: http://www.amazon.com/Ransom-Bewildering-Adventures-Bewilliam-Volume/dp/0977824535

The King’s Redress: http://www.amazon.com/Redress-Bewildering-Adventures-Bewilliam-Volume/dp/0977824551

Naked Came the Sharks: http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Came-Sharks-Murder-Coastal/dp/0977824543

coverrev10 frontcovera kingsransomfrontcover kingsredressfrontcover tagxedo

Character Interview Number Thirty One – Paul – Thriller/Dark Fiction

Lights Out cover

Tell Us About Yourself

Name: *clears throat and glares*

Paul and I’m not telling you my last name so don’t ask.

 

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it?

Morality? With the things I’ve done, sweetheart, there aren’t enough hours in the day to answer that question.
Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions?

No. Humans are hard enough to be around.
 

Do you have a family? Tell us about them.

*frowns and looks at the floor*

….I used to. They…They’re not…look, forget it, all right? Next question.
Do you have any phobias?

Yeah. Being killed. That’s a huge phobia of mine.
Tell Us About Your World

 

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

It’s dark, it’s mean and if you’re lucky, you won’t get shot.
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?

Wherever my list takes me, which is pretty much anywhere in the US. Nothing outside the country—makes it harder to get around.
Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world?

Magic? Does coming back from the dead count?
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.)

Dictatorship, through and through. There’s no such thing as thinking for yourself—that’s one of the most dangerous things you can do.
Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some.

*fidgets and looks over his shoulder*

*sweat pops up over his forehead*

I used to think there was no such thing…but I was wrong.

 

 

Author notes:

Book in which this character appears plus links:

 

Lights Out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H51R2AS

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lights-out-melissa-groeling/1117540680?ean=2940148946137

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379110

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lightsout-1369485-235.html

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19270732-lights-out

 

Author name

Melissa Groeling
Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

 

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

http://www.facebook.com/melissa.groeling

https://twitter.com/#!/stringbean10

http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com/

 

Character Interview Number Eleven – DI Frank Lyle – Mystery/Crime

The DI Frank Lyle Mystery series is set in the 1980s and early 1990s when forensic technique was not as advanced as it is today. DI Frank Lyle would turn 71 in 2014 so I have travelled back in time to 1991 after the Unholy Alliance case to interview him.

 

DILyle_sketchfinalUnholy Small  

Name              Detective Inspector Frank James Lyle

Age                 I was born on 2nd May 1943, it’s late September 1991 so I’m 48.

Can you describe yourself in 10 words? I’m 6’3” tall with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? I do things by the book as far as possible and I get results that way. I try to treat murder victims with the dignity and respect which their death took from them. I always insist on using the victim’s name as far as possible, rather than just saying the victim or the deceased and I have taught my team to do likewise. I always treat relatives with as much compassion as I can and I respect that grief takes different forms for different people.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why?  My wife, Detective Constable (DC) Jayseera Lyle, is my rock and I value her because her love helped me through a very difficult time.  I also value my son, James, from my first marriage. James is nineteen now and we have a great relationship. Also my colleague Detective Inspector (DI) Andrew Redfern is a good man to have around in both good times and bad and of course Jayseera’s and my beautiful 6 month old daughter, Jasmine. She can’t give me any lip yet but I’m waiting for that day.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? I get on very well with most people, which helps a lot in my line of work. Sometimes I feel I can get too emotional about cases which is not always a good thing.

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I’m petrified of snakes. If one appears on TV I have to change channel.

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. My world is the (fictional) city of Ashbeck in which I live and work. It’s a traditional city with a university and now the largest church, St Luke’s, has been upgraded to cathedral status. Ashbeck has everything one could want including, unfortunately, a high crime rate, but I would not have a job without it.

What do you think has been your toughest case to date and why? The Heir to Misfortune case was tough because Jayseera was pregnant with Jasmine and the case involved a very unpleasant character who was abusing his own teenage daughters as well as committing three murders against people who had dared to challenge his authority. I also had to deal with a betrayal within my own team and that really hurt me.

What has been the toughest aspect of your career to date? The one time my gut instinct let me down. I was so sure I had the right man but he murdered a valued colleague of mine before being murdered in prison. I paid a heavy price both personally and professionally for that mistake so I am wary of trusting gut instinct these days. You can read about that case in Second Chances, the first of my cases to be chronicled by Juliet B Madison. She’s Watson to my Holmes in the chronicling sense.

Do you think your upbringing has influenced your life and career choices in any way? Without a doubt. I was born on a council estate north of Oxford which was never out of the news in the early 1980s owing to crime delinquency and rioting. I had left before then, but while my parents and I lived there most kids were already on the wrong side of the law or too apathetic to change their lot. I was determined I wasn’t going to be like them and when I was fourteen my Dad got a new job in Ashbeck, a few miles south, so we moved.

Have your personal beliefs and values ever been challenged as a direct result of a case you’ve worked? I’m an agnostic. The Unholy Alliance case was about the murder of a curate during an ecumenical conference and it was a pretty brutal killing. We had a former copper helping us liaising between Ashbeck CID and the church. Canon Thomas Rice is a decent man but there was a lot of sermonising during that case, which I didn’t appreciate. But I understand how some people can cling to blind faith and I learnt that all Christians have the occasional doubt. It reinforced my belief that we should look for the good in everyone and, as a copper, that is very hard to do sometimes.

How do you relax when you’re off duty? In truth a good copper is never off duty. I like spending time with my wife and family. I also like listening to folk singer Joan Baez. She has a wonderful voice which rarely fails to relax me.

Who is your favourite fictional detective and why? Sherlock Holmes, without a doubt. The man was brilliant.

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

 

DI Frank Lyle appears in Second Chances, Heir to Misfortune, Unholy Alliance and DI Frank Lyle’s Casebook Vol 1 as well as DI Frank Lyle’s Mystery Box Set which is a collective edition of the first three complete novels.

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

 https://www.facebook.com/TheDIFrankLyleMysterySeries

https://www.facebook.com/DIFrankJLyle

Twitter              https://twitter.com/JulietBMadison

Blog                 http://julietmadisoncrimeauthor.wordpress.com/

Book links.       These Amazon redirect links will take you to the DI Frank Lyle books in your Amazon store with just one click

DI Frank Lyle’s Mystery Box Set  http://bookShow.me/B00HMUHYVE

Second Chances                         http://bookShow.me/B00DNGS0A0

Heir to Misfortune                             http://bookShow.me/B00EQBAKC2

Unholy Alliance                         http://bookShow.me/B00GVGFNHW

DI Frank Lyle’s Casebook Vol 1   http://bookShow.me/B00FG57O0I

 Lulu.com           http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Juliet_B_Mad82

Authorgraph      http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/JulietBMadison

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