Wednesday, August 15, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: NIKKI STERN


 


ABOUT THE BOOK


Susan Foster wants to retire. Her boss wants her dead.


After decades as Victor Kemp’s off-the books killer, Suzanne finally quits. Not until five years later does Kemp discover how thoroughly she’s deceived him. Determined to punish her, he tracks her to Wales to watch her die. Instead, he walks into a trap.


Believing themselves safe at last, Suzanne and her family relocate to London, where she hopes to find the peace that has eluded her for so long. Her son is engaged to a nobleman’s daughter; her husband has a good job with British Intelligence. Yet she still struggles with restless dreams and the premonition that her nemesis has survived.


He has: Kemp, though severely injured, is rebuilding his empire and plotting revenge. He’s prepared to risk everything to end the former assassin. He may not be the only one.


Suzanne has no choice: to protect those she loves, she will be forced to kill again. Assassins, it seems, can never retire.


BOOK DETAILS:

Title: The Former Assassin


Author: Nikki Stern

Genre: suspense thriller

Publisher:  Ruthenia Press (January 8, 2018)

Print length: 304 pages







INTERVIEW WITH NIKKI STERN


Q: Nikki, where’s home for you?

A: I’ve lived just outside Princeton, New Jersey for the last twenty-five years. It’s been good to me but I can’t predict where I’ll end up.


Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A: Not to rush.

Q: What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
A: I dared myself to get up and out of the house after my husband was killed. Then I dared myself to get active and advocate for less mobile survivors.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A: That I’d still have moments of anxiety so that I might have started meditation earlier in life. Maybe I’d be better at it.

Q: What makes you bored?
A: Preachy movies, talky books. I love snappy dialogue as much as action; I just don’t want to be lectured.


Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
A: I would like to have lived abroad more than three weeks one summer. I mean, I’d have liked to spend a year or two years away from the states.

Q: What makes you nervous?
A: The anger and hate leaking out into the world. I have to remind myself that plenty of people are still propelled by generosity, not animosity.

Q: What makes you happy?
A: My relationship with my sister, my friends, my dog, my extended family.

Q: What makes you scared?
A: Willful ignorance.

Q: What makes you excited?
A: A breakthrough moment when writing (or rewriting) when I can suddenly see how it goes together and where it’s headed (“it” being whatever I’m writing.


Q: Who are you?
A: At the end of the day, a work in-progress. Guess what? That keeps me going when my body and even my spirit flag.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
A: Easy: my dog.

Q: What brings you sheer delight?
A: 
I like laughter: anytime, anywhere. Wait, I have to add a caveat. It has to be laughter that sounds joyous, that comes from people who are being amazed or delighted or applauded or entertained or loved. Malicious laughter—and I can hear that as well—turns me blood cold.

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book?
A: 
“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” ~ Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Q: Are you like any of your characters?
A: I have some things in common with Suzanne. We’ve both known loss. We’ve both been rendered temporarily helpless by ill-advised choices and worse, choices denied to us. We’ve experienced the redemptive power of love, the frustration of trying to move beyond our history, the unbidden rage that lies just beneath the surface, and the ever-present awareness of our own mortality.
And we both know what it feels like to get off a good shot.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A: One fan wrote that my writing is truthful, accessible, entertaining, quietly instructive and always thought-provoking. Another said “always original.” Those comments mean a lot.

Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a mystery about a small-town sheriff with a serial killer hunting in her rural county and a childhood trauma in her past that haunts her in ways even she doesn’t fully understand. We’ll see if it becomes a series.


Excerpt | The Former Assassin by Nikki Stern



BOOK TRAILER






ABOUT THE AUTHOR 



Nikki is the author of two works of non-fiction: Hope in Small Doses, a 2015 Eric Hoffer finalist for books that provoke, inspire and redirect thought, and Because I Say So. She’s also contributed essays to three anthologies and had several short stories published. She is co-author on the Cafe Noir interactive murder mystery series, published by Samuel French. Nikki is working on a mystery series starring an unorthodox crime fighter named Samantha Tate. When she's not writing about strong, complex women, Nikki is working with several non-profits, taking Pilates classes, and attending to the needs of her dog, Molly.



Connect with Nikki:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Audible



Monday, August 13, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: MARY MARKS




ABOUT THE BOOK

In tracing her ancestry, quilter Martha Rose discovers a ritzy half-sister, a stash of family secrets, and a decades-old mystery that only she can unravel . . .
 


Martha Rose is shocked to find she has a half-sister, especially one so different from her. Giselle Cole is wealthy, widowed, and lives a glamorous life in West Los Angeles. At least her grandmother was a quilter! But Giselle can’t answer Martha’s many questions about their father—he disappeared when she was only a child and the few clues left behind indicate he may have been murdered. So Martha and Giselle team up on an investigation that weaves them through the streets of L.A., their father’s hidden love affairs, and into some mysterious unfinished Cole family business . . .


 

Book Details:


Title: Knot My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Mary Marks

Genre: Cozy mystery
Series:  Quilting Mysteries, book 6

Publisher: Kensington Books (July 2018)

Print length: 328 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH MARY MARKS


Things you need in order to write: Lots of coffee and a quiet space.
Things that hamper your writing: Unmade bed, household clutter.

Things you love about writing: I get to slay the real villains in my life with impunity, I get to create quirky characters, I get to construct an entire universe.
Things you hate about writing: Keeping the main plot line interesting.

Easiest thing about being a writer: Inventing interesting characters.
Hardest thing about being a writer: Self-discipline and meeting deadlines.


Things you love about where you live: Peaceful, quiet, near ocean, plenty of green.
Things that make you want to move: Cost of living.


Things you never want to run out of: Toilet paper.
Things you wish you’d never bought: Chairs upholstered in white.


Favorite foods: Anything with sugar.
Things that make you want to throw up: Nutritional supplements, vitamin pills.

Favorite music: “Louie Louie;” “Sweet Home Alabama;” Anything sung by Dylan, The Eagles, The Stones.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap; Metallica; atonal modern classical music (what’s the point?).

Favorite beverage: Coke Zero.

Something that gives you a pickle face: Hard liquor, broccoli.

Something you’re really good at: Crosswords, Sudoku, hidden object computer games.

Something you’re really bad at: Directions.


Something you wish you could do: Play a musical instrument.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Cook.

People you consider as heroes: Women all over the world who endure; our military protectors.

People with a big L on their foreheads: Politicians!


Things you always put in your books: A blonde in a halter top.

Things you never put in your books: Pornography.

Things to say to an author: I love your books, I’ve read everything you’ve written, you’re brilliant.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You need to hire an editor!

Favorite places you’ve been: Middle East, Africa.

Places you never want to go to again: Houston, Texas in the summertime.

Favorite genre: Cozy mysteries.

Books you would ban: Hate literature.

Favorite things to do: Watch great TV or movies with a friend.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Folding clothes, ironing, emptying the dishwasher.

Things that make you happy: Finishing a book and sending it off to my publisher.

Things that drive you crazy: Politicians!



OTHER BOOKS BY MARY:

Forget Me Knot
Knot In My Back Yard 
Gone But Knot Forgotten
Something’s Knot Kosher
Knot What You Think






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a BA in Anthropology from UCLA and an MA in Public Administration from the American Jewish University. After taking an early retirement from UCLA administration, she became an award-winning quilter. Later, in a desire to write a memoir, Marks took writing classes at UCLA, and soon fell in love with cozy fiction. She became a published author at the age of 70.

Forget Me Knot was the first book in her Quilting Mystery series, and was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition. The second book, Knot In My Backyard, was a Barnes and Noble Best Seller. The third book, Gone But Knot Forgotten, won an award for Best Amateur Sleuth from Romantic Times. The fourth book, Something’s Knot Kosher, has a 5-star rating on Amazon. The fifth book, Knot What You Think, was published to rave reviews.

Marks lives in Camarillo, California with her loyal dog Gingie, orange cat Louie, and dozens of unfinished quilts.

Connect with Mary:
Website  |   Facebook  


Buy the book:

Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble 





Saturday, August 11, 2018

GUEST POST BY MAYA CORRIGAN




ABOUT THE BOOK


Managing a fitness club café and collaborating on a cookbook with her grandfather are Val Deniston’s usual specialties, but she’s about to set sail into nearby Chesapeake Bay—straight into a murder case . . .

Since catering themed events is a good way to make extra cash, Val agrees to board the Titanic—or at least cater a re-creation of the doomed journey on a yacht. The owner of the yacht, who collects memorabilia related to the disaster, wants Val to serve the last meal the Titanic passengers ate . . . while his guests play a murder-mystery game. But it is the final feast for one passenger who disappears from the ship. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Now Val has to reel in a killer before s’more murders go down . . .

Includes delicious five-ingredient recipes!


Book Details:


Title: S’More Murders

Author: Maya Corrigan


Genre: Cozy Mystery


Series: Five-Ingredient Mysteries, book 5 


Publisher: Kensington (July 31, 2018)


Print length: 304 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







GUEST POST BY MAYA CORRIGAN


Food and Fatalities


My Five-Ingredient Mysteries fall into the category of culinary cozies. Books that focus on food and fatalities are more popular now than ever before. Can you guess how many culinary mysteries are in print? 500? 700? 1,000? I recently stumbled on a website devoted to culinary mysteries that answers that question. The website’s creator estimates the number of books in that category as more than 2,000! The site has an exhaustive list of those mysteries. 

How I wish I’d had that list six years ago, when I decided to write a culinary mystery series. I made my own much shorter list of existing culinary series, not only because I had limited time, but also because many fewer such mysteries existed then. In making my own list, I discovered that most of the characters in these series (and, in some cases, the authors who created them) were culinary professionals—bakers, chefs, caterers, restaurateurs, food growers and sellers.

I wasn’t a professional. Like most people, I’m a home cook. I avoid elaborate meals except on special occasions. Instead, I prefer to make simple meals with fresh ingredients, but not too many ingredients. For years I collected recipes for healthy dishes that tasted delicious, but didn’t require a lot of time, effort, or special expertise. I decided to write a series focused on the type of cooking I did myself. That’s how the Five-Ingredient Mysteries were born.

Many culinary mysteries revolve around a particular type of food: cakes, cookies, candy, donuts, pizza, barbecue, pickles, cheese—literally, everything from soup to nuts. Each book in my series includes recipes that are figuratively soup to nuts: five-ingredient appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. So you can read a mystery and make a dinner with the same book.

My main character, Val, manages a café and moonlights as a dinner-party caterer. She shares a house with her grandfather, who took up cooking in his seventies and scored a job as the local newspaper’s recipe columnist, the Codger Cook. He won’t try any recipes with more than five ingredients. He’s the one who gave my series its name.

Both Val and Granddad enjoy sleuthing, and they find no shortage of murderers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Val gains insights into people’s values and fears by observing what and how they cook and eat, as well as how they interact with others over food. Key scenes occur at the table, where the values, obsessions, and fears of the murder suspects are on display. A table scene occurs early in S’More Murders, before anyone dies, and is re-created later in the book. The dinner itself is a re-creation of the last meal served on the Titanic.

As warm April weather brings boaters to the Chesapeake Bay, Val agrees to cater a dinner party aboard a yacht on the Chesapeake Bay. Its owner, a collector of Titanic memorabilia, asks her to duplicate the final meal served on that doomed ship. On the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, the yachtsman welcomes his guests aboard and assigns them roles in a murder mystery game. Val soon reaches the chilling conclusion that the host is fishing for the culprit in a real crime. When someone disappears from the boat, Val and Granddad must reel in a killer to avoid s’more murders. At the end of the book, Val is catering on the yacht again, serving a simpler meal to all the suspects. With respect to solving the mystery, it turns into a potluck. Everyone at the table has something to contribute as the truth about multiple murders finally surfaces.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maya Corrigan blends her love of food and detective stories in her Five-Ingredient Mystery series set in a fictional historic town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The first book in the series, By Cook or by Crook, was published in 2014. It was followed by Scam Chowder in 2015, Final Fondue in 2016, and The Tell-Tale Tarte in 2017.

Before taking up a life of crime (on the page), she taught university courses in writing, detective fiction, American literature, and drama. She won the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Unpublished Mainstream Mystery / Suspense. Her short stories, written under the name of Mary Ann Corrigan, have been published in anthologies.

When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, tennis, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Her website features trivia about food and mysteries.



Connect with Maya:

Website  |  Facebook 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Google Play  |  BookBub




Thursday, August 9, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: CONNIE di MARCO



ABOUT THE BOOK

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life.




Book Details:


Title: Tail of the Dragon

Author: Connie di Marco


Genre: Mystery

Series: Zodiac Mysteries, book 3


Publisher: Midnight Ink (Llewellyn Worldwide) August 8, 2018


Print length: 325 pages


On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH CONNIE di MARCO


Connie, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
Julia Bonatti, my protagonist, is an astrologer and she discovers her clues and unmasks murderers using astrology. That’s not to say she solves crimes by sitting at her computer, not at all. She also investigates and puts her life at risk in every book. 

It’s important to tie the plot and the astrological clues together. Tail of the Dragon is an astrological reference to the South Node of the Moon. The sign of the North Node indicates the talents and skills to be developed in this life, while the South Node shows the past, patterns that one must let go of. When someone resists moving forward, they are locked into behavior that is no longer relevant, patterns that are destructive or even self-destructive. 

The South Node of the Moon is called the Cauda Draconis, the Dragon’s Tail. That’s where the title comes from, and it’s the astrological clue that Julia finally discovers.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Oh, not at all. All the books in the Zodiac Mysteries can be read as standalones. The Madness of Mercury and All Signs Point to Murder are the first two in this series. 

Each book follows along in chronological order but there’s enough of a reference to earlier stories that the reader would have no trouble figuring out Julia’s past and present. 

Julia, besides her private clientele, writes an astrological advice column (anonymously as AskZodia) for the Chronicle. In The Madness of Mercury, Julia responds to a woman who’s concerned because her mother has joined a church that requires her to sign over all her property and savings. Julia’s very suspicious and advises the woman to have the group investigated. Julia believes the woman’s mother is under the influence of unscrupulous people. She then learns she has become the target of an evil preacher who is preying upon the wealthy and the elderly and is out to destroy her. 

In All Signs Point to Murder, Julia, in an effort to help a friend, becomes involved in what is at first thought an accidental shooting. Eventually she gets to the truth of the matter and uncovers a complicated conspiracy to commit murder. 

Where’s home for you?
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for many years, but before that I lived in San Francisco, a city that I love and still miss at times. I think that’s why I wanted to set a mystery there, so I could visit often. 

Where did you grow up?
I was born and grew up on the east coast, in Boston. I went to school there, was married there, and my older daughter was born there too. There are a lot of interesting things about that city, but I have to say, I don’t miss the months of brutal winters!

Have you been in any natural disasters?
I lived through the Northridge earthquake in 1994, a 7.2 on the Richter scale. Over the years, I’ve experienced many smaller earthquakes in California, but nothing like this one. I was dreaming that my cat was swinging from the chandelier in the bedroom. He wasn’t. It was just a dream, but when I woke up my cat was nowhere to be found and the entire house was going up and down and sideways. We all escaped to the front lawn and spent the night there (in January) as did all our neighbors, afraid to return home. In fact, because of aftershocks, we camped outside for three days. The aftershocks lasted for years, but eventually we all became so tired of them, we didn’t even bother to wake up. 

Wow! What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
I really didn’t set out to be a writer, although I’ve always been an avid mystery reader. I think if I could give my younger self advice, it would be to start writing years before. 

If someone gave you $5,000 and said you must solve a problem, what would you do with the money?
I’m very conscientious, so I think I would stash the money in a separate bank account, and not touch it until I had actually solved the problem. 

What are your most cherished mementoes?
Anything that my children made in school or day camp. Their art work, their cards, the papier-maché bunny rabbit that holds napkins, the salt and pepper shakers made from baby food jars, the Christmas decorations that embarrass them, but I love. All those things are so precious to me. 

I know exactly what you mean. If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
Not counting pets, I guess it would be the family albums.

We're cut from the same cloth! What’s one of your favorite quotes?
It’s a Latin quote from the Aeneid that I read in high school: Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.  It’s the phrase Aeneas says at a time when he has lost all his ships, his prospects look dreadful and he’s not sure he will ever see home again. Translated, it means “Perhaps someday it will be pleasant to remember these things.” That has always stuck in my mind and gives me perspective when things look dark. 

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
She did a good job.

Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, I have so many, it’s hard to say, and I’m constantly finding new authors (or new to me) that I love. I find myself reading lots of Scandinavian thrillers lately. I love to read foreign authors, like Jussi Adler-Olsen (Danish), Henning Mankell (Swedish), Lisa Marklund (also Swedish). But I love British writers, like Ann Cleeves too. I loved all the Sue Grafton books as well. I’m always reading a mystery or a thriller. I do read history books as well, but have trouble pulling myself away from the mystery world. I love any books that draw me into a world I know nothing about, whatever the genre. 

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I just finished The Innocents, an edge-of-your-seat crime story about the LA County Sheriff’s Department, written by David Putnam. Dave is known locally as Deputy Dave, a retired San Bernardino Sheriff himself, so it’s very authentic. And then I picked up Art in the Blood by Bonnie Macbird, a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson adventure that I’m really enjoying. Both are paperbacks.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
Readers who’ve written to me have been very generous with their compliments, and I’m so grateful for that. We write to entertain, so it’s wonderful to know that someone enjoyed my stories or that my books have affected them emotionally – made them laugh or cry. But I think the one compliment I’ve received, and I’ve heard this from several people, is this:  “I wish I lived in Snowflake.” They were referring to the village in the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries that I wrote as Connie Archer. I never expected to hear that, and since I spent many months (and years) living in Snowflake in my head, it’s nice to know I had company! 

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on a novella for Julia that’s set before the series begins. Several people have sent me FB messages or emails asking about Julia’s grandmother, wanting to know more about her.  Asking how Julia first became interested in astrology and also how she found her cat Wizard. So I started thinking about all those questions and decided the best way to answer them was to write a novella. It features Gloria, Julia’s grandmother, who has been hired to do costumes for a local theater production of an Agatha Christie play (a tribute to the Golden Age of mysteries) and it answers all those questions that readers have asked.

I’m also working on Book 4 in the Zodiac series, which I’m tentatively calling Serpent’s Doom.  It deals with both Julia’s friend Gale’s past and smuggling in California. 

I’ve started work on a completely different book, set in Los Angeles with some unusual characters, but I’ve had to set that aside for the time being until I can catch up with all that I want to do with the Zodiac Mysteries. Never enough time . . .


READ AN EXCERPT


The doorbell rang. I hurried down the stairs to the front door. I hesitated as I saw a woman’s figure through the glass. Maggie. It was Maggie. I threw the door open and we hugged. Michael’s sister and I got along famously from the first time we met. Maggie probably understands better than anyone how I feel and even though we don’t stay in touch as much as we used to, every time we meet it’s as though no time has elapsed at all. I stepped back and took a good look at her. She wasn’t smiling. “Maggie? What is it?”
“Can I come in?”
“Of course. Yes.” She was quiet as we climbed the stairs. She headed straight for the kitchen and sat down at the table. I joined her. “What’s wrong?”
“Something’s come up.”
“About . . .”
“Yes,” she didn’t have to say it. I knew she meant Michael.
“What’s happened?” Part of me hoped against hope that we might find an answer some day, another part of me just wanted the sadness and unknowingness to go away.
“Let me try to tell you in some kind of order.” She took a deep breath. “Do you remember the elderly man who used to live across the street from Michael’s old apartment?”
I nodded. I did remember. Michael’s apartment at 45th and Taraval was just a few blocks from my old place in the Sunset District. “Michael and I used to see him when he walked his dog. And then . . .” I shrugged, “there was a time when we didn’t see him as much.”
“Well, I think what happened was his son took the dog because it became too much for the old guy. But the dad didn’t want to leave his home so the family arranged some care and a companion for him.” I waited, not sure what Maggie’s story had to do with Michael. “Apparently, the old man was always taking pictures. He wasn’t any kind of a real photographer, but he liked to do that. He was always fooling around with his camera.”
“Yes, I remember now. He’d even take pictures of the flowers in his yard.”
“He died a couple of weeks ago. And his son and his daughter-in-law are putting the house up for sale. They’ve been there every day, moving stuff out and selling a few things to the neighbors. The thing is . . . they found a box of photos. The father didn’t like digital cameras, he had an old camera that he used and then he’d . . .
“Maggie . . .” I couldn’t imagine where she was going with this story.
“They found a photo of Michael. On the street. Just as that car hit him.”
I gasped and covered my mouth. My heart was racing wildly. “He saw. He saw who hit Michael?”
“He must have. He must have tried to take a picture of what happened from his window.”
“Why didn’t he ever say anything?”
Maggie shook her head. “I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe he didn’t want to get involved. Maybe he was afraid he’d have to testify.”
As much as I dreaded looking at anything Maggie had described, I still needed to see the photo. “Do you have it with you?”
“I don’t. The old man’s son and his wife knew what it was. They didn’t know Michael, but they knew there had been a hit and run in the neighborhood and that someone had died, so they turned it over to the police.”
“Have you seen it?”
“Yes, they showed it to me and my mother. She’s hysterical right now.” Celia, Michael’s mother had refused to speak to me since his death. She wasn’t on firm ground to begin with but after the accident, in her convoluted logic, she blamed me for her loss. If he hadn’t been in such a hurry to meet me, he would have been more careful. He wouldn’t have been killed.
“I can imagine.” I didn’t envy Maggie the emotional turmoil she must be dealing with.
“I told you before, Julia, she’s made a shrine of Michael’s room and I’m so worried about her. She never wants to go out or do anything. Once in a while I manage to drag her to a restaurant for brunch or something, but even her old friends have given up calling her.”
“What can they tell from the photo?”
“Not much, it’s not digital and it’s old. He had an old Nikon, I think, so they can’t see very much. Michael is lying on his side on the street and . . .” Maggie’s voice shook, “and you can just see the edge of the car. It’s dark or black and there’s a bit of a bumper and the corner of the right rear tire. The police think the driver must have panicked and took off. The old guy might have been looking out his window when it happened and snapped it really quick. They’re going to try to get as much information from it as they can, but they don’t really hold out much hope.”
“Who’s in charge of this?”
“Actually, a retired detective has volunteered to work on it. The case has never been closed, but this is the first thing they’ve had to go on at all. I can get you the name of the detective in charge, and maybe he’ll give you more information. I’ll find out and let him know you might want to talk to him.”
“Thanks, Maggie.” My heart sank. In all this time, no witnesses to the accident had come forward. One woman at the end of the block remembered a dark vehicle traveling fast, but couldn’t swear it had anything at all to do with the car that hit Michael. “We shouldn’t get our hopes up.”
“I want some answers, Julia!” Maggie’s voice had risen. “And I’m sure you do too. It’s not right. What this has done to our family, to me, to you. All our lives have been changed because of this. I want to see someone pay for what they did.”
I nodded. “I do too. It won’t change anything. It won’t bring him back. But you’re right. We’ve all gone through so much . . .”
“I have to go.” Maggie stood suddenly and I realized she hadn’t even taken her coat off. “I’m staying at my Mom’s for a little while. I’m so worried about her. I don’t like the thought of her being all alone in that big house.”
“Okay. Stay in touch and let me know what you find out?”
“I will.” Maggie leaned toward me and I put my arms around her, holding her tight. I felt her chest rise, a quiet sob. “I’m sorry to arrive on your doorstep like this, but I had to tell you face to face.”
“I’m glad you did, Maggie. I’m glad you did. And maybe we’ll learn more.”
Maggie pulled away. I could see tears forming in her eyes as she rushed down the stairs.
***
Excerpt from Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2018 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.



OTHER BOOKS BY CONNIE:

All Signs Point to Murder
The Madness of Mercury 
A Clue in the Stew 
Ladle to the Grave 
A Roux of Revenge
A Broth of Betrayal
A Spoonful of Murder 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti: The Madness of Mercury and All Signs Point to Murder. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, released on August 8, 2018.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover's Mysteries from Penguin Random House.
Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with Connie:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble   |  IndieBound 




Tuesday, August 7, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: S. P. BROWN



ABOUT THE BOOK

Thirty-eight year old Dr. Madeline Alleyn is a successful professor of Celtic History in upstate New York, but she is haunted by her past and the decision she made years ago to abandon her husband after learning of his strange heritage. When she discovers that she’s pregnant with triplets, she makes the decision to run to protect her children and, inexplicably, her husband also. Now, after nearly eighteen years of vigilance, the destiny from which Madeline has tried to escape catches up with her. As her daughters begin to develop psychokinetic powers, an attempt to murder them is made to negate an ancient prophecy. Escaping the murder attempt in the night, the triplets suspect their fate is tied to some ancient stones and their mysterious grandmother. But as they seek answers, they have to run for their lives. People are after them, some to finish the failed murderous act and others to protect them. Along the way, they seek to solve the riddle of the Stones of Sumer, a mystery with startling implications for humanity . . .


Book Details:


Title: Veiled Memory


Author: S. P. Brown

Genre: Contemporary fantasy/sci-fi, paranormal thriller


Series: The Stonehenge Chronicles, book one

Publisher: Black Opal Books (April 27, 2018)

Print length: 370 pages







INTERVIEW WITH S.P. BROWN


Stan, what’s the story behind the title of your book? 

Historian/professor with a dark secret tries desperately to protect her triplet daughters from their heritage. That’s the basic setup for the book, but as the title of the trilogy suggests it’s much, much more than that. The title is very meaningful and you discover its meaning about three quarters into the book. By the end of the trilogy the world will know the secret behind Stonehenge – how it was built, why.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
This is book one of The Stonehenge Chronicles, a story about the origin of the monoliths and their significance. But it’s much more than that as well.

Do you have another job outside of writing? 

College professor/administrator.

Who are you?

Stanley Paul Brown.

Where’s home for you? 

Starkville, Mississippi.

Where did you grow up?

Plaquemine, Louisiana.

What’s your favorite memory? 

Growing up, hunting with my dad.



What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?

Building a house in another state I eventually couldn’t/didn’t want to remain in.


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

To be patient in life.

Who would you pick to write your biography?
My wife (an excellent writer).

What do you love about where you live?
Southern culture.



Have you been in any natural disasters?
Hurricanes.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Built a beautiful house on 8 gorgeous Ozark acres. 


What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Built a beautiful house on 8 gorgeous Ozark acres and left it. Shouldn’t have moved there to begin with.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
How to talk to girls? Not so hard, but then, well…

What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?

That it was time to begin. Waited way too long.


What makes you bored?
Not having interesting things to do and a challenge.


What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
Again, waiting too long to begin writing fiction.

What makes you excited?
Watching a great movie.

How did you meet your spouse?
Jogging at the local YMCA.

What are your most cherished mementoes?
Wedding pictures, other family pics.

If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
If it faced utter destruction, my wedding pictures, provided everyone else is safe.

What brings you delight?
Sitting with my wife on our back porch swing with glasses of wine and watching the rain fall.
Strolling the beach at sunset with my wife to the sound of the constantly moving water. Contemplating the awesomeness of the God who created this awesome universe.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Because I told you so, that’s why!” -Vivian Cecile Lejeune Brown, my mother.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
Oxford, England. If not there, Miramar Beach, Florida.

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
Fair, honest, faithful.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”

What would your main character say about you?
Puts me through too much pain!

How did you create the plot for this book?

I wanted to create a covert group with ancient origins and tie it to Stonehenge. I wanted to set the story, though, in modern times and ground it firmly to this world. So I call it a contemporary fantasy. I had always liked what Rowling did in her Harry Potter mythology, but she never delved into the origin story of her wizarding world. I wanted to create a very different, but at the same time, similar mythology. So I ground my ancient group to Stonehenge and surprisingly to a bible tale out of Genesis 6. I created a very large backstory that underpins my trilogy.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
No none, though my wife is an academic historian, as is the MC in Veiled Memory.

Is your book based on real events?
No, but it is grounded to the real world, except all the psychokinesis going on in it.

Are you like any of your characters?
I would say no, I’m not.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Explode my brain out with a mere thought.

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
They would all be famous writers I could learn from – Grisham, Tolkien, Rowling, Pullman, Flynn. Two of which are dead.

Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Connelly, John Grisham, JRR Tolkien, Philip Pullman, Jim Butcher, Vince Flynn, JK Rowling.


What book are you currently reading and in what format?

Hardback – Rowling’s sixth HP. AGAIN.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
In fiction, overusing italics as in going inside the character’s head in the first person. One famous writer I know does that constantly. It’s irritating.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
In the morning after a workout and in my home office.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
Nice turn of phrase.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
LSU campus. One of the top 25 research libraries in the U.S.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Frodo Baggins sailing into the west to the undying lands.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Freshman English comp. “Your writing is inept.” Worked hard. Got better.

What would your dream office look like?
Like something out of the works of JRR Tolkien, or perhaps an exact replica of his office.

What are you working on now?
The Ruby Ring. The sequel to Veiled Memory.

 

OTHER BOOKS BY S.P. BROWN:

The Legacy
Fallen Wizard




 

 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


S. P. Brown, as a child, always had heroes. These were mostly in the form of his big brother and those populating the pages of Marvel Comics. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff to be a superhero himself, he became a professor. Works of non-fiction followed, but the call of storytelling remained strong in him, and he answered that call. The Legacy, his debut novel, was the result. Veiled Memory and Fallen Wizard followed in short order.



Connect with the author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Black Opal Books 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: LUCY BURDETTE



ABOUT THE BOOK


When a killer strikes just before flan time, beloved food critic Hayley Snow is forced to sniff out the killer before someone else bites the dust.

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she’ll be working the event helping her mother’s fledgling catering business, there’s plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother’s decadent flan is put to the test, Key West’s most prized possession, Hemingway’s Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case.

Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel’s family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom.

Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu in national bestselling author Lucy Burdette’s delectable eighth Key West Food Critic mystery, Death on the Menu.


Book Details:


Title: Death on the Menu

Author: Lucy Burdette

Genre: Mystery

Series: Key West Food Critic Mysteries, book 8

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (August 7, 2018)

Print length: 304 pages

On tour with: Great Escape Book Tours






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH LUCY BURDETTE


A few of your favorite things:
My elderly Australian shepherd, Tonka, my elderly gray cat Yoda, my (not-so-elderly) husband John, my plum blossom yoga pants.
Things you need to throw out: I swear I will never buy clothes again just because they are on sale! If I haven’t worn them in a year, they need to go. 


Things you love about writing: Rewriting and editing, typing “the end,” seeing the finished copy of a book, seeing the book in a bookstore, hearing from readers who read it and loved it!
Things you hate about writing: Writing the first draft--getting the story figured out--is so hard!

Things you love about where you live: The palm trees, the blue/green water around the island, the wonderful food, the interesting people, the history.
Things that make you want to move: Hurricane season, global warming and sea level rise, crowds of drunken tourists . . . 


Things you never want to run out of: I’m addicted to the Backyard Food Company’s candied jalapenos. I buy them whenever I see them. And good books!
Things you wish you’d never bought: See clothes on sale, above!


Favorite foods: Homemade cake (especially yellow with mocha icing), blueberries and peaches in season, café con leche from the Cuban Coffee Queen, fried shrimp, crab cakes.
Things that make you want to throw up: Liver and any other organ meats.

Things you’d walk a mile for: Having coffee or a chocolate milk shake with my friends or family, bookstores.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Politicians who lie and put themselves first.

Things you always put in your books: Food, restaurants, the Key West police department, my character’s houseboat, her tarot-card-reading friend, Lorenzo, happy endings.

Things you never put in your books: Violence and gore on the page, sex, ditto.

Things to say to an author: I loved your book! Your story made me think . . . made me want to go to Key West . . . made me hungry . . . made me laugh and cry. When is the next one coming? I bought a copy for all my friends. Would you be willing to talk with my book group?

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Can you give me a copy? When are you going to write a real book?

Favorite places you’ve been: Key West (of course), Paris, Australia, India, Connecticut shoreline, coast of Maine, New York City.

Places you never want to go to again: Any twelve lane highway full of frantic drivers!

Things that make you happy: Good food, animals, friends, good books, my family.

Things that drive you crazy: Woodchucks mowing down our beans and okra plants in the garden!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) has published 16 mysteries, including the latest in the Key West food critic series, Death On The Menu (Crooked Lane Books, August 2018.) Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and shares her love for food with the culinary writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen. She lives in Madison Connecticut and Key West Florida.


Connect with Lucy:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | 
Goodreads  |  Instagram

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Crooked Lane Books


Friday, August 3, 2018

FEATURED CHARACTER: LIBBY KLEIN’S GIAMPAOLO GUISEPPI LARUSSO



ABOUT THE BOOK

When her sleepwalking aunt is accused of committing murder, Poppy McAllister finds out there's no rest for the weary . . .
 


Between trying to get her gluten-free baking business off the ground and helping her aunt remodel her old Victorian into the Butterfly House Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey, Poppy is ready to call, “Mayday!” And now Aunt Ginny—who's a handful wide-awake—is sleepwalking on her new sleeping pill prescription and helping herself to neighbors’ snacks and knickknacks.



Even more alarming, a local humanitarian who worked with troubled teens is found murdered, and the police suspect the “Snack Bandit.” Other than a bad case of midnight munchies and some mild knickknack kleptomania, Aunt Ginny is harmless. Someone’s  trying to frame her. Poppy will need to work tirelessly to uncover the killer and put the case to rest—before Aunt Ginny has to trade in her B & B for a bunk bed behind bars . . .



Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!


Book Details:

Title: Midnight Snacks Are Murder

Author’s name: Libby Klein   

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Poppy McAllister Mysteries, book 2

Publisher: Kensington (July 31, 2018)

Print length: 304 pages 

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours






INTERVIEW WITH LIBBY KLEIN’S GIAMPAOLO GUISEPPI LARUSSO


Giampaolo, how did you first meet Libby?
I was minding my business, running my coffee shop and listening to some Dean, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime," when a bright light came on and there was the sound of a keyboard clacking in the background. From that moment I knew I was not alone.

Want to dish about her?
Libby is a train wreck. She laughs at her own jokes, watches too many cat videos, and if you cut her she will bleed coffee. She is the hot mess, but I kind of like all of those things about her.

Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
I think Libby’s obsession with coffee is how she found me. All those hours spent in cafes was bound to end up in a book one day. I like to think that I’m her dream man. I’m sexy, I’m suave, and I make perfetto cappuccino.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
My favorite scenes are the amore with Poppy.

Did you have a hard time convincing Libby to write any particular scenes for you?
No, but Libby stops very early. I want to see where things will go if she’d give us more time. What can I say, I am Italian, no?

What do you like to do when someone’s not reading about you?
I do not have a lot of free time. I have my coffee shop, and we stay busy all year even though Cape May is a seasonal resort town. I come from a grande famiglia, so I spend a lot of time trying to avoid drama. Plus, I have Henry, my five-year-old bambino. He is good boy, but handful. It’s been just the two of us for most of Henry’s life, so this is all he knows.
    
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
I would remove this how you say, deadbeat, Tim. We do not need him. Nobody likes this triangolo amoroso, or love triangle. Especially me.

Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
The sun rises and sets on Poppy.  I call her my Bella because she is beautiful. I find myself thinking about her all the time. Her happiness is everything to me. And her Aunt Ginny is hilarious. I just want to make a latte, pull up a chair, and watch. She’s old enough to be my Nonna, but she can run in circles around me. I think you know how I feel about Tim, the “rivale.” Basta.

Do have any secret aspirations that Libby doesn’t know about?
Oh, si si si. But I cannot reveal them in case Libby might see.

What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
Mostly the women, they throw themselves at me. I have had some interesting propositions, but I am not interested. They would just find out I am very boring anyway. They think I am some kind of playboy since I’m European. I just want to relax with a glass of wine and a good book, snuggled down with someone I love. Gia is a one-woman man.

What are you most afraid of?
Not being a good father. I lost my father when I was young. I would give anything to have him back. I am right here for Henry, and I do not want my business to get in the way of raising him and being there for him no matter what life throws his way.

What’s the best trait Libby has given you?
Libby understands that I’m sensitive without making me less manly, but she’s made me too good looking. It’s all the ladies notice. I am not a piece of meat.

What do you like best about Poppy?

Poppy is gorgeous. She has absolutely no poker face. Every emotion is on display. Her eyes are so expressive. You can see that she’s full of love just waiting to unleash it, but something holds her back. She cares about people very deeply. Even with the customers in the shop that she just met. If someone has an allergy she will find a way to make them something special, so they do not feel left out. She made Henry a special birthday cake when she barely knew him. She has had a few tough turns in life, but she is stronger than she knows. I wish she could love herself the way other people do. She thinks she needs to change before she will be beautiful. That is pazzo - insane. She is stunning. If she knew what she was doing to me she would bring the chaperone with her.

What’s Libby’s worst habit?

Libby checks social media constantly, so she can respond to her readers. Always with the Twitter and the Facebook. She needs to focus on writing the next book, so I can see if Poppy and I end up together. 


If your story were a movie, who would play you?
A great Italian actor like Raoul Bova.

Will you encourage Libby to write a sequel?
Libby is always thinking of ways to get Poppy and Aunt Ginny in trouble. I do not think she needs any encouragement.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School in the '80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She has worked as a stay at home mom, climbing the ranks to the coveted position of Grandma. She also dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets, and taking out the trash. She writes culinary cozy mysteries from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating and travel, and eating while traveling.

Connect with Libby:
Website  |  Cozy Mystery Crew  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |   Pinterest  |   Instagram  |  Amazon 

Buy the book:
Amazon B&N Kobo  |  Google Play  |  BookBub
 




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: J. ALLEN WOLFRUM




ABOUT THE BOOK

Former Army helicopter pilot, Susan Turner is Selected as the next President of the United States. In order to avoid a nuclear war, she must overcome personal demons and learn to navigate the murky waters of international diplomacy.

Five years ago, the Dove Revolution changed the political structure of the United States. The President, Senate, and Congress are no longer elected by the public, they are Selected at random every two years.

A shadow organization known only as The Board, advances their sinister agenda by taking advantage of their anonymity and Susan’s tendency to make brash decisions. Blackmail, espionage, and murder are all in play as The Board manipulates geo-political events to spark a war between the Soviet Union and the United States.

With the help of her former Squadron Commander, General LeMae, Susan Turner attempts to lead the nation through these turbulent times while battling her own internal demons. Susan is a battle-hardened war veteran but she must learn what it takes to be a world leader. Nuclear war and the future of the human race hang in the balance.

Even when the President is selected at random, politics is still a dirty business. Opponents plan their attacks from the shadows, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.




Book Details:

Title: Selected

Author’s name: J. Allen Wolfrum

Genre: Political Thriller

Published: December 28, 2017

Print length: 328 page

On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours












LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH J. ALLEN WOLFRUM


A few of your favorite things: A 1969 VW Beetle that we nicknamed, “The Rat Rod,” Marine Corps challenge coin with my unit logo, my Birkenstocks, and the warm southern California sunshine.
Things you need to throw out: At least half of my current wardrobe, an old pair of hiking shoes with duct tape on the toe, and a binder of CD’s from the late 1990’s. Limp Bizkit used to be cool, I  swear :)



Things you need in order to write: I’m pretty low maintenance, all I need is a pair of headphones and some music as background noise. I tend to float between punk, heavy metal, and country. When I’m struggling for motivation, I like to start off my writing sessions with some old school Metallica. After a minute or two the music fades into the background.
Things that hamper your writing: I tend to take breaks right after I figure out what is going to happen next. In my head I think, ohh man, I got this thing figured out, I can just relax. In reality those small breaks end up being excuses to procrastinate. I try really hard to keep myself in the chair until I finished the chapter for the day. Some days are better than others. 



Things you love about writing: I like the blend of structure and creativity in  storytelling.
Things you hate about writing: A blank page. There is nothing worse than staring down a screen with nothing on it except Chapter 1. Once you get going it’s fine but that initial sense of panic hits me every time.

Easiest thing about being a writer: Writing :)


Hardest thing about being a writer: There are two things I find difficult. The first is finding the time. I still have a full-time day job, so creating the time to write a full-length novel is a challenge. The second is telling people that I write fiction. When you meet people for the first time they inevitably ask, “What do you do?” and I instinctively respond with my day job. It’s very hard to respond with, “I write fiction.”


Things you love about where you live: I live in the suburbs of San Diego, there’s a lot to love. The weather here is fantastic all year round. Even on some of the “cold” winter days, you can still walk outside in short and a t-shirt. We live within walking distance of a lake and twenty miles of mountain biking trails; the ability to take the kayak out on the lake or go for a mountain bike ride without getting in the car is amazing. Being close to the beach is also fantastic, being able to enjoy a sunset on the beach is a peaceful end to the day.
Things that make you want to move: At some point I’d like to own a gentleman’s farm with horses, cattle, and vegetable crops. That isn’t possible in San Diego, at least not until I win the lottery.



Something you wish you could do: I wish that I could draw. I’ve tried several time to learn and it’s painful.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: I struggled with this question for a few moments and almost tapped out. I’m glad I stuck with it. I wish I had never learned to be an accountant. I went to college for accounting and worked as a Certified Public Accountant for several years. I was miserable the entire time. I’m not trying to throw shade on the accounting industry. Being a CPA is a dream job for some people–for me it was torture.

People you consider as heroes: Anyone who has found their north star and is pursuing it.

People with a big L on their foreheads: People who are negative. I cannot stand people who insist on pointing out the negativity of every situation they encounter.



Things you always put in your books: Humor.
Things you never put in your books: Extreme violence
.

Favorite genre: I’ve always been in love with Westerns. 

Books you would ban: I would never ban a book. But I dislike reading books with extreme violence. It just doesn’t sit right with me.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Figuring out that I want to be a writer.

Biggest mistake: Not putting more thought into my path after the Marine Corps. At the time I didn’t think about what I wanted to do, I settled for a path that I thought would be comfortable.

The last thing you did for the first time: Indoor skydiving.

Something you’ll never do again: Ride a bull.



EXCERPT FROM SELECTED

Susan Turner looked up through a haze of white dust and saw a group of men in black suits huddled around her body. The muffled ringing in her ears overpowered their voices. The men helped her to her feet and they ran as a group toward the entrance to the underground tunnel. Her hearing slowly returned, screams of panic in the hallway replacing the ringing. As they ran, she recognized the men surrounding her were Secret Service agents.
Four agents surrounded Susan as they jogged through the underground tunnel together. Ten yards into the tunnel, she slowed down. In mid-stride, she took off one heel at a time and returned to the pace of the group. There were no words exchanged; they moved together in focused silence. Four hundred yards down the tunnel, the group stopped at two large steel doors. The lead agent opened the doors and light from the helicopter pad above burst into the tunnel.
Before moving toward the helicopter, the agent standing behind Susan shouted into his headset, “Checkpoint Bravo. Waiting for clearance.” He nodded as the response came through and relayed the message to the group: “Let’s move.” They ran from the tunnel into the daylight and across the tarmac to the open doors of the helicopter.
The agent sitting across from Susan handed her a communications headset. “Ma’am, are you okay? Any injuries?” Susan wiped the sweat and dust from her face. “No, I’m fine. My family?”
“They’re safe. Your children were brought to a safe location under the Pentagon, and your parents are there with them.”
She nodded. “Is it over?”
He pursed his lips before responding, “I don’t know. I only heard snippets of radio chatter while we were on the way to the helipad.”
Susan leaned back in her seat, cupping her hands over her face and replaying the events in her mind. The group stayed in radio silence for the remainder of the brief flight. The helicopter landed at Andrews Air Force Base and the doors immediately opened. Susan and her security detail rushed across the tarmac and boarded the Boeing 747. She walked onto the plane in her bare feet. Jogging on concrete caused the pinky toe on her left foot to bleed. She left a trail of blood down the center aisle of Air Force One.
***
Excerpt from Selected by J. Allen Wolfrum.  Copyright © 2018 by J. Allen Wolfrum. Reproduced with permission from J. Allen Wolfrum. All rights reserved.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J. Allen Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine.  He served four years as a Marine Corps Infantryman in the most decorated Regiment in Marine Corps history. During Operation Iraqi Freedom he led an infantry squad on missions spanning from the oil fields of Southern Iraq to the streets of Baghdad.

After the Marine Corps, he spent the next fifteen years exploring life from several perspectives: press operator in a plastics factory, warehouse stocker, confused college student, Certified Public Accountant, bearded graduate student,  management consultant, and data analyst.

J. Allen Wolfrum's writing career began in 2017 with his debut novel, Selected.  He uses the unique combination of his Marine Corps, professional and life experience to create a realistic perspective on the political thriller genre. He lives in Southern California with his beautiful wife and two cats.
He writes a weekly short story series on his website.



Connect with the author:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon