Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year!



As we say goodbye to 2015, I want to thank everyone who logs on to A Blue Million Books and who reads my Goose Pimple Junction series. You keep reading, and I'll keep writing. (Or as a GPJ resident once said, "You keep drinking and I'll keep thinking.") I hope you have found some new books and new authors by stopping by A Blue Million Books. May you have a fantastic new year filled with a blue million books!


Thanks to all the authors who visited A Blue Million Books in 2015:

Traci Hayden, Black & White

Brandi Haas, Tales from Suburbia 

Crazy Lady Authors, Treasured Moments 

Jack Getze, Big Mojo

D.S. Williams, 
Protective Hearts

Heather Thurmeier, 
Pinch of Me, Dash of You

Amy Saunders, 

Alice Loweecey, Nun Too Soon

Traci Andrighetti, Prosecco Pink

Jennifer Fischetto, One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam

Lea Wait, 
Twisted Threads

Dianne Harman
, Kelly’s Koffee Shop

Thomas Maurin, Broken Trust

Carolyn Arnold, 
Valentine’s Day is Murder

Gustavo Florentin, The Schwarzschild Radius

Rachel Higginson, The Five Stages of Falling in Love

Sally Carpenter, The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper 

Brent Hartinger, The Thing I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know

Christina George, Climax

Diane Daniels Manning, Almost Perfect

Amanda Aksel, The Commitment Test

Shevaun Delucia, Jayded

SK Wills, Starting from Lost

Rosemary DiBattista, A Dish Best Served Cold

Cheryl Matthynssens, Bloodmines

Alexander McCabe, Greater Expectations

Barbara Jean Coast, 
Death Of A Beauty Queen

Laura Morelli, Authentic Arts: Venice Travel Guide

Dierdre Verne, Drawing Conclusions

Lora Lee, Bringing in the Thieves

Lauren Carr, Three Days to Forever

Julie Mulhern, The Deep End

Connie Archer, Ladle to the Grave

Nancy G. West, Dang Near Dead 

Jeanne Bannon, Beautiful Monster

Emily Craven, Adventures in Fashion

Tonya Kappas, Ghostly Undertaking

Kevin V. Symmons, SOLO

Amy Korman, Killer Getaway

Amelia Ford, Togan's Child

Annette Dashofy, 
Bridges Burned

Pamela Fagan Hutchins, 
Heavens to Betsy

Julie Seedorf, Granny Snows a Sneak Peak

Dawn Eastman, A Fright to the Death

Judi Culbertson, Bookmarked to Death

Glenn Conley, Glenn Hates Books

Melanie Denman, Visiting the Sins

Susan M. Boyer, Lowcountry Boneyard

Grady Miller, The Hostages of Veracruz

John Forelli, The Simulations

Victoria Klahr, That’s a Lie

Jerold Last, Deadly Dog Show

Paty Lager, Double Duplicity

Marie Moore
Side, Trip To Kathmandu

Amy Reade, 
The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa, Hide Nor Hare

Tammy Grace
, Killer Music

David Burnsworth, 
Southern Heat

Jaime Boust, Book Club

Timothy Klein, Cries From a Crusty Heart

Russ Colchamiro, Genius De Milo 

DD Marx, Beyond Believing

Ellen Mansoor Collier, Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville

B.L. Blair, Forgive Me

Miriam Auerbach, Boca Overboard

Penny C. Sansevieri, How to Sell Books by the Truckload

Sarah Booth Delaney,
 Bone to Be Wild

Susan Russo Anderson, Too Quiet in Brooklyn

Jennifer Ammoscato, Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery

Susan Pashman, Upper West Side Story

Colleen Helme, Crossing Danger

Heather Siegel, Out from the Underworld

Herbert L. Smith, Hurricane Kingdom

Jennifer Chow, Seniors Sleuth

Nina Post, Danger Returns in Pairs

Clea Simon, Kittens Can Kill

Melissa Marni

, Little Word Studio

Tess Woods, Love at First Flight

Diana Helmer, Belles of the Ballpark

Dennis Hart, Sand Key

Kevin Doyle
, The Litter

Joanne Guidoccio, A Season for Killing

Dianne Harman
, Murder at Cottage #6

Wendy Tyson, Dying Brand

KS Thomas, Until It’s Not

Julie Sarff, The Hope Diamond

Donna McDonald, Next Song I Sing

Kathi Daley, Much Ado About Felines

Elizabeth Perona, 
Murder On the Bucket List

KS Thomas, With Whom We Spend Our Lives

Joanne Phillips, Flora Lively and a Date with Death

Tonya Kappas, A Charming Fatality

Maris Soule, 
A Killer Past

Ace Varkey, The Girl Who Went Missing

Shelley Freydont, 
Trawling for Trouble 

Barbara Venkataraman, Jaime Quinn Mysteries

Rich Zahradnik, Drop Dead Punk

Maris Soule, Eat Crow & Die

Jim Webster, Flotsam & Jetsam

Nancy Cole Silverman, Beyond a Doubt

Abby Vandiver, Bed & Breakfast Bedlam

Jim & Joyce Lavene, 
Give Em Pumpkin to Talk About

Maria Nieto, Breaking the Silence

Scott Wilbanks, 

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

Ellie Ashe, A Good Kind of Trouble

Rosie Genova, 
A Dish Best Served Cold

Steve Hockensmith, 
Fool Me Once

Brydie Walker Bain, 
The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave

Lynn Cahoon, 
Killer Run

Chris Six
, iKidney

Chiari Warriors, An Anthology

Diane Burton, 
The Case of the Bygone Brother

EJ Journey, Welcome Reluctant Stranger!

Elaine Faber, 
Black Cat and the Accidental Angel

Graeme Smith, The Awakening of Abraham Brown

Maxine Nunes, Dazzled

Amy Metz
, Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction

Clea Simon, Code Grey

Andrew Joyce, Molly Lee

Julie Ann Lindsey, 
A Geek’s Guide to Murder

Joyce & Jim Lavene, Be My Banshee

Nancy J. Cohen, 
Peril in Ponytown

Louis Alan Swartz, Constructed Magic

Kim Boykin, A Peach of a Pair

Gene Ayres, Red Tide

Karin Gillespie, Girl Meets Class

Susan Russo Anderson, 
The Brooklyn Drop

Alice Loweecey, Second to Nun 

Lois Winston, A Stitch to Die For

Lauren Carr, Kill and Run

Ellen Byron, Plantation Shutters

M.J. Schiller, Blackout

Paul Hollis, The Hollow Man

Bernie Otis, How to Prepare for Old Age

Grady Miller, 
The Havana Brotherhood

Andrea Pearson, 

Gilda Morina Syverson, 
My Father’s Daughter: From Rome to Sicil

Julie Mulhern, Guaranteed to Blee

Tammy Grace, Pieces of Home

Linda Johnston, Knock on Wood

Kathleen Irene Paterka, Secrets of the Royal Wedding Chapel

Danielle Soucy Mills, Illusion Of An Ending

Susan McBride, Say Yes to Death

Terri L. Austin, 
Diner Knock Out

John Gaspard, The Misers Dream

Lois Winston, 
A Stitch to Die For

Amy Metz, Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction

Lindsay McKenna,
 Nowhere to Hide

Mike Phillips, Hazard of Shadows

D. Bryant Simmons, Blue Sky

Emma Stein
, Into the Void

Billy Thomas, Murder in a Two-Seater

Caroline Fardig, Death Before Decaf

D.E. Haggerty, 
Love in the Time of Murder 

John Enright, 
New Jerusalem News

Lisa Becker
, Clutch

Ellen Mansoor Collier, 
Jazz Age Mysteries

Frankie Bow, The Case of the Defunct Adjunct

Dan Buri, 
Pieces Like Pottery

Peter Riva, Murder on Safari

Richard Godwind
, Wrong Crowd 

James Moushon
, Operation Alpha Dog

Breigh Forstner, 
Straight From The Heart 

Nancy G. West, 
Smart But Dead

Waverly Curtis, Silence of the Chihuahuas

Eric Yates, 
Epitaph to ‘Nickle Eck’

R. Breuer Stearns, The Question

Thomas Brooke, 
Roman Mask

Richard Audry, King Harald Mysteries

Bourne Morris, 
Rise of the Red Queen

Steve Myers, Dreaming .400 

Larissa Reinhart, The Body in the Landscape

Jennifer Ott, Desperate Moon
, A Piece of You 

Teresa A. LaRue, A Talent for Murder

Diamente Lavendar, Breaking the Silence, The Secrets of Yashire

The winners of the GPJ giveaway are:

Paperback copy:

Phylis Carpenter

ebook copies:
Barbara Tobey and Marty Crosson.

Thank you for entering!

Sunday, December 27, 2015



Based on a true story, a new novel from Diamante Lavendar. Joan Eastman was born like any other girl. However her life would prove to be a life of great pain . . . Growing up, she was treated differently by family members, powerless to defend herself against their sexual and psychological abuse. Feeling she had been dealt a wicked hand by the “powers that be,” she spiraled into substance abuse and troubled relationships. She became a victim of addiction and self-hatred. Not giving up, she becomes aware of a greater spiritual being that protects her and she begins to heal. Then she finds herself pregnant. She learns to understand nothing is hopeless; that with a changed view and self discovery, there is real hope in every situation, no matter how difficult. As she and her husband look forward to the birth of their child, she writes in her diary as a way of expelling all of the evil memories. On bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy, she endures tests and tribulations that at first she couldn’t begin to understand. But no matter how high the hurdles in Joan’s life are, she doesn’t look back, and pulls the pieces of her life together . . . for herself and her unborn child. This inspirational story speaks of Joan’s gradual self acceptance and healing of her body, mind and spirit. It speaks of the possibilities of the future and the fulfillment of the dream of love and family. And it speaks of jumping the hurdles in life without looking back, no matter how high those hurdles may be. 


The Secrets of Yashire: Emerging From the Shadows is a young adult fantasy adventure that occurs within the framework of a young girl’s subconscious mind. The main character, Brianna, finds herself thrown into a world called Yashire where she is forced to deal with circumstances that are threatening Yashire’s existence. Against her will, she is sent on a journey to restore unconditional love back to the land while also contending with the evil force in the land, Zolan. Brianna is sent on her mission by Libban, Keeper of the Land. Along the way, Brianna travels with the mystical tiger, Angelos; a huge, whitish-tan tiger with thick black stripes who sings only the purest songs of love, and the wondrous little one-eyed bird named Abiba. During the journey, Brianna is also preparing to meet her soulmate—the one she longs to be with and the one who will bring complete healing back into her life. Together they travel through fantastic lands filled with magical creatures that could only exist in the wildest of imaginations. Through her treacherous brushes with danger and heartwarming experiences of love and acceptance, Brianna discovers many things. It is here, amidst the powers and phantasms of the mind that Brianna receives life lessons and virtues to help her. Will one of her greatest triumphs be achieved as she learns to believe in herself? For only then can she truly see all of the wondrous things that life has to offer.


Diamante, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?” 

I have loved to write since I learned to write. I began making simple rhyming poems when I was quite young. From there, I began making picture books for my siblings. Eventually I began writing novels. I still write a considerable amount of poetry . . . in fact, I will be publishing a chapbook some time in the future.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
The imaginative side of the writing process is my favorite. Coming up with the ideas for the books is the most enjoyable part for me.

How long is your to-be-read list?
I have started doing reviews for other authors and therefore I'm booked up into July of next year! I do the reviews in between working my day job and writing my own novels, so it keeps me very, very busy! I also write a newsletter each month and have a blog where I write as well. There is never a dull moment in my life!

What books do you currently have published?  I have two books published.  One is a women's mainstream fiction book written about my life. It speaks of healing from sexual and psychological abuse. I wrote Breaking The Silence to help other victims have hope that healing is possible.

My second published book is The Secrets Of Yashire. It is a fantasy story written within the psychological framework of a young woman's mind after she suffers a tragic accident.  It is a coming of age story. It speaks of virtues needed in life in order to find happiness.

You have a day job . . . how do you find time to write? 
It is sometimes a struggle to find time to write a novel. I spend many hours marketing and writing my blog after work. When I sit down to write or edit a new novel, the days are long and the hours for sleep are kept to what's needed to function! I have to be constantly in “work mode” in order to get everything done.  But that's okay because I love to write!

How often do you tweet?
Once a day to keep in touch with my followers. 

How do you feel about Facebook?
I think Facebook is great for networking and some marketing. However, I'm not always content with how Facebook functions. It seems that a lot of “boosting” of posts is required in order for the content to be seen, and that can get somewhat pricey!

For what would you like to be remembered?
I would love to be remembered for my imagination and for the fact that I write to bring hope and healing to my readers. 

What five things would you never want to live without?
My Father in Heaven, my family, electricity, hot water and sweets (especially chocolate!)!

3D movies are . . .
Pretty darned cool!

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I'm an extrovert when I need to be (basically at my day job). But when I'm home, I'm an introvert . . . especially when I'm writing. I become like a hermit crab in my own little shell, and I don't like being disturbed!

What's your relationship with your TV remote?

I dislike TV. I rarely watch it as I consider it to be a nuisance and a waste of time. I do enjoy sitting down to watch an occasional movie, but for the most part, I avoid the TV. 

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Buttery, salty popcorn!

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
Way too many. If you read Breaking The Silence, which was written about my life, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

What would your main character say about you?
Well, if it was Joan from Breaking The Silence, she'd say, “I know her! You know why? I'm her!”  (Hahahaha!)

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?

I've gotten some pretty snarky criticism about The Secrets Of Yashire. I dealt with it by considering the source and ignoring the comments intended to hurt me.
The constructive criticism I received about The Secrets Of Yashire (from other authors and readers) I was grateful for since The Secrets Of Yashire was my first book. I've decided to rewrite the entire story and publish another book based on the original Secrets Of Yashire . . . a new and improved version! That will be my next big undertaking.

What's your relationship with your cell phone?

I have my entire life planned on my phone! If I lost it, I'd be in big trouble.

What is your favorite movie? 
I love Jim Carrey. I think he's absolutely hilarious! I'd have to say his movies, Liar, Liar and The Mask are my favorites.

Do you have a favorite book?
The Bible. I look at it as it sometimes is called . . . Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. I would be truly and completely sunk without it.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
I try not to. But sometimes that's hard when you have OCD.

How long is your to-do list?

My to-do list goes on for years. But that's okay because I like to stay motivated and looking ahead in life!

What are you working on now?
I am editing my book Parallel Universe. It will be coming out in the spring. It's a fantasy/spiritual/coming of age/romance/paranormal story about a young man named Damien Rouse living in medieval times. He has been called to be the upcoming seer of his village of Rathclag. Parallel Universe is about his journey of finding and living his destiny, therefore enabling him to cross over to the parallel universe known as Promethia.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Frosting!
Laptop or desktop? Desktop!
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? I like them both!
Emailing or texting? A hard one . . . I do them both all the time. I guess I'll pick texting.
Indoors or outdoors? Another hard one . . . I like both equally. I'll pick outdoors!
Tea: sweet or unsweet? No tea for me! I'm a coffee person! GASP!
Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile. Although trains are fun, too!


Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. She spent many hours listening to her mother read to her when she was young. As she grew older, she enjoyed reading novels of all genres: horror, fantasy and some romance to name a few.
She began writing in college and published some poetry in anthologies over the years. After her kids were older, she wrote as a form of self expression and decided she wanted to share her stories with others.

Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories.

Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark in the world, to make it a better place for all. Writing is the way that she is attempting to leave her mark — one story at a time.

Connect with Diamante:

Website  |  Blog  |  
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  Goodreads  

Buy the books:
Breaking The Silence   |   The Secrets Of Yashire

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas, Happy Y'allidays!

And now for another shameless plug . . .

I am in the process of writing book 4 in my cozy mystery series, Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction, in which Pickle's mother, Caledonia Culpepper, is the main character. I am so grateful to the readers who have asked about the next Goose Pimple Junction book. So as a thank you, I have a present to my readers. Today, Tess interviews Caledonia, followed by and excerpt – the first chapter of the book – and a giveaway at the bottom of the post. I hope you enjoy getting to know Caledonia and getting teased, and I hope you will enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a hardcopy or an ebook copy of a GPJ book. Merry Christmas!


Caledonia, what do you love about Goose Pimole Junction?

Everything, but I especially love the people. Goose Pimple Junction folks are the best there is – they’re just flat out good people. They know all about you and like you anyway, and they’d do anything for you. 

What five things would you never want to live without?
My cell phone, sweet tea, lipstick, my shoe collection, and pie.

What’s one THING you never leave the house without (besides your phone).
Lipstick. My mama always said I should never leave the house looking like a wash woman.

What's the biggest lie you ever told?
Oh, goodness gracious. I do believe in honesty, but I once told someone – who shall remain nameless – that she looked pretty, when in reality, her pants were so tight her butt looked like two pigeons trying to fight their way out of a toe sack.

What’s your favorite beverage?
Without a doubt, it’s sweet tea with lemon and lots of ice.

What drives you crazy?
My husband, Philetus Swift Culpepper, IV. I call him Big Daddy. He's a rogue and a rascal.

What is your superpower?
My garden kicks ass,pardon my language. But it does!

Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.
I’m good at being the hostess with the mostest, and I’m bad at driving. Philetus once said I couldn’t drive any worse if I were drunk and had one eye shut. I think that’s a slight exaggeration.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
I don't worry too much about things. My motto is just do all you can do and let the rough end drag.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?
Miss Penny. She owns Miss Penny’s Dress Shop. I don’t like to talk ugly, but I'd rather jump barefoot off a 6-foot stepladder into a 5-gallon bucket full of porcupines than carry on a conversation with her.

What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site?
Southern Living.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Sweet tea, a bag of lemons, leftover squash casserole, corn relish, sweet and spicy snacker pickles, milk, eggs . . . Lordy, I could go on, but I know you don’t have all day. Let’s just say if I don’t have it and you want it, I’ll make it or I’ll get it.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
I once went bungee jumping with some friends. I hear my mother’s voice the whole time saying, “Caledonia, that’s just ridiculous. If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you do it too?”

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
I once went bungee jumping with friends.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I once walked out of a public restroom with toilet paper hanging out of the back of my pants.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
Life is what you need, love is what you want.

You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?

Oh honey, I don’t like to brag, but I can cook better than a professional chef. I’d invite him in and ask him what he’d like me to prepare.

How do you like your pizza?
I love garbage pizzas—loaded with everything and plenty of it.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

A picture of my two sons, Pickle and Peanut.

What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you?

Trust everybody in the game, but always cut the cards.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

I’d go bungee jumping for a Klondike bar.

What is your favorite movie?

Steel Magnolias.

What’s your philosophy on life?

Always remember it’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.


Chapter 1 

Mama always said . . . Most people deserve each other.

Sipping sweet tea and browsing Facebook on her iPhone, Wynona Baxter sat at a table outside a coffee shop looking carefree. With her toned and tanned bare legs crossed, her left foot – clad in black Jimmy Choo four-inch-heeled sandals – bobbed up and down to a silent beat known only to her. She looked up when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. There he was – her mark – right on time, wearing his JC Penny ugly tan blazer and brown polyester pants that sat right underneath his paunch. He ran a hand through his thinning red hair, but demonstrating the man’s definite need for a haircut, a long patch in the front dropped right back down over his right eye.

Over the rim of her glass of sweet tea, she casually watched as he crossed the street, speaking to a few people along the way. His gut preceded the rest of him by a good ten inches. Why on earth a man like that could strut like a rooster was beyond her. It was obvious from the way he carried himself that there was no conceit in his family — he got it all.

After a week of tailing him, she knew he was headed to the Dizzy Duck, his habitual after work destination. If he hadn’t made someone very angry, this wouldn’t have to be his last visit there. She knew he would spend thirty to forty minutes in the bar and then head for home. Where she’d be waiting for him.

She took one more gulp of tea, shook the ice in the glass, and set it down hard on the table, shooting a look that would put frost on a snowman to the guy a few tables away who’d been leering at her for the better part of an hour. Leisurely standing, she smoothed the front of her short linen skirt. Leaving the coffee shop, she was aware of the eyes on her . . . well, she could only guess which body part his eyes were on. Wynona preferred to be unobtrusive, but that was nearly impossible with her looks. Nevertheless, she didn’t like it when she caught someone’s attention. But no matter, by tomorrow she’d look totally different anyway. She thought she might like to be a redhead next.

The hot Atlanta sun beat down on her as she walked across the street in the opposite direction from the person she’d tailed for almost a week: Mr. Sleazy, as she’d come to think of him. Wynona had been sitting at the outdoor table for over an hour waiting for her mark to leave his office building. Feeling like she was melting, bored half out of her skull, and glad to be on the move again, she got into her rented Lexus ES300 and started it up. She turned the air conditioning to full blast and leaned her head back against the headrest, allowing the cool air to blow across her face, which glowed with perspiration. She glanced at the dashboard’s outside temperature gauge that read 104 degrees. She figured the humidity was at least in the eighty percent range, making it feel more like 150.

Taking a lace hankie from her purse on the passenger seat, she blotted her face so as not to ruin her makeup. I do not sweat, I glow, she said into the mirror. She fluffed the bangs of her brown wig, slipped on her oversized sunglasses, adjusted the air conditioning vents to point straight at her, and put the car into drive, easing out onto the road and and secretly offering Mr. Googly Eyes an unladylike hand signal.

Wynona maneuvered the Lexus down the curvy shade-dappled country lane, singing along to Garth Brooks’s “Friends in Low Places” on the radio. She pulled off to the side of the road, stopping just in front of the black mailbox with white lettering that spelled, “Reid.” The box stood to the right of a long driveway leading to a large Colonial two-story house. This wasn’t Mr. Sleazy’s house, but one just down the road from his ticky-tacky run-of-the-mill ranch house. She waited and watched for a few minutes, but she’d come to realize this road had hardly any traffic. In fact, she’d only seen a handful of cars on that road in the six days she’d had Polyester Man in her sights.

After cracking the car door, she waited, watched, and listened. The only sound was the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker. Convinced no cars were near, she left hers running for the blessed benefit of the air conditioning. She pushed a button to pop the trunk, ran around to the back of the car, lifted the trunk lid, pulled out a duffle bag, and slid back into the car. She laid the bag on the passenger seat and reached under clothing to pull out the pieces of a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic. Grabbing the slide, she took the barrel and slid it in, put in the guide rod and spring, keeping her thumb over it. With the weapon in her other hand, she made sure there were no obstructions, matched up the male/female grooves, slid it on, locked it to the rear, and put the take down lever at three o’clock, quickly snapping the pieces into place and screwing the silencer on. Then she opened her bag of tricks, as she liked to call her knife set. Her mind went over the different ways she’d use each one on Sleazy. A slow and torturous death was her specialty.

Wynona glanced at her watch and calculated that she’d spent five minutes cooling off after leaving the coffee shop, fifteen driving to this secluded spot, and she figured it would take Sleazy fifteen minutes to get here also — after his usual thirty minutes in the bar. She reached back into the bag, pulled out a CD and popped it into the player. “If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out By Now” came over the speakers and she tapped her fingers on the steering wheel as she sang along. A girl in her line of work had to have a sense of humor.

Twenty-five minutes later, she turned off the engine, got out of the car, and raised the hood. Placing the semi-automatic just inside the hood of the car, she leaned against the Lexus and waited.

She heard it before she saw it. Wynona leaned in under the hood from the side of the Lexus that faced the oncoming car so that her long thoroughbred legs would have a chance to work their full magic. She heard the pop of gravel and an engine slowing, as he eased his car to the side of the road.

“What’s the problem?” Mr. Sleazy asked as he walked up to her.

Holding the gun in her right hand, she stood up and turned, pointing the weapon at him.
“Honey, you’re the problem. But I’ve got the solution.” Walking toward him with the gun aimed at his chest, she watched his Adam’s Apple bob up and down. “You’ve made someone awfully mad with your low quantity of moral fiber. They said to make it a -” she stretched her words out, “- slow, painful end to your time here on earth.” Her smile reflected her true character.

About the author (me!)

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase.

Connect with me:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads   |  Pinterest  |  Amazon  

Monday, December 21, 2015



In the history of Britain there is a shortage of Second World War stories detailing the lives of ordinary families living in poverty, the children’s games and the black market profiteering that history has forgotten.

The story of young Eric and John is here to set the record straight. Two boys growing up in the midst of rationing, with a flair for mischief and a sense of humour history will never see again – what could happen? Quite a lot, apparently, if the exciting family life of Eric and John is anything to go by. Telling of their family life in war torn Birmingham where poverty was rife, Eric’s account is full of wit and the kind of humour history should remember. From the infamous Bread Pudding Incident to the charming children’s games like ‘Penny on the Brick,' you will find laughter and warm memories of time spent in an age before computers, when children had to entertain themselves. Yet there is poignancy here, too, as Eric and John find themselves swept up in the greater tide of war as evacuees, made to travel to the country with no chance of looking back . . .


Chapter 11 ‘Evacuation’ 

The Billeting Officer then sent us to lodge with an elderly couple called Golland, who must have needed the money.

We shared our attic room with a youngish woman who appeared each night after we had gone to bed. She never put the light on but undressed in the dark, discarding about seventeen garments. A large bowl of assorted nuts was then pulled out from under her bed, and we drifted off to sleep to the sound of cracking shells and grinding molars. Each morning she would be long gone, leaving evidence of a monkey’s meal behind her.

“Funny woman,” I remarked.

“A nutter,” said John. Ah! He was so witty.

In an old outhouse one day we found dusty bottles of homemade elderberry wine. The description ‘wine’ we thought a little presumptuous considering its humble origin, but amusing enough. We got into the habit of swigging a few mouthfuls now and then and replacing the missing quantity with tap water. The ‘wine’ was sweet and made us feel squiffy for a while – and bolder, with disastrous consequences.

Mr. Golland was a very keen gardener, somewhat constrained by a gammy leg which caused him to use a walking stick. We often helped him, but only with mundane tasks like weeding or watering the pots in his greenhouse. This greenhouse had a brick base about three feet high, surmounted by the usual glass and wooden framed top, with only one narrow door.
One day, growing tired of watering the individual pots, John suddenly exclaimed, “IDEA!”

My heart contracted and my breathing became shallow. John’s ideas always worked, after a fashion, but I usually came to grief.

“Wha’?” I enquired, trying not to sound too keen.

“Water the greenhouse,” John replied, pointing to the brick surround. “We’ll put the hose pipe through a broken window into the base, jam the door tight with cardboard, turn the water on and - after a while - the level will reach the pots and do the job automatically.”

After a few swigs of elderberry wine I was game for anything.

We lined the potted plants up on slatted staging, put the hose pipe along the floor, jammed the door and turned the water on. The level was slow at first as the water soaked into the gravel floor, but soon the depth increased. We watched fascinated as the brick base turned into an indoor swimming pool and lapped at the bottom of the pots.

“That’s enough,” said John, “turn the water off.”

I hurried to the tap and met Mr. Golland on his way to the greenhouse.

“What are you two up to?” he asked.

“We’re watering your plants and cleaning the shelves,” I replied loudly, to give warning to John who was removing the hosepipe.

Mr. Golland sniffed and said that he would inspect our work. He hobbled onward as John and I stopped breathing and watched, frozen with horror, as he grabbed the door knob and pulled. The door stuck. Mr Golland was having none of this; he put his stick over one arm and, using both hands, gave a mighty heave. The door crashed open and a huge rolling wave engulfed him. Frothing whitecaps lapped round him as he surfed past on his way to his supper, surrounded by bobbing plants and his stick.

“This is going to take some explaining,” I thought.

Amazingly, Mr. Golland accepted that we had accidentally left the hosepipe on. We retrieved the pots and his stick, and begged his forgiveness. I did my wide-eyed innocent cherubic act, and John reminded him that the greenhouse wouldn’t need cleaning out for some time.

As Mr. Golland went towards the house to change, John pointed out that he should really be quite pleased, as we had watered the whole garden as well as the pots. This intelligence was greeted by another sniff as Mr. Golland went inside.

All would have ended, if not well, at least amicably had Mr. Golland not sent his wife to the outhouse for a bottle of her elderberry wine to help his recovery from the storm-tossed sea. John and I stared at each other. The wine by now was much diluted and was merely pink water. We didn’t wait for the repercussions but postponed the inevitable return of the Billeting Officer by going for a long walk in nearby Nottingham Forest.


Eric did two years' National Service as an Army Education Officer in Cyprus, and seven years with the Kenyan Police in East Africa where, as a Customs & Excise Investigation Officer, he swam in shark-infested waters looking for hidden contraband. Whilst living in Africa, he joined the National Theatre of Nairobi where he performed in Shakespeare, the Classics and drama.

For almost 20 years he worked for Bass Charrington, controlling licensed premises throughout the Midlands, and also for Mitchells & Butlers in Birmingham, during which time he was with the Hall Green Little Theatre and became a stalwart member of the Blossomfield Club in Solihull, where for many years he performed, directed and was co-writer of original musical comedies produced and performed there.

At one time a presenter for BBC Radio Birmingham, Eric spent ten years with the Monitoring Section of the BBC World Service in Berkshire, becoming well-known locally for his acting talent, especially mimicry and humour, winning numerous awards over the years.

Eric was married twice and met his second wife in Henley-on-Thames, when she directed him in J.B. Priestley's When We Are Married. At that time he was semi-retired working as a warden at Windsor Castle, where he endeared himself to his colleagues but was often reprimanded for displaying his unique brand of humour to the general public.

Retiring to Devon in 2001, Eric enjoyed boat restoration, brewing very strong cider, cultivating rare trees and plants and reading. He began writing his stories in 2004 - and also began tales from his adult life, regrettably unfinished. He and his wife performed in Salcombe, where he is celebrated in the South Hams for his performance in the famous music hall sketch 'Dinner for One' (YouTube - Dinner for One, Eric).

His final memorable performance was at the 2011 Dartmouth Drama Festival, five months before he died, where he brought the house down in the two miming sketches from Michael Frayn's Alarms & Excursions, directed by his wife. His expertise was as sharp as ever and, as always, he received tumultuous applause.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015



When Kate Spencer learns her aunt’s fiancé is two-timing her with an old rival, she has no choice but to pass along the information to her mother, who promptly informs her sister what a cad the man is. They are as shocked as the rest of the town when the rival turns up dead and the two-timing fiancé disappears. Worse yet, an anonymous call places her aunt at the scene of the crime.

Complicating matters, the lead investigator on the case turns out to be Kate’s old boyfriend. Though he has a hard time believing the woman who once marched in front of his school carrying a ‘save the frogs’ sign is capable of murder, he has to consider her aunt his prime suspect.

Can the trio find the killer before Kate’s aunt is arrested for murder? Are they putting their own lives in danger by investigating the crime?

A Talent for Murder is a cozy, southern mystery filled humor and colorful characters, with a touch of romance thrown in for added fun.


Teresa, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author”?
I’ve been writing for years, and have two unpublished novels in my filing cabinet to prove it. But I never considered myself an author until last year when my novel, A Talent for Murder, was accepted for publication by FiveStarCengage.

What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?
I love the revision process. Once I have something to work with, I enjoy adding textures, tightening the tension, etc. The hard part for me is staring at a blank page.

How long is my to-be-read list?
Too long to count. I have tons of books on my kindle, plus a stack of library books, and a closet full of books “I’m going to get to.” Somehow, it never grows shorter.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Most of the shows I love are on CBS: Scorpion, all the NCIS shows, Elementary, Hawaii Five O. Do I sense a pattern here?

For what would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered for being a kind person. There are so many hurting people in the world, I want them all to know someone cares.

What scares you the most?
That’s easy: heights. When I was younger I always rode the Ferris wheel because I didn’t want anyone to call me a chicken. One day I got stuck at the top with my cousin and she began rocking the seat back and forth. I lashed into her. After that, she never asked me to ride with her again.

YouTube is . . . Great! I couldn’t figure out how to replace the string in my weedeater. I went online and found a How-To video. It amazes me how much good stuff you can find on it.

What five things would you never want to live without?
I’d never want to live without books, and lots of them. Chocolate, which makes everything better. Sunshine, I tend to get cranky when the weather stays dreary. My family, I have to talk to someone, besides myself. My computer, it beats a typewriter any day.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?
I definitely spend more money on food. I HATE to shop for clothes. I only do it when I absolutely have nothing to wear.

Are you an introvert, or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert. I hate big social gatherings. I much prefer one-on-one interaction.

What would your main character say about you?
She knows my pain.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
My favorite library is the St. Tammany Parish Library in Slidell. The librarians do a super job! My holds are often waiting for me at the desk before I even get to the check-out counter. And they never complain about all the inter-library loans I place.

What’s your relationship with your cell phone?
I have one of those cheap pay-as-you-go phones, which has more minutes on it than I’ll ever use.

What is your favorite movie?
Gone With the Wind.

Do you have a favorite book?
The one I’m reading at the moment.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
You bet! I usually have a list of “things I want to get done today” in my head. I hate it when I don’t get to the end of the list.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on another Flower Patch Mystery. Once again, Happy and Lula Mae are up to their old antics as Kate works hard to solve another murder.


Teresa LaRue grew up in a small town along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She’s worked as a secretary, assistant manager of an audio book store, and manager of a fashion jewelry store. She is an avid reader, gardener, and movie buff. She lives across the lake from New Orleans with her husband, two of her children, a dog named Bones, and a cat named Chloe.

Connect with Teresa:       
Website  |  Goodreads        

Wednesday, December 16, 2015



Daniel M. Annechino, a former book editor specializing in full-length fiction, wrote his first book, How to Buy the Most Car for the Least Money, in 1992 while working as a General Manager in the automobile business. But his passion had always been fiction, particularly thrillers. He spent two years researching serial killers before finally penning his gripping and memorable debut novel They Never Die Quietly. His second book, Resuscitation (Thomas & Mercer 2011), a follow-up to his first novel, hit #1 in Kindle sales in the UK and reached #26 in the USA. He is also the author of I Do Solemnly Swear (Thomas & Mercer 2012) and Hypocrisy. A Piece of You is his fifth novel, the third in the Detective Sami Rizzo series.

A native of New York, Annechino now lives in San Diego with his wife, Jennifer. He loves to cook, enjoys a glass of vintage wine, and spends lots of leisure time on the warm beaches of Southern California.

Connect with the author:
Website  |   
Facebook  |  Twitter     



What is your favorite thing about the writing process?

When I write a novel, I work as quickly as I can to get the first draft completed. Even if the writing is blah and the plot and characters are skeletons. My goal is to structure the story and scene sequence and have all the characters in place. Then, the fun part is editing. Most authors hate the editing process, but I enjoy it as much as writing. I really love transforming a loosely-structured story into a rich, complex, engaging tale with three dimensional characters and a compelling plot.

How long is your to-be-read list?
Surprisingly, I am one of the few authors who doesn’t read much. A book a month is about my limit. Why you ask? Since I first began writing, I discovered that I could no longer read like a “reader” and totally immerse myself in a story. Instead, I read like an editor and find myself scrutinizing everything. Consequently, it’s become very difficult for me to kick back, open a book and enjoy the ride. This really disturbs me, but one day, when I write “The End” to my last book, I’m going to forget that I was a writer and read books for the sheer enjoyment. (I hope.)

What books do you currently have published?

They Never Die Quietly, Resuscitation, I Do Solemnly Swear, Hypocrisy, and A Piece of You

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?

When I first started writing, I thought that the only thing authors did was write and edit. That may have been true a couple decades ago, but not any longer. Unless you’re a “big name” author with a huge following, for a writer to successfully market his or her work may be even more important that the literary quality of the book itself. Have you ever heard the expression, “The sizzle is more important than the steak”? “Sizzle” is the marketing and promotion. The “steak” is the book. With a brilliant and comprehensive marketing plan, inferior products — including books — will sell very well. Conversely, a poorly executed marketing plan will almost certainly ensure failure, even if your book is the equivalent of Gone with the Wind or Silence of the Lambs. It’s a sad truth, but it’s a reality in today’s publishing world. My best advice? Use every tool possible to market yourself. That includes a constant presence on social media, maintaining an engaging website/blog, and spreading the word to every man, woman and child you know.

How do you find time to write? Do you have a day job?
I’ve been retired from my “day job” since 2010, so currently writing is my primary gig. But when I was working a traditional job, I tried to write early in the morning, long before my brain was crowded with distracting thoughts. Some days I would write only a paragraph because the juices just weren’t flowing. But on other days my fingers could hardly keep up with my brain. Whatever you do, don’t force the creative process. If it’s flowing, write. If it’s not, take a walk and have a glass of wine.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Wow! That’s a tough one. There are so many quality programs and series available today. I think my current cable service provides 190 stations. How can you decide? I guess if I had a gun to my head and had to pick one station, it would be HBO. Or maybe PBS. Or possibly the History channel. No, wait a minute. I think it’s CBS.

How often do you tweet?
To be honest, not nearly as much as I should. It’s a very important marketing tool for the wise writer. But I’m still trying to figure out all the hashtag nonsense. I must confess that I really need to stop making excuses and start Tweeting. Ugh!

How do you feel about Facebook?
Sometimes I love it but mostly I hate it. But like Twitter, it’s a very important marketing tool.

What scares you the most?

Getting old and discovering that there is no way to stop father time. You can slow it down with lifestyle, but eventually it’s going to catch up with you.

YouTube is . . . Awesome!!!

What five things would you never want to live without?
My family, writing, books, wine, chocolate.

Who would you want to narrate a film about your life?
Morgan Freeman.

3D movies are . . . Super-Cool!

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
It would be overflowing all over the place. Have you ever driven on California Freeways?

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Actually, I’m both. It just depends on the circumstances.

What's your relationship with your TV remote?
I’m in love with it!

Do you spend more on clothes or food?
Unless it’s for a special occasion, I go clothes shopping about twice a year.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Popcorn with about a quart of butter on it!

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Attempted to write my first novel about 25 years ago.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Hmm. Way too many to list.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him . . . The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself . . . All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” -George Bernard Shaw

What would your main character say about you?
“Man, he’s a hell of a good writer!”

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
My mother’s eulogy. 

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Regarding my first novel, They Never Die Quietly, one reader said, “The worst book I’ve ever read!” I don’t think a writer ever gets over a harsh review. The second glass of wine helps. 

Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could invite anyone in the world?
Pope Francis.

What's your relationship with your cell phone?
Unlike most people I do not have a passionate relationship with it. I use it primarily to make phone calls and to check my e-mail. Yes, I know, I’m living in a past century.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Sleep? What’s that? Seriously, when I’m in the middle of writing a novel, not much. But between books, about 6 or 7 hours a night. That does not include the time I’m dozing in front of the TV.

What is your favorite movie?
The Wizard of Oz.

Do you have a favorite book?
Several, but my favorite is The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. 

Do you sweat the small stuff?
I, unfortunately, sweat everything — even participating in this interview! 

If you had to choose a cliche about life, what would it be?
“When all else fails, eat a piece of dark chocolate.”

How long is your to-do list?

Way, way too long. 

What are you working on now?
A book titled More Than a Soldier, based on a true story about a WWII POW who escaped from the Nazis and was rescued five months later. He just happens to be my uncle.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting?
Laptop or desktop? Desktop.
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray.
Emailing or texting? E-mailing.
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors.
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet.
Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile.

BOOK # 1 - They Never Die Quietly:

They Never Die Quietly tells the story of homicide Detective Sami Rizzo, who is assigned to head a task force investigating serial killings in San Diego. Simon, the highly intelligent, cunning, and deceptively charming villain, redefines the depths of human evil. He believes God has given him absolute authority to purify his unholy victims through a ritual that ends in a grisly crucifixion. Driven by warped religious beliefs and guided by his dead mother, very much alive in his subconscious, Simon abducts “chosen ones” and holds them captive in a Room of Redemption. There, the victims helplessly await their crucifixion. Detective Rizzo urgently yearns to solve the case and gain the respect of her male colleagues, but her obsession to apprehend the killer on her own clouds her thinking. When Simon outsmarts Rizzo and captures her, determined to make her his next victim, she must employ all her resources—both physical and intellectual—to outwit the villain at his own game.

Book # 2 - Resuscitation:

Two years ago, Detective Sami Rizzo narrowly escaped a brush with death at the hands of a serial killer. After apprehending the killer and bringing him to justice, this life-changing event compels her to resign from the police force. In her heart of hearts, however, she struggles with the decision. But a second serial killer—a well- respected doctor gone astray—uses his charm to seduce his victims and then performs horrific surgical experiments on them. In a final act of depravity, he scatters their mutilated bodies throughout San Diego County. Feeling a sense of duty and obligation, Sami Rizzo appeals to the police chief and mayor, and they reinstate her as a homicide investigator. As the body count grows and the killer’s experiments become more and more brutal, Sami follows one dead-end lead after another, while trying to deal with a sickly mother and a turbulent relationship with her lover. But then the killer makes a crucial mistake: one of his victims survives. Sami does everything to protect the barely alive victim, but the killer has a different plan.

Book #3 - A Piece of You:

Homicide Detective Sami Rizzo is at it again! She never dreamed “America’s Finest City,” would be tormented by yet another serial killer, but for the third time in the last five years a depraved maniac is stalking the streets of San Diego. Based on her qualifications and prior successes dealing with multiple murders, who else would Captain Davison assign to head the investigation?

Different from Sami’s past experiences, this fanatic is like no other. His methods of killing defy everything profilers think they know about serial killers. As an intense investigation begins and bits and pieces of evidence emerge, no one can understand his motivation. He’s merciful, yet brutal. And just to make things even more confusing, all of his victims are blood-related. Is he settling a vendetta? Did he randomly pick a name out of the phone book and begin a rampage? Or is there a deeper story?

Based on very little evidence and a lot of gut instincts, Detective Rizzo pieces together a complex puzzle and narrows the field of possible suspects. She learns that the killings may connect in some way to powerful people within the judicial system and doesn’t know who to trust. Ultimately, she comes face to face with the killer for a battle of brain and brawn. Can she outwit the shrewd killer, or will she be his next victim?

Monday, December 14, 2015



A thought-provoking take on the vampire mythos that makes you consider how the natural-spiritual and scientific worlds might intersect.

Countess Katerina Vaduva roams Eastern Europe as a vampire for nearly six hundred years experiencing the horrors of mortal man - wars, plagues, genocide and torture. For centuries, she seeks shelter and security in the castles of counts and sultans.

When her husband the Count of Slovakia passes, she pursues a new life with a colonel in the Prussian military. While her husband quests victory at battle, Katerina desires a Naturalist scientists who seduces her with knowledge and a greater understanding of herself, for this she will risk everything for the one thing she never had - immortal love and the pursuit of progress.


Jennifer, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?”

I started my first novel at age twelve. In my twenties I studied screenwriting and I guess would be considered a screenwriter. I’d say I became an “author” when I published my first fiction novel Wild Horses.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Being able to live in the lives of my characters. I experience and learn so much.

You have a day job . . . how do you find time to write?
My day job is in the fashion industry as a product developer. I go to a coffee shop about an hour before work and write and often times at lunchtime.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
The history channel.

How often do you tweet?
A couple times during the day.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I like it.

For what would you like to be remembered?
For my books.

What scares you the most?


YouTube is . . .

Who would you want to narrate a film about your life?
Emma Stone or Jennifer Lawrence.

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
All of them would be full.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m social, but often I’d rather be by myself.

What's your relationship with your TV remote?
We have our differences. Sometimes, we have communication issues.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?

What's your favorite treat for movie night?

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Went to a professional football charity event by myself.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Went to a professional football charity event by myself.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
Went to a professional football charity event by myself.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
I think all the choices I made were the right at the moment, even if they didn’t turn out as planned, because I learned from them.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Unless I have something of my own to say, and a way of my own to say it in, I have no business to publish; unless I can look beyond the greatest Masters, and study Nature herself, I have no right to paint; unless I can have the courage to use the language of Truth in preference to the jargon of Conventionality, I ought to be silent.” ~ Charlotte Bronte

What would your main character say about you?

Delicious. Like a bold madeira wine.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
I wrote a book The Insurrectionist which was through the eyes of a terrorist. Hard to put yourself in those shoes, but I wanted to understand how someone could through their life away in a violent act.

Have you ever been to a fortune teller? What did she tell you?
Yes. I have several times, and I have several friends who are psychics. The one thing I can say is the future is not absolute. It changes with the choices we make.

Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could invite anyone in the world?
Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister of Canada.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Eight to nine. I like sleeping.

Do you have a favorite book?
Life is Elsewhere, by Milan Kundera.

How about a favorite book that was turned into a movie? Did the movie stink?
As a screenwriter, I have to say movies and books are two different mediums. It’s not always easy taking a 400-page book and turning it into a 120-page script. It is up to the discretion of the screenwriter what is kept and what is cut. But to answer the question, I would have to say The Color Purple. Both book and movie were amazing.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
Yes, but I handle the big stuff like a pro. Go figure.

If you had to choose a cliche about life, what would it be?
Don’t worry. Be Happy.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Frosting
Laptop or desktop? Laptop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray
Emailing or texting? Emailing
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet
Plane, train, or automobile? Plane


Siegfried was still awake scouring over his texts when a knock sounded on his door. He checked the clock and grinned—just in time. He closed his books and strolled to the door. Upon opening it, he saw a dark face shrouded under the hood of a large cloak.

“Irena,” he said with a widening smile.

She stepped inside lowering her hood. “Here for my appointment, Doctor,” she said letting her cloak drop to the floor and exposing her nakedness to him.

He had met her during one of his house calls. She offered nanny services to one the elites who lived in the hills surrounding Prague. Siegfried always wondered why such a beautiful girl would give herself up to servitude when she could find a rich husband.

“Servitude would be marrying a rich man,” Irena once said to him, “freedom is being his servant. Mistresses gain a lot more than married women.”

Irena was greedy as such. Siegfried was only too happy to find himself tasty to her, yet he too shared her same philosophy. He offered his service in providing healing and care and once he left their front door, he was again a free man to his own mind and mission.

Not being able to resist the sight of her supple body, he pulled her close and kissed her face.

She pushed him away. “Doctor, you are still dressed.”

With haste, he removed his clothes starting with his pants that constrained him and his shirt which he struggled to remove. She laughed helping him tug the sleeves over his wrists. Once both were naked, he carried her to his bed where he rested her down on the feather mattress.

He lowered his face between the plump yet firm breasts of his nubile nightly visitor, traveled upward to the nape of her neck, and paused. Curiously, he nibbled and tasted her skin.

“That feels good,” she said with a sigh.

He lowered his body onto hers and pressed himself inside her continuing to thrust rhythmically as her head gently hit the headboard. She dug her nails into his back scratching his skin and drawing blood. He grunted pushing harder and faster.

Within a black swirl, Katerina appeared in the doorway. She watched Siegfried's blood run down the curve of his back as he made love to Irena. She moved toward him, elevating her palm just above him to feel his sexual energy.

He rolled over pulling Irena on top of him. She laughed, gyrating above. She too lowered herself nibbling on his neck. “Feel good?”

Siegfried widened his eyes suddenly seeing Katerina. He sat upright with fright. “Kat—!”
Katerina disappeared instantly.

Irena rotated her head in the direction of Siegfried's gaze and saw no one. ”Kat?”

Siegfried collapsed on the bed, the moment ruined.

Irena crawled off his body. “Who is Kat?”

“No one,” he said hoping she would believe.

She threw her cloak over her shoulders. “If you have another woman, Siegfried that is fine with me. Just refrain from screaming out her name while with me.”

He pulled on his pants. “No. It is not that. It was nothing. Just an illusion.”

“Maybe you are working too hard, too much stress,” she said gathering her stuff to leave.

“It is late. Stay,” he begged.

Irena grinned and kissed his chin. “It is a short walk. I will be fine.” She blew him a kiss at the door.

Outside the wind howled and Irena held her hood tighter around her neck. She spun around and saw another cloaked shadow. “Hello!” she called and received no response. “Hello, is someone there?” She looked around fearful back-stepping to Siegfried’s door.

The shadow neared her with the force of a howling storm. Irena had no time to react when Katerina pierced her teeth into her neck. Irena’s life evaporated into Katerina. She vanished with Irena still in her embrace.


Wild Horses
The Tourist
Saying Goodbye
The Insurrectionist
One with the Wind
A Soul to Shine
Edge of Civilization
A Soul to Shine
Searching Civilization
Rays of Civilization
Time of Useful Consciousness


Inspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle. In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.

Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! She recently published, Serenidipidus and Edge of Civilization. She also is the host of the SuperJenius Internet Radio show on Artist First radio Network.

Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.

Jennifer’s latest book is the Victorian era historical romance, Desperate Moon.

Connect with Jennifer:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  | 

Buy the book:

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Sunday, December 13, 2015



When Cherry Tucker’s invited to paint the winning portrait for Big Rack Lodge’s Hogzilla hunt contest, it seems like a paid vacation. Back in Halo, Georgia, a Hatfield-McCoy-style standoff builds, forcing Luke and Cherry to keep their relationship secret. She’s ready for a weekend away, hobnobbing with the rich and famous of hunting.
But as the Georgia sunshine turns to bleak December rain, Cherry’s R&R goes MIA when she finds a body. While the police believe the town drunk took an accidental spill, Cherry has her doubts, particularly when a series of malicious pranks are targeted at the rifle toting contestants and she’s warned off investigating. With loyal companions at her side — sort-of-ex-husband Todd and a championship bayer named Buckshot— Cherry tracks suspects through a forest of pitfalls and perils. And all the while, a killer’s stalking the hunt party with Cherry and the contestants in their crosshairs.


Larissa, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?

Coming up with stories. I’ve always planned stories in my head as cheap entertainment. I still love to do that. The real work comes when applying those thoughts to paper. I’ve got so many stories waiting to write, it’ll probably take me through retirement to get to them all. Which is a good way to keep me off the streets. That and chocolate.

How long is your to-be-read list?
So long, I can’t even count that high. I stopped marking “Want To Read” on Goodreads because it just got ridiculous. Luckily, my mother and I share a Kindle account, so all the books that are waiting on me to read, she can work on. I’ve got a problem with trying a new author or book in a series, then dropping everything else to read the complete series. Then I’ll reread my favorites. I’m a big re-reader, which doesn’t do my TBR pile much good. And that pile is in print and digital.

What books do you currently have published?
The Body in the Landscape is my fifth Cherry Tucker book but sixth publication. The Cherry Tucker Mysteries: Portrait of a Dead Guy, Still Life in Brunswick Stew, Hijack in Abstract, Death in Perspective, and the prequel novella, “Quick Sketch” in Heartache Motel.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Does Netflix count as a TV station? I’m in Japan now, so I can’t get anything other than Netflix, although we do get HBO Now. That’s pretty sweet because I can watch all the old miniseries. Right now, I’m watching Benedict Cumberbatch in Parade’s End. But I’m a Netflix junkie. I love to binge watch series. Just like I love to binge read series. And all my guilty pleasure viewing is done on Netflix. You don’t even want to know, but if it involves teenage vampires, I probably watch it.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I love Facebook, despite its obvious flaws. I think the world is becoming a lonelier place, and Facebook is a great way to reach out and touch people’s lives, let them know they are not alone.

I’m living in Japan now and able to keep up with friends and family best through Facebook. I actually began Facebook the last time I lived in Japan. I meet new people all the time, people I’ve grown to consider friends although I’ve never met them in person. My street team, The Mystery Minions, are on Facebook and they’re like family to me. When I travel, I always get postcards to send to them. My girls love to help me pick out postcards for the Minions!

YouTube is . . .
Great for funny cat videos and . . . what else is on Youtube?

Who would you want to narrate a film about your life?
Morgan Freeman. He could make the phone book sound interesting. Which would be a similar reading.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
I make popcorn on the stove. Just oil and kernels. It’s the best and the stove does all the work. I never touch the microwave stuff. If I wanted to go nuts, I’d add M&Ms to the popcorn. That’s my favorite childhood treat. They melt in the hot popcorn and get all gooey on your fingers. Salt and sugar. Sooooo goood.

Here’s my recipe: use a heavy bottom pot, cover the bottom in kernels, pour cooking (vegetable) oil to just cover the kernels. Put on a lid and turn the heat to medium high. Start your movie. When you start to hear popping, get out a bowl. When you haven’t heard a pop in three seconds, turn off the stove. Pour it in a bowl. Salt. Toss in M&Ms. My kind of cooking.

Yum! You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Lucy from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I named a daughter for her. Wouldn’t everyone love to meet Aslan and save Mr. Tumnus? Lucy’s such a spitfire and so wonderfully brave, despite her age and naiveté. Plus her love conquers all and isn’t that heart of the best stories?

Do you sweat the small stuff?
The small stuff is what drives my deodorant shopping. TMI?

What are you working on now?
Cherry Tucker #6, which is still untitled. However, it’s set back in Halo at an independent living home, Halo House. Cherry’s trying real hard to stay out of trouble, but the ninety-year-old CEO of Meemaw’s Tea likes Cherry’s suspicious way of thinking so much, she confides in Cherry that she’s afraid she’ll be murdered. Then has a heart attack. What’s Cherry to do but suspect Belvia Brakeman’s been murdered?

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Cake.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop.
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray
Emailing or texting? Emailing.
Indoors or outdoors? Indoors with a window. And a couch. And some books. And coffee. And chocolate.
Plane, train, or automobile? Train!

Books in the Cherry Tucker Humorous Mystery Series:



A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first in the series, Portrait of a Dead Guy (2012), is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. The fifth mystery, The Body in the Landscape, released December 2015. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but still call Georgia home. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or join her Facebook street team, The Mystery Minions.

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