My #Guest Leanne Sain shares Half-Moon Lake, her new #release

Welcome to my blog, Leanna. Tell us why you wrote “Half-Moon Lake.”

My husband and I were winding through the Nantahala Valley on our way to deliver a customer’s furniture. The mountain rose straight up on one side of the road and dropped straight down on the other. Kudzu draped everything…trees, power lines, barns. To my right was a long rounded hump, but the lush vine made it impossible to tell what it was hiding. Wait! Was that a patch of yellow? Yes…barely visible amid the fluttering leaves, but yes. It was a school bus, almost completely encased in a green cocoon. This was the story seed for Half-Moon Lake, the newest novel in my GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South) romantic suspense series.

I used this story seed and combined it with my fascination of identical twins and the unusual “connection” they have with each other. I asked myself, “What if one twin was killed in a horrible accident? What results might that cause in the remaining twin?” Half-Moon Lake is my answer. Kathryn Dorne (aka Katelyn Eubank) is the remaining twin. The problem is, she doesn’t even know it. Her mind completely blocked all memories before the age of nine, when her sister drowned in Half-Moon Lake. It’s only when she’s summoned for the reading of her father’s will that she discovers her whole life is a lie. It’s up to her to find out the truth, but the more she digs, the more memories start surfacing and the more frightening her search becomes.

I love that I was able to tie this story back to my “Gate” trilogy via Half-Moon, the Cherokee Indian medicine woman who gives this novel its name. My hope is that it will pique readers’ interest, making them frantic to get their hands on those other books. I was able to do a similar tie-back with my first GRITS book, Red Curtains. Maybe I’ll make it my trademark… a treat for those who have read the other books, and a lure for those who haven’t.

Blurb: When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

Excerpt:
I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

“Nooo,” I whimpered. “No, please…no!”

I stared, with wide eyes, at the ceiling, concentrating on the shimmery patterns cast by the outside lights around the pool, and gulped deep breaths in an effort to calm down, all while my heart and mind raced.

The nightmare was back. It had plagued me almost every night since I was nine, but about two years ago it stopped, and I thought I’d finally outgrown it. Looked like I was wrong, and begging wouldn’t change anything. Disappointment left a bitter taste in my mouth Why now? What made it return? What could’ve triggered it?

The letter. That had to be it. Everything had been going fine…well, as fine as I could expect things to go in my dysfunctional life, and then I’d gotten yesterday’s mail. There had to be a connection. Maybe—

No! If I allowed my mind to start thinking about it, picking apart every sentence, mulling over what every little thing could mean, I’d never get back to sleep. Tomorrow would be—I glanced at the clock—correction…today was going to be a big day. I needed all the rest I could get if I expected to be able to face it. “Go back to sleep, Kate.”

I flipped my pillow over to the “good dream” side, and twisting my long hair up away from her neck, I sank back into the pillow’s cool softness. It might be silly to still practice such a childish ritual, but it reminded me of my mom and right now, I needed that. The familiarity brought a measure of comfort, which in turn, calmed me. If clinging to the fairytale helped me go back to sleep, then so be it.

I’d face the rest later.

North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com

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

Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks

Website and blog:  http://leannasain.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LeannaSain

Buy links:

 

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=half-moon+lake&submit_search=

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=half-moon+lake+leanna+sain

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/half-moon-lake/id1241572035?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-moon-lake-leanna-sain/1126450434?ean=2940157456566

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/half-moon-lake-1

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My #Guest Sherry Derr-Wille shares her reasons for writing The Man in the Lake

Barbara has asked why I wrote The Man in the Lake. To answer this question, I have to go back over twenty years. I knew I was a writer, but I also knew I wasn’t making any money at it. I decided to write Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. I put on plays at several different restaurants in our area. The first of these dinner theatres was The Man In The Lake.

Since the first performance was at a restaurant, in Milton, WI called Shakespeare’s, the lake became Storres Lake, just outside of Milton. I had all the characters in place and gave each guest a small biography. These plays were a great success and there turned out to be three more of them, all set in Rock County, WI. Those plays, became the next three books in the Rhonda Pohs Series, Murder in the Meadow, Murder by Mistake, and Reunion for a Murder.

When I decided to write murder mysteries, I drew on these four manuscripts for the first four books in the Rhonda Pohs Murder Mystery series. I love Rhonda as my detective heroine and have enjoyed watching her mature from the token woman on the Milton police force to the seasoned detective working for the Rock County Sheriff’s Office. In the last two books of the series Murder in Red Rock Canyon and Who Killed Billy Roller, Rhonda has relocated to Las Vegas because her husband has received a good job offer.

Will there be any more Rhonda books? Who knows? I’m kicking around the idea of a Christmas book called Christmas Crackers, where the murder victim is an author who opens a package of Christmas Crackers laced with an explosive. It’s still cooking in my brain.

BLURB:

Rhonda Pohs has been hired as a token woman cop to say nothing of a grief counselor for the force of Milton, WI, although the town is never mentioned in the book.

When a man, who has been a womanizer all his life, is found floating in Storres Lake, Rhonda is sent to comfort the widow. To her surprise, the man’s mistress is also there.

Throughout the twists and turns of unraveling the murder, Rhonda proves she’s not just the token woman or the grief counselor, she’s a top notch detective and someone to be reckoned with.

EXCERPT:

“I think you ought to take this one, chief,” the secretary said through the intercom.

Jack sighed deeply and picked up the receiver. “Franks here.”

“Jack, this is Al. I just went out to Storrs Lake fishing and there’s a man floating in the middle of the lake.”

The panic in Al’s voice was enough to send chilled shockwaves through Jack’s body. “What do you mean a body is floating in the lake?”

“Just what I said, asshole. I came out to fish and there’s a body out there in the middle. I haven’t tried to go out and bring him in. He must have drowned, but I’ve seen enough cop shows to know you don’t touch things at a crime scene.”

Jack rolled his eyes. He and Al had been friends since kindergarten and Al tended to exaggerate. If his friend were a woman, Jack’s wife would have called Al a “drama

queen.”

“Are you sure some kids haven’t stolen a mannequin from the mall and dumped it in the lake?”

“Mannequin, hell, this ain’t no mannequin. It’s a man, and he’s dead I tell you. Now get your ass out here and investigate. That’s your job, after all. You should do something to earn your pay rather than just sitting in the office reading the paper.”

Jack shoved the paper aside, ashamed everyone knew about his duties and reading the paper was all he had to do on a Friday morning. “Okay, I’ll humor you, but if this is

one of your practical jokes, so help me Hannah, you’ll pay.”

He hung up the phone, but it rang again before he had the chance to grab his keys and head out the door.

“This is another one you have to take,” the secretary assured him.

“Franks here,” he said, just as he always did when he answered the phone.

On the other end of the line he could hear a woman crying. “This is Kitty Reedman and my husband is missing.”

Jack thought about Karl Reedman. He was hardly what anyone would call a “faithful” husband. He recalled he cheated on his first wife, Barbara, with his second wife, Marie. Then he’d cheated on Marie with his third wife, Christine. Just lately he’d cheated on Christine with his current wife Kitty, so why was Kitty so upset about him staying out all night? He was probably just scouting out wife number five.

“What do you mean he’s missing, Kitty?”

“Oh Jack, it’s so terrible. Karl went out last night to get a pack of cigarettes and he never came back.”

“Are you sure he’s not with a friend?”

“Positive. I know what you’re thinking. I know all about

Susan Barclay. I called her and she hasn’t seen him either.”

“I’ll look into it, Kitty. I have something else I have to do first and then I’ll be right over to file a missing person’s report. I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”

He hung up the phone and wondered where in the hell he was going to find a missing person’s report form. He knew they were somewhere in the office, but since his secretary,

Melissa, arrived and reorganized the filing system he couldn’t find a damn thing.

“I need a missing person’s report form.” He approached Melissa’s desk. “Do you have any idea where I might find one?”

BIO:

Sherry Derr-Wille lives is a mid-sized city in Southern Wisconsin. She married her high school sweetheart fifty-three years ago two days after her high school graduation.

Wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Sherry is first and foremost a writer. With seventy-seven books under her belt, she still writes more and more manuscripts.

WHERE TO BUY:

The Rhonda Pohs Murder Mysteries are available at:

Class Act Books: http://classactbooks.com/component/virtuemart/cat-murder-mystery-suspense/the-man-in-the-lake-242013-04-29-03-35-03-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lake-Rhonda-Pohs-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00GDV938K/

 

My #Guest Linda Nightingale shares why she wrote her anthology, Four by Moonlight

Please welcome my guest Linda Nightingale presenting Four by MoonLight

Linda, why did you write this anthology?

moonlight-copySince this is an anthology, I’d have to explain why I wrote each of the four stories in Four by Moonlight.  It’s going to be tight but here goes!

Gypsy Ribbons – a ghost story. I got the idea for this story from a poem I dearly love: The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Of course, there’s no ghost in The Highwayman, and that’s where my imagination came in, providing a family ghost who warns of death by a heartbreaking sigh at the door.

Star Angel – I wrote this story for everyone who feels like Lucy, the heroine, bored, feeling trapped and like love has passed her by. She falls in love with a vision she glimpses in the corner of her eye, and one day that vision is standing before her. She’s forced with a life-altering choice that would give pause to most of us.

The Night Before Doomsday – Azazel was a leader of the angels sent to Earth to teach Man, but they revealed the secrets of Heaven to their pupils and took wives among their women. Was it lust or love that lost the Grigori Heaven?  I read the Book of Enoch and was inspired to write the real (imagined) reason the Watchers fell.

The Gatekeeper’s Cottage – The only erotic romance among the anthology is a study in how far obsession will make people go for something they must have. I wanted to explore the darker implications and psychological undertones of this near malady. The hero and heroine very narrowly miss committing a sin—in the eyes of the modern world.

Blurb:

Four by Moonlight

An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal realms…

Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.

Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.

The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.

The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.

~*~

Excerpt:

Red eyes watched from the grate as she slipped into the cold, empty bed. Simon should have been there to warm her rather than the dying fire. Not pursuing a dangerous dream. Too angry, too miserable to weep, she tossed and turned. The relief of sleep eluded her.

An icy breath whispered through the room. Tory snuggled deeper beneath the goose down covers. Had the weather made up its mind? Was Simon riding in ice and snow? She imagined white flakes in Goliath’s long black mane and on the highwayman’s plush velvet cloak. Poor darling, he would be cold. Tory slowly drifted to sleep unrelated thoughts scrolling in her mind. A soft sound snapped her wide awake. She sat bolt upright, tugging the covers over the breasts.  The room was iceberg cold.  The ghost.

“Not Simon.” She held her breath, ears stained for the horrifying, otherworldly whisper, a warning of imminent death. The sound came again, closer. A slow footstep creeping over the old oaken floor. Tonight, the ghost of Darby Manor wandered its dim corridors.

“No. No.” Tory squeezed her eyes closed and prayed, forgetting she didn’t believe in ghosts.

The footsteps halted. Tory’s heart stopped. She started to cover her ears, refusing to hear. The ghost breathed that heartbreaking sigh at her door.

Shuddering, she slid back under the layers of down. The warmth had no effect on her shivers. She folded into a fetal position.  I’m no longer alone.  Fear chilled her anew.  Though she couldn’t see clearly in the dim light, she knew her breath puffed white clouds in the frigid air. Dread sank its wicked claws into her racing heart.

Buy Links:
Link: http://a.co/fRoGYLB

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new-author-photoAbout the Author:

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt.   She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Miata Club, and enjoys events with that car club.  Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano.  She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

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

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

Thanks again for visiting with my guest. Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Website http://barbaraedwards.net

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEdwards.Author

Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed

Amazon Author’s Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003F6ZK1A

GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

#Guest Paul MacDermott Interview about his writing journey and “The Spear of Destiny

Please welcome my guest Paul MacDermott as he talks about his writing journey and book, The Spear of Destiny.

I’m posting his cover but Look closely for this when  it comes out in fifteen days. It will be different.

  1. 1. “The Spear of Destiny” could be described as a ‘Drama/Doc’ if it were a TV programme. Essentially it’s Fiction, but based on a series of historical events which took place in the final days of World War 2. I’ve been careful to keep to the recorded facts – dates, for example, and most names. The only exceptions to this are the names I’ve given to certain members of the Danish Resistance Movement. I’ve dedicated the book to these brave people, whose actions have never had the acknowledgement they deserve. I had the extraordinary privilege of meeting some of them when I lived in Denmark. They know who they are: they’ve earned the right to remain anonymous.
  2. 2. I didn’t say I’d ‘chosen’ a career in teaching! In fact, I went to one of the best schools in Liverpool and had eight years under the eye of the Jesuits. The closest thing to “Careers Guidance” in the 60s was an Interview with the Headmaster after we’ve finished all our Advanced Level exams (  University Entrance standards: not sure what the US equivalent night be …)  Anyway: my ‘Interview’ was extremely brief. HM: “McDermott. Music, fluent in three languages. Obviously, teaching’s the job for you. Close the door on your way out, send in the next boy.”                                     Me: “Father, I was actually thinking of a career in journalism …”                           HM: (exhibiting signs of potential heart attack): “You’ve been at this school for eight years and you’re considering a TRADE, not a Profession????”
  3. 3. As a seventeen-year-old, I didn’t have the courage to argue with anyone in a position of Authority, particularly an outstanding teacher whose memory I still respect and honour. I still think I’d have made a decent ‘fist’ of journalism, but if I’d decided NOT to follow this ‘Career Guidance’ I would never have met any of the equally gifted tutors I met while training to be a teacher. These included another Jesuit, who was native fluent in 43 languages and gave me the kick in the proverbial I needed to develop my own language skills. Result: I count myself ‘native fluent’ in 7 European languages, and I’ve recently decided to ‘teach myself’ Gælic (research for the sequel to one of my published books). I spent most of my teaching career travelling Europe, teaching just about everything except English!
  4. 4. Biggest fear? Arthritis preventing me from filling page after page with my thoughts! If I couldn’t write something every day I believe my brain would burst with the ideas struggling to escape. For some time now I’ve had about 6 – 8 “Works in Progress” lurking between the keys, all demanding their ‘turn’ on the laptop monitor screen.
  5. 5. Favourite Fictional Hero. Oooh, that’s a difficult question!                                        For a start, how do you define a “Fictional” character: especially when there are records of your own family history dating back to AD835 in the Book of Kells? In Irish history, the earliest records were passed on for generations in the Oral Tradition (very few people ever learned to read and write). The lines between Fact and Fiction are quite often somewhat blurred … My ancestors include several Heroes whose exploits read like the deeds of fantasy figures. The Ard Rhi (‘High King’) of the Seven Ancient Kingdoms of Erin is of direct lineage from the [the Fairy Folk – how dare you suggest they’re not Real??] and so they naturally can accomplish things which to mere mortals seem magical. Brian Boru, Finn McCoill and Cormac Rú all feature in my family history, and I love re-reading their stories.
  6. 6. Best advice I’ve ever received. “Yes, you can!” From friends, family and others who have read some of my efforts at various times and encouraged me whenever the dreaded Rejection Letter hits my doormat. Though if I’m honest, I have to say I’ve probably had less of them than some of my writer friends.

Questions for the Author

  1. 7. When I decided to attempt a piece of Fiction with such close ties to historical events which occurred within living memory (World War 2) I realised that I would have to respect the known recorded history of the time. In this, the Irish tradition of Oral History was a godsend: speaking to people who had ‘been there, done that …’ – the men who had been members of the Danish Resistance (“Mødstandsbevægelsen”) – was essential. Military fiction from e.g. Dennis Wheatley, and W.E. Johns (avoiding gung-ho Hollywood-style film scripts!) and non-fiction accounts of major action (especially in the North Atlantic) were also necessary.
  2. 8. My start point for this novel was the respect and admiration I had for the unsung heroes I had the privilege of knowing while I lived in Denmark. It was a constant ‘itch in that one inaccessible spot’ for me to know that their heroic actions were almost unknown, their story untold. I wanted to do something to redress that perceived injustice. When the Danish billionaire Carsten Rees funded the salvage of U-534 and agreed to have it installed as a permanent exhibit in my home town (or to be precise, on the opposite bank of the river, in Birkenhead) I decided it was time to take the plunge. I knew where I was going from Day One: nothing changed the course of my Synopsis/Plot Arch, and there were times when I felt I was simply watching the words appear unbidden on the screen before me.                                                            Anyone thinking of taking a Cruise from the US to Liverpool will SEE the Museum opposite our brand new Cruise Terminal. Get on the famous “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and you can be there in ten minutes …!
  3. 9. I first heard of Class Act through being a ‘regular’ at www.thewriterschatroom.com

[Sundays & Wednesdays]. The same ‘self-help’ chat group were also my link to the publishers of my first books, Whimsical Publications [Florida]. Class Act recently re-opened for Submissions after a few months dealing with a backlog, and if my own experience is typical, their turnaround time from acceptance to production is impressive! The Submission process itself seems pretty straightforward, even for a Technophobic dinosaur like me!

  1. 10. At the moment I have on my bedside table a twin-language collection of Celtic Fairy Tales in Gælic & English, forcing me to learn a bit faster! I’m a local patriot, so I always read the local newspaper looking for inspiration for a story. I also keep several notepads on my night table. Lots of my yarns are based on DREAMS … that could be the start of another four pages of Interview, so I’ll leave that for another time!
  2. 11. Next up for me:  before “The Spear of Destiny” I’m having a Childrens’ book called “Rocking Horse Droppings” published on World Book Day, March 2, thanks to a local publisher, another proud Scouse patriot  www.BeatlesLiverpoolandmore.com
  3. 12.
  4. About the author:

      Born in the Year of the Tiger, Paul’s natural curiosity combined with the deep-seated feline need to roam has meant that over the years he’s never been able to call any one place home. His wanderlust has led him from one town to another, and even from one country to another.

    “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write – my father claims to possess a story I wrote when I was six, which filled 4 standard school exercise books. What I do remember from that time was being told off for doing the Liverpool Echo crossword before he got home from work.”

      While Paul was living in Denmark, he allowed himself to be persuaded to write for a purpose instead of purely for his own amusement. Perhaps it was the catalyst of breathing the same air as Hans Christian Andersen.

       Paul’s IT guru (aka his talented daughter!) has recently constructed a website for him:

                www.paulmcdermottbooks.webs.com

    Paul frequently lurks at:  www.thewriterschatroom.com  (Sundays & Wednesdays)

    Blurb:

     In 1945, U-boat Kapitän Herbert Nollau must deliver a weapon which will turn the war in Germany’s favour. His orders are delivered verbally. There will be no written records… and no witnesses.

      Alone, far from home, hunted by the Danish Resistance and the might of the Allied Forces, he must obey either his final Orders…or the inner voice of his conscience.

      Excerpt:

     Uberlojtnant Herbert Nollau stood with his Zeiss nightglasses glued to his eyes, impervious to the rain whipped across his cheeks by half a gale. This howled almost exactly at ninety degrees to the tide, which had just reached the full but had not yet begun its retreat. His command craft, U-534, sat uneasily at anchor, dipping at bow and stern in the current, yawing appreciably as frequent Force Ten gusts buffeted her broad flanks. Low, heavy rainclouds hunkered closer, seeming to settle on the upper branches of the natural pine forest which spread untamed, unculled, across the low hills of Schleswig-Holstein.

    An identical pair of black Opel staff cars bracketed a canvas bodied Mercedes half-track transport wagon, all three vehicles picking their way carefully along an unmarked country road. The headlights were taped down to the size and shape of a feral cat’s vertical slits, acknowledging the strict rules governing all traffic during the hours of darkness. The road to the harbour just outside Lübeck was neither tarmac’ed nor enhanced with any form of lighting. The drivers were obliged to steer cautiously around every twist, using the gears and brakes more frequently than the accelerator.

    “Amateurs,” he thought to himself, as the three sets of headlights crawled slowly closer.

    He blanked the thought as soon as it intruded on his consciousness, forcing himself back into State-approved Wehrmacht thinking, based on purely practical matters directly related to carrying out current instructions, with maximum efficiency, without question. He pulled the collar of his oilskins closer around his throat in a futile attempt to prevent the rain from seeping through, soaking his uniform. Raising his night glasses once more, he cursed the weather, the Wehrmacht and the world in general, feeling more exposed and vulnerable with every minute that passed as he waited for the convoy of lights to crawl closer, carrying the equipment which he had been ordered to collect. It bothered him that he was expected to set sail immediately, and await orders concerning his destination by radio once he had cleared the bay and entered Store Bælt: technically, that section of the North Sea was neutral Danish waters, and if he were to remain on the surface for any length of time in order to receive orders …

    As the lights snaked around another pair of curves and began their final descent to the shoreline and the jetty where U534 was waiting, Herbert Nollau realized that he had on board a much more powerful sender/receiver than any other U-boat: in fact, not just one but two radios equipped with the Enigma cryptographic programme had been installed, ostensibly for testing. With a sudden jolt, the deceptively young-looking Überlojtnant realized that this technology was far more sophisticated than that which had previously been regarded as the best in the world: apart from being guaranteed unbreakable as a code, it could also send and receive radio signals without his craft needing to surface.

    He shook his head to clear the worst of the pools which had formed in the upturned brim of his sou’wester and made his way down the ladder bolted to the side of the conning tower, aiming to be waiting on the quay before the three vehicles wheezed to a halt. His mechanic’s ear analysed and diagnosed a list of faults he could clearly identify from the laboured chugging of each engine. Furious at this indication of inefficiency, a corner of his mind decided that he would have had the senior officer responsible for each vehicle court-martialled, if the decision had been up to him. In spite of the horrors he had witnessed in three years of naval warfare, he shuddered. His orders, distasteful though they might be, were crystal clear …

    Two gaunt, silent shadows slid with simultaneous choreography from the rear seat of each of the Opels: their sleek black trenchcoats almost touched the planks of the jetty, glistening in the starlight as if the officers wearing them had been marching for hours in the rain rather than just stepping out of a warm, dry car. Nollau fired off his most formal salute: the four SS-officers responded with a world-weary, bent-elbow half-salute and pointedly refrained from returning Nollau’s “Heil, Hitler!” One detached himself for a moment and gave a hand-signal to the driver of the canvas-sided truck.  The driver immediately hammered his fist twice on the bulkhead behind his seat. Four soldiers appeared over the tailgate of the wagon and began to manoeuvre something long and heavy out of the cargo space.

    Turning to face his command meant that Herbert Nollau had to turn his back on the four staff officers. Somehow he managed to do this with an insolence which stated quite clearly that, as far as he was concerned, they were barely worthy of his contempt.

    He placed a small, shrill whistle to his lips and blew, one long (but not overloud) blast. Within ten seconds, the deck was populated by about twenty matelots, standing at ease, who somehow contrived to arrive from nowhere and in total silence. Close to the bows, and just for’ard of ’midships , cables were deployed from two small jib cranes. Within seconds, the submariner crew were on the jetty, taking the unidentified cargo from the shoulders of the four soldiers and hoisting it with ease onto the foredeck, thence by some lightningfast legerdemain out of sight below decks. The crew had followed, leaving Überlojtnant Nollau as the only member of the Senior Service still on the jetty. At a silent gesture from one of the anonymous black trenchcoats the four soldiers climbed back over the tailgate, into the truck. After about four attempts, the driver managed to coax the engine into life and began to back and fill, facing back the way he had come.

    As he completed the manoeuvre and gunned the engine to set off up the hill, the four SS officers opened their trenchcoats to reveal the muzzles of rapid fire MP40 machine pistols. With one accord they raised their weapons and sent round after deadly round of ammunition into both the cab and the rear of the vehicle, holding the triggers steady. Before the hail of bullets ceased, the fuel tanks of the wagon exploded, sending flames soaring high into the night sky, setting small fires in the tree tops as they lost their intensity and curled back towards the ground.

    Suddenly, Herbert Nollau’s orders seemed fractionally less dishonourable.

    Having emptied their weapons, the four executioners appeared to have rediscovered some of their habitual swagger and pride. Crashing the butts of the now-empty weapons against the rough wooden planking of the jetty they raised their right arms to the fullest, and screamed: “Heil, Hitler!” as their heels crashed together in perfect unison.

                Sick to his stomach at the pleasure his countrymen took from the callous murder of fellow Germans, it was all Herbert Nollau could do to raise his arm, bent-elbowed, in the less formal salute he would never under normal circumstances have accepted from others nor used himself.

    The Spear of Destiny will be released by Class Act Books on April 15.  It will be available in paperback from the publisher’s website at www.classactbooks.com, and also as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Draft2Book.

My #Guest Toni V. Sweeney shares why she wrote Sinbad’s Pride

Please welcome my guest Toni V. Sweeney, author of Sinbad’s Pride.

Why did you write Sinbad’s Pride?

They say Imitation is the best form of flattery.

Many years ago, I was intrigued by a TV show called Beauty and the Beast. Not the latest one where the Beast is the result of a secret US experiment to create super soldiers and the Beauty is the police detective who loves him, but the original series in 1987.  In homage, I wrote my own spin on that story:  The Adventures of Sinbad.  My Beast isn’t simply a man who by some quirk of birth looks like a lion.  He is a lion, a native of Felida where the inhabitants evolved from a feline species instead of simians, where their culture follows a feline pattern.

My Beast is Sinbad sh’en Singh, a smuggler wanted on seven worlds of the United Terran Federation, with more than a hundred thousand credits bounty on his capture.  That was all right with Sin, because he intended to thumb his nose at the TUF for as long as he could—and then he met a little Terran named Andrea Talltrees and got shot right out of orbit…in flames.

His Beauty is Andrea Talltrees, a feisty little woman raised by the Navajos after her father is killed in the Terro-Felidan War and her mother dies of a broken heart.  When her husband is accused of being a spy in yet another war and is arrested, she doesn’t just sit around.  She goes to the one person her godfather suggests might help…a certain Felidan smuggler who hates Terran women almost as much as he hates the Federation…

…And that’s the way they meet.  It’s a culture clash of epic proportions with a disturbing explosion of instant attraction as Andi and Sin try desperately not to fall in love with each other.

The first novel in the series, The Story of a Peace-Loving Man, was published in 2016. Sinbad’s Last Voyage followed, with Sinbad’s Wife, the story of his courtship and winning of his Beauty, published in January of this year. The one I’m offereikng today is Book 4, Sinbad’s Pride.

Sinbad’s Pride Blurb:

When Andrea Talltrees married Sinbad sh’en Singh, she knew they would have problems.  All newly-weds do, but married life with a part-Felidan ex-smuggler seems to be nothing but one crisis after another.

Being law-abiding simply isn’t part of Sin’s lifestyle and he’s already found a way to legally restore Felida’s pre-war glory by making it a prime smuggling planet—and he’s also found a way to prevent the Federation from doing anything about it.  In order to do that, however, he needs the cooperation of the second and third most powerful prides on Felida, and they in turn want to cement the deal through a family relationship.

That’s why Sin finds himself with a very angry Prime Wife, as he tries to explain to Andi why he’s taking not one but two concubines though he swears he loves her and wouldn’t be unfaithful in a million years.  If he doesn’t handle this right, Sin is facing a future which may involve sleeping on a sofa until he’s an ocotogenerian.

Felida is a male-oriented planet, chauvinistic to the nth degree and the fact that Sinbad sometimes consults his wife and concedes to her wishes doesn’t sit well with his grandfather or any of the older males in the Pride.  Andi being a hated Terran doesn’t help, either, and the feisty little Navajo finds herself forcefully striving to act more like a Felidan female and less like her usual independent self. In other words, the newly-reinstated heir and his spouse have a lot going against them and only their determination to be accepted going for them.

In the meantime, sons Cash and Adam are growing up and becoming men—in every sense of the word—though Sin sometimes thinks sense doesn’t enter into their actions.  When a former smuggling associate declares war on Sin’s new criminal efforts, the two youngsters are brought into the fight and the decisions they make soon lead to a tragedy threatening to tear Sin’s newly-made family apart.

Sinbad’s Pride is about family and responsibility and doing things a person nay not necessarily wish to do in order to keep that family together.  Sin and Andi face many decisions in their new life on Felida, decision which not only test their marriage but in some ways strengthen it.

EXCERPT:

“I’ve received a message from Salu-Khan,” Murad announced, glancing at the scroll he held.  “He’s eager to become a part of your operation, Andrew–so eager in fact that he’s requesting permission to join!”

“Grandsire, that’s great!  With Salu-Khan’s participation, we’ll have two-thirds of the Prides behind us.”

“Salu-Khan wants more than a business association, I’m afraid,” Murad went on.  He tossed the scroll onto the desk and looked down at his grandson.

“What do you mean, Grandsire?”

“He has a daughter of breeding age.  He’s requesting a union with our Den through marriage.”

“Doesn’t he know Amir-Kasdan’s bonded?”

“He wants you for his daughter, Andrew.”

It wasn’t respectful to laugh at his grandfather but Sin couldn’t help it.  “Guess he’s out of luck then since I’m already married–”

“–and I’ve sent him my reply, agreeing to the affiliation,” Murad went on, as if he hadn’t spoken.

“B-but I can’t–  Grandsire, I already have a mate!”

“Salu-Khan’s aware of that and accepts the fact that his daughter will be merely a concubine,” Murad went on imperturbably.

“Concu–  I don’t want a concubine!” Sin exclaimed.  “Besides, Andi wou–”

He broke off quickly.  He’d almost said Andi would never allow it, and that was definitely the wrong thing to say to the Head of the Clan.

“Andrea went through a Felidan marriage ceremony with you, Andrew,” his grandfather reminded him.  “She agreed to follow our customs and laws and Felidan law allows a kh’ta concubines.  Your mate has no say-so in the matter.”

Murad’s tone made it final, the matter settled, but Sin wasn’t about to accept his grandfather’s command so easily.

“What about my say-so?  I say I don’t want another female, either as a wife or a concubine!  I–”

“As you just pointed out, Andrew, we need Salu-Khan’s backing.  In something this important, there can’t be any dissention among the participants.”  Murad was forcing himself to remain calm, since he understood how his grandson felt about his wife, having himself been so in love with his own mate that he’d never thought to take another after she died.  “As Pride Heir, you must obey.  You have to do this.  For the Pride.”

“Forget it!” Sin retorted, turning away and stalking to the window.  From Grandsire’s side of the house, he could see the high cliffs rising above them and the trees trembling in the winter wind.  He looked back at Murad.  “No.”

Just that one word.  No arguments.

Murad sighed again.  “I’m afraid you have to, Andrew.  We can’t afford to insult Salu-Khan’s Clan a second time.”

“Second time?” Sin frowned.  “Other than his obvious important, Grandsire, why does Salu-Khan’s name sound so familiar?”

“His brother was the Pride Chief your mother was bonded to, the one your father killed in order to make her his mate and save the unborn whelp that became you, my beloved grandson!”

“Oh.”  Sin was suitably silenced for a moment.  He stood there without speaking, for once not really knowing what to say, and Murad seized his moment of uncertainty to plunge on.

“The female will arrive here in four days.  On that afternoon, the Ceremony will take place.  You will receive her and make her your concubine.”

Silently, Sin glared at his grandfather, wanting to argue but knowing there was nothing he could say.  Murad sh’en Singh had spoken.  The Pride Heir had to obey.

Ducking his head in a quick bow, he answered, “I’ll obey, Grandfather, but I wish to go on record as protesting this union, and state that I’m definitely entering into it unwillingly!”

Before Murad could reply, he whirled and stalked out.

Oh God!  How am I going to tell Andi?

Sinbad’s Pride is being released by Class Act Books.

BUY LINKS:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/cat-romance/sinbad-s-pride-detail

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sinbads-Pride-Adventures-Sinbad-Book-ebook/dp/B06VWQVV8W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487436765&sr=8-1&keywords=sinbad%27s+pride+by+toni+v.+sweeney

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/253-3088958-0513727?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Sinbad%27s+pride+by+Toni+V.+Sweeney

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/704125

AUTHOR’S BIO:

This past December, Toni V. Sweeney celebrated her 74th birthday. This month, she’s celebrating the release of her 74rd novel.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone.   In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books (US) . She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the paranormal Romance Guild, and in 2016 was certified a professional reader by netgalley.com..

Find out more about Toni:

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

Twitter:  @ToniVSweeney

Please leave a comment for Toni today, Barbara.

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

Blog https://barbaraedwardscomments.wordpress.com/

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GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/496095.Barbara_Edwards

 

 

My#Guest Kenneth Gordon shares his hero of Dark City

  • Please welcome my guest Kenneth Gordon, Author of Dark City
  • Hi Kenneth, share with our readers  Dark City hero: Jeremiah Xidorn.
    Most authors, whether they intend to or not, put themselves into their characters’ strengths and weaknesses; unless you know the specific author, there is no way to determine where the attributes of the author ends and the traits of the character begin.
    Jeremiah is most auspiciously a sanguine personality type. He’s also a bit of an exhibitionist and a creative thinker. Because he likes to have fun most of the time, he may not think about the consequences of his actions. When he did his best to make Security crack a smile, it never occurred to him that he could lose his job over it. It is certainly ironic for a man who is such a people person to work in technology. Yet he finds Tech to be bothersome especially when it is not working for him.
    When he is confronted by the Builders, there is no fear. He is trying his best to understand them and play the long game. There is a great deal of curiosity, he has not yet been hardened or broken by the world. Jeremiah is still young enough and flexible enough to survive in any situation and come out on the other end a deeper and richer character.
    Dark City blurb:
    What does it mean to be human? How can we explain evil in the world? What if an AI confronts you about a flaw in your programming?
    Join Jeremiah Xidorn as he is taken from the world he thinks he knows into a place of decision. Will he side with his captors; will he fight back? Delve into these and other questions…
    Dark City Excerpt:
    “I’ve been promoted. I am now in my boss’ position.” Joe flailed his arms with glee.
    “That’s great. Congratulations!” they all said in unison.
    “Where’s Joe?”
    “I don’t know. He just left. An appointment I guess,” Sarah responded.
    “The ’droids are settin’ things up, so I’ll stay out of their hair for a bit.” Jeremiah spun around as if to show off to his friends.
    Something was off, but he couldn’t pin it down.
    Joe had disappeared, and no one seemed to know where he went.
  • “I’ll find him,” he told himself and bolted for his new office.
    The androids had done their work quicker than expected, and Jeremiah’s office was quiet when he got there. He had to use the scanner to get in. Immediately, he was taken aback.
    On his desk were pictures of his family that he didn’t put there. Setting that thought aside for the moment, he jacked into the phone system and sent the sequence to dial.
    He called Joe’s office. No answer. A moment later, he called the central office to see if Joe could be located.
    The automated attendant replied, “We are sorry, that person is no longer employed at this company.”
    A sense of panic raised the hair on the back of his neck. Immediately, he ran with every ounce of strength to his friend’s office. It was empty. No trace that Joe worked there or had ever worked there was found. It was swept clean.
    “Maybe I went to the wrong place,” he thought. “All these offices look the same.”
    To his own chagrin, he knew too well the location of his friend’s office. The paranoia built to a steady state when, upon finding his other compatriots, they had no knowledge that Joe had ever been part of their group. Jeremiah’s heart sank. He even checked the payroll office and no trace of his friend could be found.
    “I think I’ll go home. I’m not feeling well,” he said out loud.
    The security desk saw him approach. “We’re sorry you aren’t feeling well. Go home.”
    Even in his emotional state, he couldn’t detect any emotion coming from the people behind the desk. It was as if they had been replaced by replicants. “Yeah, thanks. I will.”
    Jeremiah made his way to a CAB, slid in and told it where to go. He was going over to Joe’s house. The place where he lived was no longer a single family dwelling, but a high rise multi-unit condo style building. There was no trace that Joe ever existed.
    Jeremiah checked the street sign to make sure the CAB didn’t take him to the wrong place.
    There was no mistake. Joe had been intentionally erased.
    About the Author
  • Kenneth Gordon grew up in Milford, NH and still lived in that state. When he isn’t writing scifi-infused horror novels, he plays PC games, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums. He also holds a brown belt in Kung Fu.

    Web Site: http:// kennethgordonnovelist .com/
    FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KennethGordonNovelist/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethGordon69
    Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our
    authors/manufacturers/kenneth-gordon
    Dark City Buy Links
    Publisher’s website:
    http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/science-fiction/dark-
    city689-detail?Itemid=0
    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-CityKenneth-Gordon-
    ebook/dp/B01FOOX3DW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469976535&sr=8-
    1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+gordon#navbar
    Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-CityKenneth-
    Gordon/dp/1938703901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469977049&sr=1-
    1&keywords=Dark+City+by+Kenneth+Gordon
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/636567
  • Thank you for visiting my blog. Please leave a comment for Ken.
  • Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

    Website http://barbaraedwards.net

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My #Guest Michael D. Smith gives an in-depth description of his hero in CommWealth

Please welcome my guest, Michael D. Smith , author ofCommWealth

*** Tell us about your hero, his strengths and weaknesses.

Allan Larson is one of the six major figures in CommWealth.  Though two other characters eventually step forth to function as heroes, Allan is the consummate anti-hero whose absurd and puerile ambitions dominate this book.  I’ve always thought of the characters in CommWealth as an ensemble cast in a movie, where accomplished actors divide the plot between them and no one actor has the lead role.  The ensemble concept is apt for this novel, in which these characters form the core of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe.  The Cup of Fog coffeehouse in the fictional coastal Texas town of Linstar is their home base and forms the stage upon which the forces of the novel collide.

The insanity of the six-month-old CommWealth system, in which all private property has been outlawed and citizens are required to share everything, finds its apt expression in Allan Larson as he glibly procures free electronics and a Porsche in the first scene.  Allan is a narcissistic playwright and actor who forces Forensic Squad to stage his mediocre play Cabaret.  Supercilious, clueless, and manipulative, he’s claimed a mansion in Linstar Heights and surrounded himself with expensive cars and gadgets.  As a writer he thinks he should express his buried truths, but he’s too fearful to find out what they really are, and when crime tempts him, he sees it as just another avenue to fulfilling his needs.  He considers himself too creative to be bothered making backup copies of his writing, and it’s only by luck that he gets a digital copy of Cabaret back after his laptop is claimed by another citizen along with all his wide screen TVs, sports cars, and motorcycles.  He dominates Forensic Squad not as a leader or someone who can make the troupe function, but as its clever, over-the-top “idea man” playwright with just enough charisma to keep things rolling his way.

If Allan has any redeeming quality, it’s his hesitant realization of a need for friendship or for the comradeship of the theatrical troupe, even as he considers how such friends and fellow actors might further or thwart his ambitions, and when might be the best opportunity to betray them.  His loneliness can be touching.  Though he lives in a dream world and rewrites every event to conform to his worldview, when a machine gun is pressed into his hands and his service is demanded as a soldier of a revolution against CommWealth, he’s at least grounded enough to see the absolute futility of such a battle–although his cowardice also plays a large part here.

Blurb:

The CommWealth system, has created a society in which there is no legal claim to any kind of private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before someone else can request it. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe attempt to adapt to this chaos, their breaking of the Four Rules sustaining the system, as several members navigate betrayals, double agents, and murder to find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.

Excerpt:

CommWealth Rules:

Rule One – You are free to enjoy the chosen object for thirty days. During this period no other person may request it.

Rule Two – The requestor is untouchable for thirty days by the person asked. Attempts at retaliation, such as demanding unusually large quantities from the original requestor after the thirty-day period, carry stiff penalties.

Rule Three – Once you ask somebody for something, you can never ask him or her for anything else again.

Rule Four – You can never ask for the same thing back from the person who got it from you, not even after his or her thirty days of enjoyment.

Allan shivered at the reflection of his black overcoat and his striding legs on the wet sidewalk. Up ahead someone with a DreamPiston Electronics bag opened a shiny red Porsche glistening with thousands of water beads.

“Okay,” Allan said, “I’ll take your car here.”

The mustached little twerp looked up. “Ahhh, crap…”

“C’mon, don’t give me any trouble. Gimme the key.”

“Look, it’s raining. And I just got these MP3 players and the new Fappy tablet—”

“Not my problem. Fork the damn key over.”

“Look, my umbrella’s in the car—can I just get my umbrella so my stuff—”

“Forget it. The umbrella’s part of the car as far as I’m concerned. Anything in the car. Besides, I just lost my umbrella a couple blocks back. I’m soaked.”

“C’mon, I just got this car the other day!”

“Don’t hand me that. The sticker on the plate says you got it a month and a half ago. You’re overdue, buddy. Now hand me the key.”

“Dammit! Dammit!”

“Got trouble there?” A bright blue City of Linstar police car idled in the rain. “Got a Hoarder there?” a huge officer grinned.

“Uh, no… not at all…” said the twerp. “I just—I just can’t find the key—”

“Yeah, right—you just unlocked the damn car with it,” Allan said, turning to the policeman. “He is giving me a lot of crap about it.”

“C’mon, sir, you know better than that.” The officer’s name tag read BARCLAY.

“Dammit!” the twerp snarled. He separated the Porsche key off his key ring, thrust it at Allan, then spun around and fastened on a man coming down the sidewalk.

“Give me that umbrella! Right now!”

“Goddammit…” the man grunted, surrendering his umbrella to the twerp, who grabbed it and hoisted it above his DreamPiston bag.

“We really got the Christmas spirit here, don’t we?” Barclay said.

“Really,” Allan said. “Some people…” He examined the Porsche key in the rain. “Thanks for your help, officer.”

“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. People are basically good, you know. Give ’em time to adjust and all, that’s what I say.”

The twerp leapt into traffic with his new umbrella and his bag, waving his free arm. A little green car skidded to a halt. The twerp ran to the window and pounded on it. “Give me this car! Right now! Damn you!”

“Jesus…” Allan said. “What a bastard!”

Barclay was out of his patrol car in a second, hand on his hand on his holster. “Sir, that’s not the right way to go about it. We need to be respectful. That’s the CommWealth way.”

About the Author:

Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist.  In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.

Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes.  On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.

CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.

Find out more about Michael at:

Website: , www.sortmind.com,

Blog: www. http://blog.sortmind.com/wordpress/

CommWealth is available at:

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/dystopian/commwealth-6022015-08-14-23-29-50-detail?Itemid=0

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CommWealth-Michael-D-Smith-ebook/dp/B013YPU5D4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478983628&sr=8-1&keywords=CommWealth

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/commwealth-michael-d-smith/1122537291?ean=2940152097313

Now that you’ve read about my guest, please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.

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