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Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday, Trippin' Thursdays,
and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Friday, February 26, 2016

REAL LIFE FEAR by Judith Ashley



FEARLESS FRIDAY
Please welcome Judith Ashley to Fearless Friday. Judith has spine tingling experience to add to her novels.

By the time you read this, I will be starting the first draft of the seventh book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series. Sophia like the first book Lily starts with a scenario taken from my own professional life.

Taking three children into protective custody in my role as a child protective service worker, I really did have a mother charge me with a butcher knife and she found me ten years later with similar threats.

When I first heard her threatening message on my answering machine, the terror of her original attempt on my life paralyzed me. I had a full blown PTSD attack. For years if I had this twitchy feeling along my spine I would get up and check doors and windows even though I knew they were locked and I had had security screen doors installed as well as bars on the basement windows.

Re-experiencing the terror and even a nightmare or two (which is part of what PTSD is) as I wrote Lily gave me visceral experiences to draw upon as I wrote those scenes.
Fast forward to 2016 and Sophia. The first chapter in this book will mirror another incident in my professional life.

It was a summer evening and I was asked to make sure an elderly man was okay. I found his home, made my way down an overgrown winding path to the lower level of the house where Mr. Z lived because the upper floors were uninhabitable. I knocked and a much younger man, who appeared to be living there, answered.

After introducing myself and explaining that Aging Services was concerned about Mr. Z and had asked me to check on him this evening, I spent almost an hour visiting with the men, talking about the various services Mr. Z might find helpful. My hope was to ferret out what was going on. My senses were telling me something was wrong, but both men assured me everything was fine.

Influenced by the younger man, Mr. Z refused every suggestion.

My heart pounded as I started back up the path to the street because the younger man was following me.
Feigning concern for my welfare, he insisted on accompanying me. As we approached the darkest, most overgrown section, he reached out to “help me”. His earlier suggestive remarks, remarks I’d ignored, were repeated.
Hypervigilant, my awareness of everything around me magnified, including the distance to the street and safety.

Sophia will be available summer 2016. Check out my blog for updates!
Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.

Links:
Twitter: @JudithAshley19
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1JudithAshleyRomance1/
Books are available through Windtree Press (http://windtreepress.com) and major e-retailers.

Monday, February 22, 2016

VICTIMS READING ABOUT VICTIMS by Rolynn Anderson



MUSE MONDAY
I'm very happy to welcome Rolynn Anderson to my blog. I've read her books and I know you'll enjoy her post.
One of the books I recently published, FEAR LAND, is centered on the many shades of post traumatic stress suffered by people of all ages and walks of life.  My concern about the malady intensified as I dug deeper into the research, so I decided to give a dollar of my profit on each paperback to a brain research foundation.  I’m considering a dollar donation per book to victims of crime with my seventh novel, CEZANNE’S GHOST, coming out later in the year.  That idea started me thinking about the readership of suspense, mystery and thriller novels.
Do victims of crime read books in my genre?
After their traumatizing experiences, do readers who once enjoyed books in my genre, switch to tamer stories in, say, the contemporary or inspirational categories?  Eventually, given the time/distance to grieve and heal, do victims return to my genre?
Are most of the readers in my genre men and women who have never been victims of crime?
While you ponder these questions, consider FAINT, my last book in the boutique funeral planner suspense series:

FAINT
The Funeral Planner Suspense Series - Book 3
By Award-winning Author, Rolynn Anderson
Their dead clients refuse to rest in peace.
How did small-town boutique funeral planning morph into crime-solving?  Ask freelance embalmer Trudy Solomon, or Pete McDonald, a blind, forensic investigator.  They’re unearthing mysteries of the deceased for their pregnant boss, Jan Keller, while her journalist husband, Roman, is benched by a ten million dollar defamation suit.
A dead client goes missing, and investigating his disappearance forces Trudy and Pete to confront their fiercely independent styles.  When danger stalks them, will they blend brains, brawn and belief in one another to solve crimes and save themselves?

Excerpt from FAINT by Rolynn Anderson:

Guilt consumed her, its toxic waves crashing against her conscience, until she felt hollowed out. Brainless. Thoughtless. But she cried for the loss, an act which gave her hope. To cry for something meant she’d retained a remnant of what was right. If I cry harder, I’ll show everyone I’m a good person.
Good person? Ha!  I criticize my own parents. My interest in cadavers is so intense I keep it a secret. And what I did to Theo? I tell anyone and I’ll not only lose my license, I might go to jail.
Her throat burned, the pounding in her head intensified, and she felt drained from crying.
Trudy opened her eyes to the brown of Pete’s. Thank God, you’re here, she wanted to say, but the thing in her throat wouldn’t let her. Someone grabbed her hand. Bella. ‘Bella Coola,’ Roman had nicknamed his grandmother. She was a cool woman, a friend.

Would they be here if they knew my secrets?


 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

GIVE ME A VILLAIN TO LOVE



WICKED WEDNESDAY
Everyone loves a hero! He's willing to put himself in the line of danger; he'll do anything to keep his lady safe and always knows the perfect thing to say.

But let’s not overlook the villain. Personally, I love the bad guy…or woman. Without the villain, the hero doesn’t look nearly as good. Without the villain, you wouldn’t have someone to hate and route against.

The reason I love villains is because they’re so much fun to write. They can be ugly or gorgeous, short or tall, male or female, educated or ignorant, young or old. I’ve used just about all the varieties.

So for Wicked Wednesday, I thought I’d give a taste of the variety. In my first contemporary romance,
Sleeping with the Lights On, I had a villain. This book couldn’t technically be called romantic suspense…there was just too much humor. The redheaded, voluptuous, Amazon of a woman made a great villain. She stalked and threatened poor Sandra to distraction. The reader really isn’t sure of what wickedness she is capable. This villain has very few words and intimidates with actions. There’s a real surprise ending in Sleeping with the Lights On, so enough said.

My romantic suspense Love and Murder Series, is rich with an assortment of villains. Book one in the series has a host of nasty characters; money grubbing step aunt, idiot
Book One
step cousin, jealous woman, deceitful historical museum curator, and the elderly but handsome and wicked professor. One of these characters is the truly evil villain…love does drive some people to craziness.

Book Two
Book two in the Love and Murder Series, Southwest of Love and Murder, has a villain that is both stupid and cunning at the same time. You won’t wonder for long who the villain is, but you will be biting nails on who he’s offing next. I will say, he uses colorful language and his bizarre thought process is intriguing. Love gone crazy in a wicked way.

A Legacy of Love and Murder, book three, will release worldwide on March 30,
Book Three
2016. I think I’ve upped the ante on villainous antics with these badies. I certainly do not want to give away the villain right now. As with most of my books, because they’re suspense not mystery, you won’t be hung up too long on who the villain is. But let’s keep the secret until you read. I will shoot out a couple of words: sexy, neo-Nazi, and pure wickedness.

Ah, villains…you gotta love them!

Monday, February 15, 2016

MY AUSTRIAN CONNECTION

MUSE MONDAY
This is a reprint of a blog I posted on The Roses of Prose a week ago. 

Way back, a long time ago, I lived in Germany for three years. I fell in love with the Alps, the mountain range that belongs to several countries including Austria. A couple of trips to Austria, and I fell in love with Austria, too. And the people. What warm, friendly people!

Hartmut and his wife Uli in Austria
Fast forward to 2016, and I have a book releasing worldwide on March 30, which just happens to be set in Austria. A Legacy of Love and Murder is the third book in my Love and Murder Series.
My love of Austria, and my memories lent much to the story, but I would’ve been lost if it hadn’t been for a special Austrian friend of mine. Not only did he correct my German (the primary language of the Austrian people), helped me with so many other details such as food and dress and geography, but he also supplied me with his name for one of my characters, Hartmut.

I didn’t meet Hartmut when we visited Austria. Harte, came to us years later as one of the hockey players on the Austrian team that played in the Easter Tournament along with my son’s team. We boarded the players, and Harte was placed with us. We became fast friends. It was as if I’d known this young man all of my life. Over the years, he’s visited us several times, and my husband and I visited him and his family in Austria. Such good memories.

I hope my love of his country comes through in my words.

The Art of Love and Murder, Book One is set in Flagstaff, Arizona
Southwest of Love and Murder, Book Two is set in Chino Valley, Arizona
A Legacy of Love and Murder, Book Three is set in Austria

Coming 2016/17
The Power of Love and Murder, Book Four is set in Flagstaff, Arizona
The Deep Well of Love and Murder, Book Five is set in Chino Valley, Arizona