Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#Wicked #Villain Depends on Point of View #WickedWednesday by Stephen B. King


I know you're going to enjoy my guest today, Stephen B. King. He really knows how to create a villain for a great wicked read.

I’m thrilled to be a part of Brenda’s Wicked Wednesday to talk about my latest release: Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer. So what does wicked mean to me? I thought I’d check the definition.
Wicked: Definition via Google:

1.      Evil or morally wrong.  2. Intended to or capable of harming someone or something.  3. Extremely unpleasant.  4.  Playfully mischievous.  5 excellent, wonderful.
In Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer, I’m afraid not all of the above definitions listed apply to the murderer PPP. I thought it might be interesting to look at each in turn. We can all sleep at night, knowing he is no longer at large.

1.      Evil or morally wrong. This is subjective. To us ‘normal’ people, and his victims it’s a no-brainer, of course it’s true. But to him he is normal; we are the ones at fault. Patricia Holmes diagnosed him as a narcissistic sociopath; totally devoid of emotions, therefore he has no morals, either right or wrong.

2.      Intended to, or capable of harming someone or something. PPP was raised by a troubled father who came back from the Vietnam War not the same man who went away. His mother, he believed, abandoned him to a man who became steadily crueller, and from there his life got far, far worse. As an adult, he craved fame and thought he could achieve it by becoming the most prolific serial killer in Australian history. When he discovered the cop who he thought had wronged him as a child is the very one hunting him for the sensational ‘Body in the Suitcase’ murder, PPP abducts a woman, and threatens to send the cop a part of her body every day he remains uncaught. Yes, he was very capable of harming. 

3.      Extremely unpleasant. Another subjective term. HHowever, in this case, it is true to say that everyone who meets Paul Rankin does not like him. PPP reminds me of the type of person that when you read of a murderer in the papers, and see his picture, everyone thinks – Yep, he looks like someone who would be a killer.  It’s funny though, that neighbours of those sorts of people always say things like: “he was always so quiet….”

4.      Playfully Mischievous. Rankin thinks he is hilarious; sadly, he isn’t. He is the sort of man who asks his victim if they are having fun yet, when they are in abject terror. In taunting the police he offers them a hand to catch him – literally, a victim’s left hand. Even in his planning, which he does very well, he has a sense of misguided fun as evidenced by the disguises he wears. Of all of the descriptions here, this is the one closest to how PPP sees himself. And that, to me is the scariest thing of all. As Pat says to the cops hunting him: “Genuine sociopaths are rare. They do not experience guilt or remorse, no feelings at all. You can’t plead with him, he doesn’t understand mercy, you can’t threaten him, he doesn’t feel fear, or worry about consequences. You can’t hurt him, either; he has been hurt all his life.” 

5.      Excellent, wonderful.  When I saw this definition, I was reminded of modern English comedy TV shows, where a youth might say “dat is well wicked, in it?” A line made famous by Sasha Baron Cohen, playing one of his alter egos Ali G. So if playfully mischievous best described my villain, Excellent, and wonderful least describes him.

Here’s what the book is all about:

In Perth, Australia, 1999, Sergeant Rick McCoy investigates the murder of a woman found butchered and packed inside a suitcase, left at the Midland Dump.

The Killer then abducts another victim and threatens to dismember her slowly and send Rick a piece of her each day he goes uncaught. Rick's life is further complicated by a marriage in tatters after an affair he had. With the approaching end of the millennium, and the threat of computers shutting down due to the Y2K bug, his wife Juliet relents and forgives him.

Frustrated at every turn in his investigation, he is paired with glamorous Criminal Psychologist and profiler, Patricia Holmes, and the mutual attraction is instantaneous.

While trying to rebuild his marriage, he finds himself in a desperate race against time to free the victim and fight his desire for his new partner. They are pitted against a narcissistic sociopath, capable of extreme cunning and strategical planning, who seeks revenge against Rick for a wrong in his troubled childhood.

Available at Amazon:

Thanks so much to Brenda for hosting me, I wish you a  ‘well wicked Wednesday’ and not the other kinds
twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor
Forever Night
The Vigilante Taxi
Burial Ground
Published by The Wild Rose Press:
Thirty Three Days
The Deadly Glimpses Trilogy:
Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer
Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths
Glimpse, The Tender Killer

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The World of #Audio for The Art of Love and Murder #Interview with Holly Holt

The Art of Love and Murder, book one in the Love and Murder Series, is now available in audio. Today, I’d like you to meet the very talented Holly Holt, the narrator for my series. She’s currently working on book two of the series, Southwest of Love and Murder. I know once you hear audio of The Artof Love and Murder, you’re going to want to take advantage of Holly’s engaging talent and check out her other books.

I’m new to this whole audio world too, so Holly agreed to an interview and a peek into her world.

Me: Hi Holly! Great to have you here. First off, where do you work and turn the written word into audio?

Holly: I have a “studio” at my house. My 7-year-old daughter told her friend the other day, as they passed my office, “And that is where my Mom talks to herself for hours and hours.”

Me: Oh, funny. Leave it to kids. How do you approach a book when you first see it and make the decision to audition a sample? 

Holly: I’m really big on envisioning the characters – it feels like the most important thing to me. I feel like as a narrator it is my job to make them real to the listener. To make them really connect with the characters in some way. A book is an escape, so I really want to give the listener a wonderful alternate from reality for a while. Once you have the characters nailed – everything else seems to fall into place.

Me: How long does it take to complete the average book? What are the steps?

Holly: A lot of it depends on the size of the book. If a book is less than two hours reading time, it can be completed in less than a week. More average length books take a few weeks. I do sort of have a “process” to my books. I like to research the author a little and get to know the types of books they do, etc. I learn as much about the title that I’m doing and hopefully get as much insight from the author as far as the characters and what their “vision” is for the book. 
After reading the book, I start with the recording. I typically work on recording a few books during the same week as I find I can keep the “energy” of the book better. Once I record everything, I go back and do all the editing (the exception being the first 15 minutes which I edit after recording).

Me: That’s fascinating. What led you to becoming an audio book professional? 

Holly: I used to do training videos professionally for about ten years, but they were such boring videos showing medical professionals how to use software. I always loved the audio portion. I decided I wanted more flexibility and time with my precious girl (and my boy who is on the way) so I got into Audible earlier this year. It was a perfect fit for me. It doesn’t even feel like a job.

I have always loved books! Growing up I would try to do chores while reading which would drive my poor mother insane. I like to imagine her looking down at me from heaven and laughingly saying, “Well at least you are getting paid for your crazy book obsession.”

Me: We have something in common. I always propped a book up behind the faucet at the kitchen sink to read while I washed dishes. Drove my mom crazy, too. Do you have a favorite genre to narrate? 

Holly: Oh, this is a tough one to answer! Can I blame the fact that I’m a Gemini that I love SO many different genres? I typically do romance the most because I seem to have the voice for that, but I really enjoy a variety of genres – dramas, non-fiction, horror, and sci-fi.  I also really enjoy comedy. It is all such a blast!

Me: Is there a genre you won’t narrate? 

Holly: I don’t think so. I even do quite a bit of erotica under a pseudo name (again with my voice I get requested for those a lot lol).

Me: Will the Love and Murder Series be your first full series to narrate? 

Holly: Yes, actually! I have hopped in the middle of a few different series and am working on a couple of other series that probably will be done after this awesome series. I’m so excited to be a part of it. 

Me: Okay now some lighthearted questions…

Because I write Romantic Suspense, do you ever fall for any of the heroes (or heroines)? 

Holly: Okay don’t tell my husband, but yes totally! I’m a sucker for the heroes who seem all dark and brooding and then you discover this soft, romantic side of them. I’m a sucker for that!

Me: Are you so sick of reading that you can’t read for pleasure anymore? 

Holly: No never! But like I said, I’ve always been an avid reader. This is what a nerdy bookworm I was in 3rd grade. We had a contest for every book you read for the year. We got to put a circle for each book that was part of a giant caterpillar around the room. The teacher had one for the class and one just for me. That is how obsessed I was.

Me: Coffee, tea, or cola? 

Holly: All three! I’ve been trying to stick to water mostly because I’m pregnant, but I do indulge every now and then! I’m a sucker for Diet Dr. Pepper or mochas.

Me: What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t narrating a book? 

Holly: Spending time with family.

Holly, it’s been great getting to know you. I’m looking forward to working with you on the rest of the books in the Love and Murder Series.

Find or connect with Holly here:

Monday, October 8, 2018

In the Novel with Casi McLean #Muse Monday #Inspiration #NewRelease


Please welcome my friend, Casi McLean, today. I've read some of Casi's novels and they're a treat!

Hi Brenda. Thanks so much for hosting me on your wonderful blog today. I want to share my new release and the inspiration that triggered my Lake Lanier Mystery series.

Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L'Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. Reading H. G. Wells' Time Machine as a yourth added to my fascination. Later, adult novels like Diana Gabaldon's Outlander enticed me further. Whenever a time travel movie released, they mesmerized me. Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, and Time Traveler's Wife and made-for-TV stories like Two Worlds of Jenny Logan and The Philadelphia Experiment…I couldn’t get enough to satisfy my passion. [If you love time slips, the last two are DVD's available on Amazon.

As an author, if you choose time travel as a genre, the options are endless, but if you don't generate a believable portal, or confuse details, you'll lose your audience. Readers want to believe in the "what if" possibility, if only in the corners of their mind. They look for mistakes, fallacies, and the absurd. So, writing time travel is challenging...but extremely satisfying and a wonderful way to escape into imagination, intrigue, and the lives of the characters. I always wanted to write time slips that would leave readers saying: “If time travel was a thing, this is how it would happen.” And I achieved my dream with Lake Lanier Mysteries.

A ghost town time forgot––Atlanta's Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with fascinating history, eerie lore, vanishings and odd occurrences totally fascinated me, swirling stories and characters around a plausible theory. What if the lake construction triggered a seismic shift that, when given enough energy, opens a portal connecting past to future? What a perfect setting for a time-slip romantic suspense series. Lake Lanier Mysteries evolved.

Book one, Beneath The Lake, won 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Best Romantic Suspense. The story revolves around Lacey Montgomery, a young woman attending a party on the shores of Lake Lanier. When she walks in on her boyfriend in a compromising situation, she tears away into the throes of a torrential storm…her car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water. She awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she's never heard of––34 years before she was born.

Beyond The Mist, book two, continued the saga with a two minor characters from the first novel taking the lead roles. Their story rips them through time to 2001 New York and a terrorist attack that will live in infamy.
Between The Shadows, book three, brings the series full circle with dual heroines and heroes. The story unfolds the destiny of two star-crossed couples, when the desperate plea from a beautiful ghost beseeches a character to come to her aid. Thrust back in time, Kenzi and York never expected to confront deadly villains plotting to steal Confederate gold…or find love in 1865.

All three stories stand alone, but reading them in order crafts a unique saga with multi-dimensional characters and a gripping tale. Available in print, eBook and on Audible, Lake Lanier Mysteries will lure you in. For me, the characters drew me into their stories. I was simply the vessel to bring them to life.

All Other ebooks:
With my newest release, Between The Shadows—Audible Version—posting imminently, I’m excited to share a YouTube video of my fabulous narrator, Kristin James, recording my novel. 
You'll love Between The Shadows––ebook only $0.99 TODAY!

Thrust back in time, Kenzi never expected to confront deadly villains––let alone fall in love with one. 

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…
After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold.
 An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnapping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart.
Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?

A Gripping Novel By Award-Winning Author Casi McLean
“Don’t you dare die on me, James Adams.”
Kenzi pressed a wad of blood-soaked gauze against his abdomen. “I won’t lose you. Not now.”
Barely clinging to life, the man opened his eyes a slit, raised the gun still tightly gripped in his hand and shot off a round.
Stunned, she snapped around. “No.” Screaming, she dove for the barrel through a hazy blue mist.
Again, the gun rang out as the patient fell unconscious.
“Help. Someone, please help”.
A muted voice murmured from beyond the fog. “Dr. Reynolds? Is that you?”
Her frantic reply cried out, “Yes, of course it’s me. Hurry. He’s bleeding out.”
“Brady...” James’s voice faded as he slipped into semiconscious mumbling.
Yanking the pistol from his grip with her right hand, she maintained pressure with her left. A heartbeat later, the cylinder encasing them rotated open. Kenzi stood then sprinted across the room past an attendant then pounded on a fist-sized alert button affixed to the wall. The resulting alarm shrieked through the underground chamber, reverberating as it radiated throughout the compound. A second man dressed in a white jumpsuit burst through double doors.
“Gurney. Now.” Kenzi screamed at both attendants. “And O-Neg blood. Hurry. Go, go, go.” She ran to James and knelt beside him. Lifting his head, she slid a knee underneath it for support and smoothed a chunk of his dark brown hair from his face. “I’ve sacrificed way too much to have you die now,” she whispered. “My ass will burn for this. Not to mention the repercussions for abandoning York.”
Pulse racing, she checked his bandage. Despite her efforts, streams of crimson still oozed from the wound. Pressing again on the gauze, she shook her head. “Oh God. I have no idea what blood type you are, but you should tolerate O-negative.” She pressed harder on his wound. “Jesus help you, James. You’ve lost so much blood. Just please, hang on.”
Again, the double doors swung wide. This time, a gurney pushed through, followed by the two men. One ran to Kenzi’s side.
“Help me lift him.” Her hands, slick with blood, shot to her white T-top, already drenched in crimson. On a second thought, she swept them down the rear of her jeans.  Then, sliding her slippery arms beneath his back, she braced her stance with one bent knee.
“One, two, three.” They heaved him in tandem onto the gurney. She snatched a bottle of Betadine from the attached supply basket and doused her hands then splashed more on James’s forearm, grasped an IV and punctured a vein on the inside of his wrist with the sterile needle. Once connected, she hooked the blood pouch on the IV pole and barked at the team, “Let’s move. If this man bleeds out, there will be hell to pay.”
The men, poised with hands on the side of the rails, awaited their next move. “Where to, Dr. Reynolds?”
Kenzi stared at James’s ashen face, worried her meager experience wasn’t enough to save his life––but she had no option. “Surgery.”
Springing into action, one man rolled the gurney down the hallway, while a second leapt onto the base and slipped an oxygen mask over James’s nose and mouth. “I hope this guy isn’t allergic to Propofol.” He attached an anesthesia drip to the IV. “Judas Priest. What happened to him to cause such a gaping wound?”
 “He was shot...with a musket.”


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In The Book: When #Inspiration Strikes #99c #eBook #sale #BOOKSPECIALS

I was surprised yesterday to see The Art of Love and Murder, the first book in the series, on sale for $.99. The eBook is exclusively on Amazon. It's part of the Amazon Encore Imprint. Unlike a normal publisher, Amazon doesn't communicate with me about the book so I'm not notified of things like sales and promotions. Don't ask. Hard to explain.

It's a great deal. It also gave me pause to think about that first book way back when. What inspired me to write the book and start the Love and Murder Series.

I purposely set out to write a Romantic Suspense. In brainstorming with FDW, I came up with a few ideas. I needed murder. I needed romance. So I did a what if exercise. What if my heroine was adopted but never knew her parents because they were killed when she was a baby? What if her husband is dead, her adopted father is dead, and she's just had the funeral for her adopted mother? What if she decides to find out more about her biological parents? What if she's half Native American and half Austrian? (I don't know why. It just came to me.) What if she loves chai but owns a coffee cafe? And the rest was research and imagination.

I chose Hopi for her Indian half because the reservation is near Flagstaff, Arizona. And I can say Indian because I am too and I don't mind that terminology. I love Flagstaff. When I researched the Hopi, I discovered that "Hopi" is a shortened form of the original term Hopituh-Shi-nu-mu, for which the most common meaning given is "peaceful people." Loved it. I decided my hero would be half-Hopi also and a sheriff. He chose law enforcement so he could be a peacekeeper.

There were many more aha moments, but that's enough for now. If you haven't read it, please take advantage
of the $.99 sale. But don't wait too long. I have no idea when Amazon will put it back to regular price. Click HERE.

If you're an audio person, it's also available in audio from iTunes, click HERE or Amazon, click HERE.

Happy reading or listening.