Showing posts with label Suspense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suspense. Show all posts

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Scorpio's Sting -- Trish Jackson. The story behind the story

Woohoo! I finally completed the second edit of Scorpio's Sting and will be able to send it to my editor, Caroline on Monday. I'm thrilled with the way it's turned out. It's changed a lot since I first submitted it, but I think with her help, we've tied up all the loose ends and filled the holes now.


Scorpio's Sting is about a Drew McBain's VMF System, which is designed to help shore up the US borders and stop the human and drug trafficking. The problem Drew comes up against is the fact that the Cartel that does business on the Arizona and California borders doesn't like the idea of their operations being curbed.

Neelie Nelson is an agent with ICE--Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and she has to handle human trafficking. She and Drew meet in unusual circumstances and find that they have a common goal.

Drew is forced to seek help from the very people he is going to prevent from crossing our borders--the illegal immigrants.

The story came into my mind one afternoon when my friend and co-worker in Young, Arizona received a panicked call from her brother. He had an illegal Mexican working for him, as many people do in Arizona and California. Let's call him Juan, and he had a big problem. He had paid the drug kingpin to bring his wife over the border. The men who escort illegals are called 'coyotes', and the coyote had crossed the border with her, but was now demanding another $3,000.00 or he would abandon her in an undisclosed location in the desert with no water or food. My friend's brother had to help him find $3,000.00 in a hurry. They were only given 24 hours. As far as I am aware, they were able to scrape up the money and the story had a happy ending, but ever since that day my heart has gone out to those whose story doesn't end in joy, and that's what his book is about.

Here's an excerpt from the first chapter:


CHAPTER 1

Drew McBain's eyes opened wide, and before he could do anything to stop her, a smoking hot blonde filled his arms. "Watch it!" he said.
"Oh no, I'm so sorry," she yelped.
"You should look where you're going." She smelled good, and he had just groped a delectable, firm breast. "I didn't mean to . . . "
She ran her tongue over her lower lip, and for a moment their eyes met. "I'm sorry, again." She held up the cell phone she had been checking. "My bad.  I'm late for work."
He released his hold on her, and watched her ass until she disappeared into the darkness. He blew out air, and headed into the Sand Swamp bar, where he had arranged to meet his friend, Dan Lemar after work, for a beer. 
"You missed Neelie," Dan said. "I told you not to be late."
Drew slid onto a stool and the bartender pushed an icy mug of beer over the glossy counter to him. He took a long swallow, and stared at the doorway. "She left already?"
"Yup. Special Agent Cornelia Nelson. She's as hot as a summer revival. If I wasn't married . . ." Dan ran a hand through his short hair. "You might have even passed her on your way in."
"I wasn't really looking at anyone except the blonde who ran into me. What are the odds that would be her? What's she doing in San Diego anyhow? Doesn't she live in Arizona?" She didn't act like she was in law enforcement, but it's possible that was her.
"Yeah. She's working undercover here in San Diego on some secret assignment. We often have to work together as you know, and I invited her for a drink.  As it turned out, she couldn't drink any alcohol because she had to go do whatever it is she does. I was hoping you'd be on time so I could introduce her to you. She had to leave in a hurry."
"Blond, about so high?" Drew held his hand palm down. "Green eyes?"
Dan nodded. "Yup. That was Neelie."
"How long's she gonna be in town?"
Dan grinned. "Let me guess. You want me to arrange another meeting."
If she's the blonde, sure. "Can you?" He could still picture every detail of the unexpected incident. The way she looked, the way she smelled, and the delectable hormone-jerking feel of her breast in his hand. He could use more time with her.
"I'll see what I can do. It'll depend on her work schedule. How are things going with that contraption you’re manufacturing? With all these kids being sent alone from Mexico across our borders we need it like yesterday. And if it can put a dent in the drug trade that's an added bonus.”
 Drew nodded. "The federal government is taking the VMF System seriously at last. I'm meeting with a Specialist from the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Office of Procurement in a couple of weeks."
"I’ll never understand how the thing works." Dan took a long drink of his beer.
"It's not easy to explain the VMF System because there are multiple elements to it. You have to understand quantum physics, and geophysics, not to mention UAV or drone technology." Drew signaled for more drinks and waited while the bartender poured two draft beers from the taps and slid them over the counter.
"I mean, a virtual mine field. What is that? It sounds like sci-fi to me, or a case of bullshit baffles brains."
Drew took a sip, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and smiled at Dan's description. "The Virtual Mine Field is real. Anyone who steps within range of the sensors will get kicked back the way he came."
"But he won't get hurt? In other words, it's not gonna deliver anything close to a fatal jolt of electricity."
"No. That's the big selling point. Nobody wants to electrify the fences on the borders because they don’t want a whole bunch of dead people to deal with, like what happens in other parts of the world. And now with the rash of kids . . .This'll knock them over, but no normal, healthy person will get hurt."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Coming soon. . . . Still waiting for the final cover from the wonderful artists at Soul Mate Publishing, The one on this page is a temp one I made myself.





Friday, August 5, 2016

Alter Ego by Tory Allyn

I'm happy to feature this suspense thriller this week. It looks like a book I'm going to have to read.


At Granite’s Mill, deep in the backwoods of Virginia, a body is discovered with unusual physical characteristics. By morning, the media erupts over a headline in a local newspaper, ‘The Son of Virginia’s Governor is Missing’. 


 FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is handed the case. Realizing he’ll have to go outside the brethren, Jack marshals the help of an old friend, Raymond Davenport, who hung a sign on a renovated brownstone in Washington, DC, with the verbiage: Davenport Detective Agency. To assist him, he hired three former police officers from various precincts, who like himself, blew the whistle on dirty cops only to deal with the fervent hostility from the brotherhood.

 With the investigation under way, the detectives stumble upon a group of men known as M.A.G.O.C., who’re muddled in a governmental conspiracy involving a top-ranking official at the White House. With their many resources, they dig further and unearth Prescott Chemicals. Years earlier, the owner and his lead chemist had stolen an elixir from the Mayapo natives of the Amazon rainforest and have transformed it into a formula to be used in a congressional scheme. 

When the detectives accidently come into contact with the new formulation, something undesirable happens to one of them, altering his life forever.

Here's where to buy it: Alter Ego

Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today. As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing. Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime. Most days you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME

I'm taking advantage of KDP Select's five day free option and offering a FREE download of my psychological thriller SHEER PANIC from May 15th through May 19th only. 


This is a novella and is only 112 pages. Please feel free to hop over to Amazon and you'll see it is priced at $0.00. (You'll need an Amazon account, which is free.) Click on 'Buy Now' and if you don't have a Kindle, Amazon will lead you through it. They have apps that will allow you to read Kindle files on your PC or tablet or phone.

It's kind of a mix between dark and sweet, which is what I like to do. Just when things seem to be all bad, something uplifting takes place. And of course, I like to feature animals.




What would you do if someone came into your house and moved your stuff while you were sleeping? Breanna Benton's denial morphs into terror when she finally has to accept the truth, but which one of the three men who harass her is the stalker? 

The maintenance man at college makes her edgy and uneasy when he accosts her with inappropriate comments; Dorky Dorian seems to be following her everywhere she goes, and it troubles her to think he may have tampered with her car; hunky Joaquim at the stables where she keeps her horse takes his flirting to a new level, awakening terrifying and exciting emotions all the way to her core, but did he copy her house keys? 

And then Lance, the boy she had a crush on at high school friends her on Facebook. He never noticed her before. She's ecstatic, but a little scared. 

She draws comfort from the only stabilizing factors in her life—her niece, Shari, and the elderly neighbor Mrs. Stanley and her dog, Panda. 


Here's the link:  Sheer Panic

  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Suspense vs Mystery

Back in the day identifying a fiction book genre was simple. The choices were limited to romance, suspense, mystery, comedy, historical, western, etc. Most were identified with one word. Now, it is almost impossible to classify a book's genre using only one word, as so many sub-categories have been created, originally to facilitate search engine keywords.

A lot of people don't seem to know the difference between a suspense thriller and a mystery, so here it is:

In suspense, the reader knows what the bad guy (antagonist) is up to before the protagonist knows. The reader's inside knowledge that someone is lying in ambush waiting for the unsuspecting character creates suspense.  The actual ambush makes it a thriller.

In a mystery, the reader only knows what the primary characters know. If they're hunting for a clue, you don't know where they may find it, and if someone is going to ambush them, you won't know until it happens.

My Redneck P.I. Mystery Series are romantic mystery/comedies.



My Zodiac Series are romantic suspense/thrillers.


Animals always play an important part.

FREE downloads for Kindle or you computer -- http://www.trishjackson.com/#!free-stuff/cjci

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Vote for Scorpio's Sting on Kindle Scout

Woohoo my newest story is finally ready to be published! I entered it into Kindle Scout and if I get enough votes, Amazon will publish it. So please would you guys click on the link below.



You'll be able to read the first few chapters, and then vote if you think it deserves your support. This story is more of a suspense thriller with romantic elements than pure romantic suspense. Here's the low down:

Is revenge really sweet--or totally crazy?

Scorpios are passionate lovers. Drawn together by strange circumstances, Drew McBain and Neelie Nelson's hypnotic personalities and magnetic intensity make for an intense and profound relationship. They find themselves with a common goal when the la Vibora de Coral Cartel causes unforgivable harm to their loved ones. Ferocious anger and a brooding and passionate desire for revenge draws them together, but how can one man and one woman take down the most powerful and malicious cartel in Mexico?

I will owe you if you vote, so if you are an author I'll be happy to promote your work in social media in return. Just let me know how I can reciprocate.

If you're a reader, I'll give you a free download of my psych thriller novelette, Sheer Panic.

Thank you, thank you, thank  you!



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chocolate, Romance and a Little Wine

Valentines Day is here once more. A time for romance, chocolates, wine and roses. And how about a good romance novel?


In Virgo's Vice, Lexie King and cowboy Billy Murphy find themselves among the players in a Survivor type of reality show.

Talk of a monster makes Lexie glad she has the protection of chocolate lab, Jake, who parachuted into the remote part of Zimbabwe, Africa with all of the contestants and the two camera operators. Billy romances her with sunsets and stargazing, and then everything goes to hell . . .

But today is for romance, and these pictures tell a little bit of the story. You can read more at my website at www.trishjackson.com where you will also find free downloads of a few fun short stories.




So Happy Valentines Day to y'all. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Reviews for Virgo's Vice

All authors know reviews are important because they help readers to decide whether to buy your books or not, and we are always thankful to people who take the time to write a review, or even a one line comment.


Unfortunately, some readers take great delight in dissing books, and earn themselves the title of 'troll'. If you don't like a book, it's okay to say so and to explain why, but there is no need to be hateful and nasty like the review for Virgo's Vice from a woman named Libby. If you go to her profile and check out her stats, you can see she is a committed troll.  She's rated 1019 books and her average rating is 2.92 stars. It appears she was expecting a sweet little innocent romance. She probably doesn't understand that romantic suspense or suspense thrillers with romantic elements can be dark and intense.

Thankfully, most readers who leave reviews are good people who want to express their honest opinions in a decent and respectful manner. I personally don't publish reviews if I believe a book is worth less than three stars. I usually contact the author and explain why I feel the way I do and leave it at that.

Here are three great reviews Virgo's Vice received this past week:

From Ron (4 Stars)

Virgo's Vice asks, "What if Survivor were about actually surviving?" When a disparate group of contestants, with two camera operators, are parachuted into Africa with few supplies, they are confronted with just that question. Each has a reason to win the contest with a cool million as a prize and each has a reason to make sure no one else does. But how far will they go to win? Literally landing on her butt in the brush, Lexie King is right in the middle of it. When she took on the assignment to film the event, she had no idea what she was getting into. She is haunted by demons from her past and soon finds the present ones can be just as bad. She is confronted with the the possibility that one of the contestants feels that a million dollars worth killing for. Or are other evil forces at work?

Trish Jackson shows her familiarity with the African wilds in this book and uses it as a backdrop for her book. The characters are a varied lot, some good people and some not so good, but all are interesting. You find yourself rooting for some and not caring what happens to a few. It's a lot like life. In the end, I'm reminded of a phrase from the old TV series, Maude, "God will get you for that." I must admit that Jake was my favorite character, willing to give his life for Lexie, but I'm a dog person. Still, loyalty and self sacrifice are great qualities in any species. While part of the book is first person, in Lexie's point of view, Trish also uses third person to let you know what other characters are thinking and seeing. It's a fun read and keeps up a good pace throughout the book.

From Ken (4 Stars)

Trish Jackson’s fast-paced crime and romance novel “Virgo’s Vice” takes us into the wilderness of Africa. The contestants and two camera people have just been parachuted into the wilds where they are going to take part in a television reality show. Stranded by the failure of the show’s producer to get funding, the characters have to survive a menu of murder, love, and disaster. Using a combination of first and third person narration, Jackson creates the sense that we are watching a television show that has gone out of control. This is a page-turner with strong action and excellent romance.

From Todd (5 stars)

Reality TV...nope, not for me. But a book about a reality TV show in Africa that had a lot of things go wrong... I loved it! There was romance, there was suspense, and most importantly there was a great story behind it all, unlike reality TV. Lexie King the main character in the book is well thought out and described. Her past is the main story in this book to me and Trish does everything right in making this affect her life as a contestant for the $1,000,000.00 prize.

Thank you SO much. I really appreciate you.

Here's a link to more info and the Amazon page where you can buy this book.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Review of Lost by D. M. Thornton

Lost by D.M. Thornton is a masterpiece, and a truly great debut novel.


In the beginning, 'Lost' resembles the TV show with the same name—a plane crashes in the middle of nowhere and most of the occupants lose their lives. 

The survivors are lost, yes, and yet the word 'lost' holds a double entendre as readers will discover at the end.

It is essentially a love story, and the author's depiction of the progression of the process of the two primary characters falling in love and eventually realizing they can't live without each other can only be described as masterful. The love-making scenes are graphic yet tastefully written, leaving the reader in no doubt that the couple love one another deeply.


If you love romance and enjoy a fast-paced book that moves forward with each page-turn, you will enjoy this story. 

One word of warning -- the cliff-hanger at the end. While it clearly shows that a sequel is in the works, and will leave you hungering for more, you may feel disappointed if you are accustomed to reading romance, in which there is always a happily ever after or happy for now ending.

Find out more on Amazon

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bye Bye 2015

I can't believe I haven't updated my blog for so long. My excuse is that I went to South Africa to celebrate my amazing mother-in-law's 96th birthday, and then when I got home the 'silly season' was in full swing. 


That's all in the past now and 2016 looms on the horizon. I'm hoping it'll be a great year for writers in general. My wish is that you all have something good to celebrate next year.

2015 was a good year for me as a writer. I had two books published and a short story. As always, they include delightful animal characters and romance, plus a message to educate people about the evils of our world.

Sheer Panic is a novella I published myself. It's my first attempt at a psychological thriller. 

Breanna Barton has no love life until the guy she had a crush on at high school shows up unexpectedly on Facebook and wants to get together. After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But it can't be him. He lives in another state. 
Her eight-year-old niece, and Panda, the little black and white mutt who belongs to her elderly neighbor rescue Breanna in more ways than one.
Sheer Panic on Amazon


 Virgo's Vice, the third in my Zodiac Series, was released by Soul Mate Publishing late in the year.

Camera operator Lexie King has a good reason to work out of her comfort zone in Allan Dockery's new survival-style reality show in Africa. She is determined to overcome her PTSD and make something of herself, but she has no way of knowing he would be there. The monster who molested her repeatedly as a child.
Jake, the producer's chocolate lab, and sexy cowboy contestant Billy Murphy are her only hope, but can they do enough to save her?  

Virgo's Vice on Amazon


Lexie's Story is the prologue to Virgo's Vice. I self-published this on Smashwords and it can be downloaded totally free in any format.

   Lexie KIng's childhood sucked. When she wasn't lying in in her bed at night waiting for 'the monster', she was hiding from the bullies at school. It was like she had a sign on her forehead that said "Abuse Me."
   Lexie's parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 
   An ugly mutt named Candy -- a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle -- is Lexie's only friend in the world.

FREE Download of Lexie's Story

See you all next year.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Stuck on Please Release me by Rhoda Baxter

It's all about being stuck... I'm stuck because I don't have enough time to write all the books stuck in my head just trying to come out. And if I could be stuck somewhere with someone who would it be??? That would depend upon where I was stuck.


Please Release Me

What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?
Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.
That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.
In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.

But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …


Buy it here on Amazon

Rhoda's an incredibly talented romance author, and I'm happy to participate in her blog splash.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Psych Thriller Sheer Panic is Now Available

I'm pleased to announce that my next story is available for download in just about every format you can think of. This is a 120-page novella, and my first psychological thriller.


It will appeal to lovers of suspense and romance.




Breanna Barton has no love life. That's why she's staying home and taking care of her eight-year-old niece over spring break.

After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But who? She can think of three men who always seem to be around where ever she goes.

And was someone in her bedroom at night while she was sleeping?


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lexie's Story -- Free for a limited time.

I am excited  -- I published Lexie's Story today. This is the preview to Virgo's Vice, the third novel in my Zodiac Series.


It seems to Lexie King that she has a target on her back--or a sign on her forehead that says 'Abuse Me.'

Lexie's parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 

An ugly mutt named Candy -- a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle -- is Lexie's only friend in the world.

She sometimes thinks about ending her life, but revenge would be so much sweeter.





This short story is totally free. Get yours now.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Outlines are Essential, Says James Patterson

When I found out that James Patterson, the most prolific and successful author of our time, was holding a writing class, I was all in. 

The outline is the most creative part of writing your novel, and sometimes, James says, he writes several different outlines for the same story before he decides how it will all work out. He can be working on an outline for months before he is happy with it.

Before you start the outline, you need the raw idea. This is a one-paragraph summary of your story, and if your story is to succeed, the idea has to be something more than a little disparate, create tension and conflict, and should grab readers' attention from the start.

Here's the idea for my upcoming novel, 'Virgo's Variant':

Cinematographer Lexie King is determined to break free from the drugs, and psychoses that haunt her as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. She signs up as one of the camera operators for a new reality show set in Africa, knowing that it will be totally out of her comfort zone. It is too late for her to quit the assignment when she discovers that one of the contestants is the man who abused her, The producer has dropped her and the other camera operator, with the twelve contestants, in a remote region somewhere in Africa with no means of communication. The producer dies, and the only person who knows where they are is the pilot who dropped them there, who is away on his honeymoon. Rumor has it that all the local inhabitants have abandoned their villages because a monster roams the region. Then the murders start, and the only person Lexie trusts is the cowboy, but could she be wrong? He is certainly physically strong enough to be the murderer.

So my next task is to write an outline. This is a summary of each chapter, with one or two paragraphs per chapter. Every chapter is a new scene, and should contain something that propels the story forward and adds a new twist.

Once the outline is all written up -- and typing it out in Word works for me -- you can go back over the scenes and experiment. Add new twists, reorganize the order of events, make notes for future reference, add something to create more suspense, and make a note of how the events affect the personal lives of each character.

Here you will edit, edit and edit again before you go any further.

The one thing I did notice about the outline is that, without dialogue or the internal conflict and thoughts of the characters, it's pretty blah, but that all comes later, and James goes over the do's and don'ts of dialogue and creating conflict in some detail.

Only when you are completely happy with your outline should you start the novel, which will flow easily now that you know how the story progresses. I used to be a pantser, but now I know better.My greatest problem with this particular novel was that I had already written it before the classes with James, and it was with my publisher, Soul Mate Publishing. I received the first edit from them soon after completing the course. I found that with the outline, I was able to do a lot of editing that I probably wouldn't have done before. I cut out a lot of unnecessary explanations and changed some of the events. (Show don't tell). I also ended up with double the number of chapters I originally started with, because short one-scene chapters make the story move at a faster pace, and if your story drags, your readers will lose interest.


If you are interested in taking the class, here is a link: James Patterson Teaches Writing





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway -- Capricorn Cravings

Capricorn Cravings was published in print format 10 months after it first hit the Kindle market, and with two new books being released over the holiday season I am only just now scheduling a giveaway.

Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can...

Here are the details of the Giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Capricorn Cravings by Trish Jackson

Capricorn Cravings

by Trish Jackson

Giveaway ends March 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Aquarius Addiction

Woohoo! My newest romantic suspense thriller, Aquarius Addiction has been released!


Anyone who thinks God doesn't have a macabre sense of humor answer this—why did he bring Andre Rossouw into Arlette's life on the same day her doctor told her she was about to die?
Attractive FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander displays all the character traits of her star sign, Aquarius, being feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. She may be only five feet tall, but she epitomizes the old adage that dynamite comes in small packages.
Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease.  When hunky Andre Rossouw asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease and find a cure, and to have wild and passionate sex with him.

Then she finds out he has a fiancée.

Arlette's country home on the banks of Bayou LeGue was left to her by her mysterious aunt Lucie, whom she never met, and whom her dysfunctional parents have never been willing to discuss. She often wakes in the dark hours of the night to hear ghostly voices downstairs, and wishes she could find out who they are and what they want.

A mysterious letter arrives from her aunt, hinting at a secret in the house, and her friend, Reay, agrees to research her home's recorded archives, while Arlette plans to dig into her family history. She starts by visiting her aunt's grave, where she finds a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak, who leaves in a hurry.  Arlette's instincts tell her the woman holds the answers to all her questions, but how can she find her?

Click here to buy it now

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review -- Letting Evil In by Ellie Eden

Kristin, wife and mother of three, tries to be understanding when her husband, Michael decides to travel to Rio de Janeiro on his own. He hasn't been himself since his accident.


The problems start when he disappears. Kristi and her teenage son, Josh, travel to Rio to try to find him, and against all advice, they head into the crime-ridden slums or favelos.  After some very harrowing experiences, Kristi finds solace and a broad shoulder to lean on in Brazilian Federal Agent, Tony Lamazzo. But is he really to be trusted, or is he on the payroll of the cruel and malicious drug lord O Dentista?

The author has done a wonderful job of describing life and death in Rio's underworld, and she ratchets up the tension to a terrifying climax. It was hard to put the book down.

Being an animal advocate, I was happy when the homeless kid's dog found a happy ending.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You can buy the book here.

Follow her bog here

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paper or Plastic? Capricorn Cravings in Print

I'm very pleased to say romance thriller Capricorn Cravings is now in print. It was released by Soul Mate Publishing in February for Kindle, and now it is also in print.


Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. 
Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can, but his magnetism drags her toward him and she cannot find the power to resist. 

Click Here for Details

You can also download Riley's Story FREE from my website Here


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Amazon Puts the Power in Readers' Hands

Amazon's new Kindle Scout Program has effectively taken the power away from the publishers and placed it squarely in the hands of the readers.


Here's a summary of how it works:


Authors are invited to submit a full length fiction manuscript plus book cover and blurbs.  Amazon's reviewers read the manuscript and if it meets their standards, they create a 'campaign' for the book. This is made up of the cover, a one-line description and a longer blurb about the story, plus the first 5,000 words. 


Anyone with an Amazon account can login, read what has been posted, and nominate the book, assuming they like it. 


Each reader can nominate only three books. If they have already nominated three and then find one they like better, they can drop one of their previously nominated books and nominate the new one instead.


At the end of the 30-day campaign, the book with the highest number of nominations wins a publishing contract with Amazon for it's author, with a $1,500 royalty advance.


Readers who nominated a winning book get a free copy and are asked to provide a review.


Campaigns are ongoing and any author can submit their book (but only one book per author) any day of the year.


This program is brilliant because it puts the readers (who are the customers) in charge. They collectively and democratically choose the best stories, and help weed out the mediocre, the bad and the unfinished stories. The author has no way of knowing who has voted or canceled their vote, and readers cannot collaborate online.


It also takes the power away from the publishers. Twenty years ago, publishing houses and their editors were like Gods. Writers submitted their work and were told to expect rejection. A handful of  professional 'readers' had the power to accept or reject every manuscript they reviewed. 

Then came POD or Print On Demand, and the selection process became a lot less stringent. 

When self-publishing became a reality, it brought out a lot of talented authors who would never have been published in the past, but it also brought a horde of books that should never have seen the light of day.


My hope is that Kindle Scout will even the playing field for authors and readers.


Here is my campaign:



VIRGO'S VARIANT is a romance thriller or suspense thriller with romantic elements.The first 5,000 words are on the site at Kindle Scout for people to read. (No Kindle is required). If you like what you see, you can nominate the book.

Here is the link to my book. 

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1JKUU4V1XP5OL


I would LOVE to have your vote and I thank you very much.
Please share with any other readers you know.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review - Killer by Jonathan Kellerman

This one of Kellerman's series featuring psychoanalyst Alex Delaware. I've read a few of the others and I like the character.

Alex is asked to provide an expert opinion about a young woman named Cherie, whose sister, Connie, is suing for custody of Cherie's child and accusing Cherie of being an incompetent mother.  Alex visits Cherie's home and finds nothing to indicate that she is a bad mother. The child appears to be happy and healthy.

When Connie loses the case because of Alex's testimony, she vows to keep fighting, and says she will never give up until she has the child.

Then someone murders her.

And Cherie checks out of her apartment without giving notice.

Concerned that his professional opinion about Cherie may have been totally wrong, Alex works with his friend, Detective Milo Sturgis, to hunt her down and uncover the truth.

If you like suspense thrillers, you will enjoy this one, but I think the reason it has a fairly low rating (for a best selling author) is that I was able to guess who the real killer was before he revealed it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Interview with Charline Ratcliff - Author - Part 2


Do You Believe in Reincarnation? This Writer's Stories Reflect Past Lives. Charline Ratcliff, author of The Curse of Nefertiti has such an interesting life story I have to split the interview into three parts.


Part 1 addressed Charline's young life, her father's abuse, and her life criss-crossing the USA and literally living in the woods. 

Part 5 continues the story...


5. I understand why you left your parents' 'home' at age sixteen. You survived by cleaning houses and working at Burger King. How and where did you live at that time?

Well, long story short, when I managed to leave home it was with the help of two older women who sold regularly at the same Ocala, Florida area Flea Market where my parents had decided they would sell at for a while.
And just to clarify, it was not like I sought either of those women out. They were just older, and more experienced at viewing life. The both of them, (separate from each other), recognized the signs of physical and sexual abuse that was consistently exhibited in the dynamic of my family.
Feeling nothing save for empathy and compassion, each of them approached me in as non-threatening a manner as they were able. Having been hidden away from society’s gaze as much as possible by my parents, I was completely stunned when the older of the two women, (the one who several weeks previously had suggested that I just think of her as family and call her “grandma”), pulled me aside one afternoon when my father was busy with customers.
She sat me down, away from the hustle and bustle of the market, touched my shoulder and said: “Honey, I need to ask you a question.” Now, I’ve always been an intuitive child, and at her words my heart felt like it dropped twenty feet. I’m pretty sure I heard my rib-cage rattle as my heart plummeted past… (Even now as I write this, I’m re-experiencing those same feelings).
If it were physically possible for a person to turn to stone, I’d have turned into a statue at what she asked next: “Has your dad ever sexually abused you?”
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know how to answer her. Without thought, I wept and take note that I chose that word carefully. This wasn’t the crying that comes from normal sadness, nor was it the heartfelt sobbing of someone who has just lost their one true love, instead this was the quiet weeping that comes from feeling the heavy burden of shame. I daresay that only those, unfortunate enough to have experienced this same type of abuse, can fully understand or appreciate the sentiment that I am attempting to express.
She took this moment to wrap her arms around me, holding me as I cried; and she cried with me. Eventually I managed to ask her how she’d known. She told me it was obvious; that anytime any man started to talk to me, my father would appear out of nowhere and then send me away to do something out of sight. “That’s not normal father behavior,” she stated.
She then sent me down to the public restroom, so that I could wash my face and try and sort myself out before I had to return to my parent’s selling space. Before I left though, she told me that she was going to talk with her friend, (the other woman), and that the two of them would figure out some way to help me. Because of her words, I walked away with a much lighter step. I now had something different for which to hope. Up until this point, the only thing that gave me a sense of comfort and control was the calendar that I had previously made for myself that showed me, (daily), the number of days until I turned eighteen. Around that point I was down to 535 days…
She was as good as her word too. The very next weekend, she motioned me over to her booth. Her friend’s daughter, Tenowah, lived in North Jacksonville Beach. She couldn’t get away from work to drive down to get me on that current weekend; however she would be able to the following weekend.
You have no idea how excited I was. And I knew that I would be safe. And that my parents couldn’t find me this time. You see, I had run away twice before; when I was twelve. My first attempt happened on a Friday afternoon, when a class friend and I rode the school bus to her house. My father was there in a matter of hours. I got in major trouble for running away and … for painting my fingernails with a really pretty light pink colored nail polish.
I, of course, always learn from my mistakes. Consequently, when I ran away again a couple of months later, (while it was still planned for Friday after school), this time I went home with a friend whose parents always drove her to/from school. Huzzah! It worked!! I stayed the entire weekend at their house, but I was not entirely without a sense of dread. Just as animals are able to sense what is later recognized as the calm-before-the-storm, so too can I. When Monday arrived, she and I were dropped at school and there was my father… (This was also my last day in public school).
Anyway, the following weekend finally arrived, and wow, had the time dragged by! Around midday, I was covertly informed that Tenowah had arrived; that she was waiting for me in her car by the restrooms. I’d previously gotten my birth-certificate as well as my social security card out of my mother’s filing box, and with those both in my pocket, (and only the clothes on my back), I told my parents that I needed to go down to use the restroom. (This flea market was at a drive-in movie theater. Vendors were allowed to set up their tables in the back section of the drive-in, and the restrooms were attached to the concession building).
As luck would have it, my mother decided that I needed to take my five, and seven year-old brothers with me to the restroom. Thankfully there were only two stalls in the ladies room, so I sent a brother into each one and then sent them back up the hill to where our parents were; on the pretext that it was my turn to use the facilities. Instead, I watched them to ensure they arrived safely and then got into Tenowah’s vehicle. She, (and her roommate Sharon who made the drive with her), were happy to see/help me and we spent the slightly more than two hour drive getting acquainted with each other.
Due to my age, I couldn’t legally work without a parent’s signature on my job application. I did manage to get a work permit because, being sixteen, I was not required to have a physician sign off on my ability to work. And … since you are allowed to pick the application form up and return with it later, I was able to forge my father’s signature. There you have it; I’m now an admitted forger…
I searched the classifieds, plus the various shops in this new location for work, but no one wanted to hire a sixteen-year-old. Luckily, Tenowah was friends with a man named Jed; he was the manager for a Burger King fairly close to us. (This was good as I walked). Burger King was only part-time, and Tenowah recommended me as a house-cleaner to a couple of her friends. They definitely weren’t the most enjoyable jobs, but at least I was able to earn some money.


              6. You wrote and published two children's books. What was the inspiration for those? Did you illustrate them yourself? You are obviously very artistic and right-brained. Do you want to tell us about your photography, art and interior design?

Well, truthfully it was my cat Oreo who inspired The Princess, The Toad & The Whale Series. She was/is just this huge and loveable, yet slightly not-quite-with it kitty. She started out as a short-hair kitten that, ten months later, grew some of the longest fur I’d ever seen on a feline. Consequently, not only was she quite the character, but she was constantly struggling to tame her wild and unkempt hair. Of course, she was never successful in this endeavor… *chuckle* Plus, she truly was a Princess, let me tell you. Although, I do need to state that she was never a Diva. Her personality has always been loving and sweet and if you have food she’s your new forever-friend. She loves wadded up newspaper or sheets of paper and if you throw them she’ll even go fetch them. The Princess in the storybooks truly embodies Oreo’s personality and crazy essence. (Toad and Whale were also inspired, and based on, the other two cats in the household).
As far as illustrating, while I could have eventually gotten to the illustrations myself, I opted to let someone else draw them. (Delegation from a Type A personality, now that’s some personal growth on my part). However, I did work hand-in-hand with my illustrator to ensure that the finished illustrations matched the vision in my head. And yet, I did give her creative license... (Another Type A personality shocker too, right)? This was also a good thing because she remembered that I needed to have those little touches: things like windows and/or artwork on walls, rugs, etc.
Thank you for your compliment re: very artistic/right-brained. In actuality, I am both left and right-brained, but the truth of the matter is that I much prefer to live in the right-side of my brain. Although, I oftentimes wind up becoming an interpreter-of-sorts between those who are extremely left-brained, and their extremely right-brained counterparts… It can be quite difficult for these two types to converse effectively, because their manner of thinking/seeing/relating to the world around them is so much different. Since I speak the “language” of both, I’m a great mediator.
I remember attending a business meeting with a very right-brain only, creative friend of mine. This particular meeting dealt with the technical side of her business and midway through it she became overwhelmed and began to cry. Not because anything untoward had been said or done, but because that was how she coped with what she couldn’t understand. Of course, the poor left-brain, engineer-minded businessman sat across from her; open-mouthed with shock, wearing a deer-in-the-headlights expression of absolute terror…
After everything had been sorted out and cross-explained, she apologized to him for crying. Which in turn prompted him to ask, “Do you always cry in business meetings?”
The truth of the matter is, if one person only speaks Latin and the other speaks only in mathematical equations, without a Rosetta Stone to bridge the languages, how do these two people communicate cogently?



7) Now let's get onto your dreams. You started having vivid dreams of ancient times that you describe as "like going to a theatre and looking at a sped-up five+ hour look at someone's life." Your friend told you your dreams are actually memories of past lives. When you finally started writing down your dreams, you found something amazing. Please explain.

Yes, well there’s a real can of worms… I have consistently found that the topic of dreams can be a controversial and challenging subject. So much can be taken from them, they can have so many meanings, their meanings can change with time, and no one can experience an exact dream or have the same understanding as anyone else.
Dreaming is much like reading a book. Your brain will process the experience based on all the factors of what makes you, well, you. (Life experiences, how you were raised, your personal beliefs, et cetera).
And, let’s face it, the conscious brain can only think about a very limited amount at a time, while the subconscious brain can handle much more. I believe a University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine study has estimated that the conscious brain can only process around 2,000 bits of information per second whereas the subconscious brain processes about 400 billion bits per second. Kind of makes me wonder how much information someone like Einstein could process through his conscious brain per second…
Anyway, with all that said:
I do believe that people can dream about things that will happen in the future; providing they are open to it.
I do believe that dreams can be a way for a “higher power” to communicate with us; if we are open to it.
I do believe that dreams allow the subconscious mind to process past, present and future experiences and then “dumb them down” so our conscious minds can, (hopefully), understand them. I think that one possible reason for recurring dreams, (and only in certain instances), is because the subconscious is trying to get the dreamer to realize and/or understand something that he/she still isn’t grasping.
I do believe that dreams affect our day-to-day lives in a myriad of ways that we may never fully be able to understand.
I do believe that some dreams are also memories of, or from, previous lives.
With regard to my vivid dreams, (the ones that I use as the Prologues for my books), they each feel as though I’m walking through the tired, worn and familiar halls of memory. In these dreams, I feel what happens around me. I hear the birds, smell the water, and feel sand crunch underneath my feet. I can smell the world around me. I can touch and taste; and I have memories within those memories.
In some of my dreams, I’ve watched the library at Alexandria burn; smelled the acrid smoke as it billowed forth. I’ve experienced being a simple scribe and detailing a horrific war between Greeks and Phoenicians. I’ve heard the screams of battle and of the dying.
When I looked for information on this particular dream, I was taken aback to discover how much of it had been reality. The Phoenicians were first known as the Canaanites; it was the Greeks who began calling them Phoenicians, (meaning purple-red), for the dye extracted from the shell-fish.
Later on, the Phoenicians became Carthage/Carthaginians and due to certain Greek factions, and then later the Romans, Carthage and her people were completely eradicated. As in the genocide of an entire race/culture…
Are they past lives? I don’t know. Maybe… My physical body, (taking my brain/logic out of the equation), feels the memories of them; it feels like something akin to having “muscle memory.” Example: you may forget how to ride a bike, but if you get on the bike, your body will remember it for you.
Or, maybe they are simply genetic memories stored within my DNA. Some scientists believe that prehistoric man used to pass down genetic memories…
Or, maybe I just have a great imagination. *chuckle*
Yet, when I attempt to view these dreams as only imagination, my logical side objects on the basis that I should know some/any/most of a dream’s information prior to the experience. Just for the record, wars, (ancient or otherwise), were definitely not one of those subjects that I ever strove to read up on…

See the facinating continuation to this and other questions about Charline's life in the next installment.

LINKS:
www.CharlineRatcliff.com
                                                
www.CharlineRatcliffBlog.com  
                                      
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2930204.Charline_Ratcliff        
                                
https://twitter.com/CharlineRatclif