Raine of Fire – Guest Post

Creative Inspiration for Raine of Fire

By Susan Stradiotto, author of Raine of Fire

I find that life and sometimes the tiniest situations offer much in the way of creative energy for me. The world and characters in Raine of Fire are no exception. In truth, the book does have some little gems that crept in from my day-to-day life. I probably have no way to name them all, but I thought I would share a few in this article.

When I wrote this novel, I had recently visited Glasgow, Scotland. Wickney Square, where Raine performs, is greatly inspired by George Square in Glasgow. Many photos of that can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Square. I took liberties with what kinds of statues were in place and the shops on the northern length of the square, but WPD (Wickney Police Department) and the courthouse are largely based on the buildings you see in these photos.

I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, and we have a bar downtown called The Local. So, I’m sure you can guess where Wickney’s Local and Local U came from. It’s namely the inspiration for the upstairs portion of the club in Wickney. The lower level could really be attributed to any nightclub you might have visited. There are some fabulous photos of the inside of Minneapolis’s Local on this website: https://www.minneapolis.org/directory/the-local-an-irish-pub/.

When I conceived of this series, my aim was to create characters in the vein of Richard Castle and Kate Beckett from the TV series Castle or Bones and Booth from Bones. I wanted it to be that kind of romantic banter that teases people into “shipping” the characters and craving the next episode to find out if they’ll ever have the first kiss or date. The one I never planned to emulate was Lucifer. In fact, I’d never watched it before I started getting reviews telling me how similar they are. I agree, but I do assure you it’s total coincidence.

Raine’s love for whiskey is greatly based on my son, who doesn’t drink but found his love for Scotch while we visited Scotland. Kennedi’s mother’s name is a family name. And her migraines, well, I suffered from those for many years.

The choice of Wisconsin for placing my fictional city was entirely random, but I once traveled to Minocqua to visit a friend and loved the area. So placing the Minocqua Mental Health Center there was because I found it quite peaceful in northern Wisconsin.

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

Susan Stradiotto is passionate about the written word, whether it is in her own writing or her editing practice. She is a fan of well-told stories. Susan is always searching for unique voices and stories that tell a truth. As Neil Gaiman said in his master class, “Write the truest story you can.” She believes that is what makes a story sing.

Susan is an author of fantasy and romance and has professional editorial experience with genres such as romance, memoir, mystery/thriller, cozy mystery, fantasy, and women’s fiction. She attended Capella University for her BS in Information Technology and the University of Chicago’s Graham School for her professional editing certification. She lives in Eden Prairie with her husband, a hoard of Bernese Mountain Dogs, and one Miniature Dachshund.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon


a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Shadow of the Gypsy – Guest Post

Shadow of the Gypsy

by Shelly Frome

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he’d begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she’d have him) and, at long last, live a normal life.

After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago. The shadowy form John had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that — a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way.

And no matter where he was, he wouldn’t travel south over eight hundred miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn’t be, not now, not after all this.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Why Write Fiction?

by Shelly Frome

Finding myself between projects, I often ask myself why I can’t simply go on with my life, do the chores, make the rounds, engage in social activities, etc.? Then I start to recall what other writers of fiction have disclosed. To cite a few, there’s the opportunity for revenge, a source of entertainment with the potential to entertain others, a chance to confront something or someone that will never play itself out in reality.

Personally speaking, I myself began to consider what Anne Lamott suggested on you-tube that led to the development of my latest tale Shadow of the Gypsy. She put it this way:  How alive are you willing to be? Diving deep within yourself, delving for your truth that potentially will become so meaningful it will double back on your readers’ lives? What’s truly at risk here during the course of this possible odyssey? What’s the driving force underpinning something you can’t afford to lose like a loved one; the chance of hitting the jackpot and a carefree life; a rung atop the ladder of success, etc. Now let it happen and work through the throes of the aftermath. Along these same lines, what are you so conflicted about you can’t afford to face the consequences? But if you do go through with it fictitiously, the pull of what happens promises to be much more compelling than continuing to remain stuck.   

As a case in point, during the early days of vaguely contemplating Shadow, I recalled feeling greatly deprived as a kid because I never had a father and my mother barely looked out for me. On the other hand, it left me free to experience all kinds of things and see for myself. But to write about my own life was too pat, just a matter of this happened and then that. Nothing that built toward some meaningful closure. Nothing that would sustain my imagination.  

But then, finally, came the trigger of the magical what-if? What if the mother in question was a complete mystery, a former foster child from Hungary who, rumor had it, had been taken in by some denomination which ran an exclusive private school in the pristine hills of Connecticut? What if she had some dicey connection with a rogue gypsy who was also from the “old country”? What would her estranged son have to gain by confronting her? What would he have to lose as his life potentially turned upside down?  It was a start. It was a beginning.

It had promise well beyond the same old routine.

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He also is a features writer for Gannett Publications. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games, The Secluded Village Murders and Miranda and the D-Day Caper. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio: A History, a guide to playwriting and one on screenwriting, Shadow of the Gypsy is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$30 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Legacy Audiobook – Tour

Legacy

Deadly Curiosities Book 5

by Gail Z. Martin

Genre: Supernatural Mystery Adventure

A dark witch dynasty.

A malicious, immortal undersea place-spirit.

Eternal guardians who wagered their souls to protect Charleston.

Omens of impending disaster have the city of Charleston on edge. Tremors warn of earthquake risk, while a potentially catastrophic storm gathers strength over the ocean and heads for land.

A last-man-standing promise among elderly veterans creates a dangerous inheritance involving an imprisoned, wish-granting goblin. A sea captain and a swashbuckler worked blood magic to protect Charleston from an ancient evil with a spell that bound their souls and their descendants to the task, but danger looms as its power fades. The head of a witch family wants artifacts and secrets—and he’ll do anything to get them.

Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio store where her touch magic helps get cursed and haunted objects out of the wrong hands. More than once, she and her allies have saved the world from supernatural threats.

The clock is ticking for Cassidy and her friends to stop the dark warlock, capture the goblin, and restore the guardian spell before a malevolent ancient entity takes its vengeance on Charleston and the coast. It’s going to take all the magic, courage, and quick thinking they can muster—and for once, that might not be enough.

Get the Audiobook here!

Goodreads * Amazon ebook

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.

Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Roaring Twenties monster hunter Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

The Berlin Device – Blitz

The Berlin Device

A Xander Berlin Adventure Book 1

by Tammy Wunsch

Genre: Action, Adventure, Mystery

Xander has led a life of luxury with a cushy job in the family business. After his father’s mysterious disappearance, Xander became CEO of the multi-million dollar, international enterprise and tries to prove himself to everyone, including himself.

Xander discovers encrypted files in his father’s hidden safe that detail his illicit activities. His father was more than disreputable—he was a member of a secret and diabolical organization whose sole objective is world domination. In the files are plans for the Berlin Device—a satellite weapons system that has the potential for unparalleled destruction.

Chloe has scrimped and saved for an amazing hiking vacation. When nothing goes right in her travels, fate intervenes and she and Xander are thrown together in a hopeless quest across Europe to recover the device before more innocent people die.

Dodging bullets, bombs, and barbaric henchmen, Xander and Chloe discover a mysterious facility that could become their final resting place…if their enemies have their way.

Can they escape with their lives?

More importantly, can they save the planet from The Berlin Device?

Goodreads * Amazon

Tammy Wunsch is an International Writer of Mystery, Travel, and Wine – with a side of Course Development – who currently resides in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. Formally educated in business, she has worked in a variety of industries and is both entrepreneurial and adventurous by nature. She is passionate about animals and loves to travel, cook, kayak, and read.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series – Tour

The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper

Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series Book 1

by Sally Carpenter

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Beatlemania is back and better than even in this revised second edition.

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax finds that making a comeback can be murder! It’s been fourteen years since the pop star broke little girls’ hearts on the 1970s hit TV show Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth. But after years of obscurity, the 38-year-old nowhere man can’t land a gig anywhere except at a slightly disorganized Beatles fan convention in Evansville, Indiana. What looks like an easy job turns deadly when a member of the Mercy Marvels tribute band is shot and the local police finger Sandy as the prime suspect. The schoolboy shamus is back in action to find the culprit. All he’s got to do is get back past the fawning fans, shady vendors and a John Lennon wannabe who just won’t let it be. Help! It’s all too much for our bad boy hero who tackles the case with a little help from his friends.

The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper was a finalist for the 2012 Eureka! Award for best first mystery novel.

Goodreads * Amazon

The Sinister Sitcom Caper

Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series Book 2

Sandy Fairfax, former teen idol and star of the ‘70s hit TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth,” is now a middle-aged recovering alcoholic who realizes that making a comeback can be murder. He’s the guest star on “Off-Kelter,” a corny family situation comedy and the lowest rated TV show of the 1993 fall season. Before rehearsals barely begin one of the actors drops dead at Sandy’s feet. He investigates, enlisting the aid of two of his new cast mates: a dwarf and an animal actor. During his snooping, we meet Sandy’s ex, his parents and his teenage son, all with their own “situations” going on. During rehearsals Sandy also encounters a beautiful choreographer—could this be love? Will Sandy solve the murder before the Friday night taping of “Off-Kelter” or will the elusive killer cancel our hero before the final credits? This book was inspired by the author’s experience working as a tour guide/page at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

Goodreads * Amazon

The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper

Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series Book 3

38-year-old Sandy Fairfax is a former ’70s teen idol and star of the TV show “Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth.” Now he’s rebuilding his career with a series of concerts aboard the SS Zodiac bound for the Bahamas. He makes amends with his estranged sister, Celeste, who is blind and also a musician, so she will join his performances. But their cruise hits turbulent waters when Sandy finds a dead body in his onboard dressing room. He investigates the colorful cast of suspects while avoiding an old flame and trying to ignite something with his beautiful choreographer. When Sandy gets too nosy, the bad guys throw him overboard. Will he sleep with the fishes or escape and unmask the killer at the ship’s Halloween costume gala?

Goodreads * Amazon

The Quirky Quiz Show Caper

Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series Book 4

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show—and the first category is murder! When his kid brother, Warren, is framed for killing a college student, Sandy makes it his duty to track down the thug before the police move in. After all, Sandy did play a detective once on a hit TV show. Sandy will get right on the case—right after he visits his kids; fights with his ex; woos his hoped-to-be girlfriend, Cinnamon; and convinces his parents he should be the special entertainment at a black tie gala designed to raise funds for his father’s faltering orchestra. All this while he and his biggest fan attempt to “Raise The Stakes” on a rigged quiz show where––wonder of wonders––the murder victim had recently been a contestant. Sandy’s ready to pull out some of his long blond hair as the game points and the suspects pile up.

Goodreads * Amazon

The Notorious Noel Caper

Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Series Book 5

It’s Christmastime in Tinsel Town, and there’s plenty of ho-ho-homicide at the soon-to-open Santa’s Magic theme park, where bodies are dropping like snowflakes. Former pop star Sandy Fairfax has a killer job—he’s the emcee for the televised Miss North Pole beauty contest–er, scholarship pageant. But will the beautiful contestants make his girlfriend jealous? Or will she join him in his sleuthing? The deadly Christmas season begins at a celebrity bowling tournament when a pinsetter plops down a body instead of the pins. Throw in surfing Santas, a seductive executive’s wife, a sleazy tabloid editor, an egotistical movie rival and a gift-wrapped death trap, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Goodreads * Amazon

Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier living in Moorpark, Calif.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school, her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award. “Star Collector” was produced in New York City and served as the inspiration for her first mystery series.

Carpenter also has a Master of Divinity and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures.

The books in her Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol cozy mystery series are: The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), The Sinister Sitcom Caper, The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper, The Quirky Quiz Show Caper and The Notorious Noel Caper.

The Psychedelic Spy cozy series is comprised of Flower Power Fatality and Hippie Haven Homicide.

She has short stories in three anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in Last Exit to Murder; “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in Plan B: Omnibus and a Sandy Fairfax adventure, “The Puzzling Puppet Show Caper,” in Cozy Cat Shorts.

She penned chapter three of the CCP group mystery Chasing the Codex.

Her website is http://sandyfairfaxauthor.com. Reach her at facebook.com.sally.carpenter.54.

Website * Facebook * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

%d bloggers like this: