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

I Guess We’re Heroes – Tour

I Guess We’re Heroes

by Graham Fluster

Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller

A team of scientists discover intelligent alien life, and start a dangerous race to capitalize on the opportunity. As the decades pass, however, first contact fades from living memory, and is mysteriously absent from any official historical records. For the next five centuries humanity ventures out to the stars, their various political factions leaving no shortage of problems for an enterprising crew to make a living off of. The mercenaries of Specialized Support Contractors were only looking for small jobs befitting their fledgling company, but soon find themselves forced into the limelight when their employer’s ambitions place an ancient alien weapon in their possession. Digging deeper into the origins of their cargo brings even more heat from vested interests who want the truth of humanity’s first contact with alien life to be kept secret. With entire planets caught in the crosshairs of a looming interstellar war, any choice the mercenaries make could have catastrophic consequences.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60895935-i-guess-we-re-heroes

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Z1VMKMF

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

My interest in writing began with tabletop roleplaying games, with my favorites being Dungeons & Dragons, D20 Future, and GURPS. I loved creating vast and detailed worlds for the player characters to interact with, and coming up with contingencies for whatever direction their actions steered the plot. While I usually enjoyed the chaotic nature of the TTRPG format, I sometimes felt a little boxed in with what kinds of stories I could tell, since I only had a loose influence over the actions of the main characters. Shortly after noticing that sentiment, I saw a Reddit post along the lines of, “wouldn’t it be fun to write a D&D campaign where you controlled all of the characters?” with the top comment being: “wouldn’t that just be writing a book?” After briefly feeling stupid for not coming to that conclusion on my own, I started mapping out my more detailed ideas in novel format, and leaving the more open-ended ones for my TTRPG campaigns.

Where were you born/grew up at?

I grew up in Pullman, a small college town on the eastern side of Washington (the state, not the capital city). I moved to Seattle in 2011 to study physics at UW, and have lived here ever since.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I usually prefer either single player RPGs like the Fallout series, or casual multiplayer games like Quiplash. Sometimes I’ll play something competitive online like Starcraft or Overwatch, but that can become stressful if a teammate gets mad at you for “bringing down the team,” even though they’re just as bad. Like, come on buddy, if you were any good at the game, you wouldn’t be ranked low enough for the algorithm to put you on a team with me; we’re all trash down here in bronze league!

About the Author

Graham Fluster’s love of writing began with creating stories for tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, and D20 Future, and has since evolved into the (slightly) less chaotic formats of science fiction and fantasy novels.

Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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

Only in Darkness – Blitz

Only In Darkness
Brenda Stanley
Publication date: March 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller


Based on ancient Mayan mythology comes a story of bloodlust, love and the horrors of coming of age.

In ancient Central America, the legend of the Camazotz: large, bat-like creatures that desire blood and terrorize the villages in search of prey. When the volcano, Masaya, erupts and kills the tribe from which the Camazotz are from, they discover a miracle ash in the ruins.

Years later in present-day eastern Idaho, 17-year-old Emilio Chavez lives in an isolated area near the lava rock cliffs of the American Falls reservoir. From birth, he has been different. After Emilio’s friend Clara falls victim to a terrible accident, suspicions about Emilio arise, and he discovers an astonishing secret about his past.

As a sinister force tightens its grip on Clara, can Milo save her from those searching for blood while keeping his own internal demons at bay?


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I stand looking off the cliff at the raging river and jagged boulders below. I’m going to jump–or rather let myself give in to it and just fall–that I know. What I don’t know is what will happen next. There are two ways it will end, and the more I think about it, the more trouble I have deciding which result will be worse. Often, it’s the not knowing that makes life hell. I’ve been in the dark and unaware for so many years. Now I know what I am. But it is the unknown of what that fate holds for me, should I survive, that makes me shudder.

I’ve lost my family, my friends, and everything I’ve ever known, and still, someone, or something, is out there hunting me down like an animal, trying to take what has completely altered my life. The only thing I do know is I’m going to take the leap. It will be a rush for a few seconds, and then I will hit the rocks and hopefully die instantly or–and this is what I can’t fathom–if what they say is true, my back will explode, and I will transform into what my grandmother and the others of the tribe call the winged ones.


Author Bio:

Brenda Stanley is a former television news anchor and investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Eastern Idaho. She has been recognized for her writing by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, The Idaho Press Club and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Dixie College in St. George, Utah and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She is the mother of 5 children, including two sets of twins. Brenda and her husband Dave, a veterinarian, live on a small ranch near the Snake River with their horses and dogs.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Zealot – Blitz

Zealot
C. Vonzale Lewis
(Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles, #2)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: March 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

Nicole Fontane thought her demons were buried deep enough. She was wrong.

After barely escaping the blood bath of the Harvest ritual, Nicole and her vigilante compatriots learn that there are others practicing blood magick on Tulare Island.

Hired to rid the island of the remaining blood magick users, Nicole and her allies come face to face with The Better Day Church and the mysterious Young Family, whose nefarious behavior is well known on the island. The murky organization stirs old memories of a cult buried deep in the Louisiana bayou—flickers of Nicole’s traumatic past and the altar she barely escaped.

But when Nicole receives an invitation to the Young family’s private residence to attend a secret meeting with The Daughters of the Vine—an elusive sect of women led by Gavina Young—she knows there is no escaping her fraught history with cults.

The invite is clearly a trap, but it’s also an opportunity to take down the church. Nicole soon learns that the sickness lurking behind the walls of the Young family’s manor runs far deeper than the banal allure of blood magick. The church’s matriarch harbors a predatory interest in Nicole’s power—barely disguising her desire to harness it.

Nicole must unravel the mysteries of her newfound abilities, or her first job may be her last. Worst of all, she may end up on the altar again.

Goodreads / Amazon

PRAISE FOR ZEALOT:

“For those who read Lineage, be prepared for Zealot’s wild ride…The twists were great, the writing fabulous…It’s a sequel not to be missed!”
– Candace Robinson, Best Selling Author of the Faeries from Oz series.

“Ms. Lewis kept us on a fast track with everything that was happening.”

–Rita Smith, Goodreads Reviewer

“Could. NOT. Put. It. DOWN!!!”
–Kelli Lea, Goodreads Reviewer

“This story is full of exciting twists, turns and mystery sure to suck in many avid readers.”
–Elizabeth Chapson, Goodreads reviewer

“A definite must read.”
–Thomas Lake, Goodreads reviewer

“I love this series.”
–Shell Moore, Goodreads reviewer

“Lacing magic and demons, the author takes us on a freefall ride of terror and violence as Nicole and her friends take on the monsters that hide and feed on the innocent.”
– Dave Wickenden, Author of Homegrown

MEET SOME OF THE CHARACTERS!


Author Bio:

My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martinis shaken… never stirred.

Carla was born in Georgia, but please don’t mistake her for a Georgia peach. She’s more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked her recently if she remembered her birth. And she had to say, “Yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!”

Despite being born in the South, she grew up in California. Every once in a great while she gets to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat.

When not writing, Carla enjoys reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince her husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.

And one day, she will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Bookbub / Pinterest / TikTok


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

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Omniscience – Blitz

Omniscience
by Janine Frances
Publication date: February 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Thriller

Synopsis:

A family seek refuge in the Australian outback as tyranny takes hold, but who can they trust?

The world is at war and an authoritarian government has taken control in Australia. A terrorist group known as Day One is attempting to destroy civilisation so humanity can start again.

Shareen Miller becomes caught in a bureaucratic nightmare when she’s detained by an Auto-Enforcer for not having the right travel permit on the way to a job interview. Shareen’s detention sets off a chain of events that leads to her five-year-old twins being taken by the government.

With her husband Daniel, grandmother Alma, and sister Layla, Shareen seizes her children and escapes from Sydney. On the road, she reveals a secret about her missing mother Veronica that she’s been hiding from her family for five years.

What follows is an intense journey into the harsh Australian outback where nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted.

As they fight for survival, Veronica’s family finally learn the truth about why she left them. The stakes couldn’t be higher as the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“It’s obviously a mistake,” said Alma in a soothing voice. “We’ll get to the bottom of it now that you’re here. Just keep your wits about you and everything will be fine.”

“Stay here.” Shareen strode straight up to the counter. The man behind it tapped at a keyboard and stared ahead.

“I’m here for my children. There’s been a mistake and I need to get them home.” Her calm voice belied the storm inside. The man was wearing a transparent visor and she could see his eyes moving as he read something on his invisible screen. His hair was closely cropped, and his face was dominated by a large nose. He still didn’t acknowledge her.

“Excuse me,” said Shareen, knocking on the glass partition. “Can you hear me?”

He finally turned towards her with an annoyed look. “If you don’t mind, I’m familiarising myself with your case. I’ll be with you in a minute.” He would have been able to see everything about her as soon as she stepped into the room.

“There is no case to familiarise yourself with,” she said, and then clamped her lips shut. She didn’t want to antagonise him when he might be the only person who could help her. Watching his eyes flash back and forth made her dizzy but she couldn’t look away.

Finally, he glanced at her again. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Miller, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to take your children today.” His tone was perfunctory, as if he was informing her that her favourite brand of toothpaste was out of stock. “Once they’re in the system, they have to be assessed fully. This can take several days or longer based on the complexity of the case. You will be interviewed―”

“Wait a minute,” she said, leaning forward so that her forehead was pressed against the barrier. This couldn’t be happening. “My grandmother was told we don’t have permission to live at her place, but that’s not true. I have it right here on my iD. I can show you.” She lifted her wrist.

“That won’t be necessary. Even if it is a mistake, we need to follow protocol. If you’ll just be patient, you should see them again soon.”

“We don’t need to follow protocol because we’ve done nothing wrong.” She took a deep breath. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m not leaving without my children. Either get them now or get a manager out here.”

He sighed dramatically. “I’m afraid I can’t do that. The best thing you can do is go home and wait until we notify you. I’m sorry you were called in unnecessarily. We take child protection very seriously, and there’s no special treatment for anyone, not even you.”

Shareen slammed her palm hard against the protective barrier and the sound echoed like a rifle crack, causing the man to recoil. “Get a manager or my children out here now,” she yelled, “or I will kick in that door and find them myself.” She was so angry, she could easily have followed through on the threat.

Through the fog of her anger, she felt a gentle pressure on her arm and turned to find Alma by her side. “Calm down, darling. This will only make things worse.”

“He just told me to go home without the kids and wait for them to call. Like hell will I be leaving here without them. This is unbelievable.” She raised her hand to her forehead and closed her eyes. She was on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.

“Please, young man, there must be some way you can help us,” said Alma. “We haven’t done anything to deserve this.”

The man glared at her with narrowed eyes, but his expression softened slightly as he took in Alma’s stricken face. He glanced from one to the other. “Look,” he said in a low voice, “I shouldn’t even be telling you this, but an investigation was triggered because you have three strikes against you, Mrs. Miller. There was an incident at a train station last week, and then”—he glanced back at his screen—“a welfare breach for not attending an interview, and―”

“But―” Shareen started. He held up his hand.

“Your children’s school results are also below standard. When the investigators looked further, they found you don’t have the correct authorisation to live at your grandmother’s public housing property. Based on all these factors, the earliest you’ll realistically be able to see your kids is a couple of weeks, but it can take up to twenty-eight days, sometimes longer.”

“I told you, we got permission before we moved in. They even did an inspection while we were there. And how can the kids’ results not be up to standard? They started school less than a week ago,” sputtered Shareen.

“You applied for emergency instead of temporary residence, which is only for six weeks, and you’ve been there longer than the permit allows. Academic results are measured as soon as children start school. Poor results can signify welfare issues. If it wasn’t for the other factors, they wouldn’t have mattered much, but once you have three strikes against you, everything’s taken into consideration. Your social score―”

“No,” she said. “None of this is right. I know for a fact we got permission to live with Nan for six months, and the teacher told me the kids are doing fine. This doesn’t make any sense.”

The man just shrugged. “I’m sorry, but there’s really nothing I can do for you right now. Your only choice is to go home and wait.”

Author Bio:

Janine Frances lives in Australia with her partner David and dog Banjo.

The journey to publishing her novel Omniscience has been a long one. After doing the nine-to-five grind in Sydney for many years, with a couple of stints as a high school teacher and bank teller in the outback, she is currently relishing the freedom that comes with living in a picturesque small town and working from home.

Janine has an MA in Creative Writing. She chose to write a speculative thriller because it’s an exciting genre that asks important questions about the future.

Website / Goodreads


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

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Color of Blood – Tour

Color of Blood

A Dennis Cunningham Thriller Book 1

by Keith Yocum

Genre: Romantic Thriller

A CIA investigator is sent to Australia to look for a missing agent lost in the Outback, only to discover the bitter and dusty truth about himself and the agency.

“A scary, smart, sweet, sexy CIA tale” — Kirkus Reviews

Dennis is glad to be back at work. His wife’s death left him devastated but he’ll do anything to lose himself into work at the Inspector General’s office of the CIA. A brilliant, if prickly investigator, he’s spent his career chasing down the Agency’s thieves and liars. When his boss forces him to take a low-level assignment to investigate a missing employee in Australia, he soon finds that even in the red dust of the Outback, there is romance – and death – just a sweltering heartbeat away.

Goodreads * Amazon

Keith Yocum is an author of eight novels and lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He was born in Ridgecrest, California, the civilian town supporting the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in the Mojave Desert and grew up overseas as an Army brat, including long stints in the Panama Canal Zone and Western Australia. He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in journalism. He has an extensive career in publishing. He was the founder of a group of weekly newspapers in the western suburbs of Boston. He has also worked for publications like The Boston Globe and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Website * Facebook * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

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

The Mayor’s Race

The Mayor’s Race

Carolina Callings Book 2

by Travis Casey

Genre: Thriller

Cory Logan retired from boxing after winning millions of dollars, but he never won a world title. When he dies, all he’ll have is a headstone that no one will visit. To live in infamy, he wants a sports facility named after him. The only thing that stands in his way is the mayor of Hilton Head, who insists it be named after an African American.

Yvette Tyson is frustrated since she divorced her cheating husband. She struggles with her new life, embarrassed by her past and unable to gain the respect she once had. Does she really have to spend the rest of her life working the graveyard shift at the supermarket?

When Cory runs into Yvette, their past lives converge. It soon becomes clear that Yvette winning the mayor’s office would benefit both of them.

It’s a simple case of Black and White.

Goodreads * Amazon

No Halo Required

Carolina Callings Book 1

Isaiah Hightower has everything a forty-nine-year-old man could want: respect as a high school principal; admiration as a leader in the black community; and a wife who would do anything for him. Despite his shining public image, Isaiah’s life is plagued with indiscretions. When these threaten to unravel his world, he silences the threat by any means necessary. When his wife, Yvette, witnesses her husband’s greatest sin, her life is about to change forever. But it doesn’t have to. One lie will protect her lifestyle and save her husband’s reputation.

Goodreads * Amazon

Travis was brought up in Midwest America before embarking on a nine year Navy career that allowed him to travel the world and learn about life. He has ping-ponged across oceans moving from mainland United States to Hawaii, to Scotland, to Seattle, to England, to Minnesota, back to England, and back to Minnesota where he currently resides … for now

He writes easy-reading, light-hearted fiction and true stories about his own experiences that even the best fiction writer couldn’t make up. Relax by the beach or curl up on the couch on a rainy day while Travis takes you on fun-filled adventures that let you forget about life for a while and have a laugh.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

%d bloggers like this: