Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Writer's View: Stacy Verdick Case


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The View From My Writing Space


A friend of mine once commented that my office looked like what a writer’s office should look like. When I asked him what the meant, he answered with one word . . . “Chaotic.” He may have had a point, but I resist the generalization that all writers’ office should look that way. I just resist generalization in general.

 His vision is so narrow seeing only what’s there. He looked but he didn’t see. When I walk into my office I see without looking, and I see so much more than he did.

My well-trained writer’s eye finds comfort in seeing things that make me happy. Where they see clutter I see pieces lovingly accumulated over a lifetime. From pictures of my family, to souvenirs of my travels, to inspirational saying, my office is a visual cacophony. There is no place for your eyes to rest in my writing space, except on a neat clean page. Maybe that’s why so many writer’s rooms are cluttered. It’s a way of forcing yourself to the page.


Of course, it could be that our minds are cluttered and our offices are the one place that the chaos is allowed to spill out. I don’t think so though. I’ve attempted to sterilize my writing space and make it clutter free and sitting there at the bare desk made me twitchy. I was unable to focus. My mind wandered around and kept finding reasons to be outside of my office. Eventually all the visual noise crept back into the room and it has remained ever since.

Far from being a distraction, the things scattered about center me, and ground me to who I am or who I want to be. It’s like building a cocoon or a nest. I wall myself into a comfortable space for me.

Everyone’s writing space should be as personal to them as mine is to me. If you need sterile and quiet then that’s what you should have, but I will take loud and chaotic every day of the week.

A Catherine O'Brien Mystery.

When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn't the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I locked eyes with her and wished, not for the first time in my life, that I had telekinetic abilities. If I had, I could mentally disembowel Jane Katts. That’s probably why God never blessed me with that particular gift.

“Hello Detective.” Jane Katts’ tone was overly pleasant. She must have trumped me in some way and now she’s was just waiting for me to concede the trick.

“Close the door behind you, O’Brien.” The chief rocked back in his chair and smiled.

There was nothing in his smile except pleasantry, which made me more nervous than the one Jane Katts had given me. A broad smile was so alien on the Chief’s face that I was certain that Jane Katts had managed to pull a switcheroo and replace the chief with a pod person of her own design; one who is not hard-edged and sand-papery as I have come to expect but instead soft, with as much grit as a nail file.

“I’m afraid there’s not enough chairs so one of you will have to stand.” The smiley version of our chief of police said.

I braced my feet a shoulder width apart and crossed my arms over my chest, I preferred to stand for whatever nasty surprise Jane Katts had in store for me.

Louise sat and introduced herself to Jane. They exchanged a handshake.

“Ms. Katts is the reporter who asked for the exclusive interview.”

He glossed over the detail about her being the reporter who had engaged in a calculated smear campaign against the department.

“She would like to change the angle of her story to get more of an inside view.” The chief’s eyes cut to my face and I saw a hint of the real chief behind whatever hoodoo Jane Katts had performed on him.

About the Author:
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.

Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.

Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.

An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Win a Kindle Fire or a $50 Amazon GC in a Book Blast: Good Faith by Liz Crowe


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes will be awarded via Rafflecopter as follows:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz Tri-Desitny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

About the Author:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com
www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Win a $25 Gift Card: Virtual Book Tour: Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions Shea Norwood will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon or BN GC via rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour
A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

“I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Where’s Katie?” Kyle asked. “Tell me.”

The sparkling view into another world, his world, reminded Eric of when he used to swim underwater on his back in the public pool. At moments, the portal was still providing a clear picture. At other times, it was blurry. Was it his concentration that brought the image into focus? He took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind.

Katie was now playing with red blush and laughing about something only third grade girls would find funny. Her side of the portal looked nearly identical to the world Eric and Kyle were in. He noticed subtle differences like blue versus leafy-green towels next to the sink. But, otherwise it was the same.

Eric touched the mirror, sending a shockwave of ripples as if he’d just tossed a stone into a still lake. A tingle of electricity passed through his hand and up his arm. He pulled his finger back sharply as the tingle became more intense.

“What are you doing?” Kyle asked.

This time, Eric put his entire hand on this mirror. A much larger ripple spread, blurring the image. His hand felt like it was asleep. He closed his eyes again, trying to calm his mind. The inside of his head felt like a violent ocean near the eye of a hurricane with monster waves that surged against the shore.

Katie, Eric said in his mind, can you hear me?

In the portal, Katie picked up the eye shadow and leaned in closer to apply it. She looked like a clown with all the make-up she had already smeared across her face.

Eric focused all his mental energy: Katie!

She dropped the eye shadow and looked directly at him, but it wasn’t like before. They locked eyes for a moment, and then she screamed and ran out of the room. Amanda looked bewildered and turned to watch her leave. She looked back into the mirror. Her jaw dropped. She ran.

Eric pulled his hand from the mirror and backed away.

The circle was shrinking. The image of Porky Pig saying, ‘That’s all folks,’ at the end of a Looney Tunes’ cartoon flashed through Eric’s mind.

A few seconds later all he could see was the blue dot. When he blinked it vanished.

About the Author:
Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He's an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


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