On Sale Now – James Pruett Mystery Boxed Set by R.S. Guthrie (Books 1-3)

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Readers this is one of those rare opportunities where you can get some amazingly great reads at an even greater price! If you love action, adventure, and page-turning-keeping-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat drama then this is definitely the find of the century for you.

On sale now through July 26, 2018 is the James Pruett Mystery Boxed Set (books 1-3) by R.S. Guthrie, which includes Blood Land, Money Land, and Honor Land. As described on Amazon.com:

Blood Land, the award-winning, must-read first book!

Crime’s an ugly constant in the big cities. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Blood Land is a gritty, emotional saga set in the contemporary Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.

When billions of dollars in 21stcentury natural gas rights hang in the balance, and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own brother, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.

An award-winning, page-turner, in the tradition of Dennis Lehane, Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, Guthrie’s sparse, haunting storytelling compliments his talent for creating richly-drawn, unflinching law officers with human frailties, a code of honor, and a profound sense of justice.
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Money Land, sequel to the award-winning Blood Land!

Money Land is the sequel to the riveting, Blood Land, that introduced the Sheriff James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series.

Big crime has come literally crashing down on the small town of Wind River, Wyoming.

When a small plane bound for the Canadian border carrying money for the Sustantivo Cartel smashes into the glacial Wind River Mountains, the event brings a heartless evil presence to one of the more remote places on earth.

The tail of the plane is discovered, empty. No drugs. No money. Shortly afterward, people start dying. When the cartel comes to town, Pruett will do anything within his power to save his town, his people, the land, and his family. Anything.

Once again in the sparse, gritty, starkly poetic styling of James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman, and John D. MacDonald, R.S. Guthrie brings you his classic hero, James Pruett, at odds against the Sustantivo drug cartel, his own friends and citizens, and federal agencies that have agendas beyond those printed on their Mission Statements.
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Honor Land, the third book in the outstandingly-reviewed series!

In this third James Pruett Mystery, the hero is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: saving the life of an even larger hero.

Honor Land is a gritty, emotional story of patriotism, multiple murders, a hero Delta Force veteran, Kyle Yoder, who doesn’t understand himself any longer, much less whether or not he is capable of the brutal crimes for which he is charged.

James Pruett and his team will have to uncover the answers if they are to keep Yoder from a guilty verdict and a mandatory execution by lethal injection.

Get the boxed set today for an amazing sale price of only $2.99! pruett set

For more great information on the page-turning books by R.S. Guthrie, check out his author page and follow him on Twitter. 

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Chasity Bowlin’s Dark Regency Romance New Release

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HOT NEW BOOK RELEASE –

The Resurrection of Lady Ramsleigh (The Lost Lords Book 4 by Chasity Bowlin

Hey readers, as you may recall in our recent interview with Chasity Bowlin, she has written a great dark regency romance series called The Lost Lords. Each book brings its own delightful mix of suspense, intrigue, and ooh-lah-lah sexy romance. Now she has released the latest Lost Lords installment “The Resurrection of Lady Ramsleigh”.

Here is the book description found on Amazon.com:

Read Book Four in the bestselling “Lost Lords” series, a stunning Regency Historical Romance with an unforgettable Happily Ever After! Purchase or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

A shipwreck near Castle Black sees Dr. Nicholas Warner risking his life to save a woman from the churning sea. As he pulls her to the safety of the shore, the villagers are stunned by her presence. She is no stranger to them. They identify her as Viola Grantham, Lady Ramsleigh, wife of the recently deceased Lord Percival Ramsleigh… a woman who supposedly died nearly two years earlier. The mystery and scandal surrounding her only draws him in further, adding fuel to the fire of the immediate connection he feels to her.

Viola, thanks to her cold, unfeeling father, her abusive husband and his profligate nephew, has no trust for men and very little use for them. But there is something about Dr. Warner that she cannot so easily dismiss. Drawn to him seemingly against her will and better judgement, she confides in him about the son she bore in secret, the heir to her late husband and that she had only returned to secure his future and his place in society.

As they spend more time together, their feelings for one another deepen. But their happiness and growing affection for one another are threatened by Viola’s past. The late Lord Ramsleigh’s nephew, Randall, will not willingly give up the title, even if his aunt has returned from the dead and is presenting a child as the true heir to the title. In fact, there is nothing he will not do and no depths to which he will not sink, to ensure that never happens. He means to hold on to the title and the prestige that accompanies it by any means necessary… even if it means doing far more than just pretending that she is dead.

Will Viola be able to let go of the pain from her past and embrace the love of a truly good man? And even if she can, will Randall’s plots and schemes cost her far more than just her chance at happiness?”

Get this great read today!

Getting The Scoop on World Traveling Author C.M. Gray

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Around the world and back again, today we get the scoop on world traveling author C.M. Gray. Here is what he has to tell us…

Your bio says you are a world traveler. Of all the places you have been, which is your favorite? Have any of your destinations provided inspiration in your writing?

“I left home for a hitchhiking trip across Europe when I was seventeen. The idea at the time was to travel for a month or so and then return and join the rat-race, but this just didn’t happen quite the way I had figured when I set out.

I just kept travelling on, through Europe, over a year in Israel and then all over Asia on a trip that has continued on and lasted nearly forty years. These days I don’t carry a backpack so often. I’m living in Spain just outside of Barcelona with my two kids and two dogs, but I still travel as much as I can and rack up many miles every year.

The Countries I love are most recently Morocco and I have always loved traveling around Asia. Both places have given me a whole lot of inspiration for my books, they are so different from Europe or the States. When you are reading, especially the Griffin series, you will see many of these sights, smells and feelings of Asia and North Africa coming into the story.”

Where do you wish to travel but haven’t gotten to yet?

“I’ve been to many African countries over the last few years, but would love to really spend some time traveling through over a period of weeks or months rather than just days. It’s a huge wonderful continent with so much to offer, I really can’t wait to go back. I would also like to return to India. I spent seven months traveling around the Indian sub-continent when I was in my early twenties. Much will have changed by now, but so much will remain of that incredible country. It is like no other place. The people are incredible, I love the cuisine the sights are awe-inspiring which is great for a writer and time seems to move at a different pace.”

Where did the inspiration for your book Shadowland come from?

“Good question, but to be totally honest with you I had no idea what the book was about until I was about four chapters into it. I write for my own entertainment, hoping of course that when it’s finished it will appeal to readers. So there I was, happily just writing, playing with characters and the setting, really feeling my way into what was really happening and what the story might be about, when it sort of just pulled itself together and Shadowland became an Arthurian Legend, actually a story about King Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon.”

Is your character Usher Vance, in anyway, a reflection of yourself?

“I think the young Usher Vance could well have a lot of the early me in. I was brought up in the countryside so a lot of what I was visualizing as I was writing the first few chapters of the book will certainly have come from my younger years. I also love the Dark Age’s era, story’s set around this magical time and especially the Arthurian Legend that has its roots in this time.

We know so little about the Dark Ages because so few written records exist, and those that do come from less than reliable sources; the Romans who were very biased in their views and the early Christian monks.

It was fun to write of a young boy growing up during this time, just as the world was changing so much. Saxon invaders were raiding the villages and the last few Romans would still have been seen on the roads.

Getting back to Usher Vance, there are actually two timelines for Usher Vance’s in the story. The young Usher, but also the Usher Vance who has become an old man in the book, and has become the storyteller telling his tale, one Midwinter’s eve, to his neighbors in the village where he is living. A winter storm is howling outside, rattling the door to the inn, sending smoke from the fire blowing out into the room as it crackles and burns in the hearth, and as I’m not that old yet, no… that version of Usher Vance is not me, at least not yet!”

Does his relationship with Cal serve as a reflection of one of your real life relationships?

“I think the friendship between Usher and Cal reflects a bond we might all have had with someone as we were growing up, at least if we were lucky. A friend we went through good times and bad with, experienced and enjoyed many things, someone we could rely upon to be there when we needed them. So yes, I did have a friend like that, but to be honest we lost contact many years ago, but when I was Usher’s age I had a friend like Cal. Now I have a similar relationship, but it is with the woman who was just a shadow in my dreams when I was young. We were destined to find each other and fall in love later in life and have such a friendship, just when the time was right.”

Are there any other genres you have considered writing in?

“The Shadowland story is two books. The first is Shadowland, which now has 278 Amazon Reviews, and the second is set ten years after the events of the first and is called The Shadow of a King. Although historical I think the correct genre would be historical fantasy, because the events are taken from legend rather than fact….plus I throw in a good dose of magical Druidism!

The other two books I have so far published are pure and wonderful Fantasy. These are The Flight of the Griffin and The Flight of the Griffin-Chaos Storm. They follow the journey of five youngsters in their boat The Griffin as they are set on a quest to find and bring together three crystal skulls to complete a great spell and stop the balance of the world tipping into Chaos.

The first book, The Flight of the Griffin, which has 88 really nice reviews on Amazon, was runner up back in 2013 in the very prestigious ChickenHouse/Times literary competition. It’s a real rollicking, roller-coaster ride of an adventure that has won many fans of all ages. I keep getting put into the area of Young Adult for my writing, but that’s mainly because I use a minimum amount of violence and that only when necessary, and my characters don’t cuss or swear! (But that’s mainly because I don’t!) Many of my readers are actually adults who just enjoy good fantasy so I hope all ages will continue to enjoy these books.

The second book in this series is The Flight of the Griffin-Chaos Storm, which is set one year after the events of the first book. To be perfectly honest with you, I think that Chaos Storm is even better than the first book, but I hope readers will read both and decide if I’m right with that! I certainly had fun writing it. In this second book, the crew of the Griffin are employed by the ruler of the Kingdom to help turn back the barbarian army that is invading from the North, while an even greater menace approaches across the desert of the great expanse to their East.

In both books, the crew is frustrated by the attempts of the greedy merchant, Bartholomew Bask and the evil hunter Matheus Hawk as they do all in their power, including raising demons, to stop them.

If you love fantasy adventure, please give them both a read!”

Can you tell us a bit about your current writing project or an upcoming book release?

“I’ve been a little lax on my writing for the last couple of years, but right now I’m a good way into the third and final instalment of the Griffin series. In Chaos Storm I leave one of the crew in a rather nasty situation that really needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, the third book is set one hundred years after the events of the second, Chaos Storm, so he has had a bit of a wait!

I’m also playing with a couple of other ideas, one of which is set in the Dark Ages, but is not another Arthurian story. The other is a change in direction, it’s a story more close to events that have happened in my own life as I’ve travelled and is set in more modern times. I’m sure my readers will enjoy where I’m going with it once I finally get it finished!”

Is there a famous character, fictional or real, who fascinates you and may end up in one of your future stories?

“Well, yes… I like the idea of taking a famous character and weaving a story around them. It’s what I did with the Shadowland books by taking the character of Uther Pendragon and writing a story that could so easily have happened. I’ve thought about playing with the Robin Hood character and then Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. I like the idea of writing a story based during the Second World War, and I have several ideas set during Elizabethan London.

It’s such fun to be a writer and there is so much to write about!”

Find out more about C.M. Gray or follow his feed on Twitter.

 

 

Essential Elements for Writing Spine-Tingling Horror

You are in for a special treat today as we feature a guest blog post by paranormal mystery author Terri Reid (whom we recently interviewed). In today’s words of wisdom, Terri shares with us her own personal insight into the essential elements for writing spine-tingling horror. So would-be authors in the audience, grab a pen and take some notes because you are about to get the goods on setting up a good scare…

Essential Elements for Writing Spine-Tingling Horror”

Whether you’re sitting down to write a horror novel, a paranormal mystery, or even a young adult novel that has elements of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, you want to be sure that you have your readers catching their breath, looking over their shoulders, and turning up the lights. You want them to feel the chill of the unknown, the possibility of the macabre, and the terror of the dark.

R.L. Stine said, “When I write, I try to think back to what I was afraid of or what was scary to me and try to put those feelings into books.”

Stephen King said, “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

When I was asked to write this blog, I asked my assistant to go through my books and pick out what she perceived to be the scariest scenes. I knew I couldn’t pick them because I knew what was going to happen. But I learned something from her perspective. The scariest, most spine-tingling scenes were when the normal suddenly became abnormal.

The water was turquoise blue, reflecting the color of the swimming pool.  Patio furniture surrounded the pool, waiting for a party.  Moving forward she saw the ghost sitting on the edge of the pool, her feet slapping against the surface of the water.  She heard her laugh – an echo of a laugh from a long time ago.

Mary moved forward to see if the ghost would speak with her, but before she could move, the story started to unfold before her eyes.  The ghost laughed and leaned back, her voice was too low for Mary to hear.  But she could see her whispering, an intimate conversation like she was talking to a lover.   The ghost slid into the water, floating for a moment.

That’s strange, Mary thought, she’s not dressed for swimming.

Slowly the translucent woman drifted under the water, her eyes open, her smile dreamy.  Mary watched, transfixed, as she drifted in the pool of blue.  Then her eyes widened and her smile turned to fear.  Bubbles rushed to the surface of the pool as the ghost struggled against the unseen force that held her under.

Mary moved to help, but stopped, remembering she was seeing a vision of the past.  Finally, after a few of the longest minutes in Mary’s life, the bubbles stopped, and the body drifted to the bottom of the pool.

Instantly, the scene changed.  Mary was staring at an abandoned pool, cracks in the sides, weeds growing up from the dirt collected on the bottom. 

Gone was the furniture, patio lights and neatly manicured gardens.  In their place was darkness, neglect and the frigid sensation of death. A cold spot. Mary shivered before the cold wind reminded her she was back in the present.

She flashed her light beam around the area and then down into the pool where the body had drifted moments before. Only cracked concrete was visible.

Mary took a deep shuddering breath.  This had not been an accidental drowning. Someone had indeed murdered this woman.

She turned and found herself face to face with the phantom.  Wet hair was plastered against her ice-blue face. Her sodden clothing dripped with water, her black-rimmed eyes intense. Mary gasped and stepped back, her heart thudding against her chest.” ~ Excerpt from Loose Ends (A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery – Book One)

We knew that Mary was investigating the murder scene. (Okay, granted the normal doesn’t usually include people being able to see the past, but readers of Mary O’Reilly will accept this as normal.) We expect Mary to see what happened all those years earlier and it’s scary, but it didn’t make us jump. Turning around and meeting the ghost, that makes us jump. That takes us from the expected into the unexpected.

Think about when you’re watching a movie about a haunted house— you’re tense, your breathing is probably shallow, your eyes are darting around the screen because you know something is going to jump out. When it does, you jump too, but it’s not spine-tingling, because you expect it. Now read what happens when the lights are on and everything is seemingly normal.

One night, when Timothy had to work late, Margaret was in the kitchen folding laundry when she heard a child laughing. Glancing up at the clock, she saw it was nearly ten o’clock and wondered what kind of mother allowed her young child to be up at that hour. Worried, she opened the back door of the apartment and stepped out on the porch to see if she could locate the child. But stepping outside she made a realization that had her blood growing cold; there was no noise outside. The laughter she’d heard had come from inside her apartment.

Bolting back into the house she ran up the hallway to her baby’s bedroom. Sean’s door was closed. She knew she’d kept it open to listen for him. She grabbed the handle and pushed the door open wide, her heart pounding in her chest. Suddenly, she felt foolish. Sean was sound asleep, his fine, blonde hair tossed across his forehead and his little lips drawn upward in a smile. Looking around the room, she could see that everything was in place. His shelves were filled with blocks, cars, trucks and stuffed animals. His favorite books were stacked on his dresser. His teddy bear was in his bed next to him and his favorite toy, a push and spin carousel, was on the floor next to the closet door.

She leaned over the crib, pulled his blanket up and softly kissed his head. “Good night, sweetheart,” she whispered. “Pleasant dreams.”

Turning, making sure the door was wide open, she returned to the kitchen to finish folding the laundry.

Several hours later, Timothy came home. He entered the front door and then stopped at the front hallway, making sure his gun was stored away high on the shelf and his uniform jacket hung just below it. He paused when he heard some noise coming from his son’s room and started to turn in that direction when Margaret called from the kitchen.

I’ve got your dinner warming in the oven,” she called softly.

He walked down the hall into the kitchen and gave her a quick kiss. “I’ll eat in a moment,” he said. “I want to go in and see Sean first, while he’s awake.”

He’s sound asleep,” Margaret said. “I checked on him about thirty minutes ago.”

That’s funny,” Timothy replied. “I’m sure I heard his carousel playing when I walked in the house.”

Pushing past her large husband, Margaret ran down the hall to her son’s room. Timothy followed closely behind. She stopped at the doorway and swallowed a scream as she stared at the floor in the middle of Sean’s room.

What’s wrong?” Timothy asked, coming up behind her.

She couldn’t speak, she just pointed.

Sean lay sound asleep, just as he’d been when she’d checked on him. But the little toy, his favorite, was now in the middle of the room and the carousal was still spinning as if someone had just pushed the little plunger down. Then they both heard the sound of a child’s soft laughter echoing throughout the room.” ~ Excerpt from Tales Around The Jack O’ Lantern II (A Mary O’Reilly Series Short Story)

I really hope that sent chills running down your spine. Let’s look at some of the elements that set this up as a good scary story.

One, she’s alone at night. How many of us, alone at night, wonder about noises and movement? Even in the most familiar surroundings, nighttime brings with it a veil of the supernatural.

Two, she and the baby are vulnerable. The laughter comes from inside her apartment. The toy is moved while she’s just steps away in the kitchen. The child is nearby, asleep in his crib. Vulnerable to the spirit that has invaded their home.

Three, turning the normal into the paranormal. There is absolutely nothing scary about a push and spin carousel. If you didn’t have one, you knew someone who did. It’s part of everyday life. Except when it moves into the middle of the room and is playing by itself. Suddenly you’re turning your reader’s world upside down. Something that was safe, friendly and fun is now terrifying.

One of the final elements I’d like to talk about is pacing. You want to set your readers up. You want to let them walk along, thinking everything is just lovely and then “Boom” — pull the rug out from under them. Believe me, they’ll thank you for it.

Dragging the tubs and suitcases into the hall, Mary locked her dormitory door and then headed across the hall to the staircase to carry the empty containers down three flights of stairs to the basement. Piling the containers on top of each other, Mary lifted them in her arms, the containers blocking her vision, and slowly slid her foot forward to feel her way onto the first step down.

The slight nudge between her shoulder blades knocked her forward. She gasped in fear as she felt herself falling headfirst down the stairs. But before she could even emit of scream of terror, strong hands grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back, setting her upright. “Thank you,” she stuttered, her heart in her throat.

She turned to meet her rescuer and was shocked to see that she was the only one there. “Hello?” she called out, wondering if her rescuer had slipped into one of the nearby rooms. She placed the containers on the floor and walked down the hall. “Hello?” she called again. There was no response.

Okay, that was weird,” she said, taking a deep breath to calm her nerves. “That was really weird.”

She started to pick up the containers again, when she was interrupted, but this time in a more normal way. “Hey, I can help you with those,” a friendly voice sailed up from below her. “You don’t want to come down these stairs blindly.”

Mary put the containers down once again and smiled at the young woman walking up the stairs. “Hi,” she said with a quick shrug and then she nodded toward the pile on the floor next to her. “They’re not really heavy, just cumbersome. I can carry them, really.”

The young woman finished the climb up the stairs and shook her head. “It’s not how heavy they are,” she said. “It’s…” She paused and bit her lower lip, debating her next words. “Okay, don’t judge me. But weird stuff happens on this floor and, really, you don’t want to go down those stairs and not being able to see.”

Mary shook her head. “I’m not going to judge you at all,” Mary replied. “Especially since I nearly took a facer down the stairs just a few moments ago.”

Someone pushed you?” the girl asked.

Yeah,” Mary said. “I felt hands on my back. But, just as weird, someone caught me and pulled me back up.”

The girl sighed. “Well, at least you’ve got someone on your side.”

Someone on my side?” Mary asked. “What does that mean?”

Back in the seventies there was a fire in the house,” she explained. “They say it was bad wiring, but no one really knows. Anyway, most of the girls were able to get out, but three of the girls got caught in their room. The fire was between them and the staircase, and the fire department didn’t have a ladder tall enough to reach the third floor.”

Oh, that’s terrible,” Mary said.

Yeah, it really sucked,” the girl said. “But now the girls play pranks on the sorority sisters that live in the house. And…” She paused and looked apologetically at Mary. “They really like to pick on the newbies.”

Great,” Mary replied. “So, one of them tried to push me down the staircase and another one saved me, right?”

The girl nodded and smiled. “And the third one offered to help you carry your stuff down the stairs.”

And then she disappeared.” ~ Excerpt from Tales Around The Jack O’ Lantern 3 (A Mary O’Reilly Series Short Story)

Stephen King also said, “And as a writer, one of the things that I’ve always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.”

Get under your reader’s skin. Make them get up and turn on the light at night. Make them stop and listen to the wind, just to make sure they don’t hear voices. Make them blame the cat for those bumps in the night. Better yet, make them want to buy a cat to blame the noises on. Change their world into a place where anything can happen.

by Terri Reid (Guest Blog Post Author)

Your Summer Reading List 2018

 

Well readers, it’s that time of year again, time for the summer reading list of must haves. So without delay, let’s jump right in by genre…

Action

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (currently available) This bestselling dramatic novel centers on the inner workings behind the nation and what happens in the wake of a nationwide threat that leads to the disappearance of the very man in charge of the country, the President himself.

Romance

Dr. Strangebeard (Winston Brothers book 5) – by Penny Reid (release date July 30, 2018) This is the fifth book in the Winston Brothers series about a family of sexy, southern, bearded men who will have you swooning from page one of each one of their books. One of the best things about this whole series has been how amazing each character has been and how every book entwines you deeper into their lives until you find yourself missing them the minute you turn the last page. This fifth book focuses on the love story of the youngest brother, Roscoe, who has no trouble bringing the same swoon-worthiness as his older heartthrob siblings. Don’t wait another minute to get caught up on this series and ready for book 5 when it releases in late July.

The End of Lies (Single Lady Spy Series book 4) – by Tara Brown (release date August 7, 2018) This fourth installment to the Single Lady Spy series promises all the dark comedy romance with heart pumping action that we have come to expect from a Tara Brown book. The main heroine is an every day woman, mother of two, with a sleazy dead spy husband, who just happens to be an ex-spy herself (or maybe not so “Ex” after all). Thanks to a sexy arms dealer, and a super hot spy agent, the heroine finds herself deep in the action once again. If you haven’t yet started this series, there is no better time than now to get caught up before book 4 rolls on the scene in early August.

Science fiction

Darknet by Matthew Mather (currently available) This modern day thriller surrounds a massive banking conspiracy in a time when corporations have the same rights as human beings. Centered in the world of bitcoins and crypto-currency, this suspenseful tale will take readers on a roller coaster ride regarding a list of wealthy dead people who somehow appear to come back to life. But what is really going on? You will be flipping pages to the terrifying truth at its conclusion.

Fantasy

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard (currently available) This fourth and final installment to the Red Queen series features the preparation for and the final showdown between our lightning wielding heroine (Mare Barrow) and the two brothers who have fought for her heart and control of the kingdom. Who will be left standing when the dust settles after this epic showdown?

Mystery

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn (currently available) Not since the works of Alfred Hitchcock will you experience such hanging-on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense. This novel guarantees you won’t know what’s real and what’s imagined until the big reveal in this suspenseful tale of a woman unable to leave her home, who happens to look out the window at the everyday family home next door and witnesses something no one was supposed to see. At once, her world is turned upside down and nothing is what she expected.

Young adult

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest (currently available) This dystopian young adult thriller has been called a combination between Divergent and the Hunger Games. The story line centers on a girl named Violet who lives in a world that is literally divided by gender. There are two lands called Matrus and Patrus separated by a toxic river. Crossing over into Patrus is extremely dangerous and comes with great sacrifice for Violet, but she finds herself drawn to do so in order to escape the death sentence laid upon her in her own lands. But will the hardships in this land ruled by men prove to be more than she can bare?

Ghostly Goodness With Author Terri Reid

Hello Readers, today we are in for a special treat – an interview with spine tingling author Terri Reid! Her most notable works include the incredible Mary O’Reilley paranormal mystery series and the Legends of the Horsemen books. Without further ado, let’s just jump right in and get to the good stuff, shall we…

In your bio it says you live in the same area of the country as your famous Mary O’Reilly character, are there other similarities you share, like personality quirks?

TERRI: Yes, unfortunately, we are both addicted to Diet Pepsi, we both enjoy wearing sweatpants whenever we can, and we both have a strange and unusual sense of humor.

So what is it about ghost stories that you love so much?

TERRI: Good question – I remember about 20 years ago, I was a freelance writer for our local paper and I got the sweet assignment of writing the feature story for Halloween. The previous year I’d written it too – a collection of local ghost stories. So, I approached the public library and told them that I would be happy to share my ghost stories with their patrons one evening, and I would give their patrons a chance to share their own stories. (This was totally a way for me to get a bunch of new stories without having to follow up on a bunch of leads.) So, I stood at the front of the meeting room. There were about fifty people in the room, all sitting in folding chairs. I told a couple of stories and then I opened up the room to the audience. People would stand up, introduce themselves and tell about their ghostly experiences. As I watched from my front-of-the-room vantage point, I could see other people nodding in agreement as they talked about doors opening on their own, sounds of footsteps at night, strange voices coming from the next room and children being able to see invisible friends. It was like being in a 12-step program – for people with ghosts. “Hi, my name is Michelle, and I have a ghost.” “Hi, Michelle.”

What I learned that night is that many of us have had experiences with the paranormal and we really want to talk about it. We really want to share it with someone who understands. But we don’t want to be considered nuts or emotional. We want to hear someone else tell a story that sounds just like what happened to me. We want to feel validated that our experience was paranormal – but not abnormal. That’s why I love telling ghost stories so much!

We loved the story about your two-year-old self terrorizing your mother with a fake threat of a stranger behind her. What other kind of “prank scares” have you pulled on your loved ones over the years?

TERRI: The first one that came to mind was a really mean April Fool’s trick I played on my teenaged children years ago. It was early April Fools morning, my husband and I walked into their bedrooms with a broom, a large canvas bag and a flashlight. We didn’t say a word to them, one of us just shined the flashlight carefully under the bed while the other held the broom up like a weapon, with the bag in the other hand. We checked under each bed to the whispered questions. “What’s wrong?” “What are you looking for?” “What’s happening?” I just shushed them quickly and said. “Don’t move. We don’t want to scare it.” “What?” my daughter squealed, jumping up and standing on her bed. “Don’t be so frightened, raccoons rarely bite people,” I replied. “Racoons!!! There’s a raccoon in our room!!!!”

Now – in my defense, I never said there was a raccoon in their room. I only said that they rarely bite people, which I believe is a correct statement of fact. Yeah, they didn’t speak to me for a long time and, although I can’t remember specifics, I’m sure they returned the favor.

Your Mary O’Reilly who died and came back to life able to communicate with ghosts is such a great character. What was the inspiration that started you creating her in your imagination back before that first book “Loose Ends” was written?

TERRI: The inspiration for “Loose Ends” was a story my sister, another Mary, told me about a house she lived in near Dublin, Ohio. At the time, my sister and her husband were buying run-down properties, doing a lot of the work themselves and then flipping them. They both were working other jobs and raising three children. (If you’re not familiar with Dublin, let me just mention that it is quite well-known for the paranormal things that happen there, and ghost stories were quite common.) My sister had spent far into the night scraping a parquet floor off the subfloor and was exhausted. Her husband was out of town and her children had been in bed for hours. She finally stumbled to her own bed at about two in the morning. Some time after she had fallen asleep, she woke with the feeling that someone was in her bedroom watching her. She turned to see a translucent figure standing next to her bed. Seeing a ghost would have been bad enough, but his was a ghost of a Union soldier whose body was riddled with oozing bullet holes and he was carrying his head in his hands.

Most of us (okay, I mean me) would have either fainted dead away, screamed bloody murder, hidden under the covers (why do we think that a thin piece of material can protect us from evil?) or some combination of all three. My sister turned to the specter and said, “I cannot deal with you tonight. I’m totally exhausted. Go away.”

She told me that the ghost actually shrugged its headless shoulders, turned around and floated out of the room.

Once she told me about her experience, I knew that had to become the basis for a story and Mary O’Reilly was born.

While its seems like mystery is your first love, you also wrote a series about Morganna and Merlin and the magic curse leading to men being turned into horses in order to save their lives until the curse could be broken. This series titled, “Eochaidh – Legend of the Horsemen” seems like quite a diversion from the O’Reilly series, where did the inspiration come from?

TERRI: I really loved writing the Eochaidh series. The writing is so different than the Mary O’Reilly series because you get to be almost lyrical when you write it. But, the reason I wrote it is because I dreamt it – in full living color. I saw the horses turn into knights. I saw Meaghan, the main character. I have never had such a detailed dream before in my life, so I knew I had to write it.

Have you taken any real life unsolved crimes/crime stories and used them as a muse for any of your books?

TERRI: Many of my stories are taken from real life stories, but then modified so they are not recognizable. But, the one story that really stands out when I read your question was the storyline I used when I wrote Buried Innocence (Book 13) in the series. A friend of mine, Ophelia Julien – another author – sent me a Reuters news article about a process called “rehoming.” The article was based on a new practice where people who had adopted children from other countries (usually older children with many issues) found that they couldn’t handle the stress or the cost – so they were taking out ads on Craigslist offering these children to good homes. Like puppies or kittens! There was no government oversite, no background checks – these kids were just given to people who answered the ad. The child that prompted the article ended up in an abusive situation.

I couldn’t believe that a practice like that could exist, so I checked Craigslist and found ads on there with kids for “rehoming.” So, I wrote Buried Innocence about a child who was rehomed and was killed. At the end of the book, I encouraged my readers to contact their government officials and let them know about this practice. My readers responded, and legislation was passed in many states making rehoming illegal.

Looking back over all your stories, which of your created villains do you feel is the scariest of them all and why?

TERRI: I think the scariest villain I created was the one in Book 18 and 19 – he was a little boy who was a psychopath. He was angry with his family, because he didn’t think he was getting the Christmas present he wanted, so he burnt down the house on Christmas morning – killing everyone inside. When a sympathetic fireman wheeled the bike out of the garage, as the little boy watched the fire, the child shrugged and replied, “Well, they should have left it under the tree.” He later was moved to an asylum where he studied about psychic powers and then he killed himself, so he could come back as a psychopathic ghost. I think the monsters are scarier when you realize that they are often the people who live around us.

Can you tell us anything about your current work in progress or your next upcoming book release?

TERRI: Thank you for asking! I’m currently working on a book about a family of witches up in the UP of Michigan. The series is called “The Willoughby Witches.” There are three sisters and their mother who are the chosen ones to fulfill a spell put on an evil entity 120 years ago. Each of them has to face their own challenges and use their special talents to help keep the entity contained. Their ancestors – three other sister witches – sacrificed their lives to seal the spell and now it’s their turns to finally put an end to it.

Thanks for the chuckles and the chills, Terri!

There you have it readers – some great titles to add to your “must read” list. To find out more and keep up with Terri, check out her Amazon author page and her Twitter feed.

Book Review: Castaways by Tara Brown

The ever talented author Tara Brown has once again released a novel that captivates her readers starting on page one! Her latest release, Castaways, finds a band of actress/model types stranded on an island after what seemed to be a storm-induced shipwreck. Fatefully, it just happens to be five couples that survive and find themselves stranded on an island in the Bermuda Triangle.

Now, starting with the prologue we are introduced into the delightfully spine-tingling intrigue that makes this thriller the gripping storyline that it is. Though it takes the survivors awhile to clue in that their predicament is not just a result of a bad storm; the readers are instantly aware there is a saboteur in their midst and steadfastly try to figure out who it is with each twist and turn.

Just when you think you might know what is going on, Ms. Brown throws in a humdinger surprise you didn’t see coming. Then again later on, when you think it’s safe to breathe a sigh of relief, you feel that tingle at the base of your neck that maybe everything is still not quite what it seems…

As usual, Ms. Brown features a kick-ass heroine who starts out like a sleeper making you wonder if she is just another pretty face who then transforms later into a female superhero! Of course, there is also just the right amount of romantic innuendo and sexual tension to keep you glued to every page, dying to see how things will play out.

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, Castaways is definitely a must read!