MEET DEBUT AUTHOR KAREN MILLIE-JAMES

 

KAREN MILLIE-JAMES grew up in north-west London and now lives in the Buckinghamshire countryside with her husband, daughter and their three dogs.  Karen founded her international business consultancy practice in 1993 and is widely recognised as an expert in the corporate field, sitting on many boards of directors around the globe in an advisory capacity.

THE SHADOWS BEHIND HER SMILE is Karen’s first novel.

The sequel, Where in the Dark, which continues the story of Cydney Granger,

will be available worldwide later in 2016.

Find out more at www. karenmilliejames.com

 

Blurb

41zejsiXpiL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_As soon as corporate forensic specialist, Cydney Granger, hears the crunch of tyres on her driveway, she knows they’ve come to report her husband is dead. After all, Captain Steve Granger had barely left for Afghanistan when she’d had the first of those terrible premonitions.

Although Cydney is a psychic medium, she’s disturbed by her inability to connect with Steve. But when she’s contacted by recently deceased Ray Gordon, he agrees to help her, on one condition – can she put a stop to his brother’s greed and corruption and ensure Ray’s family get the inheritance they deserve?

Sean O’Connell, Steve’s former sergeant, had promised he would always protect Cydney and the children in the event of Steve’s death. However, during Cydney’s investigations into the scrupulous activities of two high-powered businessmen, and when George Edwards appears on the scene intent on pursuing her, Sean finds himself out of his depth.

From the heart of Cydney’s corporate world in London to the ruins of war-torn Damascus, men will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Faced with secrets, fraud, attempted murder, and blackmail, can Cydney come out of this unscathed? And, after four years, is she ready to let Steve go?

A brilliant plot that combines the heat of the business world with the secrecy of the Special Forces.

In a genre of its own encompassing crime and mystery, this unique thriller is impossible to put down.

 

 

 

A LITTLE Q & A

 

IMG_1833If this were a Twitter pitch party, you would squeeze your tag line into a 140 characters. Would you like to try?

Transported from the boardroom to war-torn Damascus, the suspense erupts with a background of romance and a hint of the paranormal

 

Who are your main characters?

Cydney Granger – a strong, self-assured businesswoman with a hidden side.

Sean O’Connell – ex Special Forces who always gets to the truth

George Edwards – lawyer with a background he never wants to reveal

Rupert Van der Hausen – South African industrialist, whose fortune continues growing despite the circumstances

Steve Granger – Captain in the Special Forces.  A born leader of men. Killed on a secret mission – but his body was never found.

Craig Benton and Robert Crossley – accumulated their wealth through insider dealing and corruption

Ray Gordon  – in spirit, desperate to stop his brother, Charles, from defrauding his wife.

 

Tell me about the title. Are there any hidden subtexts we should know about?

Cydney has everything to the outside world but her feelings are kept firmly under wraps and nobody is allowed in especially as a result of her father dying in her childhood, and losing her husband, Steve.  Can she release those shadows and learn to love again with George.

 

How many books do you have planned?

The sequel, Where in The Dark, will be released towards the end of 2016.  There will possibly be a third book in the series.  I doubt I can let Cydney go now.

 

Tell me about your home base. Country or city?

I now live in the Buckinghamshire countryside in a cottage built in the 1890’s which has been extended and modernised.  We love the outdoor life with our three dogs.

 

Are you a fan of self-promotion? What is your weapon of choice? (I love Twitter)

I love the interaction and groups on Facebook.  I am still learning about Twitter but the social media scene helps you meet so many new people.

 

If eyes are the windows to the soul, the telly is the window to writing prompts. What are you watching on the telly these days?

I love period dramas and have just finished watching War and Peace.

 

Share your method with us.

I have no actual method.  I sit down and the story flows.  After a few chapters I read through, maybe change things around, then carry on writing.  I think through the characterisation and how the various people would react to circumstances, normally in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep, or when I’m driving.  Sometimes I would think of an amazing sentence or description and have to write it down to use when the occasion arises.

 

All writing and no play makes the writer suffer. What do you do in your spare time (other than work the day job)?

Believe it or not, I read.  I always have done from an early age, especially the classics.  I go to the theatre and love musicals.  I dance, particularly Ceroc and jive, and play tennis or table tennis.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Sherbet strawberries!

 

What are you doing right now this minute?

Watching Would I Lie to You on TV.  So funny and makes me laugh out loud.

 

What’s next?

Continue my writing.  Possible radio and TV interviews promoting my background in business, which are in the pipeline.

 

 

Excerpt

As Ray left her, albeit reluctantly, his body melting out of the taxi, Cydney’s skin returned to normal. She was now alone and the thoughts of the man faded to be replaced by the nose-to-tail traffic as the taxi driver turned south off the Marylebone Road and into Park Crescent, a beautiful area of London with elegant stuccoed terraced houses forming a semi-circle, which linked to Regents Park opposite. As they moved between the two halves of the crescent, Cydney looked into the private garden and saw between the railings the seven feet high statue of Queen Victoria’s father, Prince Edward, wearing his field marshall uniform. Driving through brought pictures to her mind of old English gentry and41zejsiXpiL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ peers of the realm visiting in their private carriages.

Turning her attention to the day ahead, Cydney took the opportunity to read through her papers once again. It was important nothing should go wrong and that the client maintained his faith in her. However, thoughts of Ray wouldn’t leave her. She took out her mobile and dialled her assistant.

“Granger Associates – Jennifer Vere-Nicholson speaking.”

Cydney never tired of hearing the sound of the phone answered so professionally by the staff of her own company. Jenny was her right-hand woman and had started work the day she and Steve had established the company. She had built up her own client base and always explained that she was learning from the master. Her father had been knighted several years ago for his contribution to industry and Cydney liked the fact she had such a good pedigree. Jenny was in her mid-twenties and had joined the company straight from university where she’d read law and criminology, deciding she didn’t want to go into law itself but work in commerce. Cydney had taught her the business world she’d come to know and love and now she completely relied on her; she was worth her weight in gold. With no time for small talk she got straight to the point.

“I’m on the way to the meeting but I want you to do a complete check on a company for me called Rayshel Plastics. Get Richard to help you. I want everything by the time I come into the office tomorrow morning.”

“Not much notice then…”

“This is important – full report, records, accounts, criminal stuff.”

Cydney rang off. She knew they could trust Richard. Even though retired from CID he still had an ‘in’ to the powers that be. Now she could sit back and relax a bit whilst they did their work.

 

THE SHADOWS BEHIND HER SMILE is Karen’s first novel. Where in the Dark, which continues the story of Cydney Granger, will be available worldwide later in 2016.

Links – Multi-Media:

Find out more about Karen at:

Website: www.karenmilliejames.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KMillieJames

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Karen-Millie-James-1672621729620381/

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/karen-millie-james-098a911

 

Buy Links:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadows-Behind-Her-Smile-ebook/dp/B01BQ9OY3C

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Behind-Her-Smile-ebook/dp/B01BQ9OY3C

www.kingoftheroadpublishing.com

 

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TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY TWO: HEIDI MASON

Please join me in welcoming Solstice Author Heidi Mason, whose debut novel INVESTIGATING THE HEART looks there and beyond…

INVESTIGATING THE HEART

Investigating the Heart 1After the death of her husband in a plane crash, Emma McCoy, a single mom of three, has given up on love. When she meets Liam O’Reilly, an FBI agent who is new in town, the chemistry is immediate.  Emma tries to keep her distance, but Liam is determined to win her over.  As the two navigate their feelings, Emma’s resolve begins to crumble. What Emma doesn’t know is that Liam is connected to her past in a way that she could never have imagined, and this connection could put their future in jeopardy.  In the small town of Beckland, Ohio, danger is the last thing that Emma expects.  However, since Liam’s arrival, it seems like peril is waiting around every corner. See below for a taste…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Heidi Renee Mason always knew she would be an author. Heidi is passionate about writing with a flare
for fiction, as well as poetry. In her spare time, Heidi enjoys music, genealogy, all things Celtic, and chick flicks. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters. Investigating the Heart is Heidi’s debut novel.

In the spirit of our times, the author opens up about her new novel and the novel things that drive her…

Q & A

  1. The blurb for Investigating the Heart is jam-packed with intrigue and peril, yet it hints at romance not
    unlike that shared by the famous Rick and Elsa from Casablanca. Are you a noire fan?

I am definitely a fan of Casablanca. As a matter of fact, there is a scene in my book where Emma is Rick and Elsawatching that movie. I honestly tend to lean more toward your traditional sappy romances. But, I am a sucker for a love story in any form.

  1. What inspired you to go down the romance, suspense path?

Investigating the Heart didn’t start as a suspense novel. I was planning a pretty traditional love story, but things took an unexpected turn pretty quickly. I just do what the characters tell me to do, so that’s the road we all went down. It was actually pretty fun to cross over to the “dark side” for awhile.

  1. Are you a big time reader? Who are your hero’s, mentor’s and fave’s?

green gablesI am definitely a reader. I have been from the time I learned how to string words together to make sentences. As a young girl,  my mother would actually ground me from reading when I got into trouble. She said it was the only thing that had a significant impact on me…and she was right. I love Nicholas Sparks. The way he can craft a love story is really like no one else that I’ve read. He draws you in and makes you care about his characters. I don’t think I have ever read one of his books that didn’t make me cry at some point. As an author, that’s really the goal, right? To make your readers feel something. I also have a special place in my heart for the Anne of Green Gables series. Those books were defining for me as a young girl. I love chick lit, and adore Elin Hilderbrand and Jodi Picoult. I love historical novels as well, and enjoyed the Pillars of the Earth books by Ken Follett. It’s really hard for me to choose. Books are pretty much my escape from life, and always have been.

  1. Do you find value in any other mediums such as HBO?

I don’t watch HBO, mostly because I don’t subscribe to it on cable. I do enjoy TV and movies, though. I love the Outlander series on Starz. I am a little bit obsessed with it. While I like a good movie or television show, though, I always prefer a book.

  1. What sense do you rely on most when framing a scene?

I would have to say I’m a visual person. I need to be able to see the scene playing out in my head while I write it. My goal is to craft the story in a way that my readers can see it as well.

  1. When did you start writing?

I really began to enjoy expressing myself with words when I was a teenager. I found that it was easier for me to put my emotions onto paper than to speak them. I wrote for the high school newspaper, then I worked for a time as a Staff Writer for a local newspaper after I graduated high school. Then, I began having children and I put it on the back burner for awhile. Anyone with small children knows that some days it is difficult to form a cohesive thought, let alone write something. As the girls got older, I gradually began writing again, then earlier this year, I decided it was time to write my book. So I did…in four months. I tend to be very focused on things, and once I start something I feel an intense need to finish it.

  1. Is it a Gift? Torture? Or Calling?

Yes, all of the above! I feel like it is all of those things, depending on the day. When the words are in there and don’t want to come out, it is torture. Most of the time, though, I feel like it really is my gift and calling. I feel very blessed that I get to do something that I love so much, and that people seem to enjoy what I write.

  1. Many writers thrill to that first draft: the rush of creating something new. Others love going back and layering in details and devices through the editing process. What’s your fave thing about this thing we do called writing?

My favorite part of writing is being able to take the story out of my head and put it into words. I love the way that the characters speak to me and tell me how it is all going to go. I am not in control, really, and I enjoy the surprise. I enjoy the act of creating something that will entertain, transport, and hopefully touch readers in some way.

  1. I belong to a group that says “writing need not be a solitary act”. Do you write in seclusion, or do you belong to a critiquing group?

I don’t belong to a critique group, but I’m definitely not opposed to it. I write alone, mostly because I don’t have a set time or writing schedule. I just write as I can fit it in.  I would say that I write in seclusion, but I really don’t. I write in the middle of the chaos of my house, and that’s how I work best. I have three daughters, and we home school, so it is always a delicate balance of being there for them, but finding the time to write, too.

  1. Happy endings: For? Or Against?

Most definitely FOR! I love happy endings. I am indeed a fan of them. However, happy endings don’t always have to be the expected outcome. Sometimes, the best happy endings are the ones you don’t expect.

Excerpt

Prologue

Moving as quickly as a woman seven months pregnant was capable of, Emma McCoy headed to the front door of her house. The loud knocking had awakened her from her afternoon nap. Emma yawned, trying to appear awake. She didn’t remember being this exhausted during her other pregnancies. This time, she could barely stay awake during the day.  “I’ll be right there!” She called toward the general direction of the front door.  She wondered to herself who it could be. Her best friend, Sadie, never knocked, and her husband, Jacob, was out of town on business. Mom and Dad wouldn’t have bothered knocking. They would have known she would probably be napping while the girls napped.  Opening the front door, she saw the two policemen. Fear immediately crept up inside of her chest. Her first thought upon seeing the officers was that something was wrong with her parents. Had they been hurt? Emma prayed the policemen were at the wrong address, but she had a feeling deep inside of her gut that they were not.  Investigating the Heart 1“Can I help you?” her heart raced inside of her chest. She willed herself to stay calm.  “Mrs. McCoy,” said the male officer. “Can we come inside, please?” “Of course.” Emma led them through the dining room and into her living room. She offered the officers a seat, but instead of sitting herself, she paced the living room floor, panic rising in spite of her best efforts to keep it in check. “Someone please tell me what’s going on. Has there been some kind of accident? Is someone hurt?” “Mrs. McCoy, please sit down,” said the female officer. “We need you to stay calm. Since you’re pregnant, we can’t have you getting too upset.”  Emma sat down awkwardly in the rocking chair.

The antique rocker had been in her family for generations. Her parents had given it to her as a gift when she gave birth to her oldest daughter. She ran her hands across the aged wood, thinking absently of her children, who were upstairs napping. She was aware that her palms were sweating and her heart was racing. She tried to slow her breathing, but she felt like she might throw up.  “Someone please tell me what’s wrong. I know something is wrong,” she said impatiently, looking directly at the officers for answers. “Is it my parents?” “Mrs. McCoy, there has been an accident. Your husband’s plane went down while it was descending into Canada. They searched, but there were no survivors,” said the female officer as she looked intently at Emma. “I am so sorry to bring you this news.” “What do you mean? There must be some mistake. Jacob’s plane wasn’t even flying to Canada. He was going to California on business.” Emma was momentarily thankful realizing the officers must be mistaken. “I know this is a shock, Mrs. McCoy, but it has been confirmed. The passenger on the plane to Canada was definitely your husband. We have copies of his plane ticket and his passport. We have him on the airport video surveillance. He boarded the plane with another passenger, a woman named Veronica Smith. I believe you might know her as well,” said the policeman.  “Veronica is our neighbor. I thought she was going to Pennsylvania to visit her family. That’s what she told me last week. Why were Jacob and Veronica on a plane together? Jacob was supposed to be going to California, not Canada. I don’t understand! Why was he with Veronica?” Emma demanded as a million questions filled her mind. She sat for a moment trying to wrap her brain around the information. The small voice which she had ignored for the past year spoke loudly in her head now. She had been suspicious of Jacob and Veronica, but told herself  she was just being paranoid. Jacob had told her she was just emotional because of the pregnancy. Emma had agreed that he was probably right, and had pushed aside the nagging suspicion she felt.  Images she had ignored because she didn’t want to believe them now paraded through her mind. There had been many times she had accused her husband of being friendlier with their neighbor than he should be. Jacob always got angry with her and blamed her for being paranoid. Emma always backed off, not wanting to fight with him.  In that instant, Emma’s denial came crashing down on her. She saw Jacob helping the beautiful and mysterious Veronica trim the hedge between the houses. She saw them laughing together at something Jacob had said. She heard Jacob’s insistence that he was “just being neighborly.” Emma remembered the morning she had seen Jacob and Veronica talking quietly on the sidewalk, their familiarity with each other making her jealous. Emma had chosen to ignore all of these things, but they could not be ignored now. The room began to spin. She felt faint. Jacob had been having an affair with Veronica, and now they were both dead. What was she going to do? She was alone, with two little girls and another on the way. Emma tried to stand, but her legs wouldn’t support her. The two officers rushed over and caught Emma as she slipped into oblivion.

 

Visit Heidi at:

www.heidireneemason.wordpress.com

On Twitter @heidireneemason

Or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heidi-Renee-Mason/1588917641371359

author at www.solsticepublishing.com

 

Thank you for stopping by Heidi and good luck with your new release. Don’t be a stranger! ABF

 

TOMORROW:

Pause day or teaser? Find out at http://www.abfunkhauser.com.

TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS: DAY ONE: LYNETTE CRESWELL

It’s September 7, and the blog is back after summer hiatus. Hiatus? Well, not quite. I’ve been promoting HEUER LOST AND FOUND, revising SCOOTER NATION, and dreaming about what Part II of POOR UNDERTAKER will look like after November and NaNoWriMo. But it hasn’t been all about me. Friends and colleagues have been busy doing the same: crafting, molding, building, rebuilding and broadcasting to the world: “We’re here, and we’re writing.”
Bravo one and all. Keep on doing what you’re doing.
The blog for September begins appropriately enough with something I call TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS. Each day, a different writer will be showcased. Some are first timers; others, long timers, prize winners, novelists and short story magicians. Please welcome each and every one in turn. We are, after all, in this together.
Adult, unapologetic, and so glad to be back, I am,

FUNKHAUSER SIGNATURE

September 7, 2015

FIRST UP:

Clump, A Changeling’s Story by Lynette Creswell

Clump cover Feb - CopyA race of monsters by day and ferocious timber wolves by night, the Windigos who live in the Red Canyon are formidable creatures. They survive by eating immortals but, oddly enough, there is one amongst them who cannot abide the taste of meat on his lips. His name is Clump and he’s the chief’s only son.

On the night of his birth, his mother swallowed a potion which she hoped would stop her feeding on her young. The potion worked, but with dire consequences. Clump is born cursed and his father, Serpen, grows suspicious.

Clump’s life changes forever when he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is forced to flee his village. This takes him on a magical journey where he strikes a dubious deal with a witch, is saved by a Plainwalker and finds a friend in an Elvin princess.

Be prepared! This is a touching story of unlikely friendships, unexpected love and the most deadly of betrayals.

About Lynette

Lynette was born in London but moved to Burnley, Lancashire when she was still quite young. From the Lyn pic2 - Version 3tender age of five she was raised by her grandmother and given books to help keep her quiet. Lynette found she had a passion for reading and subsequently started writing once she began school.

Years later, Lynette’s husband was so impressed with her ability to capture children’s imaginations with her stories, that he encouraged her love of writing by buying her a laptop in the hope she would write something more substantial. So with a little push in the right direction, Lynette decided to write a fantasy trilogy and the subject would be something that all children love to read about (and most adults too) – magic!

Lynette’s inspiration came from childhood books written by Enid Blyton. The Enchanted Wood and The Faraway Tree were her first real taste of fantasy. Later on in life Stephen King captured her own vivid imagination.

Sinners of MagicHer first novel, Sinners of Magic was published in 2012 and is now Betrayersreceiving attention from both London and American film producers. Betrayers of Magic became the second book of the series followed by Defenders of Magic. Her latest book Clump, A Changeling’s Story was released in August 2015.

Winner of the 2014 ‘Write On’ Competition, enabled one of her short stories to be made into film for TV and narrated by the actress, Julie Peasgood. Lynette has since had another of her short stories published in defendersAmerica, hitting No 4 in the US bestsellers charts. The Witching Hour is only available via Amazon.

Lynette lives in North East Lincolnshire with her husband and King Charles witching hour
Spaniel, Ruby. All of her grandchildren are the apple of her eye.

LINKS

Universal Link to the paperback: http://getbook.at/Clump1

Universal Link to Kindle: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00QXO08MW

My website/blog is: www.Lynetteecreswell.wordpress.com

My Twitter Account: @Creswelllyn

My Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/lynette.creswell.1

 

Thank you, Lynette Creswell, for kicking off the Autumn writing season. Good luck with CLUMP as well as the UK and US producers. Come back to visit soon!

ABF

 

TOMORROW:

The blog welcomes an awesome Solstice Publishing double header: Heidi Mason and Maighread MacKay. Two authors, two debuts.  INVESTIGATING THE HEART and STONE COTTAGE  will keep you wondering who loves whom and why????????

DSC_3980-2
Heidi Mason
Maighread MacKay
Maighread MacKay

 

FIRST RADIO INTERVIEW

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a faraway galaxy, I worked in politics. It was an amazing world peopled with amazing speech makers, luminescent scribes, and ambitious policy makers jostling to get the words out.

Which is why there’s a little thing called ‘media training’. Broadly defined, media training encompasses everything from elocution to breathing to physical deportment. Perspiration was a “no, no” — Richard Nixon debating Kennedy back in ’60 cemented that — as was the exclamatory pause “um”. Um was anathema, and as I watched politicians prep from debates, I picked up a thing or two…

Good thing, because it’s my turn now. Last month, I talked up HEUER LOST AND FOUND with Charlene Jones on 102.7 FM Whistle Radio Stoufville. It was a privilege to have been given the opportunity.

“Don’t say “um,” I kept saying to myself, “for cryin’ out loud DON’T.” And I didn’t, thank gawd.

Scheduled to air March 24, I just had to share a “sneak peek”.

The Interview

HEUER LOST AND FOUND available April 23, 2015. Advance orders begin March 26 at Amazon.com.

solstice publishing

ON THE EVE OF HER BIRTHDAY, THE AUTHOR TAKES A DAY OFF WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM SOLSTICE

Guest Blogger: A. B. Funkhauser

Posted on March 11, 2015

HERE SHE COMES, MISS AMERICA

In the run up to the release of her debut novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND A.B. Funkhauser copes with the responsibility of really, really getting published…for real.

If I tell my friends one more time that writing picked me and I not it, I’ll probably get tee pee’d. But if casual pranks among friends comes with the territory, I’ll take it, because I mean every word. Over the course of the last twelve weeks, I’ve been asked to talk about everything from “process” to “voice” to “inspiration markers” and I’ve answered as best I can. I wrote, I said, because I felt I had to; I created characters and scenes because they ‘spoke’ to me and I transcribed; and I talked about myself—my hopes, my dreams and my fears—because this is what promotion is and promotion is key regardless of what my parents taught me about modesty and not trumpeting accomplishments.

I had a novel. I pitched it. And Solstice said “yes.” Now I have to sell it. *yikes*

SHAKIN’ LIKE A SPANIEL

With the ‘yes’ came the validation—the idea that maybe I had something decent after all—and with it an in-body experience that gave volcanism a whole new meaning for me. “Here she comes, Miss America” was the first thing that came to mind when I opened Summer Solstice Editor-In-Chief Kathi Sprayberry’s contract offer email last November.

Was this really happening? Will you marry me? Yes! Oh, yes! I will. I do…and then I slobbered like Miss America. For all those years I denounced the phony tears under the big tiara, this was the payback: Her tears were real after all, and so were mine.

SELL, SELL, SELL

I had my publisher, and with it my marching orders. In the space of a few weeks I had a website, a blog, a book trailer and a half century’s worth of tag lines, log lines and elevator pitches that would make Don Draper notice. I belong to “Promote Your Book” sites on Facebook, am mastering the fine art of twitter blasts on requisite Hash Tag Days of The Week, and long to upload THE BOOK onto Goodreads. There isn’t a coffee house in my county that doesn’t know me, and my former embalming instructor is dodging me because he knows I want the alumni list and going after said list is wildly inappropriate. I have compiled lists of local media to acquaint; public libraries with bulletin boards to be pinned, and arts and letters events that I will definitely go to, provided I lose that last five pounds that separate me from my party clothes.

Who knew this adventure would take me to such exciting places?

This weekend, I turn 50, and instead of handing out my shiny new postcards at the monthly breakfast I attend, I will have to entrust them to another to do the deed: my husband insists on spiriting me away to celebrate—sans postcards.

Maybe if we come home early???

Sigh.

ABF

March 11, 2015

A.B. Funkhuaser is a funeral director, wildlife enthusiast and classic car nut living in Ontario, Canada. Her debut novel, Heuer Lost And Found, combines adult, paranormal and dark humor in a fiction set to hit the market April 23, 2015. Presales begin March 26, 2015.

For more on A.B., please visit her at:

www.abfunkhauser.com

www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004110336663

https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Be sure and check out her book trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3beUBWf2CQ

A visceral journey of two people: one living, one dead.

“Ever closer, ever farther, I will see you again one day, in the good place.”

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against god, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past. Is it really worth it?

“Heuer? What kind of a name is that?”

Aside from a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer is a man. German born, a U.S. citizen, he is layered, complicated, bitter and possessed of a really weird sense of humor. Dying alone and seemingly unlamented, he wakes as a preternatural residue, forced to live with his decomposing body over a one week period until he is finally found by a neighbor he despises. “If there’s a hell, it’s right here, and I’m standing in the middle of it.” Following his body to the funeral home, he is relieved to find Enid Krause, funeral director and former lover. Charged with the task of preparing his body for burial, she is less than gracious, declaring his dramatic return after a twenty year absence, unwelcomed and unappreciated. Crestfallen, Heuer doesn’t know what’s worse: dropping dead and not being found, or being found and being insulted.


Introducing K.C. Sprayberry

Today, I welcome author K.C. Sprayberry to the blog. Prolific, invested, K.C. unveils her latest, the much anticipate LOST AND SCARED.

 A BIT ABOUT

lost and scared cover artWhen their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Excerpt 1 ~ Shane

The window in my bedroom that I share with my two younger brothers overlooks Main Street. I angle my head, so I can attempt to see where my twin is.

“See Keri?” Axe, my best bud, asks.

“Nope. But I do see a bunch of cars leaving.” I face him and grin. “That means she’s on her way back.”

“Great. We can leave now.”

“Looks that way.”

He and I race down the stairs. The normal noise of a large family during winter holiday break greets me, along with what can only be described as evil snickering. We come around the corner, shoving and pushing to see which one of us gets to the bottom first, with me gaining an inch on my bud.

“Yes!” I pump a fist and hop down the last three steps, the satisfaction of proving once and for all that I’m the best pass receiver on our team.

“I am so going to beat you one of these days,” he says.

We knuckle bump and clown around.

“Ready when you are, honey,” a strange female voice says.

“Huh?” I turn around.

A woman who looks like a million miles of bad road stands beside the open front door. Before I can ask who she is and what she’s doing in our house, a series of loud bangs precedes the sound of a cat yowling. That noise sends fear shivers through every inch of my body, and I don’t scare all that easily.

“What the heck?” Axe pushes me aside. “What’s going on, Shane?”

“Don’t know.” I point at the woman. “Who are you?”

“Jake’s honey-poo,” she purrs.

That response is wrong on so many levels, beginning with Jake is my dad’s name. The last time I checked he was still married to my mom.

“Who are you two handsome hunks?”

Gross. Sick. Yuck! She sounds just like Scooter when he catches a mouse.

Just as I’m about to tell this loser from the wrong side of the tracks to get lost, Scooter races out of the kitchen. A mix of who knows what, he has gorgeous gray and white striped fur and I can only describe him as fat and slow.

Slow comes nowhere close to describing that streak racing for safety. Scooter howls out his fear. His fur stands on end and his tail is so fluffy that it looks ten times its normal size.

Author Bio:

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the better pic of meUnited States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

http://youtu.be/RCI2EWfs3UI

Excerpt 2 ~ Keri

Carly and I sneak up the walkway to the backdoor of the house where I live with my parents and five siblings. We’ve done nothing wrong. There is no reason for us to be sneaking into my house, except one… him.

“Are you sure about this?” she whispers.

“Yeah.” I cast a guilty glance at the driveway.

Shane’s truck isn’t here. He must still be hanging with his best bud, Axe. Heat rushes up my face whenever I think about that hunk. Axe not Shane. Big Bro is anything but a hunk. Well, he is kind of cute, and a lot of girls like him, but a hunk? Give me a break. None of the girls hot for him know that he stinks up a bathroom or dumps his clothes all over the place for me to pick up.

I’ll forgive Carly for thinking like that. She’s good for Shane, if he’d just get over the “everybody will hate us for dating” thing. Big deal if she’s African American and we’re white. Nobody cares about that anymore.

“Your dad will pop a cork if he catches me in the house,” Carly says. “You know he hates… you know.”

We never talk about that. So what if my dad is the biggest bigot in the world? The rest of my family is totally cool with me having Carly around. They like her. She’s funny, and an awesome bestie.

We both stop in front of the back door. I reach out a hand, but don’t turn the knob when I hear shouting.

“Oh, shit.” I glance at Carly.

“What now?” she whispers.

Memories flood through me of a night I try so very hard to forget. Once upon a time, there was another set of twins in our house. Then they were gone. The reason they’re not with us anymore is too hard to think about. I don’t even talk about that night, but that’s because Shane and I made a sacred vow. We will always keep that secret. Telling now will cause so many problems for us.

I have to tell someone, but that means I’ll go to jail. Won’t I? Isn’t that where liars go when they hide a crime?

The anniversary of that particular act still haunts me, even though it was way back in August. December has usually been good, even if we’re sad because of whatever he is doing. To have such an innocent act end in the violence as that one did should never happen to anyone, especially a kid. To have the person responsible still walking around as if he did nothing wrong infuriates me, until I think about how I never told.

Shane didn’t either. We should have told. It didn’t matter if we were only seven. It doesn’t matter now that we’re almost seventeen. We should have told.

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AND HERE IT IS

February 18, 2015

Today, I have a cover. In the next few days, a trailer. Then comes the BIG DAY, Blog Tour, reviews, and then back to the grindstone. SCOOTER NATION calls. But for now, I’ll pause and just enjoy the feeling. Thanks abound for the great people at Solstice Publishing,

This door belongs to history now.
This door belongs to history now.

from Editor-in-Chief K.C. Sprayberry to C.E.O. Melissa Miller, Editor Judi Mobley, and Cover Artist Michelle Crocker. Special mention must go to fellow Solstice authors Bernard Foong, Diana Harrison, and Rachael Stapleton for assisting on the proofing side. Call on me anytime. I’m here!

I’d be remiss, if I didn’t mention my on the ground sistas in writing: Cryssa Bazos, Ann Dulhanty, Marissa Campbell, Susan Croft, Connie DiPietro-Sparacino, Sally Moore, Gwynn Scheltema, Rachael Stapleton, Ruth Walker and Yvonne Hess. This is a dream and I’m glad you’re here with me.

Now time for a coffee and a little laundry lite. My family has been very patient and so has the house and all the little spiders with their contributing cobwebs. There is much to do on the home front too.

Cheers darlin’s and a big ragin’ WOO HOO. It’s now and forward.

ABF

It’s all about the face #1lineWed

I love today’s prompt *FACE* served up for this week’s #1lineWed because it evokes every degree of beauty and ugliness and not just in animal matter. Buildings have faces too, as do ideas. Here’s a couple of outtakes–the larger tweets if you will–connoting FACE.

#1

“Back in 1994, when Heuer was in his thirties and should have known better, he disappointed a woman, who, in turn, threw him out of her apartment. “Thanks fer nothing,” she yelled, with a bitchiness that confirmed her place in society, along with a trucker belch to match. He had only himself to blame. He’d been slumming in a drecky bar not consciously looking, but hoping for something willing to come his way. It was late and it didn’t take long for her to find him.

“You lonely?” “Her teeth were gapped and grey. “I’m lonely.”

It was a troll culled from a nightmare, and it was well-suited to his surroundings—cramped, pungent and marked by scents of perspiration and fish. Drunk and smoking, she pressed her big ass cheek into his side. Smells made acute by an ancient fryer in the back advanced across the room. Beer batter wafting with the aid of large ceiling fans co mingled with human notes of urine and beer to complete the parfum excellence. She blew on him, her breath rank, her brazenness an homage to that old cliché that you get what you deserve.

He smiled. His skin was better than hers.

“There is a cure for that,” he said. “Loneliness.” His accent, strange and unfamiliar, rolled across her and having the desired effect she got to the point.

“There’s wine and a fuck back at my place.”

He leaned back inviting her to apply her hands, which she did with easy self-assured strokes. The heat crept across his abdomen tightening the hairs in their follicles, twisting. She was good; real good: the kind of good that many years of applied field work made possible.

“Well?” Her tone was commanding.

She was not tall and she was not pretty. But she had the je ne sais quoi that demanded a second look. Her grip on him tightened. Heuer narrowed his little eyes, stripping away her paint and her arts. He was intrigued by her callousness—she was very crude—and by her certainty. She might have been forty or a really rough thirty-five—it was difficult to tell in the smoke and neon. If she was a door, her weather stripping would be cracked and peeling. He reached for her, rolling lengths of dry colored hair through smooth hands. A pro to be certain, she was also a bleary old douche bag, deflated in spots, and her insistence forced the issue. He’d emerged after a lengthy dry spell broken with a disparate coffee shop girl who was morosely tight, sexually bereft and, lacking common decency, had not the wherewithal to fake it. This one at least looked like she would and she wouldn’t cost a dime either.”

#2

“Pulling into the funeral home parking lot, he was struck by the shabbiness of the place. Three storied, stone-faced, with jagged courses of irregular shaped brick, she was more sea anemone than siren; prickly and unlovely. Where she had once stood apart from her ramshackle neighbors, the reverse was now true. The facade was flaking, the surfaces cracked. It was worse inside. She was falling farther and farther behind and C.E. Forsythe was at a loss as to how to help her.

“It’s amazing what you can get used to,” she seemed to say.

Even irrelevance?

Charlie willed the individual perspiration pellets welling beneath his skin to stay in their pores. It was a fantastic thought, but he believed himself capable of such tricks. Self delusion, after all, played a huge part in the life he had chosen and he credited it for his career longevity.”

Advance Review: Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire

Find it on Amazon and at Solstice Publishing, February 3rd.

The second instalment in Rachael Stapleton’s sprawling Temple of Indra Series, The Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire finds time-traveling erstwhile librarian Sophia Marcil celebrating her engagement to hunky Cullen O’Kelley. Trouble is, her engagement ring contains a centre stone that’s all too familiar—a purple sapphire from a suite of cursed jewels. Once on her finger, the ring takes her from Ireland to Toronto to England and back again. At various times occupying the body of a child, a malevolent teen and a heinous villain, who continues to track her and the jewel from the first book, Sophia is forced to think and act on her feet, with a little romance in between. Colorful and layered, Curse co opts an astonishing cast with shifting time frames and multiple points of view. The villain, nasty as ever, makes a dramatic entrance, spilling blood and driving this reader to wonder if the wretch will finally get what’s coming to him. But first, I had to figure out who he was masquerading as in the present. Plenty of twists, a sprinkle of humor and a whodunnit with a surprising ending, Curse reminds me of great old story telling, but with a fresh and vital voice. Hello again, Miss Stapleton.

Thumbs up
Thumbs up!

A.B. Funkhauser