Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai
THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest John Stamp!
Hey there Sweet Peeps! Let me introduce you to John Stamp and his latest paranormal thriller. This sounds like my kind of read!
Shattered Circle follows a cop who doesn’t believe in what he can’t see, monsters don’t go bump in the night people do. Then he is confronted with a front page triple murder with suspected ties to blood magic. He refuses to believe or even consider the idea of the supernatural until those things that go bump in the night start coming for him.
Jackson Cole is a newly minted homicide detective thrown head first into the grinder when he is ordered to investigate the grisly murder of three women, each adorned with seemingly occult symbols.
The press is stirring up a killer cult frenzy in the media. The mayor, the Chief of Police, and Cole’s Captain want results to calm an increasingly fearful public; and Cole’s supposed partner is nowhere to be found. It’s just another day at the office until a stranger shows up spouting a wild theory: blood magic.
Cole won’t even consider it. There is no such thing as magic, no such thing as voodoo; and there are no demons roaming the Charleston Peninsula. There’s always a rational explanation for the evil humans commit upon one another.
Then a demon tries to take Cole’s head off.
How do you stop a supernatural evil, something ancient and unencumbered by the laws of either physics or man? Especially when all you bring to the fight is a pistol and a pair of handcuffs.
If Jackson Cole wants this case to close he will need to open his mind to a world of the impossible. A world he never knew existed, until now. Then he’ll have to survive it.
John Stamp was a Special Agent of the NCIS and the FBI. He also served as a Police Officer, Narcotics Investigator, and Hostage Negotiator for the City of Charleston Police Department, Charleston, SC. He grew up in the Fingerlakes region of Upstate New York and no resides in Coastal Georgia with his wife, son, and pair of monsters (Dogs).
John has written two crime novels: Brother’s Keeper, Spoilers, and Shattered Circle, a paranormal thriller which was released in March 2016.
Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai
THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Marla Cooper!
Hey there, Sweet Peeps! I know it’s not Thursday….but I didn’t want to wait to share about this debut from a great new writer. This fun mystery published March 22, 2016 by Minotaur Books is definitely on my summer TO-BE-READ pile. Heck, Marla’s originally from Texas and she lives with a polydactyl tuxedo kitty. ‘Nuff said.
Marla Cooper, Author
MARLA COOPER was astonished when she realized people could actually get paid to write things. So she switched her major from business to advertising—much to the relief of her accounting professor—and began her career as an advertising copywriter. After moving to San Francisco, she became a freelancer so she could take advantage of perks like working in her pajamas, and it was while ghostwriting a book on destination weddings that she found inspiration for her first novel, Terror in Taffeta. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat. Visit her at www.marla-cooper.com.
“This mystery novel is a real roller coaster with twists, turns and dips at every corner. Just when readers feel like they know who the bad guys are, their world is rocked by more information and more suspects. The end is unpredictable but believable and readers will be all too delighted to go on this ride that the author has masterfully crafted.”– RT Book Reviews
“Feisty and funny, Marla Cooper’s debut novel shines as she encapsulates the best the genre has to offer, with a quick-witted heroine, a puzzling page turner of a plot, and a cast of quirky characters like no other. I highly recommend this terrific first in a series!”– Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling author
Synopsis: Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them husband and wife, one of the bridesmaids upstages the couple by collapsing into a floral arrangement (a definite wedding “don’t”).
Kelsey soon discovers that the girl hasn’t just fainted—she’s dead. Losing a bridesmaid is bad enough, but when the bride’s sister is arrested for murder, the demanding mother of the bride insists that Kelsey fix the matter at once. And although Kelsey is pretty sure investigating a murder isn’t in her contract, crossing the well-connected Mrs. Abernathy could be a career-killer. Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey must deal with stubborn detectives, a rekindled romance, and guests who didn’t even RSVP.
I am DELIGHTED to introduce you to Keiki and her trainer Lia, my very first novella in Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle Worlds. I told you about this opportunity last year, and have been hard a work along with a host of other fantastic authors.
GO TO THE AMAZON BOOK PAGE HERE!
In fact, we’re holding a FACEBOOK PARTY on Monday, June 27, from 6-8:00 pm EDT with a whole bunch of fantastic give-aways, everything from free books and Amazon gift cards to….BLING! Yes, in addition to a paw-tographed book AND the chance to have YOUR pet star in a future novella, I’ll be giving away this:
So who is this Rottweiler? Keiki is a police dog in Toby Neil’s wonderful Lei Crime series that’s set in Hawaii. When she first appears in the first in the series, Keiki is already two years old. What, I wondered, happened in the two years before Keiki joined Lei?
And so my novella BORN TO LOVE tells Keiki’s backstory. Or should I say, KEIKI tells her own story! *s* Y’all know how much I enjoy writing in canine viewpoint and I had a ball writing in puppy-viewpoint. Here’s a taste.
Can the past unlock the future
and love preserve a life?
A puppy’s job is to learn. Keiki relishes the sights, sounds and smells of her world, but people frustrate and confuse her. Why do humans control all the good stuff?
Lia Corazon channels her energy and emotions into the dogs she trains in her North Texas kennel. She especially enjoys four-month-old Keiki’s enthusiasm, but the pup’s owner makes her uneasy. There’s something very…wrong about him.
When a vicious storm, violent flood, and scary creatures menace Keiki, her Rottweiler bravery comes through. But what can a good-dog do when a human enemy threatens? Keiki must use all she’s learned if she’s to save Lia from a killer.
You can “adopt” the new puppy-book here, and I can’t wait to read your reviews! And…don’t forget to join the Facebook Party, win some prizes, find out about some great books–and maybe get YOUR pet featured in a future story!
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Chills, thrills and spills with Thriller Thursday by Amy Shojai
THRILLER THURSDAY is a new occasional feature of Bling, Bitches & Blood. As a member of International Thriller Writers and alumni of the ITW Debut Author Program, it is my honor to showcase select ITW authors and books participating in the ITW Bloggers Program. If you love reading great books as much as I do, check out my Spotlight Guest Elena Hartwell!
Now here’s something you don’t see every day–a playwright deciding to write thrillers. (I’ve found my identical twin separated at birth! Ha!) When I learned that Elena shared my love of theatric-icity, I had to ask for more information. Take it away, Elena!
Elana & Chance
Question:What do theater, horses, and murder have in common?Answer: Author, Elena Hartwell.
My writing career started in the theater, as a director, producer, and educator. As a playwright, I’ve had several productions around the US and abroad. Sometimes it was satisfying and wonderful. Sometimes it was painful and always required I “sell” my script over and over and over to the next theater down the road. For twenty years, I worked teaching theater, directing, and producing.
But my heart always returned to the writing.
Plays are satisfying, but require a village to “complete.” So I started my first novel. It was a 120,000-word mystery. I was worried it was too short. I’ve since learned most first time mysteries are 65-70,000 words. I learned a lot with that first book. Plays are in permanent present tense and each character has their own POV, because they are inhabited by individual actors. Novels, on the other hand, are usually in past tense and with a specific POV. I learned the difference between writing atmosphere and writing specific descriptions.
I wrote another book. It was better. But didn’t sell. So I wrote a third book and landed an agent. I thought I’d “made it.” But that book didn’t sell either. So I wrote a fourth book and pitched it to an Independent press. One Dead, Two to Go hit the shelves on April 15th.
Elena’s husband J.D. and Jasper
So how do you stay grounded in a world where you have little control over your own destiny? My method is my horses. Two years ago, I met an Arabian gelding named Second Chance. He was given that name because he survived a kill pen, where he was to be sold for dog food. He arrived at the equine rescue where I volunteered and I fell in love. Unwilling to let anyone touch him, he walked over and put his head on my shoulder the first time we met. We’ve been together almost every day since. In December, my husband and I bought Jasper, a dynamic, confident ranch horse we found at the end of a dirt road on the Nevada/Utah border. Now I share my love for these magnificent animals with him. No matter what happens in the publishing world, I stay grounded. For that I am eternally grateful.
Thriller writer Elena Hartwell
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elena Hartwell was born in Bogota, Colombia, while her parents were in the Peace Corps. Her first word was “cuidado.” At the age of nine months, she told two men carrying a heavy table to be careful in their native tongue. She’s been telling people what to do ever since. After almost twenty years in the theater, Elena turned her playwriting skills to novels and the result is her first book “One Dead, Two to Go.” The Eddie Shoes Mystery Series launches April 15, 2016, to be followed by “Two Dead Are Better Than One” and “Three Dead, You’re Out.” For more information on Elena, please visit elenahartwell.com or like her Facebook Page ElenaHartwellAuthor and follow her on Twitter and at Pinterest. You may get to see cute pictures of her dog and her horse.
“One Dead, Two To Go is smart, page-turning fun, with the most feisty and likable P.I. since Kinsey Millhone. Looking for your next favorite detective series? Look no further.” —Deb Caletti, National Book Award finalist and author of He’s Gone
“Elena Hartwell doesn’t just burst onto the scene with this clever mystery novel—she kicks the door in and holds the reader at gunpoint.” —Peter Clines, Award-winning author
“The writing is cinematic and vivid, the characters well-drawn, but the dynamic between Eddie and Chava, which reminded me fondly of Cagney and Lacey, is what makes the story. Fans of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich should de nitely check out One Dead, Two to Go. Recommended.”—Max Everhart, author of the Eli Sharpe Mystery series
“Unlike the standard-issue PI, Eddie seems allergic to guns and violence and worries about a bad haircut as much as stalking danger. Funny, clever, and full of grabbing plot twists, Elena Hartwell’s One Dead, Two To Go, the debut novel in her Eddie Shoes series, takes the mystery lover into unexpected territory, including the introduction of Chava, the intrepid mother who is kicked out of Vegas by the Mob and shows up uninvited on Eddie’s doorstep. is is a fast, memorable and entertaining read. Warning: you’ll want more.” —Scott Driscoll, author of Better You Go Home
Elena Hartwell’s debut novel One Dead, Two to Go
SYNOPSIS: Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?
Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.
Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.
I am blown away by the response to the call for pet name nominations to star in my next thriller SHOW AND TELL. After sending out the request in my Pet Peeves newsletter, I also posted here on the blog and shared via social media and various email lists.
There were a total of 46 dog names suggested, and (wait for it…) 81 cat names suggested. Wow! Some of y’all nominated a name for a specific dog or cat character, while others simply suggested names without a preference.
For simplicity’s sake, though, I’ve had to limit each character/poll to no more than 15 names (sorry!). I tried to include at least one name from each person (some of y’all offered several nominations), and avoid those too similar/already used for human characters. Stay tuned–because I have saved all the suggestions and have planned a special tie-in to include even more pet names. Because after all, EVERY pet is a star!
So without further delay, here are the lists. Feel free to vote for up to 3 in each category, and share this post to encourage your friends to campaign for your dog or cat name. I’ll leave the polls open until July 1st, and announce the winners on July 4th.
So feel free to share this everywhere and campaign for your top picks. The winning names not only will be included in the book, but your name and real pet’s description will be added to the “fact or fiction” acknowledgements in the book, and I’ll send you a paw-tographed copy of the book as soon as it comes out.
I’ve only included the suggested names and brief description (if offered) but if you want to review more details check out the comments on this blog post. Sorry, some came to me privately so can’t share beyond what’s on the poll for those…
But to THANK YOU for voting, scroll on down to the end for links to a couple of free E-books available June 24-26. Ready–set–VOTE!
Images courtesy of DepositPhotos.com
NAME THAT DOG!
Two “hog hunting” dogs that belong to BeeBo (from the HIDE AND SEEK book). They are adult Pit Bull (or pit mix). These dogs (one girl, one boy) adore each other.
The third dog is a 200-pound Mastiff, lovely docile but powerful dog (and a drooler).
Dog that belongs to Willie Combs, the young son of Detective Jeff Combs. The dog loves to dig and is a fence escape artist addicted to chasing rabbits and squirrels, and of a size that September can carry him/her for a short time.
NAME THAT CAT!
A young rescue kitten, found with a murder victim. It has typical kitten antics and can be any breed or look, and will be the key to catching the bad guy.
One of the stolen pets, small enough to fit inside Willie’s jacket and be carried—so could be a small adult or an older kitten, any look/breed.
The third is an adult stolen pet cat, a shoulder perching, Tarzan-leaping, rope climbing maniac cat and can be any age, any breed/look. This kitty will help September and Shadow escape a trap.