Sunday Snippet

I know, I just put a snippet up yesterday but after a 3k word count, I thought I would share more for y’all! 🙂

–As Marisa opened the door, Detective Manning placed a large hand on Jess’s shoulder, squeezing gently. This close she could smell the musky scent of his after-shave. “You may want to talk to your lawyer about what you just told me. Normally I wouldn’t encourage that sort of thing, but this is something Vincent needs to know,” he said with a sigh.

“Okay,” she replied quietly.

She turned around to follow Marisa, who had already exited the room and bumped shoulders with a boy not much older than she. He was tall, with dark hair cut short around the sides and combed forward in the front. Underneath perfectly arched eyebrows, his blue eyes shined like the clear shores of a tropical island beach. His full lips caught her attention, as did the deep furrow of his brow as he grumbled apologies for nearly plowing her over.

“Cole? What are you doing here, son?” Detective Manning asked from behind Jess.

Hey girl, yep, he’s cute, but snap out of it. Time to go. I’d roll my eyes if I had them.

Jess shook her head slightly and smiled up at the frustrated boy, who barely took notice of her. He was clearly on his way to complain about something to his dad. And Jess was obviously in his way.

“Sorry,” she said, before inching passed him.

“Sorry,” Cole replied without looking at her before stalking into the little office.

She snuck a glance over her shoulder at the boy’s backside and then looked away guiltily. Right. Now is not the time to scope out boys. Surely not the Detective’s kid, okay? Shamed, she nearly bolted from the building and found Marisa leaning against her car, smoking a cigarette.

“Well, that went over a bit better than I expected,” she said with a wry smile.

“Yeah. I think it will help. You coming in, I mean…thanks for that,” Jess said as she leaned against the hood of the car, up wind from the smoke.

“Did you see that guy with the gorgeous eyes?” Marisa asked, flicking ash into the air.

“Um, yeah. His name is Cole and he’s the Detective’s son,” Jess said, trying not to groan.

“You’re kidding? Well, that blows.”

“More than a little,” Jess said as she smoothed the loose hairs behind her ears.

Marisa looked over at her with an amused expression and both the girls giggled. The instant the sound was out of her mouth though, Jess felt like folding herself in half and crying until there were no tears left. Her delirium spread through me, and I struggled to get a hold of something sane. The only thing that came to mind was something I had tried before with success.

Chocolate, anyone?–

DYING to REMEMBER by Trish M. Dawson

Saturday Snippet

Taken from my current WIP:

 

—“What do you want?” Marisa snapped. She leaned on the back of the building, her starched outfit making a loud paper sound as it rubbed against the rough brick wall. Even though she was lighting a cigarette, she kept her cool gaze locked on Jess.

“Thanks for stepping outside to talk to me. I didn’t want to speak inside.”

“I said…what do you want?” Marisa finally looked down at her cigarette and took a long drag, holding the smoke in momentarily before blowing it out of the corner of her mouth. The smell surrounded Jess anyway and she wiggled her nose to keep from sneezing in Marisa’s face.

“Um,” Jess floundered mentally for the right way to tell Marisa that her ex-lover was dead, “It’s about Roger, actually.”

“Yeah? No shit. Why else would you be here? We aren’t together anymore, don’t you know that?”

Jess shifted her weight from one leg to the other, took a deep breath and then spit out the words, just as we had rehearsed in the car on the way to the pizza joint, “Roger is dead, Marisa. He attacked me, and when I pushed him off of me, he fell wrong. The cops don’t seem to believe me that it was an accident and no one else I know understands how violent he would get.”

Marisa’s eyes widened slightly but she didn’t respond right away. Instead she casually tucked a section of hair behind one pierced ear and took another drag of her Camel. When she did speak, her voice was flat and devoid of emotion, “What’s this got to do with me?”

Despite the warm night, shivers ran up Jess’s arms. She stared hard at the slightly older woman before responding, “Because I know what he did to you.”—

DYING to REMEMBER by Trish M. Dawson

Sy-Fy Author Jeff Burger is Here!

While everyone gets comfy, I’ll start the interview today with a little Bio about Jeff…

Jeffrey J Burger was born and grew up in Chicago, Illinois, moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida at the age of 28, where he still lives today with his German Shepherd, Fritz. Jeff returns to Chicago on a regular basis to visit family and friends.

Originally drawn to law enforcement like his father and uncle, Jeff’s extremely creative nature drove him toward a rewarding career in photography, illustration, design, marketing and advertising. With the successful launch of his first book; Wings of Steele – Destination Unknown, he has been able to add writing and publishing to his repertoire.

Jeff’s choice in career and life in Florida have offered some truly unique experiences which he continues to enjoy. A certified NRA Instructor, Jeff has worked with civilians, Military Personnel and Law Enforcement Officers from many agencies. This has afforded him the opportunity to regularly handle and become proficient with firearms of all types, new and vintage, from all over the world.

An affinity for aircraft and flying have provided many opportunities to fly with talented civilian and military pilots in a wide selection of fixed wing and rotary aircraft. While Jeff finds jets to be supremely exciting, nothing beats the sublime sound or primal feeling of a piston-driven Rolls Royce Merlin V12 in a vintage P51 Mustang.

Thank you very much for joining us today, Jeff! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Can you tell us more about your latest book?

Wings of Steele – Destination Unknown is the first of a series and at over 161 thousand words it’s been referred to as an epic novel, something I had never really heard of until now. The book spans over a year, sent in current modern day, following it’s main character Jack Steele and a well-rounded supporting cast of characters.

Jack Steele is a regular guy but a no-nonsense man’s man who can think and fight on the fly. He’s an alpha male who makes a better leader than a follower but he’s humble about it. An ex big-city cop that left the department after losing a friend in the line of duty, he has to cope with a rough divorce and reinvents himself through a love of flying, restructuring his entire life as a pilot for hire. Everywhere he goes his German Shepherd, Fritz goes with, including flying. The book starts off in Florida, using real places to create a realistic world with things the reader will find familiar. The beginning has a sinister hint to it and my readers have said it seems to pull them into the story. The beginning chapters do not hint at the science fiction structure of the book, the reader has to trust me that we will get there. The early chapters are a slow burn but the plot contains a snap-turn that leave most readers off balance and jumps into the action with both feet in a dead run. The story weaves some real world history, into some epic legends to create a familiar and believable turn of events that launch the characters into space for the real body of the novel.

It’s about coping, exploring, thriving, and succeeding against the odds in an unforgiving universe where luck, karma and your own beliefs collide. Friendship, ethics, values all come in to play. It was alot of fun to write and I’m halfway through the sequel.

This sounds great!! Adding to it my ‘To Be Read’ pile…woot! Tell us about your main characters, are they people you would be friends with in real life?

Oh, absolutely. Although the characters are fictional, their personalities are based on real people. Some of the characters are an amalgam of more than one person, giving them a totally different personality. In this way, I was able to create well-rounded characters that felt and responded like real people. Joy, sorrow, arrogance, pride, anger, sometimes they don’t behave well – because some people really don’t, they have human foibles, they make mistakes. The truly neat thing is that sometimes, in a way, the characters do the writing for me. If I get to a stopping point, sometimes they come up with the solution on their own – occasionally opening up a part of the story I wouldn’t have thought of if not looking through their eyes, so-to-speak.

So you ARE friends with your characters! 😉 Can you share with us where the inspiration behind your writing comes from?

I’ve always been a science fiction fan, the technological possibilities always fascinated me the most. As a kid I was always reading the stuff, I couldn’t get enough. Then if you start reading about the Bermuda triangle, which is one of many on our planet and combine that with the Nazca Lines in Peru some of the science fiction stuff starts sounding a little more plausible. Kind of freaky really. My story had been in my head for a long time, probably close to 10 years before I got a chance to actually work on it. It started formulating in my early 20s just coming to me in segments – very strange. But I didn’t type and I couldn’t see myself sitting there with pen and paper. But it kept developing in my head, for years. When PCs finally came out, I knew it was time.

I love Science. I make a bowl of popcorn when Ancient Aliens is on. The Science our acenstors used fascinates me. Anyway, back on topic. You’ve led quite an interesting professional life, can you tell us more about it?

That’s actually quite an involved story, so I’ll do my best to shorten it. There was a substantial family law-enforcement quotient in my life and I started in that direction. I saw it as an exciting, honorable and personally rewarding career. But I got a lucky break to use some of my creative talents which threw me a curve and offered me an alternative. It was a hard choice, but I ended up jumping at the chance. I started out as an illustrator and photographer working freelance for a national monthly trade publication. Learning the Adobe products on my own, I’ve worked as a Designer, Creative Director, Art Director and freelanced for small and large Fortune 500 companies. I’m freelancing again, which includes working on my next book. I’ve never really forgotten law enforcement and have a lot of friends and acquaintances in agencies and military service. I try to practice with them fairly regularly but it’s been a little less lately, considering I’ve been writing and editing so much.

What has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?

Sales. I joke… that’s very cool though, to know people are finding my work interesting. Hearing from my readers is really the most amazing part. Knowing I’ve struck a chord in their lives, thrilled them, touched them in some form or fashion through the book. I’ve been blessed with some really well thought out reviews and some really nice praise. It’s good for the heart. I put up a website so readers can contact me direct. I respond personally to each and every email and I’ve met some really cool people.

Readers are our rewards, aren’t they? So, tell us what you like to do when you aren’t writing…

You mean there’s something besides writing? Just kidding. Normally I bicycle, go target shooting with the guys, go to the beach, run with Fritz… but lately I’ve been going through a cover to cover detailed editing of the first book – getting it ready for print. That is absorbing a ton of time.

You’ve been chosen as a Human Ambassador to greet an Alien race and are whisked off to the International Space Station tomorrow. You can bring one novel along with you to share with your alien friends, what would it be and why?

I know this is a hypothetical but I don’t think it would be possible to narrow down all of humanity’s literature to one special enough to represent them all – and I certainly couldn’t choose, even among my own favorites. I think I would be inclined to cheat and fill a Kindle or iPad to its limits and take that with me. Probably not the answer you were looking for…

(Are you SURE this is a hypothetical question *looks over shoulder*) LOL Yeah, picking one book would be nearly impossible. Do you have any advice for budding writers?

Write about topics you are passionate about and well versed in. Read other authors work in that genre, and remember what makes their work great in your eyes. You don’t want to emulate their style, you’ll develop one of your own… but you want to emulate their qualities. And, from personal experience, you can only proofread your own work to a certain point, get help with that.

I love your advice…all true! Jeff, what can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

Wings of Steele – Destination Unknown is currently available on Amazon.com and I’m hoping by late September it will also be available in print. I will be adding it to other sites thru Smashwords as well, for all the other digital formats. Destination Unknown is the first of a planned Trilogy, but I have recently developed plot lines for two more extensions of the series.

Wings of Steele – Flight of Freedom is the second book in the series and by the time of this article it will most likely be 3/4 complete. Readers are able to contact me through the website and I am creating a mailing list to keep my readers up to date on progress.

They all sound great!! So, before we go…if you could choose any Author, living or dead, to read your book, who would you choose and why?

I think it would have to be Edgar Rice Burroughs… He was born in 1875 and died in 1950. His work in fiction series was so far ahead of the curve for his time… I couldn’t get enough of it. He was influenced by HG Wells, Jules Verne, Rudyard Kipling and he influenced some of our more modern greats like Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke Robert A. Heinlein and James Cameron. He created Tarzan, how awesome is that? What would our fiction history be like without that legendary character? And heck, he was born in my hometown of Chicago!

I can’t imagine life without Tarzan. Truly…I can’t.

And now…*rubbing hands together* it is time for our Rapid-Fire questions!! Ready…set…go!

Beer or Wine? Wine. I’m actually allergic to beer, gives me migraines.

eBook or Real Book? There are some books I’d really rather hold in my hands, but I’m going to have to go with e-book for the amazing convenience and portability. And of course if it wasn’t for e-books, I’d still be unpublished.

Beach or Pool? Beach. A pool is a tremendous amount of work.

Shoes or Bare Feet? Shoes, usually. Unless I’m at the beach.

Star Wars or Star Trek? Ooohhh… too tough to call. 50/50 split for totally different reasons. That would be a whole other interview!

Pants or Shorts? Shorts.

Sweet or Sour? Sweet, absolutely.

A Partner That Does Laundry or A Partner That Gives Amazing Massages? That’s not even a competition – massages, most definitely. Why, is anybody offering?

LOL That was an amazing interview Jeff! Thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure learning more about you and your work. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book! Jeff Burger can be stalked online on Facebook, Twitter, and his Website.

Wings of Steele – Destination Unknown

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Jack Steele is an ex big-city cop that left the department after losing a friend in the line of duty. Recovering from a tough divorce, he reinvents himself with a love of flying and restructures his life as a pilot for hire. Accompanied by his ever-present German Shepherd, Fritz, Jack will fly almost anything, anywhere, shuttling new & used planes for clients all over the world. He had never been a Boy Scout, but he is a man who likes to stay prepared and in control of whatever life throws at him. But nothing could have prepared Jack and his co-pilot when life suddenly goes drastically and violently
sideways… in a direction and magnitude that no one could have ever anticipated. Wanted men, it seems like everyone on the planet is hunting for them and their only option is to run… but to where?

An epic science fiction adventure that reaches from the surface of our familiar planet and the safety of terra firma, to the dark, vast expanse of deep space and distant star systems.

Available NOW on Amazon!

Saturday Snippet

Ok, I know I just said I would do snippets on Sunday’s…but tomorrow is a busy day. So in order to ensure I do my promised share this weekend…I’m posting a snippet today from my current WIP…’Hawke & The Beast’. Enjoy!

____

After dinner, Jasper loaded the dishes into the automatic washer…a machine she found fascinating as it evolved. She was able to observe society as it accomplished feat after feat throughout the many years, but it was the domestic items that struck her as the most amazing. She came from a time when laundry was still washed on boards with Borax. Now, it seemed everything was done with the touch of a tiny little button. Amazing, really, she thought. The time people had on their hands to do productive things had multiplied ten-fold…though most didn’t use their time wisely, it seemed.

“I know this may seem forward, but…what were you doing in the woods…you know…um…” Jasper gestured to her body as they settled onto the sofa, clearly uncomfortable bringing the subject up.

“You mean, what was I doing in the woods…naked?”

He gulped down his coffee, wincing at the heat, “Yes, I suppose that’s what I meant.”

“I wasn’t attacked by someone, if that is what you are concerned about.”

“Do you…make a habit out of hiking in the rain with no clothes on?” A playful light danced in Jasper’s eyes, and Isabella quite liked it.

She laughed a low, sultry sound before replying, “No, no sir, I do not.”

“Please, call me Jasper,” he said as he leaned forward and touched the top of her hand with his fingertips.

Her flesh tingled where he had touched her skin. And even as the blush crept into her cheeks, she attempted to remain composed and dignified, which was incredibly difficult to do, sitting in such close proximity to a man as attractive as Jasper. She shifted on the sofa, bringing her knees up so that she could better bury her back into the luxuriously soft cushion behind her.

She smiled at him, and again she noticed him staring at her eyes. Of course she knew they were not the average color, but it had been a long time, such a long time, since a man like Jasper had gazed into them so intently.

Aware that she was becoming entranced by his gaze, she broke it by glancing around the room, returning to his stare with a question, “Jasper, what is it that you do, exactly?”

____

Author Carol Ann Newsome is Here!

Carol’s Bio:

I was never supposed to be an author. My brother is the writer in the family (and I’m convinced that someday we’ll find a backlog of brilliant manuscripts that he has hidden away over the past several decades) I’m the painter and have spent my life doing odd projects, such as the New Leaf Project, wherein I painted more than 4,000 paintings on wood blocks that have been scattered all over the globe (including Antarctica) for people to find and adopt. (if you’re interested, check it out here http://www.newleaf.carolannnewsome.com/)I also like doing collaborative murals with small communities, the most recent of which has been a dragon living under a pedestrian overpass.

In 2001, I suffered a head injury from being struck by a car while riding my bike. Head injuries are funny things, hard to predict what you’ll experience, and not much you can do about it except take care of yourself and find a way to pass the time during those periods when you can’t function. For several years I spent a lot of time reading popular fiction, often the same books over and over, while hanging out with my dogs. (To this day I am a huge Harry Potter fan because those were the first new books I could read, 5 months after my accident.)

I wrote the first draft of “A Shot in the Bark” longhand during my horizontal episodes. I discovered that it’s fun to commit mayhem on paper. I like to write stuff that is fun and scary and romantic, and oh, it has to have dogs. I expect Lia and Peter to have more adventures with their furry children. My only goal is to bring you pleasure. At the end of the day, if I’ve managed to entertain you, I’m happy.

 

Hi Carol – welcome, and thank you for being here today!

You’ve said that you were ‘never supposed to be an author’. Can you tell us more about how you became a writer?

I have a voracious appetite for popular fiction, and I have had aspiring authors around much of my life. I never considered myself among them. Then in 2010, I worked on the Census. One of my co- workers told me he had written a book. I asked if I could read it. He said he liked my feedback and asked if I wanted to help edit the book. He wanted to make it more marketable, but he did not have much experience with popular fiction. So I would read his stuff and tell him what to do to make it appeal more to a general audience, and he’d say nice things and then he’d go home and do the exact opposite. This was very frustrating because I thought the writing was great, but the book had problems that needed to be corrected. This kept up for a couple months, until I finally said, “Let me make the cuts and show you what it would look like,” and he said, “Okay,” and the next morning he called and said he was up all night and he can’t possibly lose the 50 pages of mind-numbing exposition that he stuck right in the middle of his thriller.

That’s when it dawned on me that I knew an awful lot about writing and my advice would be better spent on someone who would take it. I also realized that I wanted to kill him. So I picked up a notebook and murdered him on paper. Six notebooks later I had “A Shot in the Bark.”

Can you tell us more about your latest book?

“Drool Baby” is the sequel to “A Shot in the Bark.” It’s coming out October 13. One thing I hate about a lot of fiction, is that these characters go through all these traumatic experiences and they never seem affected by it. In “Drool Baby”, Lia is in therapy to deal with everything that happened to her in “Shot.” She and Peter discover that the case was not resolved after all, and they have more sleuthing to do. Their relationship is moving forward in a comfortable way. Then circumstances force them into co-habitation, which Lia is not ready for. It’s more romance and mayhem against the backdrop of all these eccentric dog park people.

Where does the inspiration behind your writing come from?

My friends at the Mount Airy Dog Park. We really just sit and watch the dogs and talk about the weather. I thought we ought to have some adventures.

Shout-out to peeps at Mount Airy Dog Park! So, what has been the most rewarding part of your writing journey so far?

Being creative is always rewarding. But there’s so much to love about publishing: selling books to total strangers, acting out murderous impulses on paper, getting fan mail, being my own boss. I really love hearing from people who have read my book.

I agree with that completely! Just for fun…if you could make one of your characters real for a year, who would you choose and why?

Detective Peter Dourson. He’s the man of my dreams.

LOL That would be a fun year for you then! Mind if I ask…what are your top five favorite books?

The Jim Dale audiobook version of the Harry Potter series, “Flowers from the Storm,” by Laura Kinsale, “Hidden Riches,” by Nora Roberts, “Ashes to Ashes,” by Tami Hoag, “Outlander,” by Diana Gabaldon.

Wonderful choices! So Carol, you’re an artist, and love to paint…can you tell us more about this part of your life?

I’ve been an artist my whole life, though I’ve never been comfortable with the whole gallery thing. It’s horribly pretentious. So I would do oddball public arts projects. My big project was the New Leaf Project. I would paint this leaf on a piece of wood and leave it somewhere for anyone to find and take home. They each had a label on the back explaining that it was a New Leaf and the finder could keep it and turn it over whenever they wished. How I came up with that and why I wanted to do it is a very long story I won’t go into – but I created more than 4,000 of these, and had people all over the world who helped me “plant” them. In a way, it was a lot like self-publishing.

I absolutely LOVE that idea! Do you have any advice for budding writers?

The thing I see happening over and over again is new writers rushing to publish work that hasn’t been edited, proofed, or even read by anyone else. Sometimes it’s unintelligible. Usually the formatting is bad. Even best-selling authors will have a typo or two, but when you have a dozen on the first page, you’re not helping yourself. So get yourself a committee. Give each of them a copy of your book and a red pen and tell them to write down anything they notice, what they like, what they hate, what doesn’t ring true. And re-read your work in light of their opinions. You don’t have to agree with them, but it will help you see your work more clearly. Use it to improve your book. Then go over it several times, with help if you can get it, to remove all the errors. Use a text-to-speach feature, on your Kindle, or your computer (on Macintosh it’s called Voice Over) to read your MS out loud while you follow along. That’s the best way to find typos masquerading as words. Preview your formatting before you hit that publish button, and keep tweaking it until it’s right. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

The other bit of advice is to write what you like to read. Too often, writers venture into an unfamiliar genre or grab onto the hottest trend, hoping to make a buck. If you don’t like the genre, you won’t understand it or the people who read it, and your efforts will hit a false note. Don’t make the mistake of thinking certain genres are “easy.” That’s the mistake my friend made. His writing style was literary, but his plot had Clive Cussler written all over it. It was destined to make both audiences unhappy.

“…get yourself a committee…” GREAT advice!! What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?

More dog park mysteries. Apparently I left a few friends out of the first two books. One has offered to pay me to kill her husband (on paper). To make things even, I will toss her in jail. I also need to write a book that includes my eldest dog, Max. It’ll be titled “Maximum Security.” Then there’s a plot-line that includes an animal communicator, another that includes a stalker . . .

For now, I’m exclusive to Amazon and only in Kindle format. After I get this next book out, I’ll be putting out print versions. I’m also considering audiobooks.

Sounds exciting!! All fabulous ideas, Carol! One more question before we wrap things up…If you could choose any Author, living or dead, to read your book, who would you choose and why?

Can I have Christian Bale read it instead? Then he would realize how much he wants to play Peter Dourson in the movie.

LOLOL!! Yes, it’s your fantasy question. That would be awesome! 🙂 Okay  ladies and gents…it’s that time again – the Rapid Fire round is starting now!

Chocolate or Wine? Chocolate!!!!!

eBook or Real Book? Not Fair! A girl can love both!

Beach or Pool? Beach

Bra or No Bra? No Bra (Bras interfere with lymph node function.)

A Partner That Cooks or A Partner That Cleans ? A Partner That Cooks (With two incomes, we’ll hire somebody to clean)

Shower or Bath? Shower

Shoes or Bare Feet? Bare Feet

Jeans or Dresses? Jeans

Pink or Blue? Pink

Phew – a fun round! Thank you very much Carol for stopping by! If you would like to follow Carol’s work, follow her on Facebook or Amazon today!

 

 

Drool Baby (Available soon on Amazon)

Artist Lia Anderson is emerging from the trauma of the previous months with a new boyfriend, a new patron with an exciting project, and a new therapist to help her sort everything out.  Life at the Mt. Airy Dog Park is returning to normal, and that suits Lia just fine.  Until a stranger’s announcement starts her down a path that will have her questioning everything she knows and ultimately fighting for her life.