Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Author Rick Van Etten



The Killer in the Woods
A Robert Vance Novel
Book One
Rick Van Etten

Genre:  Crime Fiction/Mystery

Publisher:  Proud Point Press
Date of Publication:  June 1, 2020
ISBN:  978-1-7348269-0-6
ASIN: B087Y9ND2M
Number of pages:  254
Word Count:  78,000
Cover Artist:  Eric Labacz

Book Description: 

ROBERT VANCE IS A MAN WITH A SECRET…

Robert Vance is a magazine editor who works from home and lives in a house full of books. His neighbors think of him as a quiet, unassuming man. His passion for pheasant hunting with Preacher, his German wirehaired pointer, is typical of sportsmen living in the Midwest. But what isn’t so typical—and what his neighbors don’t know—is that occasionally Robert hunts something besides pheasants.

Robert hates bullies and injustice. When someone has a problem with either, he or she can hire Robert to make the situation right.

But Robert isn’t—in his own mind—just a contract killer. He lives by a set of rules that dictate who, where, and why he can kill. So when a well-meaning citizen discovers Robert’s latest target and winds up being charged with the killing, Robert must take steps to ensure the man’s freedom.

STEPS THAT WILL MOST LIKELY INVOLVE KILLING AGAIN…


Excerpt Chapter 1

The money is good, but that’s not why I do it.
Kill people, I mean. That’s what I do, and I’m very good at it. And yes, the compensation is usually more than adequate.
But don’t start jumping to conclusions. I’m not a spook. I’m not some ex-Agency, ultra-ultra-deep-cover, government-trained assassin who got my start in the military and, having discovered a unique talent, couldn’t let it go. Nor was I ever encouraged by my “Uncle” to put my special skills to use for the common good, in which capacity I might still have the occasional brush-up with colleagues who might or might not be among the so-called good guys and might or might not be people I should trust.
No. I don’t play at espionage. I don’t call secret phone numbers and get my orders from people who use lots of acronyms and won’t allow their names to be spoken aloud on an open line, and I don’t have hidden files tucked away somewhere that I can use as leverage if I find myself running afoul of a power player. I never served in the military, and the extent of my contact with the government consists of filing my income taxes every year, renewing the registration on my SUV and voting in the occasional election. The few times I’ve been called for jury duty I’ve managed to get myself excused.
Sounds pretty dull, doesn’t it? You’re right; it is. And that’s by design.
If you saw me on the street or in a restaurant or a shopping mall or an airport—and there’s a reasonable chance you have seen me in some of those places—you’d most likely give me no more than a passing glance. There’s quite a bit about me that’s just plain average—size, looks, clothing. I wear glasses, and my hair is getting thin on top.
I dress comfortably and rather conservatively. I recently became eligible for Social Security—I’m old enough to have served in Vietnam, but I was in college at the time and my number in the draft lottery was high enough to keep me there.
I don’t go out of my way to attract attention, but neither do I live an introverted, reclusive life. I’m not married, but I date casually, and I occasionally get invited to parties and cookouts and can hold my own in a conversation on a variety of subjects. People usually laugh at my jokes, and I keep myself reasonably well informed about most current events. I read extensively, and my house is full of books.
I also have a Browning gun vault full of shotguns, but those are primarily related to my regular job—I’m the editor of an outdoor sporting magazine, a “hook and bullet rag,” as such publications are irreverently referred to within the publishing industry. I’m a bird hunter by avocation, and a six-year-old German wirehaired pointer named Preacher—for Clint Eastwood’s grizzled character in the movie Pale Rider—shares my home.
Sometimes I use one of my shotguns for something besides upland game or waterfowl. That’s a safe enough practice, as I’ll explain later. When a shotgun is too large for the job at hand—when it’s necessary to get up close and personal to the target, in other words—I’ll occasionally use a handgun. But I never keep these after the job is finished. That’s Rule Number 3.
I travel a good bit for my job—I get quite a few invitations from advertisers throughout the hunting season, and by taking advantage of these invitations I’ve hunted in many locations and at many top-drawer facilities around the world. Sometimes—not frequently, but once in a while—my two jobs overlap. The advertiser picks up the tab for my hunt (in exchange for some editorial ink), and by staying an extra day or two—usually on the pretext of visiting an old childhood friend or a seldom-seen relative and always at my own expense—I manage to take care of the other assignment while I’m at it. It doesn’t happen that way very often, but it’s convenient when it does.
OK, so if I really don’t do it for the money, why do I do it?
Simple.
There are two things I can’t abide in this world—a bully, and injustice.
The two often go hand in hand, and when I encounter either, I bristle. When someone else has a problem with either, he or she will sometimes seek me out to make the situation right.
Over the years, I’ve become very good at this. And that’s my real motivation—the feeling of satisfaction that comes from having done a job well, righted a wrong, balanced the scales or eliminated an oppressive threat.
It’s my way of leaving the world a little better place than I found it.


About the Author:

Rick Van Etten is a former college English instructor, corporate communications professional and retired magazine editor whose numerous articles and features have appeared in Gun Dog, Wing and Shot, Sports Afield, Ducks Unlimited, Game and Fish, Petersen’s Hunting, Farm and Ranch Living and Reader’s Digest. An Illinois native and lifelong upland bird hunter, Rick now lives in Iowa with a middle-aged Irish setter and an elderly tortoiseshell cat. The Killer in the Woods is his first novel.


Thursday, May 28, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - week 22


Something You Use Everyday

Holy cow, I don’t know how I got along without this little gadget…my Sonicare toothbrush. My boyfriend makes fun of my “first world” toothbrush, but I tell you, I love it. My teeth feel so clean.
I also bought a Clarisonic facial cleaner, which is based on the same technology. I love it too! They are my indulgences.

You have to find happiness in the little things.

Love and Peace,

Kay


Why do this?


To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.



Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Author D.L. Blade





The Dark Awakening

The Chosen Coven

Book One

D.L. Blade



Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Fifth Element Publishing

Date of Publication: October 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 9780578416458
ASIN: B07G22WH8H
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: 69,000

Cover Artist: Redbird Designs

Tagline: Darkness is coming, and she’s their last hope

Book Description:

She's stalked, hunted, and a villainous vampire desires her blood.

Mercy’s life is anything but ordinary. A stalker lurks in the shadows, and a man rescues her from a life-threatening car accident, but vanishes right before her eyes.
But this man who she thought was a hallucination, tracks her down at a nearby cove, and claims they were once in love from another time. Another century.

Mercy has no memory of this world he shares, and instinctively doesn’t trust him.
He also reveals to her a life-changing secret—she’s a powerful witch, vampires are real, and she's destined to destroy them.

Mercy finds herself dragged into a centuries-old battle against the undead, and a sadistic vampire leader has set his sights on her. And he will stop at nothing until he claims Mercy as his own.

She and her coven won’t go down without a fight. She needs to discover the truth about her past, and the power she holds, before it’s too late.


Amazon       Universal Link     Audible     Goodreads


EXCERPT 2

They were there in the shadows again. This was the third time this week I had thought someone was watching me.
The last few weeks, I’d heard the rustling of leaves and the crackling sound of old fallen branches beneath someone’s feet, or the hairs at the back of my neck would stand straight because I knew someone stood silently behind me. Last night wasn’t any different. I exited my car after an exhausting day at work and heard what sounded like a low, deep exhale coming from the forest next to Lily’s house. I swiftly turned around, fumbling with the flashlight on my phone, but when the light pierced the darkness, the sound stopped.
Tonight, it was a silhouette behind my aunt Lily’s fence in the backyard. It wasn’t someone walking by with their dog or a neighbor taking out their trash. They were standing there, staring, as I walked to the sink to rinse my dinner bowl. I wasn’t going to tell her again. She’d just tell me what she’d told me last time I brought it up. She’d say I was just seeing things and that it was normal to feel this way after trauma.
“Your turn, Mercy,” Lily said. Her voice pulled my gaze from the window.
“I’m coming,” I said, taking one last glance toward the silhouette.
They were gone. 

About the Author:


D.L. Blade grew up in southern California, but relocated to Colorado with her family in 2014.

She always loved writing, concentrating on poetry rather than prose when she was younger. That changed however, when she had a dream one night and decided to create a story about it.

In her spare time, D.L. enjoys a wide variety of hobbies, including reading, attending rock concerts and volunteering at local animal shelters where she can indulge in her passion for all forms of life.

In the future, D.L. hopes that she can continue to write exciting novels that will captivate her readers and bring them into the worlds that she creates using her imagination.















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Thursday, May 21, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - week 21


Things You Like About Summer

Summers in the desert of Las Vegas always reach the triple digits for several solid weeks at time. There is absolutely nothing to like about that, and I don’t. I hate the temperature in the summer, with a passion.

So, things I like about summer? Hmmm… ice cubes for drinks, swimming pools, cold movie theatres, air conditioning, and vacations to cooler climates.

Oh, and I like the smell of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion.

Love and Peace,

Kay


Why do this?


To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.


Author M.L. Mastran





Bloodlines
Albion Moon Chronicles
Book Two
M.L.Mastran

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Date of Publication: March 13, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-0878-5801-2
ISBN: 978-1-0878-6379-5
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 70, 528

Cover Artist: Michelle Nelson, Graphic & Interactive Design

Tagline:  The Fight was only the beginning, now its war!

Book Description: 

Evaline and Mason expand their family as an old threat hides in the shadows.  As we dive deeper into the backstory of the MaCowans, we see how it’s all connected to Evaline’s story.  

When the old danger finally resurfaces, it forces Evaline and company to new shores.  Armed with a plan, they soon find out it’s not as simple as they thought.  New revelations about family secrets emerge only to send Evaline into a tailspin.  

As they finally confront the danger, the family must contend with the prospect that they may not survive unless an unknown ally steps in.  Meanwhile, just as the old threat is dealt with, a new, more menacing danger sets its sights on Dunsmuir.

Amazon     BN     Kobo

Excerpt:

She got her keys out of her jacket pocket then exited the home onto the porch. Before going down the steps, she stopped. A shiver coursed through her body; the same feeling as when one was being watched. She peered down the street and saw nothing amiss. Same thing for across and the other side.
Her gut swirled, telling her to turn around. The tree across the street looked different, but she couldn’t quite figure out why. Its leaves and branches stirred in an unnatural way, seeming to dance on their own against the breeze.  Every hair on her body stood up at once. The deep silence bothered her—no crickets chirped, nor owls hooted, and there was no sway of the trees or tall grass; the night was calm. She decided to get the book then go inside. After unlocking the car with her key fob, she opened the car door, stretching her arm over and into the back seat.
“Where are you?” she mumbled.
She didn’t see it moving all around, whatever it was. Given the surrounding movement, undoubtedly it wasn’t just one.  The tree trunks seemed to come alive as the tall grass across the street shifted. Silent like shadows, they moved, staying just enough out of sight. Kristy found the book underneath the front seat.
She got out of the car then scanned nearby her. Nothing. Kristy hurriedly closed the car door and turned toward the porch. She peeked over her shoulder. An involuntary gasp escaped her. Shadows darted toward her. She got to the steps and froze. Her eyes widened, and her heart pounded in her chest. The pit of her stomach churned. Not shadows, animals. She could now hear the low growls from the animals around her. But what were they?
She blinked and, just like that, a man stood in front of her. He wasn’t wearing any clothes and had a gleam shimmering in his eyes.
She wanted to scream, but the man caught her attention.
“Uh uh uh,” he said as he put his finger to his lips and then in one breathe, he whispered, “Shhhhhhh.”
His fingernail was long and black with a slight curve at the tip. The man grinned, with glowing eyes and wild should-length hair, but he had a trimmed beard. A voice inside her head was screaming to run as she frantically looked for an escape. Her adrenaline pumped as she saw a chance to get away and tried to take it but before she could do anything, something grabbed her from behind and clenched her tight, it was difficult to breathe. The man neared and stopped, only inches away.
In a harsh, low tone, he said, “If you struggle, it will take less than a second for him to squeeze the life out of you. Don’t.”

About the Author:


Nothing captures the attention of M.L. Mastran more than writing a good story with amazing characters and a history arc that made the history books. This is the Albion Moon Chronicles in every sense.

On the flip side, M.L. can also journey to another world completely and pull the same elements with fantasy and make the reader yearn for more. Her uncanny ability to blend genres makes her unique to the literary world and an absolute reading joy. From the first moment you open the page, curiosity will pull you in and keep you engrossed in the story as you take the voyage with the characters to different places and times; to experience the events as they unfold.

Whether being told from a one character perspective or several points of view, her stories will unfold in your mind like a movie playing in your head. This is what pushes M.L to write her stories. It’s the thrill of the read and the drive to carry readers away that will make this trip to the literary world of imagination all the sweeter.

M. L. was born in Scranton Pennsylvania but was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, which is also where she currently resides with her husband and son.  Since a young age, she has always had a passion for storytelling.  Anything that was of interest to her she could find a story with however, it was her stories of experiences such as walking in an old cemetery, to riding a roller coaster to walking the lonely isles of an old junk yard that seemed the most precious.

M. L. has an undergraduate degree in Communication but also majored in History, which is what her Master’s Degree is in as well.  She also started on her PHD in History.  This love of history is very evident in most of M. L.’s stories. While studying for both degrees, she wrote numerous works for the academic audience.  Many of which were presented and published for both student and professional audiences, but at home she would continue to dabble with her love of fiction.  It was the challenge of creating a new world and characters that would make for some great stories.  In fact, she found out very quickly, strong characters drive the story and make it worth the journey.










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Thursday, May 14, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 20


A Friend 2

Another close friend I have been friends for nearly twenty years or more. Her friendship brings me happiness, humor and understanding. She has always remained supportive and non-judgmental of whatever calamity I happened to be going through at the time, and I’m in debt to her. Plus, she's funny.

I’m a lucky friend to have her.

Love and Peace,

Kay


Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.




Monday, May 11, 2020

Author Lee Roland





Huntress Rising

Angel of Death

Book One

Lee Roland

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: December 9, 2019
ISBN 978-1-5092-2887-4
ISBN 978-1-5092-2888-1
ASIN: B081DR5SBJ
Number of pages:  378
Word Count: 99, 281
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline: The Angel of Death is no angel, but a world in ruins needs her guns more than wings.

Book Description:

In a post-apocalypse world besieged by monsters, Colonel Xavier, a military man with a deadly temper, deliberately challenges Maat Ferris, a fierce, werewolf hunter. When Xavier meets Maat, he can't decide whether to shoot her or kiss her. There is no uncertainty in her. She promptly stabs him. His hot then cold attitude makes her crazy, and his tendency to protect her is even worse.

Unfortunately, the combative pair must join forces on a treacherous journey, across the bleak, barren country. Pursued by a dictator president and the vampire who holds him in thrall, they carry precious cargo that will give democracy seeking rebels a chance to remain free.

Maat and Xavier, true to their aggressive, passionate natures, must also battle their way through a most unusual courtship. Can their love grow amidst the destruction and rebuilding of a society under siege? Or will they kill each other first?

Amazon      BN      Books a Million


Excerpt:

Chapter One
May 18, 2085 A.D
Avalon Agricultural Commune
Appalachian Mountains

Christopher worked his way down toward paradise. His tongue flicked in my navel and his fingers had already reached the gate. The lantern’s golden light played across our warm, flushed skin. I twisted my own fingers in his thick red hair, urging him on to the heart of gratification. He stopped, raised his head, and stared at me.
“What?” I didn’t expect him to answer. Christopher never spoke. One of the other members here at the AG Commune told me he could speak but wouldn’t because he was a Prime Oracle. His prophecies always came true—and he hated it.
To my dismay, Christopher rose from the bed, grabbed his robe, and drew it over his head. A frantic knock sounded at the door. The knock came again, this time accompanied by the voice of Julia, our leader Anolia’s young assistant.
“Maat? Maat, are you there?”
I glanced at Christopher, but his face remained impassive. The dark night terrified Julia. What was she doing at my door?
“Maat? Maat, please.”
Each word came with a higher and more desperate note. Christopher gave me one of his sweet smiles. Yes, I knew I had to answer.
“I’m coming, Julia.” I rose, grabbed my own robe, tossed it on, and went to the door. Julia jammed herself inside before it completely opened. She stood gasping, eyes wide, and pale hands clenched tight around her lantern handle. She shivered, even though summer had almost arrived, and it wasn’t cold outside.
“What is it, Julia?” I touched her arm. She jerked.
She closed her eyes and whispered a broken version of the serenity prayer. She didn’t seem any calmer when she finished. “Anolia wants you in the chapel dining room right now.” Julia blurted out the sentence like a single, multisyllable word.
“Why?” Anolia often sent Julia on errands, but she wasn’t cruel. What caused her to send the girl into the darkness she so feared? Julia shook her head, unable to continue. She glanced over her shoulder toward the door. “I have to go.”
I wouldn’t get anything else from her.
“Tell Anolia I’ll be there soon.”
Julia nodded. I opened the door and watched her lantern sway as she hurried up the path and over the hill. After I closed the door, I turned to Christopher.
“Something’s wrong. I better go see what she wants.”
Christopher seized my shoulders with hands made strong by his work at the forge. His fingers squeezed in a savage grip, and his striking face twisted in anguish.
“Take your guns, Maat. Take your guns.”
He spoke with a gravity that stunned me. He gave me a sweet kiss, and he too hurried out into the night. Seconds passed while I recovered from the shock of hearing him speak for the first time in over a year. Then I took his advice. I dragged my old suitcase from under the bed and threw it open.
The scent of gun oil and saddle soap filled the room. All my weapons lay there as they had for the past two years while I’d lived in peace here at the commune. Regularly cleaned, they patiently waited for the once familiar killing urge to strike their mistress again. I pulled on well-worn, black denim pants and a knit shirt, both softened with age. The supple boots that allowed me to tread softly across most terrain still fit comfortably.
I’m tall, lean, and have a moderately androgynous face. I’m not beautiful. Beauty is a blessing for women who need it to survive in this dangerous post-war, post disease world. I’ve never envied them, those lovely things with their smiles and sparkling eyes. All I needed was a gun, a blade, and a little luck. I may even run out of luck, but I kept my blade sharp, and my well-oiled guns didn’t age. The bullets retained their devastating punch.
I pinned my mass of unruly and not so lovely brown curls at the nape of my neck and wedged a small sheathed knife into the knot. The .44 Magnum Rudra, loaded with high impact silvers, the only ammunition I used, went into the unwieldy and uncomfortable holster at the small of my back. A more accessible shoulder holster carried a .45 caliber Aries under my left arm. I strapped a leather knife sheath to my left forearm, so I could grab the hilt with my right hand. I’d seen sheaths that buckled to the thigh, but I preferred my legs free, so I could run better. Knowing when to run had saved me more than once.

I pinned my mass of unruly and not so lovely brown curls at the nape of my neck and wedged a small sheathed knife into the knot. The .44 Magnum Rudra, loaded with high impact silvers, the only ammunition I used, went into the unwieldy and uncomfortable holster at the small of my back. A more accessible shoulder holster carried a .45 caliber Aries under my left arm. I strapped a leather knife sheath to my left forearm, so I could grab the hilt with my right hand. I’d seen sheaths that buckled to the thigh, but I preferred my legs free, so I could run better. Knowing when to run had saved me more than once. 


About the Author:

After twenty years in public service, Lee Roland retired to become a full-time paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. Her first three published novels, the Earth Witches, series tells the stories of strong men and women who battle the evil hiding under the surface of the modern world.  Lee hasn't always been a writer, but has always been a daydreamer, constantly making up stories and noted for rewriting her school day into happy endings when telling her mother.  Winner of numerous literary contests and a Golden Heart nominee, she currently lives and writes with her beloved dogs and cats in North Central Florida. 




Thursday, May 7, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 19


Health

Health, unfortunately, falls into that category of “maybe tomorrow”, and I don’t have a good reason why. I could argue that I need to spend time in front of the computer perfecting my stories, and honing my craft. But, in the end, I’m honestly not sitting for 8 hours straight a day.

I know that when I exercise and eat well, I feel better. And I strive to.

Love and Peace,

Kay


Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.