Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Date Published: February 2018
Jesse Fairlane is missing. Max Larkin and Special Agent Michaels are unsure if this is related to a recent case involving human trafficking or something else. On top of trying to locate his partner, Max has to make a decision as to whether he leaves Rockton to work with the FBI or stays to become captain at the local police department. As Larkin, Michaels, and the other detectives work furiously to find Jesse before it's too late, Max finds himself despairing they'll find her alive. He struggles to maintain his relationship with Veronica and trying to be a friend to Jesse's girlfriend, Melissa, all while following a maze of clues to Jesse.
The door made no sound as it opened, and it was only when the light hit her face, burning orange through her eyelids, that Fiona knew someone was coming. It was the police, she thought, her pulse quickening. Police flashlights—that must be it. For a brief millisecond, she held onto the thought of rescue, the fantasy that anyone knew where she was, and then steeled herself as she opened her eyes.
A figure was moving, certainly not the police. Average build, slim, the figure moved with grace, but not with authority. She blinked, her eyes adjusting to the dim light. There was crackling and rustling, and now she knew why. Everything was covered in industrial plastic, huge thick sheets covering the furniture, walls, and ceiling in a layer that looked almost like water. She screamed again, but this time there was only a gurgle from her raw, scratched throat.
The figure was fiddling with something just out of sight. Fiona couldn't identify the strange scratching noise until the record began to play on the old gramophone. Her eyes wide with fear, she followed the figure as it swayed to the music, an old nursery rhyme, a song she barely remembered from childhood.
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” croaked the voice from the speaker.
Suddenly there was light, real light, and Fiona slammed her eyes closed.
“Open your eyes.”
She shook her head.
“Open your eyes.”
The voice was pleasant, a deep alto or a high tenor. Male or female, she couldn't tell. Not disguised, but neutral. Fiona swallowed. Face things head on, she thought; that was the only chance of her getting out here. Open her eyes, be obedient, do as she was told, and perhaps, maybe, there would be a chance of escape. Be compliant. Blinking, she managed to squint her eyes open, then open them fully.
“. . . and pretty maids all in a row,” sang the gramophone.
The figure was in front of her now. All dressed in black, a black hood, a black balaclava. Close enough that Fiona could smell the comforting scent of wet, fertile earth.
She was sitting in a circle of light. The figure stretched out a gloved hand and stroked her cheek. Fiona forced herself not to flinch.
“So beautiful. So beautiful.”
She fought against the desire to close her eyes again, to move instinctively away from the hand.
“But not as beautiful as you'll be when I'm done with you.”
Her eyes flickered away, anything not to look at the figure in front of her. She caught sight of the glint of something just outside her circle of light. Metal. A lot of metal. Tools maybe? She analyzed what she was seeing, hoping to figure out what was going on. She could come up with only one theory. Her eyes closed again against her will, a scream ripping from her throat but making no sound.
Why Book Covers are So Important
Regardless of the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, we all still do. This is true especially today when digital books outsell paperback and hardcover. The only thing that people actually see on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble are the covers.
One of the hardest things to do in this digital age is set yourself apart and having a creative cover is of the utmost importance. If you have a plain old cover that looks like everything else in your genre nobody’s going to give you a second look. Sure, the Patterson’s and the Grisham’s of the world don’t have to set themselves apart anymore by book covers because they already have a solid following. I firmly believe if they just published a book with nothing but the books name and their name to go a long with a black cover that had pink polka dots it would still sell one hundred thousand copies.
My book covers set me apart because they are unique and the cover actually depicts a scene from the book. These scene for “The Blood of a Rose” was pretty simple. However, in my third book, “Miss Me?” I had to really find the right photo for the cover. Believe it or not, it wasn’t easy finding a woman wearing a wedding dress holding a bloody knife.
As an author you need to understand who your readers are and if your book cover doesn’t look like something that your readers would want it won’t get off the virtual shelves. Let alone the brick and mortar book shelves. It may not even make it those stores if it isn’t appealing to the eye.
About the Author
Perhaps you wouldn't characterize the Finance Manager of your local automobile dealership as an Amazon best-selling author--until you get to know Todd Thiede. He has worked for the past decade at Elmhurst Toyota, but Thiede is in the driver's seat as the writer of a murder mystery series featuring his hero Detective, Max Larkin. "Time Killer," which Kirkus Reviews deemed "a fast-paced thriller" that will "keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective,", "Lies To Die For" (which reached No. 1 on Amazon in the "Serial Killer" category), Miss Me? (3rd in the series) and Slashtag (4th in the series) are available via Amazon Kindle.
Go to www.toddthiede.com for more info on Todd and his books.
According to Kirkus reviews (the toughest book reviewer in the business):
A fast-paced thriller centered on a brutal, time-obsessed serial killer.
The expression "killing time" rarely means murder, but here, the victims of a serial killer must pay for the time they've wasted, often with both their money and their lives. In a brutal scene from the opening chapter, an entire family is murdered after a stranger invades the family's home and accuses the patriarch of wasting his time. Veteran cop Max Larkin is on the case. Unfortunately, he's also been assigned a new partner; though she's green in the field--she has "very sad eyes" and prays upon arriving at the first crime scene--she gives the hardened old detective a new perspective he never knew he needed. But as the serial killer claims more victims, a pattern emerges that neither Max nor his new partner can ignore. With brisk pacing, Thiede's debut brims with action, violence and, occasionally, emotion. Though the book takes a while to find its heart, procedural fans will feel right at home. Larkin feels like a guy worth rooting for, despite filling the shoes of the beaten-down, grizzled, old loner cop trope a little too well. His interactions with his new partner, plus the twists and revelations regarding his past, give him enough of a pass to get readers invested in the story
and looking forward to his next outing. Larkin's story doesn't break any boundaries, but it'll keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective. Plenty of shock value and a charismatic, if formulaic, male lead.
In 2006, with wars in the Middle East raging, Rod Strong enlists in the Army to seek the goal his father did not achieve when he tragically died in the Gulf War. His objective: The Old Guard regiment, the elite Soldiers who stand as Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery. He overcomes the setbacks that litter his path until an unexpected firefight in Afghanistan changes his life forever.
I'm pro-military and support our troops 100% so I was excited when I came across the apportunity to read this book. There are some topics that come across our sphere that just humble us, The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier is one of those topics (and places) that humbles me. The author, Sarah Bates, uses her skilled talent of story telling and articulation to compose this adventerous narration that is completly compelling and pretty darn authentic. The story is smooth, fast-pased, enticing, and brave. I loved the research that Bates clearly used in writing this story. I look forward to reading more from Bates in the future.
Where do you get your ideas?
I wish I knew, because I’d go to that well often! It would be so easy. Sometimes they come to me when I read a news item, or hear a fragment of conversation by a stranger, or in the case of Twenty-One Steps of Courage, I listened to a Fourth Grade teacher tell her students about the Sentinel Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns. She had repeated some odd information about the guards never being able to swear or drink alcohol for the rest of their lives. Almost immediately I suspected that wasn’t the case, and thought, “I wonder what would happen if…?” That evening I scribbled the loose plot in a notebook I carry.
What is your writing process like?
First I write a general outline–I always know the ending of a story. Then I write and research, write and research–rinse and repeat while the plot changes to accommodate the details of the story. I write five days a week, usually starting at about 10 AM and I write until my cat needs feeding at 5 PM. I only write on the weekends if I am closing in on a chapter or I’m bored with my other pursuits.
What advice do you have for writers?
Don’t skimp on research. Don’t copy someone else’s plot. Make sure what you write has a genre with a fan base. Avoid clichés unless they come out of the mouth of a character. Avoid “-ly” words. Use active verbs and present tense. Self-edit first draft, then self-edit second draft, then when you are certain you are finished, hire a professional editor to go through your manuscript and don’t argue when changes are suggested. The editor’s job is to make sure your story is saleable.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I don’t think that’s ever happened. Sorry.
Do you find it easier to write character and dialogue for the opposite sex because you are the opposite sex? (A woman writing a man’s part and dialogue for example).
I don’t have any problems with this, largely because of two things: First, for many years I wrote advertising copy that is by nature lean and by extension masculine. Second, to write a man’s voice well, I had to listen/read male dialogue. Writing a woman’s voice is easy for me. I just write words I would say, and then cut the dialogue by about half.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Coffee, water, music that suits the story I’m writing.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Yes. War & Peace. I tried to read it, and I know it’s a literary icon, but my brain refused to let my eyes see the page any longer.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing, if at all?
The first book, sixteen short stories coauthored with a colleague, proved that my writing voice was legit. After praise for that book, I moved into long fiction knowing that I could do it.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I am the queen of research, but as I said in the response to “writing process”, for me it’s organic. I research, as I need information. For example, again for Twenty-One Steps of Courage, when I couldn’t “hear” the voices of Soldiers I went to the National Training Center in the Mohave Desert and lived with Soldiers undergoing cultural training before they deployed to Iraq. I then visited The Old Guard at their post in Arlington, and spent time at Walter Reed Medical Center talking to doctors, physical therapists and some of the grievously injured men and women recuperating there. For The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, I spent a week in Johnstown, New York where she lived as a girl. A tour guide traipsed me all over the town, into her church, the courthouse where her father tried cases, her school in Troy, New York. I stood on the porch of the home she rented with Susan B. Anthony that was their getaway for speech writing.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my one month book tour for Time to Say Goodbye by Parker J. Cole. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs March 5-30, 2018. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL.
Genre: Sweet Inspirational Romance
About The Author
I am an author, speaker, and radio show host with a fanatical obsession with the Lord, Star Trek, K-dramas, anime, romance books, old movies, speculative fiction, and knitting. An off and on addict to Mountain Dew and marshmallows who writes to fill the void the sugar left behind.
About The Book
Gargi Kapoor is the only one convinced her brother, Dev, is innocent of the crime he was convicted of. When he is sent to the hospital with an unexplained paralyzing disease she finds herself having to lean on the last person she'd ever want to depend on -- a man who wants her brother to pay for stealing his mother's life savings.
Leon Reckley is extremely satisfied to find the man who ripped his mother off suffering from an unknown disease that leaves him paralyzed and in need of rehabilitation therapeutic services. He's even happier when he is given the opportunity to be the therapist that makes him fit enough to return to prison to finish his sentence. No one will work harder to make sure Dev Kapoor serves every minute of his prison sentence.
Gargi never dreamed the man who has utter contempt for her brother would be the man she slowly begins to trust. Leon never thought he'd be convinced Dev might be innocent, let alone be drawn to his enemy's little sister. Together, will they find the truth? Or when Leon's job is over, will it simply be time to say goodbye?
Get to know the Author A-Z
Parker J. Cole from A to Z? Hmm, let’s see:
A = Amiable. I try my best to get along with everyone.
B = Beautiful. There was a time when I thought I looked like the back of a bus with dirt. I no longer feel that way, thank the Lord!
C = Chatty. I will talk your ear off. I love talking to people.
D = Dedicated. I dedicate myself to my family and friends
E = Entertaining. For the most part, people like to be around me. They say I entertain them!
F = Forgetful. Sometimes I forget to finish I what I—squirrel!
G = Grateful. I am grateful for everything the Lord Jesus has given me.
H = Helpful. I try my best!
I = Intuitive. I make judgements and decisions based off my intuition.
J = Jumpy. Only around bugs and people who walk behind me. I hate when people walk behind me, especially in a hall at an office building.
K = Keeper. Once I’m your friend, I’m a keeper. You won’t be able to get rid of me…so beware! *evil cackle*
L = Loyal. My greatest strength and weakness
M = Mountain Dew addict
N = Nerd. Yeah, I was a nerd before it came into style.
O = Open. I leave myself open to make new friendships
P = People person. People energize. The more there are, I feel a buzz flow through me.
Q = Questioning. I like to learn about new things…except taxes
R = Reader. There are never enough books
S = Sensitive. I pick up on people’s moods
T = Talker; see Chatty
U = Understanding. I try to see both sides of an issue or both sides of a person
V = Vocal. My twin would say big mouth!
W = Willing. Depending on what it is I’m wiling to try new things and experiences. I’d like to handglide for instance but I’ll never bungee jumb.
X = I’ve got nothing for X.
Y = Young at heart. I’m still waiting to feel like a grown up.
Z = Zesty. I’ve a temper. Beware! 😊
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours