Archive for July, 2015

There Are No Vampires In This Book banner

So, there are no vampires in this book? Now I’m very curious. Such an intriguing title.

Wait til you see the cover!

Come on in and learn more about this exciting book.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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There Are No Vampires In This Book

by Megan Bailey

There Are No Vampires InThis Book cover

Synopsis

TARYN HAD NEVER BEEN NORMAL.

She wasn’t like other girls- not after that night, that thing, took her parents from her. She made it through hospitals, doctors, and therapy by playing by their rules and saying all the things they wanted to hear. But, inside, she held on to the truth.

She knew what she saw.

SHE SPENT HER TEEN YEARS PREPARING IN SECRET

With her two closest friends at her side, she dedicated herself to a mission. She would train and she would hunt. When the time came, she would be ready. No one she loved would be hurt by one of those monsters ever again

But with high school behind them, new found freedom comes with new responsibilities and new problems. Instead of weapons and self defense classes, she now has jobs and bills. The relation-ship with her best friend was suddenly shifting into new, scary territories. How could she take down bad guys if she couldn’t get her own life in order?

AND THEN THERE WAS HIM.

A mysterious stranger who pops up in suspicious places and throws off all sorts of bad vibes. His face now starred in her regular nightmares and plagued her thoughts in the day. Was she overreacting? Or, was this finally the monster she had been waiting for? As the scars of Taryn’s past rise up to haunt her, she begins to question herself. With her mission faltering and her friendship off kilter, would life ever be the same again? Would she ever be the same?

~~~

Enjoy the excerpt

It’s late. I have school in a couple hours, and I should be asleep. I had the nightmare again. The blood. The scream. The chill of my skin. It comes in parts, like flashes in a movie. It’s the same, but then it’s not. It doesn’t make sense, how it feels so real but looks so different. Every time, I wake up sweaty and shaking like it’s cold.

I saw him again. The one I shouldn’t talk about. The one who isn’t real.

That’s what they tell me. That’s what I tell them back.

But I know better and I’m done pretending. I’ll play their games and smile, but I won’t lie to myself or these pages anymore.

I know there is something evil out there. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have faced it. I know what walks around in the dark. And I am done being afraid.

I am done.

Now, I am going to do everything I can to get ready. Because whatever that was, monster, vampire, whatever, I am going to find it.

And it is going to be afraid of me.

~~~

About Author Megan Bailey

There Are No Vampires In This Book author pic

Megan Bailey is a novelist and short story author. When not writing, she loves playing video games for way too many hours and reading everything she can get her hands on. Megan is married to her own wise-cracking, romantic hero. They live in Central Illinois with their two devious/darling daughters and three furbabies: Minna the boxer dog, Logan the black cat, and Gimli the dwarf bunny. You can keep up with Megan at www.MeganBaileyBooks.com

Links:

Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter

Buy links

Amazon / Smashwords / B&N / Kobo

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from

 Night And Day

A Pecan Valley Mystery #3

by Ann Summerville

25674337

 

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My 56

“It happened when it started getting dark on Friday,” said Bea. “It couldn’t have been later than seven o’clock. By the way it’s time to set the clocks tonight.”

“Which way?” asked Biddie.

“Fall back, spring forward,” said Marge. “I don’t know why we have to keep continuing with this nonsense anyway.”

~~~~~

Synopsis

Not all is what is seems in Pecan Valley and Bea can’t quite put her finger on what is wrong. She’s hoping Marge won’t become a permanent house guest and encourages her to look for a new home, but while they are scouting the neighborhood they end up looking for more than a house for Marge. What Bea wants to uncover is the unsavory dealings of a ruthless realtor and a murderer that might put Bea on the list of victims.

~~~~~

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

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Have I got the book to share with you today.

Bigfoot Blues, An Elvis Sightings Mystery, is too fun for words. Well, obviously it has words. It’s a book. But it is so different from other cozies I’ve read.

I can’t wait to tell you about it, so here ya go!

Title: Bigfoot Blues
Author: Ricardo Sanchez
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 251
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: Kindle

BigFoot Blues 2

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My Review

If you’re like me, that catchy title, Bigfoot Blues, and the awesome cover art caught your attention.

In the beginning….

Floyd, the P.I., kisses his girlfriend goodbye, her beard tickling his face. What?!

Now he’s off to make a quick buck. It should be an easy case. Mr. Funk wants him to find his missing daughter. She went to River City, Oregon and wasn’t seen again. Her parents finally received a letter from her stating that she was eloping with Bigfoot and not to worry about her. Yep, you read it right. Eloping with Bigfoot.

Floyd arrives in River City and visits the local police to let them know he’s there for a case. A common courtesy. The flack begins immediately. They think he’s there for the Elvis Impersonator’s contest. Just because he wears sparkly outfits like Elvis, that doesn’t make him an impersonator. He’s an Elvis Lifestyle Artist. Totally different. Riiiight.

I could just see the reactions Floyd got everywhere he went. No wonder he got so much flack. More power to him for sticking to his guns and letting his freak flag fly.

While in town, he crosses paths with the sheriff, in the hospital after a large animal took a chunk out of his butt. Could have been a cougar. Or maybe a chupacabra. Either way, he hires Floyd to catch the thing before it bites someone else.

Now he has two cases.

And he gets another job offer while on the trail of Bigfoot. It seems that Harlan’s swamp dog has been stolen. He specializes in cryptotaxidermy, stuffed creatures made up of different animal parts. You know. The jackalope? Harlan offers Floyd a sweet deal he can’t refuse.

Looks like his case load has gotten bigger.

River City, Oregon is the Mythical Creature Capital of the World. Lots of eccentric and down right loony people visit the city.

Floyd has to weed out the crazies with Goliath in tow. Goliath is a dwarf with a mean streak and the muscle to back it up. Floyd’s nightmare. And my hero. He’s so full of snark, I just had to love him.

So now you have an idea of what is in these pages.

I loved the characters. Not your ordinary John Q. Public. All of them have quirks, are just outside the norm. What a great cast!

And the cases. Come on. An eighteen year old girl elopes with Bigfoot. The Sheriff is gnawed on by a chupacabra. And a swamp dog thingie has gone missing. How do these all combine?

In the funniest ways imaginable. I had to keep making myself slow down to enjoy each page. I was so anxious to see how it all came together.

One of the zaniest cozy mysteries I’ve read yet. Loved it. Hope there’s more to come.

5 Stars

~~~

Synopsis

She eloped with Bigfoot. Or maybe Bigfoot kidnapped her. Either way, I’ve been hired to uncover the truth behind Cindy Funk’s disappearance. Me? I’m Floyd, and I’m a PI living my life as Elvis would have wanted. Not just in sequined jumpsuits. With character.

Cindy’s trail leads me to River City, Oregon—aka the Mythical Creature Capital of the World—where I catch Case #2. This one from an eccentric billionaire who’s lost a priceless piece of “art.” Enter one dead body and I end up deputized to solve Case #3, tracking down a man-eating mountain lion. Or maybe it’s a chupacabra. Or just an ordinary murderer. Hard to say.

I’ve handled my fair share of crazy, but River City’s secrets have me spooked. With an influx of tourists arriving for the town’s annual Elvis tribute contest—what are the chances?—I’ve got to save the girl, solve the rich guy’s problem and leash that chupacabra before a second body is discovered. It might just be mine.

Read more about Floyd’s adventures in Elvis Sightings, available now!

For More Information

~~~

Excerpt

It was ten past two on a Wednesday and I was sitting behind my desk in the office I share with Franklin, a chiropractor. His wife had sent me looking for him almost four years ago, but she was such a harridan that once I’d found him, I couldn’t bring myself to turn over his location. He’d let me use his place as an office, rent-free, ever since.

I checked my watch again.

Wanda was flying back to Kresge today. I resented being dragged away from her, even for just an hour, but the man on the phone had insisted. It had been more than a month since my last case, so while Wanda packed, I came into the office to meet Peter Funk. And he was late.

The clock hit 2:15. I was about to leave when a very lost-looking man in his fifties opened the door.

“You must be Floyd,” he said, taking off his well-worn Caterpillar cap. His bald head had the baked look of someone who spent a lot of time under the hot Idaho sun. “Your Elvis outfit kinda gives it away,” he added.

“You’re Mr. Funk?”

He smiled weakly and bobbed his head up and down in the affirmative.

I pointed him to a seat and sat back down at my desk.

“So what can I do for you?” I asked.

Funk looked down at the cap in his hands and worried at a loose thread with his callused fingers.

“I need you to find my daughter,” he said and looked up at me. “You’ve got to help me. I don’t know who else to turn to.”

“I’d be happy to help, Mr. Funk, but with missing children you’re much better off going to the police.”

Funk stood up and slapped his hat against his thigh. A small cloud of dirt erupted from the dull blue denim of his pants.

“Oh, the cops won’t help me. Cindy’s eighteen. They said they can’t go looking for her if she’s just run off,” he said. “Besides…”

“Besides what, Mr. Funk?”

He took his seat again before finally blurting out, “She ran off to elope with Bigfoot.”

I would have laughed if Funk hadn’t looked so worried.

“Bigfoot?” I said. “That’s a nickname?”

“No, sir.”

Funk pulled a postcard out of his jeans pocket and handed it to me.

On one side was a teenage boy holding up a plaster casting of a giant footprint nearly three feet long. Across the bottom it read “River City—The Home of Bigfoot.” I turned it over. The postmark was three weeks ago in River City, Oregon. The note on the card read:

 

Dear Daddy,

I’ve fallen in love with Bigfoot and we’ve decided to elope. I won’t be coming back to Pocatello. I’ll write again soon.

Cindy

 

She’d put a little heart in place of the dot above the is in both Bigfoot and Cindy.

River City… The name was familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it.

“My girl, she’s a willful one she is, but Cindy’s never lied to me. Not once,” Funk said. “If Cindy says she’s eloped with Bigfoot, that’s exactly what she’s done.”

Why did I get all the weirdos? Was it the suit? Or the Lifestyle Elvis thing? Or maybe this was some sort of elaborate practical joke. I let out a low sigh.

A case is a case, I told myself. And this one was just too absurd to be someone shining me on.

~~~

About the Author

Ricardo Sanchez 2

 

Ricardo Sanchez is a writer, toy buff, and lifelong comic book fan.

Elvis Sightings, the first novel in his Elvis Sightings Mysteries series, was released in September , 2014. Bigfoot Blues, the follow up, was released in May, 2015.

Ricardo has written several books for DC Comics, including Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Teen Titans Go! and Resident Evil among many others. His original project, A Hero’s Death, was a successful Kickstarter released in May, 2015.

In addition to writing, Ricardo is an Emmy award winning video and animation producer. When he’s not writing, Ricardo maintains a vintage toy blog, drives 70’s muscle cars, and shops year round for Halloween decorations for his home in California.

For More Information

~~~

Did you see that? Wasn’t that????

Until the next time…..

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

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Paradise Rot

The Island Trilogy

Book One

by Larry Weiner

25712413

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Genre: Satire/Dark Comedy

Publisher: Booktrope

Date of Publication: May 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5137-0031-1/ASIN: B00YLDWX66

Number of pages: 211

Cover Artist: Larry Weiner

My Review

Welcome to tropical paradise. Welcome to The Isle of St. Agrippina. White sandy beaches. Delicious blended drinks. And island cuisine.

But beware. All is not as it seems. And you just might wind up on the menu.

You see, this long abandoned and now reopened and freshly renovated resort is run by zombies. Not the good ones, if there is such a thing, but the hungry ones. And their brains are working just fine. You’ll see.

Kyle, an advertising exec, should have known it was too good to be true. In fact, he did. Who would hire someone straight from the loony bin? But that didn’t stop him from using the plane ticket and jetting to a tropical paradise.

Right from the get go, things are weird. And they keep getting weirder.

What’s with the slow moving people with their perfect over-white teeth, spray on tans, and practiced pronunciation.

Who is the lady in the woods who likes to conk you over the head and drag you to a bar in the jungle tended buy some weird guy.

And did he really see a chihuahua with it’s butt on wheels, and did it actually speak?

I would have given this book 5 Stars just for the ingenuity. But I also laughed out loud, loved the eccentric mish mash of characters, and couldn’t get enough.

Looking for some fun with zombies. Give this one a try. And the next book, Once More, With Blood, is available now so you won’t have to wait for more fun.

5 Stars

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Book Description:

 

Kyle Brightman—late of the advertising industry and soon-to-be-late of the 5th floor psych ward—has a job offer he can’t refuse. A new resort in the Caribbean is looking for an art director.

Kyle soon finds himself on the Isle of St. Agrippina working alongside a beautiful copywriter with an icy handshake. Questions arise: Why does the resort management team sport spray-on tans in the Bahamas? How can the resort offer such cheap vacation packages? What does one do with vats of Astroglide?

To get the answers, Kyle must first navigate a series of wildly unpredictable events with a cast of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including a seductress jungle assassin, her partially paralyzed talking Chihuahua, an Ivy League Rastafarian seaplane captain, Kyle’s ex-psych ward roommate, a former Haliburton mercenary, and a French tavern owner with a fondness for goats, all set to the greatest hits of the 70’s. Pablo Cruise never felt so right.

Amazon   BN

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Excerpt: Chapter One

 

“THERE’S A REASON WE PUT PATIENTS IN RESTRAINTS THIS WAY,” Hap the orderly explained. “See before, when it became necessary to administer a four-point restraint on someone, we’d just do the standard two feet to each side of the gurney and two wrists by the waist. Now we have you done up with the POS 2206 restraint which you’d have to pretty much be motherfuckin’ Houdini to get out of, see what I’m sayin’? We got one arm up and one down so you don’t pop your shoulder out of your socket. Does that matter to the average whack job that comes through here all spun out screaming about the end times or how the government implanted tiny computers in their heads? Nuh-uh. They just keep wigglin’ around as if their super human powers are gonna set them free. Forget it, son. Your body belongs to the St. Eligius psych ward, fifth floor, Seattle, Washington, in these United States of America.”

It was true.

Kyle Brightman lay restrained on the gurney looking something like a flamenco dancer striking a pose horizontally. Unlike flamenco dancers and their elaborate sequined outfits, Kyle was in jeans and a faded Clash T-shirt covered in eggs, tapenade, and mace. Also unlike flamenco dancers, Kyle had been tased in a supermarket. But then it had been a weird week in an off kilter year, so in retrospect it seemed fitting to be held down to a gurney in a hospital corridor getting a lesson in the history and technique of human body restraint from Hap, the large African American orderly schooled in human confinement arts.

Kyle fully submitted to the restraints, finding them rather soothing— Temple Grandin was on to something, he thought. He also thought about the starting place on the long road of his downward spiral: from being fired from his advertising gig as an art director, to mowing the grass for a local golf course, and finally to freaking out on a couple of elderly women blocking the aisle in a supermarket because they wouldn’t move their carts a few inches over when he’d asked.

All in three months’ time.

In truth, the brain lock up had been a long time coming. A bitter divorce that had cost him his waterfront condo and his cat, Lester. The passed over promotion at work to a younger junior art director. The diagnosis of Bipolar II. The drinking. The petty shoplifting at the local Rite Aid. It was a perfect storm of anxiety and neurosis crashing down upon an already paranoid and erratic man with authority issues and a tendency toward drama.

But the idea of his mental state as a tornado gathering energy as it swept across his life was nothing new to Kyle or those around him. His moods were a dangerous balancing act of wit, anger, and a general cluelessness that on the best of days came across as mercurial.

He knew this about himself, and though countless therapists had talked him through his childhood, his mother, his school years, and subsequent launch into adulthood, everybody had yet to find a cure. As a creative director with similar tendencies had once put it to Kyle, he’d best learn to be an asshole with serious repenting skills if he was to survive at all, let alone in advertising.

In Kyle’s mind, every time he met a woman, took a job, or made a friend, he imagined a stop watch starting, ticking off the days, hours, minutes, seconds until eventually they would learn the truth about him: that his moods were like forecasting the weather. It was a seemingly mundane twist of fate then that Kyle Brightman would completely lose his shit because two aged, upper crust cronies wouldn’t move their shopping carts over enough for him to pass. If only he had known what they had been discussing (the cost increase in septic pumping/ whose Mexican gardener was better) he might have picked a more symbolic moment to melt down. But then, he had realized as he began cursing at the top of his lungs that he really wasn’t in the driver’s seat. And when he began to throw eggs at them, followed by a jar containing tapenade while knocking over a display rack of various energy bars, it became clear that he was now entering new territory.

Territory that would require restraints.

“When do I get out of the restraints?” Kyle asked Hap.

“That depends on you,” Hap said. “If you cooperate and let us do our job and you do yours you won’t see restraints again. But if you start to go sideways, we put you in the metal room, hose you down and go to work on you with rubber Billy maces.”

“What?”

“I’m fuckin’ with you. You’ll be fine. We’re gonna take you to your room. You’ll meet your roommate and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.”

Kyle hadn’t thought about recovery until it was mentioned. It was a rare instance that he lived in the moment. He was aware, strapped to the gurney, that he was extraordinarily tired.

“What if I don’t recover?” Kyle asked.

“You will,” Hap said. “I been doing this a long time and I can tell the ones who are gonna make it and the ones who fall through the cracks. You’re the first one.”

“What do you tell the ones who you know are gonna fall through the cracks?” Kyle asked.

“Same bullshit I told you,” Hap said.

~~~~

About the Author:

Larry  Weiner

 

Larry Weiner is the author of PARADISE ROT (BOOK ONE), ONCE AGAIN, WITH BLOOD (BOOK TWO) and the forthcoming HINDU SEX ALIENS (BOOK THREE) that make up the Island Trilogy. Larry earned a degree in film from CSULA and was an award-winning art director. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, two kids and a gaggle of animals. He plays bass and thus has poor hearing.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

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Title: Island Bluffs
Author: Alan A. Winter
Publisher: KBPublishing
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Kindle/Paperback

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My Review

You’d never know it by the lovely cover, but this is a story that delves into the dark side.

And the title is an excellent choice as it can be construed different ways in the book.

Carly can’t conceive and she’s desperate to carry and deliver a child. She and her husband Gabe go above and beyond to have their baby, seeking help from a fertility specialist.

The doctor is supposed to work miracles and he does. Carly is now in her third trimester and it’s time to move.

When they first met with the doctor, he had some peculiar ideas. One deal breaker was, they had to move somewhere during the last trimester that was within a 30 minute drive of the clinic.

The other thing, the strange thing, is Carly must carry two embryos. One is from her and Gabe, the other is unknown. She will never see this other child. It belongs to the doctor.

Gabe is a boat nut. He never passes up a chance to be on the water. One day he spies a house on the peninsula of Island Bluffs. He’s inexplicably drawn to it. Despite Carly’s misgivings about the long empty and fixer upper, they buy it and move in.

So many angles in this book.

The strange doctor with his odd stipulations and deeply troubled past. What’s with the children? Why does he only want boys? My mind played havoc with the scenarios.

Megan, Gabe’s 17 year old daughter from his previous marriage. She’s still not over her mothers death and she’s playing the role of step-mother hate to the hilt. I had hopes she’d come around to Carly eventually. And her adoration and respect for her grandfather, Yehuda, is heartwarming.

You’ll like Yehuda. He’s a survivor of the holocaust, yet still sees good in people. He forms a friendship with Buck, the local eccentric and handy man. I loved their friendship.

Buck has his own story that ties into Carly and Gabe’s new house. Can’t tell you why though. Buck went off to war and had to leave his true love many years ago. When he returned he learned she’d gone missing and was never found. To this day, he still loves and misses her, and the police keep her yellowed missing poster up at the station in deference to him.

Then the house has a story. One that will surprise and chill you. Music is heard in the house when there’s no radio on. Voices are heard in the walls.

The town of Island Bluffs is shrouded in mystery. The people that live there are insular. They take time to warm up and accept the new family. And they keep many secrets.

This sounds like a horror thriller doesn’t it? You could call it that. But there’s mysteries in mysteries, darkness and light, and some very surprising revelations.

I was drawn in quickly and felt a connection to the characters. They each had their own flaws, which made them more genuine. I like strong characters and found plenty in this story.

Set aside some reading time when you start this. You won’t want any interruptions.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Island Bluffs is a story of love, forgiveness, and understanding the dark side of the human spirit. It explores the age-old question: are children accountable for the sins of their parents and grandparents?

Carly Mason is a successful New York City forensic dentist. She and her widower husband, Gabe Berk, are trying to start a family. Thinking they had exhausted the options by consulting with all of Manhattan’s fertility experts, Carly and Gabe learn of an eccentric scientist who runs an exclusive clinic.

The doctor commits to helping the couple conceive the baby they so desperately want, but only if they agree to what seems like an outrageous stipulation; Carly must carry twins, one biological and one that she is a surrogate for. Once the twins are born Carly has to surrender the non-biological twin to the doctor at birth, no questions asked. Further, should the old doctor die before Carly gives birth, she has to agree to give the baby the name chosen by the doctor.

As required for treatment, Carly and Gabe move into a new house, which is within thirty minutes of the clinic. They soon discover that their new home and town, Island Bluffs, are far from ordinary. Carly and Gabe feel eyes spying on them at every turn. Gabe’s father, Yehuda, hears strange noises that only he can hear. Megan, Gabe’s rebellious sixteen-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, is attracted to the son of a Neo-Nazi.

The mysteries continue to deepen as a scavenger ship appears on nearby waters searching for sunken treasure along with glimpses of a lone swimmer lumbering through the waves of Barnegat Bay. Island Bluffs is a present-day town bound to the past by horrible secrets and pacts made long ago. Keeping secrets buried as some had hoped was no longer an option for the Berks. Their new and some thought long-forgotten home made that impossible by putting them squarely in the middle of it all. When the truths are revealed, the shocking twists and turns will challenge the very notions of what is right and wrong.

Purchase Links

Amazon / B&N

~~~~~

Author Alan A. Winter

Alan Winter

At first blush, Alan is quick to say that he never intended to be a writer. But when he thinks about it, he’s been writing in one form or another, for his entire adult life. In college, he wrote paper after paper for his history and literature courses. Professionally, he edited a dental journal and wrote more than twenty
scientific papers. That still doesn’t explain how a dentist came to write fiction!

It started in 1982 when Alan made small talk with a patient about a sci-fi idea he had. She thought the idea was so terrific, she urged him to write a movie treatment about it. Alan dismissed her offhand. What did he know about writing movies?

The patient persisted. Each time she would visit his office, she would demand to see the finished movie treatment. Seeing she was serious and relentless, Alan agreed to hand her a treatment. But how? He had no clue where to start. Asking other patients for guidance, Alan was introduced to a young screenwriter who agreed – for a fee – to write the treatment. They worked together, produced a treatment, and shopped it around to a number of studios. One studio took the idea (without permission or payment) and turned Alan’s treatment into a movie.

Alan experienced two revelations at the time:

  1. Rather than waste energy being litigious, be flattered that a studio felt Alan’s idea was worthy of turning it into a movie. Knowing a stranger valued his creativity supported all of his future projects.
  2. 2. Collaborating with the screenwriter gave Alan the validation he needed that if and when he chose to write a book, it wouldn’t be foolhardy…not that it really mattered what others thought!

3. Still, Alan had no desire to write fiction. That changed in 1985. That was the year that Alan began writing his first novel, “Someone Else’s Son,” which was eventually published by MasterMedia, Ltd.

What prompted Alan to write “Someone Else’s Son” is a story in itself. When Alan completed his periodontal training at Columbia, he joined a prestigious Fifth Avenue periodontal practice. Day after day, the well-to-do, prominent patients asked Alan if he was old enough to be a dentist. (He looked that much younger than the two senior partners). Trying to convince the patients that he was old enough to be a dentist and, therefore, experienced enough to treat them, Alan put his two sons’ pictures on the treatment room wall. When his third son was born, he added that one, too. Every few months, he updated the photos.

But a curious thing happened on a daily basis. The patients kept asking why Alan had pictures of children on the wall. When he replied, “They’re not just any children; those are my sons,” no one believed him. They claimed the boys looked too dissimilar to be brothers. They joked that he must have taken the wrong one home from the hospital. Though this was not the case (at least he didn’t think so), Alan wondered what he would’ve done had he discovered, years later, that he and his wife had brought the wrong child home from the hospital. The result was “Someone Else’s Son.”

While maintaining his periodontal practice, Alan has continued to write since he first took up pen to paper, although now he is very appreciative that his mother forced him to take typing in summer school after his sophomore year of high school. Boys just didn’t do that back in the ’60s, but it has been an invaluable skill over the years.

In 1999, “Snowflakes in the Sahara” was published by iUniverse. “Savior’s Day,” also published by iUniverse, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. It was selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2013.

“Island Bluffs,” Alan’s newest novel, is published by KB Publishing to excellent reviews. He is at work on his next novel, “The Legacy of Izaak Wolf,” about an adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome achieves the near impossible to save his family from a surefire calamity.

Alan and Lori live in his native New Jersey. They have five children and five grandchildren.

For More Information

Visit Alan’s website.

Twitter / Facebook

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Follow the tour

July 6

Book featured at Undercover Book Reviews

July 7

Book featured at My Life, Loves and Passions

July 8

Book featured at The Literary Nook

July 9

Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

July 13

Interviewed at C.A. Milson

July 14

Guest blogging at Mythical Books

July 15

Book featured at Mary’s Cup of Tea

July 16

Guest blogging at Mom with a Kindle

July 17

Interviewed at Review from Here

July 20

Book featured at Chosen by You Book Club

July 21

Interviewed at As the Page Turns

July 22

Book featured at Confessions of a Reader

July 23

Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

July 24

Book featured at Celticlady’s Reviews

July 27

Guest blogging at Bent Over Bookwords

July 28

Book featured at Voodoo Princess

July 29

Book reviewed at FUOnlyKnew

July 30

Book reviewed at A Room Without Books is Empty

July 31

Book featured at Lover of Literature

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Partners In Crime Tours

On Tour July 2015

Drop Dead Punk

A Coleridge Taylor Mystery

by Rich Zahradnik

25397036

Genre: Mystery

Series: Book 2 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.

Published by: Camel Press,

Publication Date: ~ Aug. 15, 2015

Number of Pages: 254

ISBN: 978-1603812092

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

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My Review

A city on the verge of bankruptcy. Good cops versus bad cops. Murder and lies. And one reporter who’s trying to get that big story.

Looks like Coleridge Taylor may have stumbled onto many stories, and they might all be connected.

Taylor works for the Messenger-Telegram. Not the biggest or most popular newspaper, but he loves his job. The paper may also be in financial trouble.

As Taylor worries about his job, he digs deep into the murder of a policeman. Why would a nice kid, one who struggles to feed the cities stray dogs, try to mug someone and kill a cop?

Who sent the anonymous radio dispatch calling off policewoman Samantha Callahan from backing up her now dead partner? And why does no one believe she received that call? Now she looks like a coward and the cops aren’t too happy about it.

You follow along with Taylor as he digs for more answers, gets beat up by some rogue cops, and begins to fall for the lovely Samantha.

You feel like you’ve stepped back in time as the author describes the financial crises in New York in 1975 and the rampant crime and corruption. This reads like news you read about today. It seems some things never change.

Coleridge Taylor is a down on his luck but scrappy reporter with some ethics. He wants the story badly, but he’s gonna make sure he gets the facts and nothing but the facts.

He lives on a boat, but not on the water. It’s in dry dock and loaned to him by a friend. Taylor likes to drink, but not the hard stuff, and not too much. The examples of his father’s  many drunken arrests keeps that under control. He’s smart, funny, and like a dog with a bone when he’s onto a good story.

As you follow the story and uncover the clues, finally reaching the end, you come up for air. It was the writing, how the author kept me curious and anxious for the characters, especially Taylor, and excited to get answers to my questions, plus how easily and quickly the story flowed, that got this a high recommendation from me.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

Coleridge Taylor is searching for his next scoop on the police beat. The Messenger-Telegram reporter has a lot to choose from on the crime-ridden streets of New York City in 1975. One story outside his beat is grabbing all the front page glory: New York teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, and President Ford just told the city, as the Daily News so aptly puts it, “Drop Dead.” Taylor’s situation is nearly as desperate. His home is a borrowed dry-docked houseboat, his newspaper may also be on the way out, and his drunk father keeps getting arrested.

A source sends Taylor down to Alphabet City, hang-out of the punks who gravitate to the rock club CBGB. There he finds the bloody fallout from a mugging. Two dead bodies: a punk named Johnny Mort and a cop named Robert Dodd. Each looks too messed up to have killed the other. Taylor starts asking around. The punk was a good kid, the peace-loving guardian angel of the neighborhood’s stray dogs. What led him to mug a woman at gunpoint? And why is Officer Samantha Callahan being accused of leaving her partner to die, even though she insists the police radio misled her? It’s hard enough being a female in the NYPD only five years after women were assigned to patrol. Now the department wants to throw her to the wolves. That’s not going to happen, not if Taylor can help it. As he falls for Samantha–a beautiful, dedicated second-generation cop–he realizes he’s too close to his story. Officer Callahan is a target, and Taylor’s standing between her and some mighty big guns.

Drop Dead Punk is book 2 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.

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Read an excerpt:

NOTE: FROM UNCORRECTED PROOF (ARC):

The great headlines of other newspapers were always to be despised. Not today.

The three ancient copy editors were on their feet, with Copydesk Chief Milt Corman in the middle. Taylor stopped his walk through the newsroom to find out why. If someone had made a mistake, it must be a colossal one to get those fat asses out of their seats. He looked over Corman’s shoulder. The copy chief held the Daily News. It was that day’s edition, Oct. 30, 1975. The 144-point front-page headline screamed up from the page.

FORD TO CITY:

DROP DEAD

Corman rattled the paper violently. “That’s a work of art. Tells the whole story in five words. He gave the city the finger yesterday.”

Jack Miller, one of the other old farts, moved back to his seat. You could only expect him to stand for so long. He settled into
his chair for another day of slashing copy. “What do you expect from our unelected president? Veepee to Nixon. Goddamned pardoned Robert E. Lee two months ago.”

“Didn’t pardon him. Gave him back his citizenship.”

“Same thing. The barbarians are running the country and now they’re at our gates. We’re the biggest, most important city on the planet, and he’s going to leave us hanging to get himself actually elected to the job.”

Corman flipped open the paper to the Ford speech story across pages four and five. “Just listen to this bullshit. ‘I am prepared to veto any bill that has as its purpose a Federal bailout of New York City to prevent a default.’ He blathers on about using the uniform bankruptcy laws. On and on and on. How do you police the streets and pick up garbage under the uniform bankruptcy laws? A Federal judge trying to run the whole damn city? Chaos.”

“Ford’s from Grand Rapids.” Miller shook his big round head. “He doesn’t know from anything about this place. He’s talking to all the flatlanders—a nation that hates us.”

“Will you listen to this at the end? ‘If we go on spending more than we have, providing more benefits and more services than we can pay for, then a day of reckoning will come to Washington and the whole country just as it has to New York City. When that day of reckoning comes, who will bail out the United States of America?’ He’ll kill this city to keep his job.” Corman looked from the paper to Taylor. “You’re the crime reporter. Why don’t you go after this? Write the story about the man who murdered New York.”

Taylor laughed. “You can’t kill New York.”

“Rome fell.”

“Rome wasn’t New York. You know this is the same political bullshit. Made up numbers and budget magic and threats from Washington. New York will still be here long after. It’s a great headline, though. You guys should try writing ’em like that.”

He left the horseshoe copy desk before they could protest that wasn’t the style of the New York Messenger-Telegram. He knew all too well the three of them would kill to be headline writers at the Daily News. That paper wasn’t perpetually on the verge of failing like the MT.

Taylor gave New York’s financial crisis about thirty seconds more thought as he wound his way around the maze of the newsroom. To him, the crisis was background noise. The city had become a dark place since the Sixties decided to end early, round about 1968. Crime lurked in the darkness, and he covered crime. He was too busy with New York’s growth industry to pay attention to the mayor’s budget problems.

Heroin everywhere.

Corruption in the police department.

Buildings in the South Bronx torched by the block.

Those were the stories he went after, not failed bond sales and blabbering politicos. Problem was the damn financial story had pushed everything else off the MT’s front page. Taylor hadn’t had a decent story out there in three weeks. He needed the quick hit of a page one byline, needed it particularly bad this morning. The cops had called him at home last night. Not about a story this time. They’d arrested his father, reeling drunk in his underwear outside his apartment building. Taylor had been up until three a.m. dealing with that mess. A good story—a good story that actually got decent play—and a few beers after to celebrate. Now that would pick him up. For a day or two at least.

Make the calls. Someone’s got to have something. Now that Ford’s had his say, there must be room on page one.

He’d almost slipped past the city desk when Worth called out his name. Taylor tried to pretend he hadn’t heard and kept going, but Worth raised his high-pitched voice and just about yelled. Taylor turned and went back to the pristine maple-topped desk of City Editor Bradford J. Worth, Jr.

“I’ve got an assignment for you.”

That was always bad news. “Haven’t made my calls yet.”

“Doesn’t matter. Need you down at City Hall.”

Taylor brightened. Crime at City Hall. A murder? That would be big.

“What’s the story?” He sounded enthusiastic. He shouldn’t have.

“You’re to go to the pressroom and wait for announcements. Glockman called in sick.”

“C’mon, Worth. Not babysitting. You’ve got three other City Hall reporters.” Who’ve owned the front page for weeks.

“They’re all very busy pursuing the most important story in this city’s history. Your job is to sit at our desk in the pressroom and wait for the mayor to issue a statement on Ford’s speech. Or the deputy mayor. Or a sanitation worker. Or a cleaning lady. Anybody says anything, you phone it in. Rumor is they’re working on using city pension funds.”

Worth’s phone rang, and he picked up. “Yeah, I’m sending Taylor down. No, he’ll do for now.” He set the receiver lightly on its hook. “You’ve been down in the dumps since your friend Laura left us. Was it her going or the fact she got a job at the New York Times? Because you’ll never get there, not with the way you dodge the biggest stories.”

“Hey, you and I are both still here.”

Worth frowned. Ambition rose off the man like an odor as strong as the cologne he wore. He’d made city editor at thirty without ever working as a reporter. Everyone knew he wanted more, and to him, more meant the New York Times. He’d almost been as upset as Taylor when Laura Wheeler announced she had the gig, and Worth wasn’t the one in love with Laura. He had been sure he was leaving next.

“Both here, but I’m the one doing his job. Now get to City Hall.”

“You have to be able to find someone else.” Exasperation through grit teeth. “Crime is big for this paper.”

“I decide what’s big.” He picked up the phone, dialed an inside extension, and showed Taylor his back.

Sitting at City Hall waiting for a press release was the perfect way to ruin Taylor’s day, something the city editor liked doing so much it had become a bad habit.

Taylor arrived at his own desk to find the other police reporters gone, probably making their rounds.

The desk that had been Laura’s reminded him of her—of her dark brown eyes, her black hair, her beautiful face. She’d left an aching emptiness inside him. They’d lasted a month after she’d moved to the New York Times, and then she’d broken it off. She said she realized the only thing they had in common was the MT. She hadn’t been mean about it. And she wasn’t wrong. The paper had been their life during the day and their conversation at night. He wondered if it also had to do with his age, 34, and where he was—or wasn’t—in life. He pushed his hand through his short brown hair. He’d even found himself considering his thin, angular face, something he’d never done before. Was that it? Laura was beautiful. Taylor couldn’t think of a word for what he was.

He recently heard she’d started dating a guy on the foreign staff, Derek something. He wondered how old Derek was. Late twenties and optimistic, he guessed, unbowed by life. From a good family too, probably. It was always going to end. So why did it hurt like this?

Truth was Taylor had been living with emptiness for years before he met her. Over that time, he’d gotten used to it, let the job fill his life. Only, having her and losing her made him understand how much he disliked this lonely hole inside.

Really should leave right away.

The black phone in front of him was too much temptation. Worth couldn’t see Taylor from the city desk. He picked up the receiver, pushed the clear plastic button for an outside line, and dialed the number for Sidney Greene at 1 Police Plaza. Greene was perhaps the most discontented, dyspeptic minor civil servant Taylor had ever encountered. He leaked stories not to expose injustice or right a wrong, but to screw his bosses. He simply loved watching them deal with the chaos he created by tipping off Taylor.

“Anything up?”

“Oh, a real shit show. Officer down.”

Taylor flipped open a notebook. Even in the midst of this dark age of drugs, muggings, and homicides, a police officer murdered was still a big story. A page one story. “Where and when?”

“Avenue B and East Eighth, just in from Tompkins Square Park.”

“What happened?”

“That’s all I can do for you. They’re doing the headless chicken dance down here. You’ll be ahead of the others if you get to the scene quick. Not by much, though.”

Taylor left the newsroom for the Lower Eastside. He’d check for press releases at City Hall after visiting the scene of the cop’s murder. Worthless would have his head if he missed even one minor announcement. Screw it. Taylor couldn’t ignore a big story. A real story.

He hustled from the subway across the blocks to the crime scene. The day offered near perfect New York fall weather, with the air crisp and clear, tingling with energy. He unwrapped a stick of Teaberry gum and stuck it in his mouth. The temperature had dropped from yesterday’s high of 70 and would only make it into the mid-fifties today. Jacket weather—Taylor’s favorite. Not so hot he broke into a sweat on a good walk, and cool but not cold—he wasn’t fighting the brutal winds of winter that blasted down the avenues. Easy weather put New Yorkers at ease. He could sense it as he walked. More smiles. Sidewalk trees even showed off muted reds and gold. Taylor knew it was nothing like the color upstate but it would do.

Taylor’s press pass got him inside the cluster of patrol cars guarding the ambulance. A couple of fire engines had also rolled to the scene, which was a dilapidated brownstone with half its windows boarded, a missing door, and a huge hole in the roof. The place was a true Lower Eastside wreck in a neighborhood where hard luck meant you were doing pretty well for yourself.

Taylor climbed the cracked front steps. A “Condemned Building” sign was nailed to the open door. The first floor had few interior walls, only piles of rubble from when the roof had come down, bringing chunks of the next three floors with it. The smell of must mingled with the stink of garbage. Two uniformed and four plainclothes police stood around a uniformed body sprawled across a pile of plaster chunks and wood slats in the middle of what was once probably a living room. Off to the right in the front corner was a second body, guarded by no one.

Seeing an opportunity, Taylor moved closer to the body in the corner. The man, young and apparently startled by death, had taken one shot to the chest and one in the leg. Blood soaked a black T-shirt printed with big white letters Taylor couldn’t read unless he adjusted the man’s leather jacket, which was also covered in blood. The man’s heart must have pumped his life’s blood out in minutes. Faster maybe. His right hand was on his stomach and clutched a green leather purse with a gold chain strap. Taylor knew better than to touch anything. Instead, he leaned in and was met by the iron and musk odor of blood. The top of the man’s hand was tattooed with a spiral pattern, an eye at its center. The fingers were inked with the bones of a skeleton, like an X-ray of what lay beneath the dead man’s skin.

The face was young—twenties, probably early twenties— bony and pale, with a tattoo of a spider web that started below the shirt line and crept up his neck to his chin and right ear. His hair was short and spiky, in the punk style—as was his whole look. Many of them had recently moved into this neighborhood to be near the punk rock club CBGB and the other bars that were the heart of the punk rock scene. Many were squatters.

“Don’t touch nothin’.” A short chunky cop with a gold badge in his belt walked over.

“I’d never do that, Detective.” Taylor rose from his crouch.

“I’m very sorry about the loss of an officer.”

“Yeah, thanks. And who the fuck are you?”

“Taylor with the Messenger-Telegram.” Taylor tapped the laminated pass.

“The Empty, huh? Read it sometimes. At least you’re not the fucking Times. I hate those pricks.”

Five years since the New York Times interviewed Serpico and broke the story of massive corruption in the NYPD, and the paper was still on every cop’s shit list. At the time, Taylor had gone crazy trying to follow the Times’ scoops. He’d admired what the Times had done and hated being behind on such a big story. He didn’t need to tell the detective that, though. It was fine with him if the man liked the Messenger-Telegram. Taylor himself liked cops, the honest kind at least. When he’d started at the paper, police reporters were almost cops themselves. Or adjuncts, at least. They helped the police, publicizing successes, ignoring failures and drinking in the same places. Not anymore. Trust had been lost, and it wasn’t going to be won back anytime soon.

What happened?”

“This jamoke holds up a woman for her purse when she comes up from the subway at Astor Place. Officer Robert Dodd and his partner give chase. The mugger runs across St. Mark’s Place, through the park and into this hole. They exchange shots. Both are killed. At least that’s what we can figure so far.”

“Dodd’s partner?”

“Couldn’t keep up. Poor Dodd was stuck with a meter maid. When little Samantha Callahan gets here, they’re both dead. What’s the point of having broads patrolling if they can’t back you up?” Lights flashed across the detective’s jowly face. He looked out the glassless window at the car pulling up. “Assistant chief. I’ve got to make sense of this for him.”

Taylor jotted down the name on the detective’s plate, R. Trunk. He dug out a business card and handed it to the detective. “Anything more comes up, call me. We take care of cops at the MT.” Laying it on thick never hurt. “Dodd’s a hero. His story should be told right.”

“Yeah, we’ll see. Your paper may not be awful. Doesn’t mean I trust you. Now get out of here. We got work to do.”

Trunk turned as another plainclothesman walked up. “Still haven’t got the kid’s gun.”

Well, find the fucking thing. Assistant chief ’s going to be on us like stink on shit.”

That was odd. If Dodd took out the mugger, the man’s gun would be right here somewhere. It couldn’t have walked away on its own. Taylor put that detail in his notebook. Anything odd always went in the notebook. He walked a wide arc toward the door to get a quick view of the dead officer. Dodd was a complete mess. He had to have been shot in the face. Taylor couldn’t make out the nose, the eyes, anything in the gore and blood. That meant he had to have shot the mugger first.

 

Author Rich Zahradnik

authorRich Zahradnik is the author of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series from Camel Press. Last Words is the first novel in the series and was published Oct. 1, 2014. Drop Dead Punk will come out Aug. 15.

He was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry.

In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New Yorks Center for Fiction.

He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was the founding executive producer of CNNfn.com, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of Netscape.com, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik also co-founded the weekly newspaper The Peekskill Herald at the age of 25, leading it to seven state press association awards in its first three years.

Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches elementary school kids how to publish the online and print newspaper the Colonial Times.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

TeaserTuesdays2014e

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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My Teaser for this week is from

Onyx Webb

Book #1 – Episodes 1 thru 3

by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

25414725

c8df8-add2bto2bgoodreads2bblack

My Teaser from page 36 in the Paperback.

Living people eat food and drink wine. The living can experience fun and joy and happiness. The living can cry real tears and have human hearts that beat.

And they feel love. Fpr a ghost, none of this is possible. To make my existence even worse, there is som ething I must do… something ugly, something inherently evil.

To maintain my existence in the living plane, I must…

KILL

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Synopsis

Best-Selling Authors Fenton & Waltz Welcome You to the World of Onyx Webb. This is Book One. (Episodes 1, 2, and 3)
One reviewer says, “Fabulous. Different. Odd. Crazy. Wonderful. I’ve never read anything like it. You’ve created the weirdest, coolest new genre of fiction and I love it.”
– It’s June, 1980 and piano prodigy, Juniper Cole is on the way to her senior prom.

– It’s January 2010, and Koda Mulvaney has blown through his 20 million dollar trust fund and is told by his father to return home and get to work.

– It’s August, 1904 and little Onyx Webb is on her way to the famous World’s Fair in St. Louis with her father, Catfish.

Two of the three will see a ghost, one will become a ghost and everyone will learn that life is hard to let go of even when you’re dead. And that’s just Book One. Designed to read like a supernatural soap opera, Onyx Webb is a paranormal suspense series, with supernatural romance, as well as a dash of historical fiction. The stories may haunt you, the darkness may disturb you, but ultimately you’ll be reminded to treasure every moment of your life because… If you think life is precious now? Just wait until you’re dead.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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