Excerpt: Here Comes The Son

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Excerpt:

Strapping on his bag, Iggy dragged a hand roughly through his short black hair. He winked at the librarian who grumbled at him when he leaped over a book cart in his path on the way toward the front entrance. She blushed, a response he was used to with his inherited looks and charm.

As one of his best friends from high school used to say, he had wickedly devilish good looks. He told her to stop reading Regency romances. From his jet-black hair to his deep brown eyes, he knew his face balanced the angelic with the roguish.

I’d do me.

Blinded by the bright sunshine, Iggy took a moment to adjust after stepping outside. Denver’s Central Library had always been a favorite of his for research, with its massive collection. Plus, he always thought the building seemed almost like a grouping of castle turrets.

He paused on the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth Avenue. Spring was supposed to have sprung in the Mile High City. Not that the weather had noticed; they’d only just thawed out from winter.

And judging by the crisp air and gathering clouds on the mountains, they’d be inundated with another blizzard before the end of the day.

Jogging down Thirteenth, Iggy skidded to a halt on Lincoln. He tilted his head, trusting his finely honed instincts. Half a block down, he spotted an alley between a parking lot and the Art Institute that was shadowed more than it should’ve been in the bright early afternoon sun.

One step into the gap between the buildings, and he’d plunged into nighttime. The smell of sulfur swirled around him. He slipped his bag around his body, reaching inside for a spray can.

“Ah, Son of the Morning Star. Half-breed. I hoped you’d sense my presence.” Rastran stood at the end of the unnaturally dark alley. He leaned casually against the industrial air conditioner with one foot resting on a body, completely disregarding the dirt now staining his designer suit. Demons always enjoyed life’s luxuries. “Ignatius Faber, we’ve saved you for last. Your father’s brightest light. A beautiful irony. All of his hopes pinned on the one offspring who matched him most in appearance and strength. Pity he can’t see the monster he created.”

With a hard kick, Rastran sent the body rolling along the filthy ground to land barely a foot away from Iggy. Titus. One of his many half-siblings. Iggy hadn’t seen his brother in weeks. They’d all assumed Titus was on a hunt.

They generally kept in close contact, particularly since hundreds of other half-siblings had been culled over the past eight years. Titus and Iggy were the only ones left. Rage erupted deep inside him.

“I’m the monster?” Iggy calmly stepped over Titus, shoving grief and anger viciously down to remain focused. He had a demon to deal with. His fingers wrapped tightly around the canister of compressed holy water in his pocket. It resembled pepper spray but worked to stun creatures of Hell long enough for him to send them home. “You should’ve stayed away from my city.”

 


Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

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iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw

 

Series Review: Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy

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“So pick these up. They will do great things for your heart. Stupendous characters who love each other in a cottage complete with cat and crazy neighbor. The plots are terrific, the writing marvelous, and all things combined…makes these the cosies of your heart. Don’t miss out. I highly recommend them one and all.”

5 stars, from Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Book Excerpt: Dead in the Shop

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“If you put naked gnomes in your garden….” Reggie trailed off, seeming completely at a loss for how to finish his sentence. “Can you not antagonise the woman?”

“I could.” Valor had no intentions of stopping their gnome wars. He thought it a perfectly passive-aggressive punishment for their nosy and bigoted neighbour. She disliked them because of their relationship and Bishan’s ethnicity. “But I won’t. Not going to apologise either.”

“Fine.” Reggie shook his head and chuckled. “I’ve already spoken to her about it. I did point out the gnomes are in your garden.”

Valor reached down to grab a stray frog, tossing it over the fence. “Unlike her amphibians.”

“What are you doing?”

“Making it rain?” Valor snickered with the detective. “Sorry.”

“Don’t lie to the police.” Reggie laughed. “She’ll send another complaint, and I have better things to do than write reports about flying frogs.”

“Really?” Valor wondered if he could get a copy of one of those reports to frame and put on the wall. “Could I—”

“No, I’m not making copies for you.” Reggie glared at him, proving how well he’d gotten to know them. “Why don’t we have tea inside? Prevent Mrs Harris from pelting you with frogs.”

“Will rivers of blood be next?” Valor wandered into the cottage with Staccato and Reggie following close behind. “Bish?”

“Made tea.” Bishan waved at Reggie and plucked Staccato off the floor. “Did you chuck another frog over the fence?”

“Who, me?”

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Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sYpraG

iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw

 

Excerpt: Poisoned Primrose

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Excerpt

Lemon curd on buttered toast soothed a multitude of problems. Motts had made three slices to get her through the morning. She hadn’t quite recovered despite spending an entire day alone in the cottage.

Although needing more time to recover, Motts had several early meetings. Vina had helped her connect with a few shop owners in Polperro. She hoped to convince them to consider commissioning some of her paper flower arrangements.

Motts stared mournfully into her empty mug. “Can I take a sick day?”

Meow.

She ran her fingers gently over Cactus’s head, rubbing behind his ears. “Is that a yes or a no? Or do you not want to be left behind?”

I could have another piece of toast.

Procrastinating won’t erase your need to meet Marnie and Peggie.

It helped Motts that she knew both women. She’d met them several times on the Mottley family holidays to Polperro. They were lovely people who’d make her feel welcome and comfortable.

And yet, her anxiety refused to settle.

She had a lifetime of experience forcing herself to get through dealing with the world. Her autistic diagnosis had come late—in her mid-thirties. She’d felt relief at having answers, yet in some ways, even four years on, she continued to struggle to adjust to the paradigm shift.

Changing out of her comfy pyjamas into jeans and a long-sleeved flannel shirt, Motts stood in front of the full-length mirror on the back of the bedroom door. You can do this. Origami flowers are your bread and butter. Talk about the paper arrangements—you don’t need to make small talk.

Motts redid the buttons on her shirt. “I’m Motts.”

You don’t have to introduce yourself. You’ve met them before. They know your name.

 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/31oK3cb
All links: https://books2read.com/motts1

 

Why I now use an outline: redux

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In the interest of full disclosure (does anyone else love using that phrase?), I’ve written a few posts about outlines over the years. I think I even had one in January. The things is that my opinions have evolved since I began writing.

And I thought I’d revisit the subject.

The short answer to why I now use an outline is: I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.

And that was the ‘short’ answer.

The long answer? I have a shit memory and not having an outline was affecting my ability to write a cohesive mystery series.

Just kidding.

Looking back, my fear of outlines comes directly from learning about them in school. I hated the rigidness of them. And also, they never made sense to me. At all.

It randomly struck me last year that an outline could be whatever worked for me.

I began with a cobbled together version of a tree branch mind map. That morphed to include a bastardized version of  the beat sheet. And finally, I began doing a chapter by chapter one sentence breakdown that I updated as I write.

The latter is the most recent addition.

I’ve found it really helpful was I’m writing to jot down a sentence or a thought for what’s going to come in the future chapters. With a mystery, I don’t want to be stumbling for clues as the writer. And I’ve done that a few times in the past.

It’s been a revelation toward making my writing life easier.

How about you? How do you outline your novels?

Excerpt: Cosplay Killer

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Excerpt

“I’m Oz. He’s D. And we’ll be back for another rundown of murder and mayhem next week. Stay tuned for Osian and Danny’s London Crime Podcast.” He checked his watch, counting down a few seconds before signalling to Dannel to pause the recording. “Another one bites the dust.”

“Oz and D?”

Osian grinned over the top of his laptop at his boyfriend of fourteen years. They’d been best friends practically from infancy and started dating in their teens. “We’re hip with the kids.”

“I am not hip. I have two.” Dannel swivelled in his chair before pushing himself across their living room floor. “And thirty isn’t old age. Besides, how many teenagers are listening to true crime podcasts?”

“Let me have my dream.” Osian followed him down the hall into their bedroom. He stretched out on the bed to watch Dannel prepare for his shift. “Ready to go for twelve hours?”

Dannel glared over his shoulder; his dark brown eyes always seemed to pierce into Osian. “What do you think?”

Truthfully, Osian didn’t know for sure what Dannel thought about being a firefighter. Dannel had followed in his father’s footstep, yet he didn’t quite fit the mould. Osian worried it might come crashing down eventually.

Am I borrowing trouble from the future? Maybe it’ll all work out on its own. Although, when does it ever?

Watching Dannel comb his short black curls trimmed into a high fade before spritzing his hair with argan oil, Osian couldn’t help dragging his fingers through his own untidy brown mane. Though they had much in common, they were polar opposites in other ways. Their differences made their relationship stronger, in Osian’s opinion.

Dannel always made him think of a buffer version of Richard Ayoade. Osian had a striking resemblance to the actor Matt Ryan. He’d even cosplayed as John Constantine and Edward Kenway because of it.

“Meeting me after shift for an early breakfast?”

“Go on, then.” Osian leaned up on his elbows for a kiss. He smiled when Dannel brushed his lips quickly, then bolted from the room. “Bye.”

Since they’d grown up together, Osian knew the ins and outs of Dannel’s personality probably better than his own family did. They’d been inseparable from the time they could toddle across the hall to each other’s homes. He’d been the first one Dannel told about his autism diagnosis.

With Dannel gone for his shift, Osian faced the silence in their two-bedroom flat with a sense of dread. He hated the quiet. It allowed his thoughts to stray to things better left forgotten.

Rolling off the bed, he headed into the en suite to stare glumly into his own blue eyes in the mirror. He shook his head. I’m not old enough to feel so bloody tired all the time. His thoughts seemed to drain every ounce of energy out of him.

Tired and drained.

Drained and tired.

Guilt weighed him down, as though the entire Tottenham Hotspur team had climbed on his shoulders. Time heals all wounds is such bollocks. A year hadn’t brought him much relief.

 
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3cqaPET
All Links: https://books2read.com/cosplaykiller