Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interview with David Lundgren, Author of Rhapsody

David Lundgren was born in “a pokey town in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)” and spent the first 18 years of his life there. He grew up in an environment “that seemed to combine the best elements of both an American and English heritage with a hybrid African lifestyle.” Lundgren is also a musician, which gave him the creative spark to create the Melforger series. He spends his time in San Francisco “teaching, enjoying frequent – and often frustrating – games of tennis, trying to learn the blues on piano, attacking Sudoku puzzles with relish, and attempting to make some headway with the ever-increasing pile of books that is waiting patiently at my bedside, developing its own gravity.”

His latest book is the fantasy/science fiction, Rhapsody.

For More Information

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I suppose, as a start, I’d have to describe myself as a bit of an international nomad. I was born in Zimbabwe and then lived in South Africa, the Caribbean, the States, the UK, and then returned to the States three years ago. (No flies on me!) I was lucky enough to grow up in Africa where the vast and daunting wilderness was on your doorstep, the sun was always shining and giving you an excuse to spend time outside, and – lacking TV back then – was surrounded by a huge collection of books in which I submerged myself. An avid sports enthusiast, wannabe cook, Sudoku addict, keen hiker, and general life-junkie, I love to get out of my comfort zone and collect new wacky experiences whenever and wherever I can.


When did you begin writing?

Although I logged my travels through the use of highly embellished chronicles that I sent home to my family once I left Zimbabwe, the ‘real’ writing was the start of The Melforger Chronicles, something that had been forming as an idea in my imagination for as long as I can remember. Piecing it together over the previous decade in fits and procrastinating starts, I truly delved into writing with focus and seriousness while living in England some five years ago.


Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

For planning and idea-building, I know that the moments where ideas pop into your head and sudden sub-plots bloom are rare, and they can happen at any time – usually when I’m not prepared to take down feverish notes and capture the genius before it fades (ahem). However, for the writing itself, the best time for me to find that groove where it all clicks is without a doubt at night-time. For whatever reason, my brain only finds the balance and focus needed once the sun has set. I’ve long since stopped trying to fight it – that’s just how it is, so I embrace it.


What is this book about?

Rhapsody is the final book in The Melforger Chronicles trilogy. It follows the progress of Raf, a sixteen year old boy, as he confronts a diseased and terrifying villain who is the cause of a corrupting darkness that is killing the world (so nothing very serious, then). The stakes are particularly high for Raf’s forest home as the villagers live hundreds of yards up on natural platforms that are dying and collapsing underneath them. Of course, being fantasy, there is a kind of magic involved in the story – a unique, original and enthralling kind (hopefully) – of which Raf is a potent wielder: a melforger. However, he’s only barely started on the hazardous journey through the desert to get to this villain before he finds himself yanked off course to face dangers and challenges that push him to his limits.


What inspired you to write it? 

                                            
I grew up feeding my imagination on the worlds of Tolkien and Jordan and Eddings and Pratchett. With the rich experience of growing up in the wilds of Africa and being emersed in music since the day I was born – and obviously along with a hunger to create my own stories – I think it was inevitable that I’d try to tie it all together in a ripping yarn!



Who is your biggest supporter?

It’s hard not to say the obvious ‘family’ response here – my parents and relatives have been a solid rock of support. But the unswerving pressure to really dig into it came from my partner who has proved to be a loving, bullying lass who sometimes seems to know me better than I know myself.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I put together a group of colleagues all over the world (7 of them, to be exact) who work as my guinea pigs, each giving me feedback on different aspects of the drafts, from flow and pace to character journeys to fantasy formulas. They all know to be brutally honest and, once I’d got over the shock of being told some harsh truths, it’s the most useful thing I could have set up.

Who is your favorite author?

That’s so hard to answer! Authors that had a big influence on me would have to include Tolkien, Eddings, Pratchett, Jordan, Martin, Adams… to name just a few! If I had to say what my favourite book was overall, it’d probably be The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay – a seriously inspiring book set in apartheid South Africa.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon – either Kindle or paperback. The link for the trilogy is:

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Please visit the website, www.melforger.com, where you’ll find, among other things, some of the trilogy’s maps, links to reviews, as well as a picture of me with a one-armed monkey called Hercules on my shoulder (naturally).


What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I went in to local schools and offered to take creative writing workshops and also chat to aspiring student writers. Getting to know the students, letting them get to know you – that’s a great way to create a link and a reason to buy into you and to read your books. I recently found out that the first book of the trilogy, Melforger, has been taken on as a class reader in a prestigious girls’ school – talk about a flattering and awesome promotion!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

There’s no silver bullet. You have to do anything and everything you can to rise above the millions of other competing authors – do different things, or do things differently. Build up a loyal audience, grow a thick skin, don’t let the set-backs hold you down, and keep learning and evolving as you write.


What is up next for you?

Although I had plans to put my hand to writing more of a sci-fi story next, I found myself suddenly putting together a new fantasy with some great ideas I had in my recent travels and I’ve now dived deep into the planning of that. When you get a rush of creativity about something, you’ve just got to go with it!



Top Ten Tuesday: Top New Series I Want To Start


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top New Series I Want To Start



1. This one sounds amazing...

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

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9


10


In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

In the gloomy pre-dawn hours of a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of unemployed hopefuls are lined up for a job fair. Without warning, a merciless driver plows through the crowd in a roaring Mercedes. Eight people are killed; 15 are wounded. The killer escapes into the early-spring fog never to be seen from again. Until now...

Detective Bill Hodges is a battle-hardened and streetwise crime fighter originally assigned to the Mercedes killings. Now retired, Hodges has lost his way in boredom and depression craving the thrills of taking down the region’s most notorious criminals. When a disturbing letter from the Mercedes Killer arrives at his door, Hodges soon finds himself uncontrollably drawn into a cat-n-mouse pursuit with stakes beyond comprehension.

Mr. Mercedes is Stephen’s first “hard-boiled detective tale.” It will transport you into a vibrant and dangerous world filled with gritty characters living on the bleeding edge of reason. Be prepared...


I am away for most of today, so I won't respond or reciprocate comments until tonight or tomorrow. Thanks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bargain eBook: The First Time I Said Goodbye by Claire Allan


Would you hold on tighter if you knew you were saying goodbye forever?


In 1959, factory girl Stella Hegarty finds herself falling unexpectedly for the charms of a handsome US marine based in Derry.Caught up in a whirlwind of romance, Stella finds herself planning a new life in America with her beloved Ray.But when tragedy steps in, both their lives are thrown into turmoil and they come to realise they may have said their first, and last goodbye.

In 2010, Annabel Jackson, reeling from the loss of her father, agrees to accompany her mother Stella back to Ireland to meet her family for the first time. In Derry they both start to realise that sometimes you have to say goodbye to what you thought you always wanted, in order to find what you have needed all along.

File Size: 545 KB
Print Length: 282 pages
Publisher: Poolbeg Press (September 12, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00F66O5AO


Purchase here for only $1.99!

Musing Mondays - October 20



Musing Mondays is a weekly meme from MizB at Should Be Reading. It asks you to muse about one of the following each week…


• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:



My manager recently attended a trade convention where he learned of the book, The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals by Michael Maher. This book became a topic of conversation at last week's office meeting. I liked what my manager was saying about it, so I ordered the paperback version from Amazon. It should be here within a couple of days. 

Here's the official description if you're interested:

Can you imagine receiving a referral each and every day? Neither could real estate agent Rick Masters.

(7L) The Seven Levels of Communication tells the entertaining and educational story of Rick Masters, who is suffering from a down economy when he meets a mortgage professional who has built a successful business without advertising or personal promotion. Skeptical, he agrees to accompany her to a conference to learn more about her mysterious methods. Rick soon learns that the rewards for implementing these strategies are far greater than he had ever imagined. In seeking success, he finds significance. This heartwarming tale of Rick’s trials and triumphs describes the exact strategies that helped him evolve from the Ego Era to the Generosity Generation. This book is about so much more than referrals. This is about building a business that not only feeds your family, but also feeds your soul.

Do you read business books? Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

W...W...W...Wednesdays


This meme was created by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am loving this book. Heather Haven is also good for a fabulous story.





The year is 1942. Already weary from the Great Depression, the U.S. has joined the Allied Forces in their war against the Axis Powers. Fear and uncertainty is everywhere. Never has the circus soothed so many seeking refuge in its magic, if only temporarily. But there is no shelter from murder, even under the Big Top. Up and coming circus performer, Jeri Deane, finds a young clown strangled inside a beloved lion's cage. The town sheriff's threat to close down the Big Top won't stop her from finding his killer. Beneath the spangles and sawdust of the canvas sky, Jeri uncovers deceit, treachery, and secrets more dangerous than any death-defying trick in the show. Even she has much to hide. If the Big top survives the season, will she be able to face her own hidden past?

Heather Haven is the daughter of real-life Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus folk. Her mother was a trapeze artist/performer and father, an elephant trainer. Heather brings the daily existence of the Big Top to life during World War II, embellished by her own murderous imagination.

What did you recently finish reading?

Read this book for a review that will appear at TC&TBC today.





Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke. When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable. Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Possibly these two:


Every parent wants the golden key to raising well-behaved, academically gifted, successful, happy children. Embedded in our collective psyche is the notion that discipline is the cornerstone to achieving these goals. This book lambasts this notion, offering a never-before-published perspective on why the entire premise of discipline is flawed. Dr Shefali Tsabary shows that the very idea of discipline is a major cause of generations of dysfunction.

Out of Control goes to the heart of the problems we have with our children, challenging society’s dependence of discipline, daring us to let go of our fear-based ideologies and replace them with an approach that draws parent and child together instead of alienating them. The key is ongoing meaningful connection between parent and child, free of head games such as threats, deprivation, punishment, timeouts—indeed, all forms of manipulation. Parents learn how to enter into deep communion with their children, understanding the reasons for a behavior and how to bring out the best in the child. Far from a laissez-faire anything goes approach, this is how a child learns responsibility and takes ownership of their life, equipped with character and resilience that flow naturally from within.


No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.

After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But – what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out?

He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.

But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.

And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.

Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.

But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.

Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?

Can a selfish man find a heart?

You bet. He just has to become a dog first.


What have you been reading?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

1. Prince Edward Island: If ever a book made me want to visit a place it is the Anne of Green Gables series. Imagine driving down a lane "fringed with blooming wild cherry-trees and slim white birches;" an avenue so lovely it is called the "White Way of Delight." How about dipping your toes in the "Lake of Shining Waters?"

2. De Smet, SD: This railroad town is the setting for a few of the Little House books. My personal favorite is The Long Winter because it paints Almanzo as the hero I always felt he was. As you might recall, I spent a couple of days in De Smet this summer. 

3. Cedar Cove: I've never been to the Pacific Coast, but the fictional town of Cedar Cove with its lighthouse and cell phone reception that is only good out on the dock, sounds lovely. I would love to ride my bike all around the island and be somewhere that only a ferry connects you to the mainland. 

4. Spain: The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner, which is about Juana of Castile, the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit her country's throne, certainly made me want to know more about the country and its history.

5. France: For the King by Catherine Delors had the same effect for me as Gortner's book. After reading about these fictional characters and historical figures during the French Revolution, I yearned to know more. 

6. Valley Forge:  A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce is partially set at Valley Forge. Erinn and Jude have an interesting time there. Their stay reminded me of my love for early American history and I would love to visit one day.

7. San Francisco: In Bachelor Girl by Roger Lea MacBride, young readers follow the early adult life of Rose Wilder Lane, the only child of Laura and Almanzo Wilder to live to adulthood. Though the Wilders lived in Mansfield, Missouri, Rose was sent to live with her aunt Eliza Jane Thayer in Louisiana to finish high school. Rose eventually moved to Kansas City to become a telegraph operator, before she moved on to San Francisco. I have to admit I never had a desire to visit California until I read this book.

8. Salem, MA: Is it a sin that a woman who lives in Massachusetts has never visited Salem? It should be. I would really love to go. I've read a few books set in this town famous for its witch trials. My most recent book was non-fiction: Ghosts of Salem: Haunts of the Witch City by Sam Baltrusis.

9. Willow Ridge: Considering I'm not Amish, this might be a challenge. This fictional community created by author Charlotte Hubbard is so warm and inviting that I would love to visit---especially if I get to taste some of Miriam's cooking.

10. Bear Creek: Deputy Tempe Crabtree certainly has her share of mystery and adventure in the mountain community of Bear Creek in the Southern Sierra. The terrain sounds lovely, even when bad guys are roaming about; though I wouldn't want to tackle the river when it floods. 

What places have books made you want to visit?

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Murders at Astaire Castle Book Blitz - Win FREE Books from Lauren Carr


We're happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book
Blitz today!





Title: Married One Night

Author: Amber Leigh Williams

Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

Pages: 384

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON
- See more at: http://theliterarynook.blogspot.com/#sthash.phdOBY3i.dpu




Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle

Author: Lauren Carr

Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Pages: 286

Genre: Mystery

Format: Paperback/Kindle
Purchase at AMAZON



Mac Faraday Meets
the Wolf Man!





Never tell Mac Faraday not
to do something.



In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!
Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.”
In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.




Book Excerpt:

Prologue







November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain,
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Shivering, Rafaela turned up
the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for
snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain,
she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through
the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.
The notion of being trapped
at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job
as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her
prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only
was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was
paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.
What a gem to put on my
housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors
of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an
honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of
being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the
daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.
Rafaela regretted her
decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.
At first, she dismissed her
cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing
someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same
with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the
old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried
to tell herself that it was all her imagination.
None of that was anything
compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she
was cleaning it.
She had heard all about the
Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two
teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about
him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s
kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.
That day she ran out of the
castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had
promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the
end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give
her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.
Rafaela caught her breath
when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into
the front courtyard and fountain.
The fountain was off. Damian
Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent
his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He
wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.
Then there was the
editor—Mr. Jansen.
He reminded Rafaela of a
bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick
eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a
squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he
was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he
was always lurking nearby.
Damian’s daughter,
Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her
family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela
felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more
housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to
clean—estates that weren’t haunted.
Rafaela pulled her car
around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led
to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her
long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her
thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her
shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.
Need to make this quick.
They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.
The wind yanked the heavy
wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.
“Stupid door!” Rafaela set
the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut.
“Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing
you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.
“Raf-aela …”
She stopped. With wide eyes,
she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr.
Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”
“Get out. Now.”
Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts.
There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while
hurrying to the back of the castle.
“I don’t suppose you had any
trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with
the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”
She waited for an answer.
She heard footsteps on the floor up above.
The smell of burnt meat came
to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too
long.
They must have grilled
steaks last night.
“Lots of little children
stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box
of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and
furniture polish.
Best to start in the living
room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.
Admiring the decades-old
priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room.
With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this
visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on
the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.
What’s that? Catsup?
It wasn’t until she spotted
a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but
something much more sinister.  She
spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.
There was a red pool in
front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that
projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down
below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the
fire pit outside.
She saw the flames and smoke
wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway.
She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a
burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.
The hand and fingers reached
out to her.
The index finger was
pointing at her.
Through the rapid beating of
her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.
“Get out!”
His image was reflected in
the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.
It’s the Wolf Man!





Watch the Trailer!




About the Author:


Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information
 Giveaway!


Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE 
MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE!





Terms & Conditions:


  • By entering the giveaway, you are
    confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends
    October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on
    Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good
luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway