November 27, 2013

From 'Open World' ~ a Mid Week Tease

Welcome to the middle of the week!
Mid Week Tease is an event where authors are spotlighting a few lines or a paragraph or two from their stories. Readers, you get to sample some delicious snippets and be teased, titillated and tantalized into the weekend!

My contribution to MWT this week is from an erotic urban fantasy story I'm working on called Open World. This book continues with the world I created in AFK, my story in the Evernight Publishing anthology, Keyboards & Kink. Enjoy!

* Under the covered area and in front of the metal picnic tables, a small group dispersed, revealing his girlfriend, Hope Collins, and her family. Smiling, Den waited for her to look in his direction. His heart beat hard and fast in anticipation.
* She turned her head, moved a thick length of brown hair behind her ear and caught his gaze. He loved the way her hazel eyes regarded him with warmth and sparkled when she grinned. A soft breeze brought an exotic, sweet sent to his nose. The floral aroma overrode the barbeque and reminded him of a perfume she’d recently worn. Man, the fragrance had turned him on. “Pheromones on steroids,” he’d said. He told her to be careful with the stuff. Her response? She’d regaled him about the price, the designer, and how a celebrity from some reality show wore it ‘all the time.’
* For once he thought a purchase of hers had been worth the expenditure.
* Sexy relationship. Great job. Bright future. Den tipped the tongs to his forehead then in his girl’s direction. His life and luck sure had changed for the better when he’d met her a year ago.
* A tall, raven-haired man strolled up to Hope’s father and distracted his girl as well. Corbet Jenkins. Liaison between I-D-8 Entertainment and ‘The Money.’ And an asshole. Clenching his teeth, Den cocked his head and trained his gaze on the broker.
* Cor stepped closer to where Hope sat, standing too near her for Den’s liking. The man eclipsed her. A shadow seemed to encase her in a dark cloak where none should be cast.
* Odd.

Find out more about AFK here: AFK: Keyboards & Kink

Visit these other wonderful authors for more MWT goodness!

A Look At Cynthia Vespia & 'Lucky Sevens' ( @cynfulcharm @GoddessFish #thriller )

Today we have author Cynthia Vespia visiting. I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful woman at a readers' conference in Las Vegas in October and am happy to host her here on my blog now. Welcome, Cynthia!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Cynthia Vespia, "The Original Cyn," has a background as a certified personal trainer; licensed private security guard; award winning video editor, and graphic designer. But the creative outlet of novel writing has always remained her first love. Today Cynthia continues to write character driven suspense and fantasy novels. With a plot pace to stir the adrenaline and keep the pages turning, Cyn likes to refer to her novels as "Real life situations that you could find yourself in but hope to God you never do." In her spare time she enjoys reading, movies that involve a strong plot/characters, and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and fitness.

What are you going to tell us about today?
* My story Lucky Sevens.

A look into the story
~ Blurb ~
* Luca “Lucky” Lucazi is a man who lives for the job, until the job starts to threaten his life. A former Navy Seal, Lucky is ideal as the head of security for Lucky Sevens Casino. But when major names at the casino start falling victim to deadly and suspicious "accidents" Lucky must fight his way through a cast of eccentric characters only Las Vegas could spawn, and his own battle with alcoholism, before his lover Brooklyn - the sweethearted stripper - becomes the next victim. But when Lucky faces off with illusionist Christopher King, endowed with real magic powers, will his luck finally run out?
~ Excerpt ~ Copyright © 2013 Cynthia Vespia All rights reserved.
* Predict, prevent and protect. The same words he’d learned as a Navy SEAL bled over into his job as head of security very well. But as Luca “Lucky” Luchazi stared down at the body of his friend and former mentor Charles Vega he didn’t feel as though he’d honored those words at all.
* More than a dozen police vehicles converged on the scene. The black and whites of Las Vegas Metro were scattered everywhere. Their flashing light bars washed everything in red drowning out the mix of neon colors that came from the casinos neighboring Lucky Sevens.
* Charles had come to Vegas in its infancy and built his empire from scratch. Even while the others came crashing down to make way for the new mega resorts with their elaborate designs and theme park style attractions, Lucky Sevens remained standing as one of the last legendary casinos on The Strip.
* Lucky had always admired the old man for remaining true to his ideals even when the casino was taking a pounding in the pocket book. Now he was nothing more than a sack of meat splattered all over the sidewalk.
* Personnel from the county coroner's office had also responded to the scene, but not soon enough. The vision of good old Charlie lying with his robe open exposing his wobbly bits to the world, and lying in a pool of his own blood, would haunt Lucky for the rest of his days. Even now as they draped him in plastic and wrapped him up tight for his last ride all Lucky could see was the blood. He’d witnessed his fair share of death during war but this time it was different. This was Charlie. He’d been like a second father to Lucky ever since he set foot in sin city. So when he overheard two Metro officers disrespecting Charles’ death with their blown out theories Lucky set them straight.
* “Hey ease up,” Lucky said walking in between the two officers. “I never thought you were the type to spread gossip, Mel.”
* Lucky had known Mel Harrison for many years. They'd done favors for each other multiple times. Harrison was the only guy on Metro that Lucky held any respect for. He'd always assumed the feeling had been mutual.
* “Sorry Lucky, I know how much Charlie meant to you.” Harrison motioned to his partner. “Get the coroner over here to finish up.”
* Harrison put a reassuring hand on Lucky's shoulder and the two officers went on about their business. Lucky let them walk. He let them scrape Charles Vega off the sidewalk like road kill. He just stood there as a blast of hot wind rolled in off the desert and struck him like a blow dryer on high speed.
* Damn weather had turned on a dime. What were they calling it? El Nino? Something Spanish – go figure. Name somewhat brought to mind hot sand beaches and girls in Brazilian cut thongs.
* There would be questions about Charlie's death, inquiries, maybe accusations but then they’d put everything to bed wrapped in a nice little bow. To the police, the papers, and the tourists (who even now posed for pictures in front of a real life Las Vegas crime scene) it would all be dusted off as just another gambling related suicide.
* For Lucky the question would gnaw at his insides for eternity.
* How could he have let this happen?

Buy Lucky Sevens here:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Find Cynthia Vespia here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

Thank you for joining us here today, Cynthia Vespia! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

Contest not valid on this blog but feel free to visit the goddessfishpromotions link for blogs where you can enter for the prizes. (Cynthia will be awarding an eBook copy of one of her backlist books to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a Grand Prize of a T-Shirt (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour! So be sure to leave your name and email with your comment, visit the other tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions~virtual-blurb-blitz-lucky-sevens) for a greater chance of winning!)

November 26, 2013

A Look At Hawk MacKinney & 'Vault of Secrets' ( @GoddessFish #mystery #suspense #intrigue )

Today I'm happy to welcome Hawk MacKinney on my blog.

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.
* Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.
* "Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East." ~ Barbara Casey, President of Barbara Casey Literary Agency

What book are you sharing with us today?
* My story Vault of Secrets.

A look into the story
~ Blurb ~
* Vault of Secrets is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and redemption that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy. Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram's attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure pleasure. The instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.
~ Excerpt ~
* Before the forensic team videoed the kill zone, they took painstaking wide-angle photos and close-ups, made a detailed sweep of the area, packaged possible physical evidence and tagged the zip-locks. The heavy, thick plastic body bag was zipped shut. The woman’s remains were then hoisted into the van with County Morgue stenciled on the side—slaughtered meat on a gurney. It was ready for storage and probably a pauper’s grave.
* In one desolate corner of the garage, beyond the yellow marked area and oil splotched parking slots, the two bag ladies tried to be inconspicuous, waiting where they’d been told to stay. Her drab gray-blond hair twisted into a bun, Sallie Mae Drutherferde darted distrustful glances at the clusters of police. She squinted a sky blue eye, didn’t like cops one iota, and gave a dubious, all-knowing look at Agatha Ruth. Together, the two were often pushing their rickety grocery cart with its one lopsided wheel.
* Sallie Mae asked, “A’gatha, you not gonna tell ‘em anything?” Her eyes were cocked big and round. Sallie Mae always called her A’gatha ‘cause that’s the way Agatha Ruth Hutchers said it. Didn’t matter what others said. A’gatha nervously adjusted her dumpster-discard, hairbare, blond wig twisted askance, which made her look like she was staring sidewise.
* A’gatha shook her head, “Ain’t sayin’ nuthin’ ‘bout nuthin’—‘bout no big, show-off, black see-dan automobile that pulled in here last night. Right off the bat, they’d be askin’ why we was where we didn’t supposed to be. We end up havin’ to find us another place to skitter in out of the weather. No sirree. Ain’t sayin’ nuthin’.”
* “Gonna have to find us another place anyhow,” Sallie Mae muttered as she crooked one finger to scratch her curls. “‘Sides, I didn’t hear no scuffle.”
* “Whole lot of ‘em drunk as hoot owls,” A’gatha said. “Was all set to have a wing-ding party long ‘fore they showed up here. Poor thing yonder in that amb’lance wadn’t no innocent church mouse. She was more’n willin’.” She then added with a snap of her head, “Lordy mercy. Tsk-tsk. More’n willin’ and a cagey type, too. The type who makes sure to be paid ‘fore puttin’ a foot in anyone’s big, long car. Scandalous tight dress showin’ off her wares, and a skimpy blouse didn’t hide nothin’—poochin’ out her chest for any fancy man long as they brung money. Even if she was a harlot, ain’t no bizness a ours.” Her face softened. “Ain’t tellin’ nobody nuthin’. You know how cops be.”
* “The likes a her endin’ up dead in some alley ain’t no surprise t’me one bit,” Sallie Mae said.
* “Sallie Mae!” A’gatha eyed her. “You hush up ‘bout us seein’ them in that alley. Bankers that works in this building won’t bat nary an eyelash payin’ some low life to dump us off the Fifth Street pier. We end up gator bait stuffed amongst swamp sycamore tree roots.” Truth glimmered from her eyes like a cornered rabbit. “Them kind got money to buy their scutwork done.”
* The police finally got around to them. “What were you two doing in here that hour of the night?” the beat cop asked.
* “Passin’ through,” Sallie Mae said, her head up proud.
* “Passing through …” the cop snorted. “Up here on the upper deck?”
* A’gatha scowled, “We got lost.” Her lips were tight as she glowered, “We ain’t done nuthin’ wrong.”
* “This is private property,” he said. “Nobody’s supposed to be in here unless you got business with the bank, and nobody’s supposed to be in here at night.”
* “We didn’t bother nuthin’, didn’t see nothin’.” Sallie Mae wasn’t about to let no cop push A’gatha around.
* He knew he was getting nowhere. He turned to the lieutenant, “We’ve dealt with these two before. The only arrests they have is when some owner found them sleeping in his garage or in the back of an unlocked delivery van.” He knew they were tough, weren’t about to crack, but finding them here meant an extra patrol for him and his partner. There was no point in pushing further, so he closed his notepad and shoved it in his pocket. “You two can’t loiter here,” he said. “The bank don’t like it.”
* A’gatha bristled, “Ain’t loiterin’.” She wasn’t going to put up with being called a bum neither.
* “Don’t let me catch you two in here again,” he said and walked away.
* “Let’s git.” They scurried away. A’gatha knew they didn’t amount to anything to any of these cops. They were nothing more than dust in a world that passed them without ever seeing them. “Might be a good time to take us a Florida vacation,” A’gatha said. “Ain’t never comin’ back near this here place.” She could feel the spirits hovering about. “Not ever.”
* “Cops don’t scare me none,” Sallie Mae said.
* “Tain’t the cops,” Agatha said, eyeballin’ the shady darkness ‘round abouts them. “They be a evil smell to this place. A hoary breath of death abouts. I can tetch it. You best listen t’me. Be like about that other time when I said things wadn’t safe,” she said, directing a sidewise glance at Sallie Mae and sensing the murky gloom behind the midday brightness. “I’m rollin’ the bones this night. Death be here.” Her eyes were big with fear. “Ain’t stayin’ where demons walk the night mist.”

Buy Vault of Secrets here...
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Find Hawk MacKinney here...

Thank you for joining us here today, Hawk MacKinney! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! One randomly drawn commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! So be sure to visit the official tour stops [comments on this blog do not count toward the contest] (find them here: goddessfishpromotions~super-book-blast-vault-of-secrets) for a greater chance of winning!