Want to know more about One Kiss before you buy it HERE? Here's an excerpt. Enjoy!
International Dimension Investigations
Please state Where and When this correspondence was found and then put it in the nearest inter-dimensional pathway. You will be informed in reply where and when it was set adrift. Our object is to find out the Direction of the Deep Currents of the Universe.
Locality where found?
Date when found?
Name of Sender
I hope this works. I've never tried attaching anything to our research messages before. Only 4% are found and responded to. Perhaps you have no idea what this is, what the Deep Currents of the Universe are. More than likely, if you can understand this, then it is much like your ocean. In my world we first started putting messages into bottles in order to track the currents of our waters. When another dimension responded it shocked us. It's possible in your world the dimensional portals are still unknown to your scientists. After decades of study they are still mostly unknown to ours, hence this message. We still use the same methods we did over a century ago. Though now it is the currents of the Universe that we throw our bites of data into.
But I have not broken all protocol, and risked my career, in order to talk about my world or the methodology of The International Council for the Exploration of the Universe. I did it to talk about Darling Price.
I have interviewed many inter-dimensional creatures but none of them like Darling. Enclosed you will find the recordings from the first day's sessions. I hope the file is not too heavy to float. I feel a great nervousness that I will be too late, or that you will not understand the impact of these interviews. I fear that my world is lost, but perhaps
yours can be saved.
I will send out more when I can. Please respond. Tell me that you've received my message.
Darling Price's hair is dark; it falls over her shoulders in shimmering waves. It's glossy like a record, catching the light in white lines. Her eyes are a very intense green. Alarming, powerful. She avoids eye contact. “Bad things happen when I look a person in the eyes. Everyone except Megan.”
“Tell me about Megan,” I said.
“She is the thing that saved me. I was going to kill myself, and kill people with me, and just drag the whole world down. I felt like reality was twisting around me and… she stopped the world and I got to live.”
“Since her leaving?”
“Leaving,” she hiccuped a laugh, “is that what you're calling it?” Darling stood up and turned to the wall. Her black leather pants were the same shiny black as her hair. On her hips hung a white belt; it tilted to one side, where her gun hung. Silver pistol, not as shiny as her hair. It looked used, scuffed, strapped to her leg for too long.
She raised her hands above her head and rested them against the cinder-block wall. Her fingernails were short, painted the same matte metallic as her gun. She turned back to me, running a hand through her hair, pushing the long locks away from her high cheekbones and arched brows. “She was taken. I want you to write that down. Megan did not leave me.”
“Okay,” I said, dutifully picking up my pen. “Please continue.”
She looked at her empty chair, the long hair falling to cover her fine features. It exposed her shoulder, bare except for the strap of her tank top. Surprisingly erotic under the fluorescent light. Darling sat down and leaned onto the table between us. “Do you have a cigarette?” she asked.
“You can't smoke in here,” I said.
She smiled slowly, her eyes warming; a sensation began to tingle along my jaw. “Give me a tobacco stick, and I'll tell you my story.”
I waved to the guard.
Darling sat back, pushing the chair away from the table, and extended her legs out straight. “And a beer,” she said. “I'd love a beer.”
Moments later, a fresh cigarette hanging from her lip, the smoke curling around her and seeming to want to brush up against her hair before dissipating into the air, she began to tell me her story.
And TWO KISS is available for pre-order too. Get it HERE.
Well, loyal readers, first HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Be safe but please have fun. All things in moderation, (including moderation). Not only is today Halloween but it's also the last day in the series of A Crime Collection interviews we've been having all week. Last, but certainly not least, I'm proud to welcome Renee Pawlish on the site. Master Wordsmith Renee is the award-winning author of the bestselling horror book Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the first novel in the Nephilim trilogy, the Reed Ferguson mystery series (This Doesn't Happen In The Movies, Reel Estate Rip-off,The Maltese Felon) and the short story Elvis And The Sports Card Cheat, Take Five, a short story collection, the Noah Winters kids adventure series (The Emerald Quest), and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a non-fiction account of a haunted house investigation in Kansas. She lives in Colorado and can be reached on her Website. You can find her books on Amazon, and follow her Blog as well.
Welcome Renee! So, what draws you to your style of mystery?
I love mysteries and I like to laugh and joke around, so it's natural for me to have a private eye who wisecracks throughout the stories. And I enjoy taking the readers on a journey to discover who the bad guy is. This series has been a lot of fun to write.
While you write in the cozy style, are there other sub genre’s of mystery you love to read but just don’t write? Is that because you have not gotten to it yet or is there another reason?
I'm not a big fan of romance, so I don't have a lot of that in my stories. I am mulling over a new series that will be more action/adventure/spy story. I enjoy reading spy stories and I'd like to dabble in that more. I've got the name of the main character but I'm not sure what his back story is yet. It'll be fun to develop.
What made you want to join in this box set?
I thought it would be fun to get a group together and explore difference types of stories, from the more violent to the fun and humorous. I think we have a nice mix in this set.
What do you do when you get stuck?
I walk or hike, or I journal about the story. Every time I do that, it clears my head and I'm able to see where the story needs to go.
Any weird “practices” that help keep you going?
Not really. I find that I squeeze writing in whenever and wherever I can. I do like sitting in my office with all my books around me and this feels nice, but it's not a practice I have to do in order to write.
My series centers around Sydney Rye and her amazing dog, Blue. Do you have a Blue in your life? If so, can we see a picture? If not, how do you get warm fuzzy feelings?
I have two cats, Hugo and Harley. They are shelter cats and they had to be adopted together because the shelter felt they were so close to each other that it would be detrimental to separate them. And the shelter was so right! I've never seen two cats love each other so much. They hang around together and are almost always around me. And they are both very affectionate with me. Things can be going horribly wrong but those two will make it all right.
Hugo and Harley
Can we get a taste of your work? How about a short excerpt?
This is from This Doesn't Happen In The Movies
“I want you to find my dead husband.”
“Excuse me?” That was my first reaction.
“I want you to find my husband. He’s dead, and I need to know where he is.” She spoke in a voice one sexy note below middle C.
“Uh-huh.” That was my second reaction. Really slick.
Moments before, when I saw her standing in the outer room, waiting to come into my office, I had the feeling she’d be trouble. And now, with that intro, I knew it.
“He’s dead, and I need you to find him.” If she wasn’t tired of the repetition, I was, but I couldn’t seem to get my mouth working. She sat in the cushy black leather chair on the other side of my desk, exhaling money with every sultry breath. She had beautiful blond hair with just a hint of darker color at the roots, blue eyes like a cold mountain lake, and a smile that would slay Adonis. I’d like to say that a beautiful woman couldn’t influence me by her beauty alone. I’d like to say it, but I can’t.
“Why didn’t you come see me yesterday?” I asked. Her eyes widened in surprise. This detective misses nothing, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back. She didn’t know that I’d definitely noticed her yesterday eating at a deli across the street. I had been staring out the window, and there she was.
The shoulders of her red designer jacket went up a half-inch and back down, then her full lips curled into the trace of a smile. “I came here to see you, but you were leaving for lunch. I followed you, and then I lost my nerve.”
“I see you’ve regained it.” I’ve never been one to place too much importance on my looks, but I suddenly wished I could run a comb through my hair, put on a nicer shirt, and splash on a little cologne. And change my eye color – hazel – boring. It sounded like someone’s old, spinster aunt, not an eye color.
She nodded. “Yes. I have to find out about my husband. He’s dead, I know it. I just know it.” Her tone swayed as if in a cool breeze, with no hint of the desperation that should’ve been carried in the words.
“But he’s also missing,” I said in a tone bordering on flippant, as I leaned forward to unlock the desk drawer where I kept spare change, paper clips, and my favorite gold pen. Maybe writing things down would help me concentrate. But I caught a whiff of something elegant coming from her direction, and the key I was holding missed the lock by a good two inches. I hoped she didn’t see my blunder. I felt my face getting warm and assumed my cheeks were turning crimson. I hoped she didn’t see that either.
Perhaps I was being too glib because she glanced back toward the door as if she had mistaken my office for another. “This is the Ferguson Detective Agency? You are Reed Ferguson?”
“It is and I am.” I smiled in my most assured manner, then immediately questioned what I was doing. This woman was making no sense and here I was, flirting with her like a high-school jock. I glanced behind her at the framed movie poster from the The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It was one of my favorites, and I hung the poster in my office as a sort of inspiration. I wanted to be as cool as Bogie. I wondered what he would do right now.
She puckered pink lips at me. “I need your help.”
“That’s what I’m here for.” Now I sounded cocky.
The pucker turned into a fully developed frown. “I’m very serious, Mr. Ferguson.”
“Reed.” I furrowed my brow and looked at my potential first client with as serious an expression as I could muster. I noticed for the first time that she applied her makeup a bit heavy, in an attempt to cover blemishes.
“Reed,” she said. “Let me explain.” Now we were getting somewhere. I found the gold pen, popped the top off it and scrounged around another drawer for a notepad. “My name is Amanda Ghering.” She spoke in an even tone, bland, like she was reading a grocery list. “My husband, Peter, left on a business trip three weeks ago yesterday. He was supposed to return on Monday, but he didn’t.”
Today was Thursday. I wondered what she’d been doing since Monday. “Did you report this to the police?”
She raised a hand to stop me. “Please. I already have and they gave me the standard response, ‘Give it some time, he’ll show up.’”
That one puzzled me. The police wouldn’t file a missing persons case for twenty-four hours, but after that, I was certain they would do something more. “They didn’t do anything?”
“They asked me some questions, said they would make a few calls to the airlines.” Amanda paused. “They were more concerned about my relationship with Peter,” she said, gazing out the window behind me. The only thing she would see was an incredible view of a renovated warehouse across the street. For a brief moment, her face was flushed in as deep a sadness as I’d ever seen. Then it was gone, replaced by a foggy look when she turned back to me. “You see, Peter wasn’t exactly what you’d call a faithful husband.” She frowned, creating wrinkles on an otherwise perfect face. “Well, that’s not completely true. He was faithful, to his libido at least. But not to our marriage.” I paraphrased the last couple of sentences on the notepad. “He travels quite a bit with his company, computer consulting, so he has ample opportunity to dally. And he never tries hard to conceal what he’s doing.”
“Did you tell the police all of this?”
“Yes. I believe that’s why they’re not doing that much. That, and the fact that there appears to be no foul play, has kept them from doing little more than paperwork.”
“You’re afraid they’re not treating his disappearance seriously.”
I scratched my chin with the pen. “I’d have to disagree with you about that.” I didn’t have much experience – okay I didn’t have any experience – but in the tons of detective books I’d read and all the movies I’d seen the police would take someone of Amanda’s obvious wealth with some concern. At least until she gave them a reason not to.
“They don’t have the resources to track him down,” she countered. “That’s left up to me, which is what I’m here to do.”
“And this way you also keep any nasty details private.”
“Why come to me?”
Amanda glanced around the sparsely furnished office and the stark white walls decorated with noting more than movie posters, as if she were second-guessing her choice of detectives. “You came recommended. I know you’re not licensed but…”
“You don’t have to be in the state of Colorado,” I interrupted. Anyone who wanted to could be a detective here, just hang up a sign. Hell, you didn’t even need a gun. I could testify to that. Never had one, never shot one.
She waved a hand at me. “I don’t care if you’re licensed or not. I know your background. You come from a well-to-do family; you know when to be discreet.”
I came recommended. Now that caught my curiosity. The only thing I’d done was to help a wealthy friend of my father track down an old business partner. It was slightly dangerous but not noteworthy, and at the time I didn’t have an office or a business. I had been between jobs, so I decided to pursue an old dream. I hung up a shingle to try my hand at detecting. I loved old detective novels, had read everything from Rex Stout and Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. I’d watched Humphrey Bogart, William Powell, and all the classic film noir movies. I pictured myself just like those great detectives. Well, maybe not. But I was going to try.
“Who recommended me?” I asked. The list was surely small.
“A friend at my club.”
“Paul Burrows. Do you know him?”
I shook my head. “Does he know my father?” I assumed he was someone who’d heard about me helping my father’s friend.
“I don’t know, but Paul said you were good, and that you could use the work.”
She was right about that. I lived comfortably off an inheritance from my obscenely rich grandparents, plus some smart investments I’d made over the years, so I’d never had a real career. I had always wanted to work in law enforcement, but my parents had talked me out of that. Instead, I got a law degree, flitted from job to job, and disappointed my father because I never stuck with anything. I hoped being a detective would change all that; it was something I’d always wanted to do, but my father still thought I was playing around. I needed to solve a real case to prove him wrong.
“Are you a fan of old movies?” Amanda asked, noticing the posters for the first time.
I nodded. “I like old movies, but especially detective film noir.”
I pointed to a different poster on another wall of The Maltese Falcon, one of Bogie’s most famous movies. “Movies with hard-boiled detectives, dark themes, and dark characters.”
“And dark women?” Amanda said.
I kept a straight face as I gazed at Lauren Bacall. “Yeah, that too.”
“I hope you’re as good as Sam Spade,” Amanda said.
I watched her cross one shapely leg over the other, her red wool skirt edging up her thigh. Trouble. Just like I’d thought before. I should have run out of my own office, but I didn’t. I know what you’re thinking, it’s her beauty. No, it was what she said next that complicated things immensely.
“I’m prepared to pay whatever it takes.” Saying that, she pulled a stack of bills from her purse. I crossed my arms and contemplated her. This sounded like I’d just be chasing after a philandering husband. Not exciting at all, even though I had little basis for making that assumption, other than what I’d read in books. But a voice inside my head said that making money meant it was a real job, right?
I named my daily wage, plus expenses. It was top dollar, but she didn’t blink. And I had my first real case. What would my father say to that?
And check out Renee's site for her interview with Betta Ferrendelli
and today see my interview on Simon Jenner's site.
A Crime Collection
Five first-in-a-series mystery novels by up-and-coming authors Betta Ferrendelli, R.S. Guthrie, Simon Jenner, Emily Kimelman and Renée Pawlish. These spellbinding stories, filled with twists and turns, murder, intrigue and suspense with captivating and unforgettable characters, have been reviewed more than 1,600 times and have earned more than 750 five-star reviews.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
STRINGS OF GLASS is the fourth novel in my Sydney Rye Series of dark murder mystery novels. This series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
At the beginning of STRINGS OF GLASS, Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.
Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will loose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.
STRINGS OF GLASS will be out August 2013 but you can read the first chapter now. Right here!
You can read the rest of the Sydney Rye Adventures in one easy to download Box Set for only $5.99! Catch up before August.
I'm very excited to announce the release of the next full length novel in my Sydney Rye Series, INSATIABLE
begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.
With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.
INSATIABLE is $2.99
Is Now Available
I'm very excited to announce the release of DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2). This 100 page murder mystery picks up right where UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1) left off.
At the beginning of DEATH IN THE DARK we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she's made. Living this isolated life doesn't last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye.
To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant, aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.
DEATH IN THE DARK cost $.99 for the ebook and $5.99 for the paperback
To celebrate the release of DEATH IN THE DARK I'm putting UNLEASHED on sale for only $.99! That means you can own both Sydney Rye adventures for under $2.
This special offer runs today through the end of the week so hurry up and grab a copy! If you've already read UNLEASHED, don't forget that it makes the perfect gift for your friend who loves mysteries, awesome dogs, and justice for all.