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The Journey Into The Unknown

Bruce D. Price Author Interview

Frankie follows an AI woman that is shockingly lifelike who may be behind the strange murders that are showing up around town. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Several years ago I dreamed about seeing a woman on the other side of a highway, wearing a raincoat, drifting along. Was she being chased? Wait, could she be a robot?? I liked the mystery, the many possibilities. Some people see this book as something you can solve in a minute but it’s not possible. We don’t know how the people die. We don’t know anything about motives. In my dream, the woman seemed to be running from something, and I carried that feeling into the book. Frankie, by the way, is not a villain. I doubt there is a sentence in the whole book suggesting any malevolence in Frankie.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Mainly, Simon falls in love with Frankie, whom he thinks is pursued by her husband (!); because one of the themes here is that things can go wrong, this being the name of Chapter 1. So Simon focuses on laying low and hiding her, exactly as other major characters want desperately to find her. Probability, whether high or low, is actually a theme throughout the book. A major character and his historical hero are big-time gamblers.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The most important thing is the journey into the unknown, as that is a good description of AI. Every character in this book is drawn into a sort of quest. What’s going on, that’s what everyone says again and again. And I think readers will say the same thing if they don’t settle for easy guesses. I call this book “a unique mystery.” I believe I could present it to a theater full of Hollywood people, and almost nobody would understand what’s happening.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I do have another complex intellectual thriller in mind. Meanwhile I am preparing a book of poems for children.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A Unique Mystery.
 
Experts baffled as many people die in university town. Cause of death: unknown.
 
Frankie is a look into the future of AI. The smarter the robots, the more likely that strange, unanticipated things will happen.
 
Raymond Mason, AI genius, rarely brings his work home. Then late one afternoon he brings his latest, most humanlike creation. Raymond knows his wife will be charmed. No way! Julia Mason feels competitive and threatened. For one thing, Raymond touches Frankie in a romantic way.
 
Julia is hostile and drinks too much. She passes out as Professor Mason runs upstairs to find a gun. An hour later Julia wakes to find her husband dead and Frankie gone. Julia, semi-hysterical, races into the night to find the missing masterpiece.
 
Simon, a grad-school drug dealer, falls in love with Frankie. He realizes he can build a cult around this spiritually evolved woman. First, he has to hide her.
 
For different reasons, many people search frantically for Frankie. Meanwhile, more unexplained deaths are reported. Panic sweeps the state of New Jersey. Some experts think that humanity is dealing with an alien invasion.
 
Dr. Jamison, the pathologist, notes that he has never seen so many beautiful corpses.

Peering Into The Dark

Author Interview
Keller Yeats Author Interview

Shacklady follows a group of friends as they investigate an abandoned mine that holds a mysterious train buried within and uncover dangerous secrets that could cost them their lives. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for ‘Shacklady,’ was based on a trip I took as a child with my parents, to explore the Blue John Mine in Derbyshire. For some reason the caverns scared me, more than a little. I constantly found myself peering into the dark, looking for ‘something’ that was never there. I felt that the darkness was watching me and even though it happened many years ago, that fear never left me. So much so that I still occasionally have a repeating nightmare based around the events of that day and when the nightmare occurs, I usually wake up pouring sweat and disorientated. To this day, caves still fill me full of unnatural dread and I try to avoid them if at all possible.

What was your favorite character to write for and why? Was there a scene you felt captured the characters essence?

Nick, is nearly always my favourite character to write because of his self doubt, which often hinders his case work.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I am constantly looking for that elusive, ‘I can’t stop turning the pages but am afraid of what I might find there when I do,’ moment.

I’ve always thought that a fear unknown yet anticipated, is the ultimate heart stopper and that the greatest fear factory resides inside ones own mind.

A major challenge in this story was to write from within semi darkness as it renders most of sight redundant. The characters have to employ all their other senses to paint the landscape within.

Will there be a fourth Nick Swann book, if so when will it be available?

Yes, I’m working on it now and it’s working title is, ‘Krownyn Point.’ I anticipate publishing it by next Summer.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

At the end of the 19th century, Silas Shacklady was obsessed with his mine in the Snowdonia mountains. Digging ever deeper in search of a Motherload, Silas disturbs dark secrets and powers hidden for centuries within that subterranean world. In 1897 the mine was sealed after a cave-in buried Silas and over two hundred men, caught forever within its black maw.
The mystery of how this happened and the strange presence of The Lady Emily, an ancient steam engine, draws Nick, Wendy and Alan into a dangerous underground adventure. One which finds them trapped in a battle between malevolent forces, risking all their lives and creating profound consequences for many.

The Reluctant Detective

Rima Ray Author Interview

Ruby Roy and the Murder in the Falls follows a woman professor who finds her boss dead and must discover who is behind the murder before more people die. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The protagonist, Ruby Roy, and the story is loosely based on me and my background as an Indian American assistant professor in a university in upstate New York located near the Falls. However, I must note here that Ruby is a more exaggerated and far more exciting version of me. And of course I should clarify that thankfully there have been no such macabre deaths at my university! There are a few other similarities between me and the protagonist. My dad is a diplomat like Ruby’s. I’m married to a French-Canadian man like Cleo in the novel. And just like Ruby, I have two beautiful cats, Million and Nobel

Dr. Ruby Roy is a fun and energetic character with a strong personality. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I would pitch Ruby Roy in the following way: if Miss Marple were younger, plus-size, clumsier, and risk-averse, she would be Dr. Ruby Roy, the reluctant detective of my novel. Ruby is intelligent, kind, and cheerful, yet goofy, absent-minded, and cowardly, and often finds herself in hilarious situations quite accidentally. I wanted to make Ruby relatable to most individuals who dream of being an armchair detective from the comfort of their homes but often fear the dangers associated with the actual job. She represents an imperfect individual, an educated, young adult of mixed race, struggling with her weight and anxieties, her doubts and fears, as she struggles with her own weaknesses while trying to do the right thing.

It is worth noting that over the years, there have been very few fictional female detectives—especially women of color—in the mystery genre who have been celebrated and given as much love as a Holmes or a Poirot. It is also rare to find a female sleuth who makes you laugh, not because she lacks the mental prowess to solve cases akin to a Clouseau, but due to the odd and humorous situations she finds herself in.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted this novel to be inclusive and honest with the underlying themes of love, kindness, and empathy for all. And I believe this is at the core of what makes this story relatable for people from all walks of life. It was also important for me that this book brings joy and happiness to readers, especially after the struggles we have all seen and faced during the pandemic.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Ruby Roy mystery series titled “Ruby Roy and the Hawaiian Mystery” which should be ready for release sometime next year. I also have an idea ready for the third book which is tentatively titled “Ruby Roy and the Fishy Affair in Kolkata.” So, for those who have enjoyed the first Ruby Roy mystery, there’s a lot more on the way.

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AMAZON BESTSELLER • Bridget Jones meets Miss Marple • A hilarious comedy wrapped up in a mystery with an amateur female sleuth of color you’re bound to fall in love with!

Dr. Ruby Roy is a twenty-nine-year-old, goofy, warm, and absent-minded professor in her third year at Baron University, located a few miles from the Falls. A plus-size woman of mixed Indian and Canadian roots, and cursed with an overactive imagination stemming from watching too many Bollywood and Disney films, Ruby is struggling to make her mark and stay out of trouble. It doesn’t help matters that she keeps stumbling into a series of embarrassing incidents, even as she desperately tries to keep her superiors in the College happy. Unfortunately for Ruby, things take a turn for the worse when she discovers her Chair’s dead body in his office. But who could have killed him? And why? Suddenly all the Poirot, Marple, Sherlock Holmes, and Father Brown books she loves reading seem to have come to life as she finds herself in the middle of a real-life murder mystery. And with the murderer on the loose, no one is safe. With the help of her husband, Cleo, her very own Watson, Ruby tries to solve the mystery before she is next on the killer’s list!

This Earth-shattering Mystery

James McPike Author Interview

The Brink follows an archaeologist who discovers a cave painting that could shatter the worldwide religious order and becomes the target of a sinister organization. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It has been years since I last wrote a book. I finished a trilogy so I was content on that. You never really know what will inspire you until the moment happens. For me I was watching a very intriguing history show and the thing absolutely captivated me. I knew right then and there that I had to somehow write a book with these shocking revelations about history that few of us know about. Luckily, I already had an ideal character in place from my previous trilogy who was perfectly suited to tackle this earth-shattering mystery.

Vince Ramsey is an intriguing character that I enjoyed following. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I created this character over a decade ago. As a Christian myself, I wanted someone who knew everything about the Bible but was also just as comparable to a James Bond or Indiana Jones character. Vince Ramsey is that guy. He’s no-nonsense, gets to the root of the problem, and solves it without letting anything get in his way. He’s my ideal type of hero and I can’t wait for readers to get to know him on his latest journey. They’ll get a chance to see how he operates in order to solve cases with dire end-of-the-world implications, not always by the book but he gets results.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

A lot of the time as I write, I learn right alongside the characters and just as the readers do as the story unfolds. I have a handful of notes but never try to predetermine or force and preplan every scene. I have a general outline of course, but I like to keep the story spontaneous and fresh for the benefit of the reader, and hopefully let a natural progression flow. Like Stephen King once said, “Sometimes a book writes itself.” Themes I explore in this book are just what the readers will experience, a lot of obscure history that blows the lid off every textbook I ever read!

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Nothing in the works as of yet, but then again, like I said before, you never know what will come along and inspire me. I usually write one book every 2-3 years and that’s been the trend so far and I hope that continues. I only write when the mood strikes me. Many thanks to all the readers out there for their unwavering support! In a crowded field it never goes unnoticed and it can make a world of difference for any author!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

THE WORLD IS ON … THE BRINK
When a young archaeologist discovers the earliest known cave painting hidden deep within the heart of Africa, she suddenly becomes the target of a sinister organization. They will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden, knowing it could shatter the fabric of religious order worldwide and rewrite history as we know it. In comes Vince Ramsey, Israel’s top investigator and biblical scholar for matters like these. He must not only protect the archaeologist as they embark on a dangerous journey through Europe’s most iconic ruins—but he must help her find a mystical relic with ties to an ancient royal dynasty—one so powerful that it ruled the continent after the fall of the Roman Empire. Can they be the ones to solve a mystery for the ages—or will history repeat itself—once again?
 
*For fans of James Rollins, Clive Cussler, and Preston & Child

Sultry

Papa Grand was involved in a scandalous affair with the beautiful woman “Sultry Glade.” It wasn’t the best-kept secret, most knew. What people didn’t know then, however, was how gravely it would come back to bite him. On August 7th, early morning, Gideon “Giddy” Fitzgerald was found murdered inside his vehicle. Unfortunately, their murderer was never caught. Years later, his granddaughter Dillyn Fitzgerald, a chief financial investment officer with a passion for investigating, would dive deep into the tangled web of mysteries and lies to finally catch his killer. With the help of her family and visions of “Sultry,” she begins to unravel the hidden secrets that were buried. But will she be able to solve his murder, or will it come back to haunt her forever?

Sultry, by Dr. Sandra Tanner, is a murder mystery tale filled with plot twists and delectable secrets that will have your mind racing. You are left at the edge of your seat from the turn of the first page to the end of the book because you desperately need to know the answers to your questions.

The reader follows Dillyn Fitzgerald as she sets out to investigate her grandfather’s scandal and find the killer. Dillyn’s character is one that I grew fond of because she is headstrong, loyal, and relatable, and I enjoyed following her along with her investigation. Dr. Tanner’s character development is one to applaud, and it’s hard not to like all the characters. The addition of paranormal activities sprinkled throughout the story was also a pleasant surprise, adding drama to the plot. The plot twist at the end was shocking but a nice surprise despite the ending feels rushed.

Sultry by Dr. Sandra Tanner is an intriguing murder mystery with interesting characters and many plot twists. This compelling book is a fast and exciting read, and I found myself unable to put it down.

Pages: 290 | ASIN : B09RN7Y9LK

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Weaving History Into My Story

Ellen Read Author Interview

The Feathered Nest follows Alexandra as she’s wrapped up in a murder mystery involving bird smuggling. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Norfolk Island itself was my initial inspiration for The Feathered Nest, and because the Green Parrot is endemic to the island, it seemed obvious to revolve the story around the parrot. Also Norfolk Island is the home of the descendants of the HMS Bounty.

Without using the names of Fletcher Christian and his fellow mutineers, and by imagining a couple of extra seamen, I was able to weave the history of the island into my story. Preceding the arrivals of the Bounty descendants, Norfolk Island was a penal settlement for Australia early days. For a small island, it possesses a huge history.

Alexandra Archer is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

In the first book of the series, and all are standalone with a new murder mystery in each, Alexandra had just finished a season in Melbourne’s society. However, she tired of endless lunches, dinner parties and other functions, and wanted to work in her family’s antique business. Set in the 1920s, Alexandra is nevertheless a modern woman.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

In The Feathered Nest, Alexandra is made the expedition’s official photographer as they head off to Norfolk Island. I wanted to explore women’s roles in the late 1920s and I did this through fashion innovations and roles in society. Alexandra is always looking at new fashions that offer freedom of movement and style. She has clothes designed for her trip that include culottes and men’s style of boots for walking through the rainforest. I also wanted to highlight bird smuggling, which still happens today with exotic birds such as parrots. I also mention whaling, which in the 1920s was still practised on Norfolk Island. Alexandra is at first appalled until it’s explained to her that whaling was only undertaken by seamen in small boats with a harpoon. No whaling on a huge commercial scale that we know today was carried out on Norfolk Island.

What can readers expect in book 5 of your The Thornton Mysteries series?

Book 5 is set at Thornton Park where a conference is being held. Experts from around the world are going to speak about their myths and philosophies concerning immortality. No one, least of all Alexandra, expects it to become a deadly search for the secrets to eternal life. Alexandra is pregnant. Caught up in a miasma of myths and dark tales, she comes to believe that for her baby to live, she must die.

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Murder comes to Norfolk Island, but is the killer after Alexandra Archer’s Tahitian black pearl or a lost illustration of the rare green parrot?
The Thorntons mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, a small island in the South Pacific, to study the green parrot and set up research programmes to help protect it and other endangered birds. As a birthday surprise, Alexandra’s father tells her she is to be their official photographer. He also gives her a black pearl brooch that Alexandra’s great-grandfather had bought off a merchant in Hong Kong in the 1850s. The pearls are Tahitian black pearls.
Before they depart Melbourne, they learn that Norfolk Island has had its first murder. It sends ripples of unease through Alexandra. She hoped she could escape murder on this small island paradise.
Alexandra is astonished to learn that the main inhabitants of Norfolk Island are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Once on the island, she wonders if this is why her Tahitian black pearl brooch causes such interest.
A chain of events is set in motion, commencing with a threat on the life of one of their expedition members, followed by intrigue surrounding bird smuggling and a lost illustration of the green parrot. Then two of their team are murdered.
Alexandra is determined to find the answers and nearly loses her life in the process.

Shacklady

Shacklady by Keller Yeats is a mysterious tale set in Wales. It follows Alan, a man who has purchased an old building and some land. During his renovation, he discovers that his purchase has more to offer when his friend Gerry finds an old mine that was once owned by Silas Shacklady, who became rich from mining the cliffs many years ago but abandoned the project. Alan has his old friend and business partner Nick and his wife Wendy come to explore the mine further. They soon learn that this mine contains many secrets lurking in the dark.

The suspense and intrigue in this novel is created right from the beginning. The author starts by plunging readers straight into the mystery surrounding the mine. This is done through subtle suggestions at first, such as, why there are no tracks to get the train out of the mine shaft. Then the reader is left wondering what happened to Gerry. As the reader is given the information about Gerry’s return to the mine where the characters are not, this adds yet another layer of intrigue. I reveled in this deliberate buildup of the story as I felt it was laying the groundwork for a compelling, and at times eerie, supernatural thriller.

I had initially imagined that delving into a mine would not yield much in the way of fantastic imagery, so I was content with a claustrophobic story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author is able to create vivid imagery that blew away all my expectations. For example, by using phrases like ‘swallowed swiftly by the blackness’ and ‘the thicker the air became and the hotter it felt’ the author utilizes all of the senses while taking readers into the depths of the mine. This allowed me to perfectly visualize what was happening and imagine what the characters must be feeling.

Shacklady is a dark and suspenseful supernatural horror story with an intriguing backstory that gives this book surprising depth. With a captivating cast of characters, a compelling mystery at its core, and sharp writing this is a tense scary story that I highly recommend.

Pages: 346 | ASIN : B09XRG2YKN

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True Love Never Runs Smoothly

Helena M Craggs Author Interview

Fire & Magic is book two in The Younglings series. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that differed from book one?

Stakes are higher in Fire & Magic. The Younglings are under attack, and have some major trials and tribulations to deal with, as well as normal teenage life. The joie de vivre that teenagers have is inspiring. But most teens can experience many difficulties in their day-to-day lives, and—like Shadows & Magic—I feel this book is the messy, real deal. I wanted to show The Younglings mature and grow, and watch their bonds of friendship develop and strengthen. Would you give your life to save a friend?

I’ve also introduced some interesting new characters, into Fire & Magic.

Love is a huge thing for teens, and some unexpected relationships develop. Of course, true love never runs smoothly, and we have several relationship issues. Will they be resolved? You will need to read the book to find out.

Eve and Quinn have matured in this book. What were some obstacles in this book that you felt were important to defining their characters?

For Quinn, as a half-demon, he is constantly worried about becoming evil, and as a result, his self-confidence suffers. Can an angel truly love a demon? In this book, we watch him grow in confidence, and trust that Eve loves him unconditionally. As for Eve, she is a feisty, strong female lead, and this develops throughout the book. A badass half-angel who won’t tolerate BS.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

I think the final chapter. As well as being sensual, without being explicit, the coming together of Eve and Quinn is beautiful on so many levels.

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Protecting innocents in the mortal world is not a job to be taken lightly, and life for the Keepers is spiralling back to Crazyville. The Supernatural Council has their back, but it’s chaos out there.

Stranded spirits, rogue vampires and demons are bad enough, and now merciless witch hunters are stalking Millie.

Eve’s angelic blood is like a siren call—one a tenacious vampire tracker cannot ignore.
Are things for the Keepers about to turn messy?

It’s hard to know who’s the good guy and who’s the enemy. Monsters don’t always have claws or fangs, and they’re not always in the shadows. Sometimes they hide in plain sight.
Can the Keepers protect their own?


Praise from The Younglings: Shadows & Magic
“Author Helena Craggs expertly crafts a brilliant young adult novel and navigates the reader through first loves, sexuality, friendship, and familial unity.” (Literary Titan)

“Craggs’ ability to pull me into the world she created and keep me turning the page and second guessing myself was just brilliant. If you love supernatural books. This is a must from me.”

“Whether you are into demons, angels, vampires, witches, or werewolves – or merely just teens being teens – this book ticks all the boxes.”
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