Things You Don’t Know About the Dead Dog Trilogy

 

  1. The main character, Lottie Stark, is named for my paternal Grandmother – Carlotta. But everybody called her Lottie.
  2. The male lead, Jack Brady, is a recycled character from an unpublished novel I wrote called, Deadlock. Though this new Jack Brady is younger, more brash, and less world weary, the ‘bones’ of the character are still there.
  3. The villian is based on a monologue I wrote for an actor to perform in his acting class, to which I was the teaching assistant.
  4. The main location, Regal Reef, California is a fictional town that exists in the ether of my imagination somewhere between Fresno and Visalia.
  5. The only good cooks in this series are men.
  6. I “finished” the trilogy twice before this final finish. The first time it was finished I ended up tearing it apart after beta reader feedback. The second time it was finished, I just happened to stumble upon the ‘Storygrid’ method as I was doing final edits, and again, I ended up tearing it apart for structure. This time is the third finishing – but I believe the third time is the charm.
  7. Two of the best characters in the series are dogs.
  8. Though the story takes place in a small fictional town in Central California, the main character, Lottie Stark, is a Texan.
  9. The dog theme of the books comes from Lottie Stark’s love of dogs and that she has a dog rescue in addition to being the Chief of Police of the town. The killer also uses her love of dogs against her.

Just for fun, I’ve also put together a playlist for the series.

Back in the Saddle Again (Gene Autry)

Lay me Down (Sam Smith)

Somebody to Love (Queen)

My Best Friend (Heidi Winzinger)

I Shot the Sheriff (Eric Clapton)

Someone to Watch Over Me (Amy Winehouse)

The Monster in Me (Twisted Country)

Here We Go Again (Aretha Franklin)

Let it Be Me (Ray LaMontagne)

LaGrange (ZZ Top)

Body Talks (The Struts)

Every Move You Make (The Police)

The Dead Dog Trilogy will release as single volumes and boxed set in the last week of August 2018.

Almost Ready for Liftoff

Okay, so yeah, we’re almost ready to release the new trilogy…

eBook files formatted for both single volumes and a boxed set

Print files formatted

Covers done

Can’t wait…

Oh yeah and here’s the blurb

Donald Brown Stoker, a.k.a., the Keeper, brutally killed seven women before he was cornered in an abandoned barn by FBI agents. Rather than surrender, Stoker, set himself and the barn on fire—preferring to die than to spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.

And with him, went his secrets.

Lottie Stark, one of the aforementioned agents, didn’t mourn the loss of Stoker, nor the death of her FBI career. She moved on to a quieter life as a small town police chief, where, though life could be tedious and a pain in her behind, she had no trouble sleeping because she no longer dreamed of monsters.

Until Stoker came back from the dead….

Three dead girls, all with Stoker’s MO, dumped in her town, is giving Lottie Stark a case of déjà vu all over again. With little evidence to go on and no viable suspects, Lottie is ready to blow. Frenemies and allies alike urge her to bring in the FBI but she’d rather die than revisit her past failures. But if the town mayor, and her conniving lead detective have anything to say about it, the past is headed straight for Lottie’s door. Not the least of which is, profiler Jack Brady, her former lover and partner.

As she struggles to maintain control of her case and her town, the killer is still out there, free to kill again. And daring Lottie to catch him.

UPDATE: If you’re interested in listening to me narrate the first chapter of book 1 (in a really bad Texas accent), you can download the mp3 here.

Wednesday is a Good Day for a Freebie

Happy Wednesday to you and I hope your day is going great. We’ve got lots of blue sky and sunshine out here in California and my tomato plants are loving it.

Just wanted to write a quick post to announce that the Scotti Fitzgerald books are all now available in print. I know, it took a while but I finally made it happen. You’ve no idea how complex setting up a print book can be. At least, I had no idea. Lots of trial and error because you know…math…

Anyway…to celebrate Scotti’s premiere in print I am giving the eBook versions of all THREE books in the series away for FREE today and today and Thursday (May 9th & May 10th).

On Friday all the books will go to 99 cents each and remain at that price through the weekend.

Then Monday, we’re back to business as usual.

If you haven’t read the books, now is your chance to grab the whole series for free. Or if you’ve only read Coffee & Crime, you can pick up the next two books for free.

If you do and you like them – I’d be Thrilled if you’d write a review on Amazon or Good Reads. But no pressure. I know you’re busy.

To pick up your free copy of Coffee & Crime click here

To pick up your free copy of Murder Ready 2 Eat click here

To pick up your free copy of Death of the Family Recipe click here

If you live outside the U.S. you can go to my BOOK PAGE and find the appropriate link for your area.

Otay announcement over, you may now return to your day – hope it’s a great one!

Cheers,

Annie

PS: If you don’t own a Kindle but would still like eBook copies of the books, just CONTACT ME and I will send you the ePub versions personally.

 

 

Author Spotlight on Fantasy Author Kate Murdoch

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse? 

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future. The Stone Circle is available at Amazon

 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author

  1. Your life changes in a multitude of ways. First of all, you have a ‘voice’, on social media, in interviews and posts. This is important, because whatever you say remains in the ether forever and tells the world about the kind of person you are.
  2. Unlimited hours just to write seem like a distant dream. From the aforementioned social media and other promotion, to trying to line up author events, your time is corralled, parcelled and divided.
  3. You make lots of new friends, both online and in real life. All of a sudden your world becomes full of unlimited possibility. It’s exciting and rewarding. To connect with other authors at a similar stage and further ahead is both enjoyable and necessary.
  4. You’re forced to abandon parts of your life that are superfluous or draining—there’s just not time and you’re stretched mentally and emotionally.
  5. Life feels full to the brim, which takes some adjustment, but is ultimately positive.
  6. You feel strangely exposed after having put so much on the line, professionally and personally. I recently had a dream that I did an acrobatic show on a suspended swing, naked in a body stocking. I think this says it all.
  7. You’re excited about the next phase—next book, current project, whatever life is going to throw at you. You feel at once vulnerable and strong.
  8. Post launch, your family may resent all the attention the book has taken from them and may not want to hear anything about your writing for a while.
  9. At some stage, someone will approach you in person and tell you how much they loved your book. Their face will glow with enthusiasm. In this moment, all the years of struggle and hard work will feel worth it. You’ll feel (almost) ready to go through it again with the next book.
  10. You’ll realise that achieving a long-held dream, whilst satisfying, isn’t something that makes your life perfect. The heavens don’t open, ethereal harp music doesn’t start playing, and you still have to make the school lunches and put on endless loads of washing. You need to attend to things that were neglected whilst you were trying to birth a novel and come back to reality. At the same time, there’s much to be relished in the new identity.

Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone Circle. She exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing. In between writing historical fiction, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.

Her short-form fiction has been published in various literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press December 1st 2017.

Her novel, The Orange Grove, about the passions and intrigues of court mistresses in 18th century France, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.

To learn more about Kate you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Quick Book Tag

 

I saw this over at Loraine Ambers’ lovely blog and it looked like fun…

Quick Book Tag

E-Book or Physical Book?

I like both. It depends on what I’m reading and my mood. I have been reading a lot more on my Kindle lately but I may dig into that stack on my night stand soon.

Paperback or Hardback?

Hardbacks – I love the larger size and print and they smell more like books, if that makes sense?

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In-Store. I’m not much of a Barnes and Noble shopper but I love indie bookshops and used bookstores. My local library has one and I can spend hours in there, browsing. And it’s tiny!

Trilogies or Series?

Either one works if the story is enticing. Although, if I fall in love with the characters I will be sad if more books don’t follow.

Heroes or Villains?

Both – any fully formed character is a pleasure to love or hate. Though in either case, I really prefer a flawed hero or villian to the perfect ones who can jump from tall buildings in a single leap, fight off battalions of bad guys with one hand tied behind their back, and make the perfect martini. Good guy or bad guy, give me someone I can relate to and you’ll have me forever as a reader.

A book you want everyone to read?

Anything by Diane Dickson – her writing is a feast for the eyes.

Recommend an underrated book?

Scarpetta’s Winter Table, by Patricia Cornwell. It’s somewhat obscure and very short (relative to her other novels). But it gives you interesting insights into the characters of the Scarpetta series. If you’re a Scarpetta fan, see if you can find a copy and read it.

The last book you bought?

Twist of Truth by Diane Dickson. I’m addicted to her books.

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

Like most readers I usually use whatever is within reach but the weirdest thing was probably a sock.

Used Books: Yes or No?

Of course, otherwise what would used bookstores sell? Nothing like a brand new, hot off the press new book but there is something about a used book that appeals to me – the passing on from one reader to the next – it’s almost as though you can feel the love/excitement/fear/interest that each reader experienced while reading the book and it makes it seem alive. (Is that too weird a revelation? Even for a writer?)

Top three favorite genres?

Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense. Yes, I know Amazon considers them one genre but they are not. I also enjoy retro sci-fi (Asimov, Heinlein) and psychological horror (think Twilight Zone not the Chain Saw Massacre), and occasionally a good literary novel but anything with mystery or suspense intrigues me.

Borrow or Buy?

Both. When the budget is tight, I turn to BookBub or the library.

Characters or Plot?

Hands down, characters. I don’t think a book can be good if the characters don’t draw you in and make you care about them.

Long or Short Books?

As long as it’s good, length is not a consideration. Although books topping out at 500 pages is probably my max. I’ve read recently that readers are moving toward shorter books these days. Personally, I’m always sad when a good book ends.

Long or Short Chapters?

Short chapters. It makes me feel more connected to the action in the story.

Name the first three books you can think of

Bone Baby, Lightning, Frankenstein

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Either. But more to the point, books that make me feel, I need an emotional connection to books I read or I’ll end up not finishing them.

Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional worlds always seem like more fun – lots of adventure and less risk.

Audio books: Yes or No?

Audio books are okay. I listened to a lot of them when I was commuting on a day job. Although, I don’t think you get the same satisfaction from them. Especially since you’re usually multi-tasking while listening. I think you also miss nuance in a story you listen to rather than read. The exception I suppose would be if you were listening one hundred percent and doing nothing else. Still, if the narrator doesn’t match the voice in your head it could ruin the experience for you.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

If the cover is really awful or really amazing, yes, probably. Generally though, covers don’t influence me as much as it seems they do others.

A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Perhaps the Handmaid’s Tale. But not really. Generally, I find the book to be better than the film version. They are doing a decent job of the Bosch series from Michael Connelly’s books but I had to get used to the actor they selected for the lead because he was nothing at all like I’d imagined Bosch.

Series or Stand-alones?

Either. Though I LOVE to find a new series to get my hooks into. You always get so excited when a new book in the series comes out, like you get to visit with an old friend. Wow, this question makes me miss Sue Grafton.

How about you? What would you answer to these questions? Feel free to tell us in the comments or consider yourself tagged and do your own version of the post.

 

Cheers,

Annie

Indie Spotlight – Mystery Writer Sharlene Almond

Annabella Cordova quickly becomes embroiled in the conspiracy involving the university she studies at. Her life is turned into chaos when her friend disappears, seven days later a gruesome package is delivered to Andres Valero; the troubled detective, returning from forced leave, only to be faced with horrific crimes that brings his memories to the surface. 

Annabella’s past collides with her present, a traumatic childhood event leaving her deaf and without both of her parents. Her ability to read facial and body language in people leads her to discover parallels from an earlier century.

Initiated to Kill takes the reader back in time to the 19th century; creating a psychological profile of the serial killer that wanders the London streets, his paintings depicting crimes only seen by a killer’s eyes. 

Annabella  and Andres combined must stop this person at any cost, and reveal a conspiracy hidden for centuries.

Unveiling the Mystery of Body Language

I have always been intrigued by the interpretation of facial expressions and body language. The TV series “Lie to Me” increased the popularity of learning more about this interesting subject.

The incentive for me to finally decide to study Body Language came when I wrote my first novel, Initiated to Kill. My main character, Annabella Cordova is deaf, so fully understanding how body language could be read and interpreted was essential to me; as I wanted my novel to be an authentic as possible. I immersed myself into the fascinating and complicated world of Body Language.

One of the key things to remember when writing or reading a person’s body language is that it is not what they reveal in their baseline behaviour, but the change from that behaviour to something quite different.

Armed with a diploma in body language, people tend to ask me “what is my body language saying to you now?”

They might cross their arms, or do something fairly common like that, then want me to basically give them a run-down on what that body language is revealing.

However, it doesn’t work like that. A lot of people think that by crossing their arms they are being defensive or closed off, and yes, that might be true.

That doesn’t really tell me much. Instead, it’s watching people that change from one behaviour to another that exposes what is actually going on.

That is why people in law enforcement talk so much about establishing baseline behaviour. It is crucial at any point if you’re wanting to find out if someone is lying or omitting something, that their baseline behaviour is first established. That way, when you go to the line of questioning you really want to address, you can immediately see a change of behaviour; and that’s what really gives it away.

Now, some people may ask, “well, if it’s that clear cut, then why doesn’t law enforcement immediately know if someone is guilty?”

Unfortunately, body language isn’t an exact science. Although, much can be revealed, people may still not know why that change occurred. But it can give an inkling that they need to dig further into that line of questioning.

So, how important is it to know more about body language? Well, 38% comes from vocal tone, while 55% comes from body language. It is even thought that at around 90% of our communication to others is through our body language, without even consciously knowing we are doing it.

People tend to look for exaggerated displays of body language, but often, it is the subtle displays that are truly revealing.

Body language in relationships can even divulge what the other person is feeling. It may seem out of nowhere, your partner suddenly wants to end the relationship, while you didn’t even think there was a problem with the relationship.

Think about it. Was your partner withdrawing? Was your partner sleeping further away from you, or being less affectionate? Did they sit on another chair instead of being close to you? Has intimacy seem to have gone out the window?

Although very subtle signs, they are also very telling, revealing that inwardly your partner is withdrawing; thus, revealing in the increase of the distance between you. However, if this is recognised early on, you can then try to make changes to help the relationship, or at least be prepared for when the relationship is over.

In a dating situation, does the other person lean closer toward you when you speak? Are their hands on the table close to yours, or in their lap? Do their eyes dart around the room, or mainly stay focused on you? What about their feet? Are their feet pointed straight ahead towards you, or in another direction?

No matter how insignificant it may seem, never underestimate the small changes, words are only a very minor part of the overall picture.

Just by looking in one direction it can reveal someone is telling the truth, while another direction they are thinking up a story. Every little bit contributes to the overall picture.

These aspects are important to consider when including body language in your writing. The more you understand how it works, the easier it will be to write a realistic portrayal of a witness, victim, cop or perpetrator.

And what may surprise many people, is that body language experts believe that the legs and feet are considered more accurate communicators than the face.

Think about it. What is your body language saying about you?

Sharlene Almond has a diploma in Body Language and Criminology, enabling her to explicitly portray her characters. Living in Auckland, New Zealand with her two dogs and partner. Currently, she is working on an advice monthly newsletter to encompass all of my training – Body, Mind and Writing Newsletter. Her education in Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Freelance Journalism, and Editing give her the ability to better understand the human mind and to write about it in a comprehensive manner.

To learn more about Sharlene, visit her blog and follow her on Google Plus and Pinterest .