Book Fifty-Five of 2014: ROLLOVER by Susan Slater

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A bank heist turns sleepy little Wagon Mound, New Mexico on its ear. It’s no straight-forward, demand all the money at gun-point, and run out the front door kind of robbery. It’s a sneaky tunneling that probably took months to complete and put the thieves in a room of safe deposit boxes—not the vault which held some two million. Safe deposit boxes? What could have made it worthwhile to bypass a cool couple million?

Maybe the one hundred and ten year old sapphire and diamond necklace belonging to eighty-five year old Gertrude Kennedy was the lure. United Life and Casualty carried a policy on it for five hundred thousand and sent their investigator, Dan Mahoney to sort things out.

But he didn’t quite get there when expected. Catching a ride when his Jeep overheats, Dan is the hapless passenger in a rollover that kills the driver and puts him in the hospital only to find out this was no accident. Someone wants him out of Wagon Mound at any cost.

He doesn’t scare easily. He hasn’t lived his life looking over his shoulder and he’s not starting now. But when fiancée, Elaine Linden, disappears and people close to the case turn up dead, maybe he should reconsider. The note slipped under his door in the dead of night says it all—“it’s not what you think”.

I love whodunnits. The traveling investigator finding and solving crimes in different towns. Sometimes the crime seems simple, but then after a few twists and turns, the crime becomes more. Whodunnits always seem to be one of those quick reads for mysteries. They are the bread and butter. I would consider Rollover by Susan Slater a whodunnit. A mighty good whodunnit.

I like how Slater sets the reader up for immediate action. You begin reading the book thinking “here is a guy off to check out a bank robbery. Okay, whatever”, but then the namesake of the book happens. All in the first chapter you are left wondering what will happen to the main character Dan Mahoney.

I haven’t read the first book so I don’t really know Dan Mahoney all that well. However, the way the book is written, it doesn’t seem like you need to read the first book to grasp on to the characters. Rollover reminds me of PBS Masterpiece Theater mystery shows. No, Dan Mahoney isn’t a Sherlock or Poirot. And he is most certainly not Miss Marple. Mahoney is Mahoney. But, the caliber of the writing and the twists and turns made me feel like I was watching a good old fashioned mystery. Or at least reading one.

You meet a slew of interesting characters and learn the ins and outs of a small town in New Mexico all the while traveling through a mess of a crime with Mahoney. Slater writes a believable caper and an interesting story that makes me want to read more of her books. Looks like the first book will be in my bookshelf eventually.

Poetry Tuesday: Frankenstein

Before I present this poem, I just thought I’d give a little background about this one. I wrote this poem in college and it was used as a way to try and figure out what it was about for my classmates. It was fun presenting it and I do like the poem. I am by no means amazing at poetry though.

 

Frankenstein

I have your name carved into

My skin.

Etched by blade, digging, separating

All that was once me.

An amalgamation of emotions

Stitched with a single thread.

There is no truth, beauty.

Reality is not real.

I lay on a cold table

Waiting for the spark of life,

The fire in Prometheus’ hand,

But there is only you.

Your name burns me,

Consumes me, and I am

Forced to wonder….

Was I ever truly alive?

Darkness Watching Book Cover Reveal!

 

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits – and the darkness is staring back.

 Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world. All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons still stalk Ash, and their interest in her has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams is published through Curiosity Quills Press. It was released before, but the re-release of this book is September 1, 2014. It is a new adult urban-fantasy with paranormal romance in it. Definitely a book I’ll be wanting to read. Check out this book’s GoodReads page at:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18071001-darkness-watching

The author: Emma Adams

The author: Emma Adams

Emma Adams spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults.

She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in January 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, featuring disappearing uncles, invisibility potions and chimeras.

Emma also writes dark and creepy supernatural novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and was published in October 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

You can also find her on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emma.adams.775?fref=ts

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@ELAdams12

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6563991.Emma_L_Adams

Website: http://emmaladams.weebly.com/

 

Contests and Serials

On top of my day to day life of tackling a two year old and working on my Young Adult Paranormal book, I am working towards other writing projects. I just finished a short story for a literary journal which I mentioned before. It’s not my usual genre of writing, but one beta reader loved it and the other is currently reading it. Once they are done, the story is going to the journal. I also have a few more stories I plan on working on.

One of them is a flash fiction. Usually a 100 word short story is easy for me. Usually. I have an idea of what I want to do, but aside from that, I’m stumped. It’s rough trying to write something that is more like nonfiction and changing it to fiction. I’m not one to write about my life, but I think what I want to do is a great idea for a 100 word short story.

Another contest I just heard about is a poetry contest. Now, I know my poetry is not the best, but I do have some poems that could be submitted. What’s great is the entry fee is only $16 and I can use both unpublished and published works. I definitely have some poems I can use for that. My only problem is, do I choose something funny or something disturbing? Maybe one of each.

Along with these many contests and literary journal submissions, I am writing a serial. I love the idea of serials. It’s very Victorian literature and I love Victorian literature. It was my favorite class in college. Anyway, I figure a serial is a great way to keep me writing and experiment with my writing as well as keeping my mind from going crazy with my second draft. I have no doubt that the serial is going to be equally as hard, but it will be just as rewarding. What’s more, I plan on writing the serial for NaNoWriMo. Since an episode is roughly 25k words, I can feasibly write two for NaNoWriMo. I plan on working on episode one before November and plan for two more episodes for this NaNoWriMo.

I am extremely excited for the serial. It’s a character I’ve been wanting to write with. He’s an inventor and genius. Think the love child of The 11th Doctor and Sherlock. Yeah, he’s that kind of awesome. The setting is a steampunk UK. I have a basic knowledge of the UK and will most likely not be exact with its geography and names, but that’s why it’s steampunk. It’s an A.U. of our UK.

I’m sure I’m biting off more than I can chew. The good thing about the poetry contest is that I have a bunch of poems I can use. And I am done with one of the many short stories that need to be written. The contests aren’t due for a while, but it’s always good to be ahead of the game. Funny, I’m never ahead in anything except for my writing contest submissions when I submit.

On a totally different note, I finally took pictures for my Etsy store. The place will have stock again soon!

Poetry Tuesday: Haunted

Haunted

Standing near the sill he stayed, wishing for life.

Waiting and wondering as whispers pass his ear.

Nothing to grasp, no one to speak, never a moment of respite

He stays quietly, his heart beating, but no real feeling.

 

Alone, only his austere memories to accompany the long days.

Wooden floors creak with the winds, all bleak and ruined.

Cocks crowing as the dawn creeps over the darkened trees

He stays quietly, hollow without heaven to look forward to.

 

Bright is the dawn, before the evening breeze, he still waits.

Wishing that his works will last for all eternity

Nothing for his pain, no person for his love, never a moment of respite

He stays quietly, haunted by his past, by the hallowed ground he stands.

 

Serene days, the simple life he led with spirits to welcome him in drinks.

Wasting away, never waking from the waning of his pitiful life.

Careless, or perhaps carefree, he created no importance to stand by.

He stays quietly, hindered by his haste to atone from the past.

 

Atonement comes with abiding the laws of the almighty, so he stays.

Waiting for his acceptance, wishing for his wasteful beginnings to disappear

He stays quietly as the hand from above heal the misgivings of his soul.

Writing

I am so scared to have anything I write on the internet. My biggest fear is that someone will take what I have written and replace my name with their own. It isn’t a matter of work or the the time it took to write that item. It’s more because everything I write has a piece of me and that piece of me is being used for literary prostitution if someone were to steal it. I would feel violated, ashamed, and embarassed that I bared my soul to the world and the world gave me the finger.

That said, I choose to push aside my anxieties. I want people to see what I have. I want people to experience my words and take that piece of my soul into them. That’s why I want to be published. I want to always be remembered. I may not be known as Casia after my death, but everything I write will be read by someone and then that person has a piece of me. If I’m lucky, that person will be inspired to create. But, even if they don’t, I have done something to be proud of.

And now, I’m going to try an experiment. I’m actually going to post some of my writing that isn’t blog or just the ramblings of a twenty-something. I am going to post my poetry.

I feel safe posting my poetry because 1. I don’t feel I’m that great of a poet. There are days that the poetry is amazing, but I’m not a poet by any stretch of the imagination. 2. I don’t plan on publishing my poetry. I may one day and those will be in a compilation if so. They would most likely be the poetry posted on here.

And so, on Tuesdays, there will be a poem posted. They may have been written years or days ago. It all depends on what poem strikes me as “the one”.

Procrastination

We all have that moment where we’d rather be lazy and not do anything. Some people have it less and others have it so bad that you wonder if there is a permanent butt impression on the couch. Alas, I am of the latter.

Procrastination is thriving in my home. I’m finding myself ignoring the big stuff (dishes, exercise, etc.) and paying more attention to the mundane (reading). Even my writing has procrastination growing in it. Procrastination is like a fungus. If gone unchecked, your doctor starts thinking of amputation.

I don’t want to be amputated. I don’t want to live in a messy home or be a writer with only one publication. I want to be more and to do that, I have to do more. However, I find myself doing too much and getting stressed. Therein lies the rub.

There is a delicate balance between procrastination and active. I just need to learn to take my time and keep working, but not so much that I don’t rest. And while I’m trying to figure that out, I am going to just look at this awesome picture I found on Facebook. Even if it is historically inaccurate (which it very well may be), it makes me smile.

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On a totally non-procrastination way, my writing is going better. I’m writing almost every day and I’ve finished a short story that is now in the editing process. It’s going to The First Line literary journal (the first place I’ve gotten published that wasn’t vanity or school related). Granted, I’ve done the easy part and soon the hard part will begin (if you think writing is hard, just imagine waiting for the ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ from the publisher).

You can find The First Line here:  http://www.thefirstline.com/