News Flash: Bullet Books Are Here!

 

Bullet Books are speed reads for the busy traveler, commuter, and beach-goer. All are new original crime fiction stories that can be read in two to three hours. Gripping cinematic mysteries and thrillers by your favorite authors!

Manning Wolfe, attorney and author of the Merit Bridges legal thrillers, this week introduced the first set of Bullet Books. She’s co-written them with other twelve crime fiction authors, and they’re ready for readers.

I am officially chuffed because I’m one of the twelve. The book is

Available from Amazon. Click on the cover.

And on the back cover:

English professor Blair Cassidy arrives home late one rainy night to find the body of her boss-from-hell, Justin Capaldi, lying stabbed to death on her front porch. Her bloody clothes and plausible motive make her the number one suspect. When attorney and ex-husband Hart Montgomery vows he’ll keep her out of prison, she wants to believe him… 

But, Blair suspects hers is one murder case Hart would love to lose.

And the book trailer!

I’ll add that Blair has something Hart reeeally wants. And then there’s the argument over a concrete slab.

Bullet Books are short and snappy. Open one on take-off, finish on touch-down, and in between, escape into a world of fiction designed to keep you turning pages.

See all twelve Bullet Books here (and find out who the authors are): http://bulletbooksspeedreads.com/

Read more about them here: http://bulletbooksspeedreads.com/blog/

Find STABBED on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Stabbed-Bullet-Books-Speed-Reads-ebook/dp/B07XQK7YJR/

and here: https://www.amazon.com/Stabbed-Bullet-Books-Speed-Reads-ebook/dp/B07XQK7YJR/

I could say more about Bullet Books—such as, profiling the other eleven authors and mentioning the titles of their books—but I’ll save it for another time.

On second thought, it’s a little tacky of me to showcase STABBED and ignore everyone else. And this post sounds suspiciously like an advertisement. That’s a little tacky, too.

But I think I can live with it.

I will say, most sincerely, that I’m honored to have had the opportunity to write with Manning Wolfe and to be in the company of some fine authors. I hope you’ll read and enjoy STABBED and all the other Bullet Books.

By the way, air travel is not required. While Bullet Books are suitable for all modes of transportation, they’re just as entertaining in recliners, rocking chairs, and porch swings. The choice is yours.

***

Excerpt: “A Nice Set of Wheels”

Excerpt from “A Nice Set of Wheels” by Kathy Waller appears in MURDER ON WHEELS: 11 TALES OF CRIME ON THE MOVE, published by Wildside Press, 2015

***

When the stranger stepped through the door, everyone in the store looked up. Old men playing dominoes at the Formica-topped table beside the front window. Farmers sitting in metal lawn chairs, their boot soles propped against the cold pot-belly stove, cussing Khrushchev and the Russians. Teen-aged girls wearing shorts and white blouses, pink hairnets protecting their pin curls, looking at the makeup shelf.

They checked out the worn jeans, the frayed collar on the plaid shirt, the scuffed boots. The beat-up old black suitcase he carried. The black hair close-clipped but with a lock falling across his forehead. The scar on his cheekbone. The eyes like pale blue ice.

In those few seconds he stood in the doorway, with the sun shining through the screen door behind him, they sized him up.

He didn’t look to left or right, just walked straight to the counter. I should have asked how I could help him, but I didn’t. I was holding my breath.

“Are the Coca-Colas cold?”

I nodded at the cooler half hidden by a rack of chips. He opened the lid and pulled out a king-sized bottle, shook it a bit to get some of the water off, and brought it to the counter. I took it from him and dried it with a clean terry cloth towel I kept behind the counter, then gave him the towel to dry his hands. When Uncle Harry sold Cokes, he let the bottles drip. He said if customers wanted them ice cold, they’d have to put up with a little water. But I like to make things nice.

I handed him the Coke and pointed to the bottle opener nailed to the end of the counter.

“That’ll be a dime,” Uncle Harry shouted from behind the meat counter at the back of the store. “Seven cents if you drink it here and leave the bottle.”

The man pulled a dime from his pocket and dropped it into my hand. “I’ll bring the bottle back tomorrow.”

Uncle Harry left the meat counter and walked up to the front, still holding a butcher knife. His apron was stained with blood. “Where’d you come from?” he said.

That was none of his business, but the stranger didn’t take offense. “Shreveport, last stop. Working my way west. Been hitching rides, decided to stop here and look for work. You know anybody needs odd jobs done, or farm work?”

The girls hiding behind the makeup shelf giggled and shushed each other, except for Wanda Patterson, who looked directly at the man and smiled. Uncle Harry’s eyes narrowed. His frown told me he was about to say “No,” like he always does when men from outside talk about hanging around, but before he could say anything, Old Brother Fisher, who always tried to help people, slapped down a domino and called out, “Try the Conrad place. Frank Conrad owns several hundred acres the other side of the river. Heard him say the other day he needs some fences repaired, and three of his hands got caught in the draft and left for the Army. Bet he’d take you on. Might keep you to haul hay, maybe pick cotton.”

The stranger raised the Coke bottle and nodded at the old man. “Much obliged, sir.”

“Go up the road about a half mile to where there’s a gap in the fence on the left. Go on through—it’s private property, but nobody’ll care—and follow the old wagon ruts down to the river. Cross the footbridge. Other side belongs to Conrad. Big white house at the top of the hill.”

The stranger picked up his suitcase and started toward the door. Every eye followed him.

“Wait.” The eyes all looked my way. “What’s your name?”

He turned around and smiled right at me. Just at me. “Campbell. Campbell Reed. What’s yours?”

“I’m Rosemary.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Miss Rosemary.” Still smiling, he pushed through the screen door and was gone.

Uncle Harry grabbed my arm and jerked me around to face him. “What have I told you about talking to strange men? That one’s trouble. Leave him alone.”

I pulled away and ran through the storeroom and out the back door, past Uncle Harry’s house and the outbuildings, up the footpath and onto the gravel bar that lay along a stretch of the river bank. Wading in to where the water was clear, I bent down and splashed some on my cheeks, then straightened up and let the slight breeze cool my face. I was fifteen years old, and I’d had enough of Uncle Harry treating me like a baby. I would stay down here till time for supper. If Uncle Harry wanted me back at the store, he could come find me.

I recognized the looks the men had given Campbell. Except for Old Brother Fisher, they thought the same as Uncle Harry: he was trouble. I knew what Wanda Patterson and her friends thought, too: not trouble, but a good-looking man to take them out on Saturday nights, to park with in the cemetery after dark, to beg their mamas to invite for dinner, and, if they were lucky, to marry and have babies with.

But when I looked at him, I didn’t see trouble or fun or babies or anything like that.

In the time it took Campbell Reed to tell me his name, I looked at him and saw a savior.

 

***

Austin Mystery Writers' New Crime Fiction Anthology

Join Austin Mystery Writers for the launch of MURDER ON WHEELS at 7:00 p.m. on August 11, 2015, at BookPeople Bookstore, 6th and Lamar, Austin. Authors will read and sign. Refreshments will be served.

Print and Kindle editions available at Amazon.com
Print edition available at Barnes and Noble.com and at Wildside Press.com

Join AMW for the Launch of Murder on Wheels ~ August 11

Please join

Austin Mystery Writers

Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, Kaye George,
Scott Montgomery, Laura Oles, and Kathy Waller
&
Earl Staggs and Reavis Wortham

as they celebrate the launch of their first crime fiction anthology

MURDER ON WHEELS:
11 Tales of Crime on the Move

“Eleven stories put the pedal to the floor and never let up! Whether by bus, car, tractor, or bike, you’ll be carried along at a breakneck pace by the talented Austin Mystery Writers. These eight authors transport you from an eighteenth-century sailing ship to the open roads of modern Texas, from Alice’s Wonderland to a schoolbus yard in the suburbs of Dallas. Grab your book, hold on to your hat, and come along for the ride!”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
7:00 p.m.

BookPeople Bookstore
6th Street and Lamar

Austin, Texas

“There is something for everyone…” ~ Amazon Review

“…light-hearted (and occasionally black-hearted) collection of short stories… I thoroughly enjoyed it. … take your choice–historical, humorous, dark and light. Good reading for mystery fans.” ~ Amazon Review

 “… dialog that is realistic and makes the characters believable and three dimensional. There is something for everyone…” ~ Amazon review

“… a diverting read.” ~ Barry Ergang, Kevin’s Corner

71QiKRIkj+L

‘Shrooms

Friday Fictioneers
100 words

Friday Fictioneer Prompt. Copyright Erin Leary.Friday Fictioneers Prompt.
Copyright Erin Leary.

John ambled into the kitchen. “What’s cooking?”

“Mushroom gravy.” Mary kept stirring.

John frowned. “Toadstools. Fungi. Dorothy Sayers killed someone with Amanita.

“These are morels.” She added salt. “Everybody eats mushrooms.”

“I don’t.”

“Suit yourself.”

He sat down. “Where’d you buy them?”

“I picked them.”

You?

“Aunt Helen helped. She knows ‘shrooms.” Mary held out a spoonful. “Taste.”

“Well . . . ” John tasted. “Mmmm. Seconds?”

“Yoo-hoo.” Aunt Helen bustled in. “Like my new glasses? Those old ones–I couldn’t see doodly squat.”

Mary looked at the gravy, then at John. “Maybe you should spit that out,” she said.

 

English: Blue plaque re Dorothy L Sayers on 23...
English: Blue plaque re Dorothy L Sayers on 23 & 24 Gt. James Street, WC1 See 1237424. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Mike Quinn [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

*

 *

 

A Finely Shaped Head

When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angles of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skull quite easily. ~ Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

 

1st Line: The Private Patient

English: 149 Harley Street
149 Harley Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Philip Halling [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“On November the twenty-first, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room designed, so it appeared, to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, made the decision which would lead inexorably to her death.” ~ P. D. James, The Private Patient

Repost: Review of Kaye George’s CHOKE

I’m reposting this review in honor of Kaye George, author of the Agatha-nominated mystery, CHOKE.

Agatha Christie's signature
Agatha Christie's signature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kaye is currently in Washington, D. C. , where the Agatha Awards will be announced tomorrow at the annual Malice Domestic “fun fan” convention. Malice Domestic salutes “the traditional mystery—books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie,” and “loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence.”

Austin Mystery Writers send congratulations and best wishes to all Agatha nominees.

To Kaye and her heroine, Immy Duckworthy, we add an orange pickup load of harmonious vibrations and a plea to get back to Texas as soon as possible.

*****

Question: If you combined Lucille Ball with Inspector Clouseau, what would you get?

Answer: Imogene Duckworthy, amateur PI and main character of Kaye George’s new mystery, CHOKE.

Immy is a delight–the 22-year-old unwed mother of 3-year-old Nancy Drew Duckworthy (Drew), she lives with her retired-librarian mother, Hortense, in Saltlick, Texas; slings hash at her Uncle Huey’s cafe; and wants with all her heart to be a detective like her “dead sainted father.”

When Immy up and quits her job (Huey wants her to work double shifts again), and then explains her sudden unemployment by telling Hortense that Huey pinched her bottom (well, he DID pinch the other waitress’s bottom), Hortense heads to the cafe to give Huey what-for. Then Huey is murdered, the police take Hortense to the station, and Immy has her very first case. Guided by the Moron’s Compleat PI Guidebook, she sets out to find the perp.

The Moron’s Compleat PI Guidebook says nothing about staging a jailbreak, holing up in a Cowtail motel, or color-coding her list of suspects. But it does mention disguises, just what Immy needs to investigate on her home turf. An outfit that combines “Buns of Foam” with “Boobs and Belly,” however, leaves the amateur PI in need of the Jaws of Life, and the reader in stitches.

Kaye George’s CHOKE is a different kind of mystery. In most detective novels, the reader watches the sleuth-protagonist work his way through chapter after chapter, picking up clues and discarding red herrings, until he finally comes up with the answer. In CHOKE, however, the reader picks up clues while watching the gullible, ultra-literal, but enthusiastic Immy charge through to the solution while remaining blissfully clueless.

With CHOKE, first-timer Kaye George has accomplished something special: an original mystery, an original Immy, and a novel that leaves readers laughing and wanting more.

FTC Disclaimer: No one gave me this book. I bought it with my own money. Kaye George is one of my critique partners, but our relationship did not influence my review. I did not tell her how to write CHOKE, and she did not tell me what to write in my review. In fact, I never even critiqued the manuscript, and my introduction to the novel came when my copy arrived in the mail. I wish I had critiqued it, because I would like to take credit for “Boobs and Belly,” and the part about the letter opener, and the chicken. But the whole thing was Kaye’s idea. Even the orange pickup on the cover.

Kaye George’s CHOKE Nominated for Agatha Award

I am pleased—but not surprised—to announce that Kaye George’s CHOKE: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

The Agathas, which honor the “traditional mystery” (“loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence”), are awarded annually at the Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland.

A review of Choke appeared here last June. After almost nine months of deliberation, I still agree with what I wrote then. So instead repeating myself, I’ll provide a link.

I will add, however, that although Choke contains no explicit sex, would-be PI Immy Duckworthy wouldn’t mind if it did contain just a bit. She runs across some awfully good-looking guys in the unlicensed private detective business. Both Saltlick, Texas and Wymee Falls have more than their fair share.

Some of them don’t even turn out to be criminals.

Tomorrow’s Guest Blogger: Author Patricia Deuson

Author Patricia Deuson will be here tomorrow to talk about her new mystery novel, Superior Longing, which comes out September 15, 2011.

Pat and I have been online friends for several years through the Sisters in Crime Guppies. Tomorrow will be an exciting day for her, and I’m honored she’s sharing that excitement with me and the friends of To Write Is to Write Is to Write.

I hope you’ll visit, read about Superior Longing, and leave Pat a question or comment.