Meet Officer Blake Herro from Chrys Fey’s 30 Seconds Before

Chrys Fey and Officer Herro are taking over my blog today in honor of Chrys’ new release, 30 Seconds Before. Catch the exciting excerpt after the interview!

*****

Chrys Fey here interviewing Officer Blake Herro from 30 Seconds Before. This will be a quick interview for a busy man.

  1. Did you ever shoot someone while on duty, and how did it make you feel?

Once. It’s not something I ever want to do, but to protect myself and my partner, I did shoot a man who had opened fire on us. Even in the name of self-preservation, it’s never an easy thing to deal with afterward. The moment when bullets hit our car and I had to open fire replayed in my mind for nights, days, and weeks. The man died, and I struggled with that. A fellow officer sat me down and made me see that, although some officers can go their entire careers without firing their weapons, some of us aren’t so lucky, but that doesn’t make us bad officers.

  1. Have you ever made a mistake?

I think all rookies make mistakes, but I thankfully never made a life-threatening one or put anyone in jeopardy. Well, unless you count going undercover in the Mob. Yeah, that might’ve been a mistake.

  1. I do think that counts. What do you do to de-stress and relax?

I sit back with a beer and watch football if it’s the season for it. I also don’t mind cooking, which I know will surprise many, but my grandmother taught me how to cook, and I enjoy it. On occasion, to shut down after a hard shift, bourbon helps a lot.

  1. Bourbon works. When you went undercover in the Mob, is there something you wish you had done or didn’t do?

I wish I hadn’t been so good at it.

  1. Now I have to ask a question for the ladies. Why are you single?

Because I am my job, and I don’t meet many eligible bachelorettes when I’m in my uniform.

Well, we like a good-looking man in a uniform, don’t we, ladies? Okay, so I’ll stop teasing Blake and let him get back to work.

30secondsbefore_w-11122_750

 

Title: 30 Seconds Before

Prequel to 30 Seconds

Genre: Mainstream Thriller

Page Count: 60 (novella)

 

BLURB:

Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?

 

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Amazon CA

Nook / Kobo / The Wild Rose Press

Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and flashing lights obscured his vision.

Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.

Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.

“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”

The officer’s lips moved.

Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”

The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”

 

sale-image

30 Seconds, the story that follows 30 Seconds Before, is on sale for 99 Cents. Get it at this discount so you can read the entire story from start to finish!

 

SALE LINKS:

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

75b4b-chrysfeyauthorpicBIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and heads their monthly newsletter.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

 

 

Welcome, L.G. Keltner As She Shares The Challenge of Writing a Series in a Year, and an Excerpt!

L.G. Keltner has a new book out in her Self-Help 101 series that is perfect for Halloween: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. She’s visiting today with a guest post on some of the challenges she faced with her series. And check out the excerpt at the end! Take it away, L.G.!

*****

The Challenge of Writing a Series in a Year

When I first realized the Christmas novella I’d just published was not to be the stand-alone piece I’d originally thought it was, I began to eagerly plan out what was to come next. I felt energized. I was starting a new year with a clear goal in mind, and I was actually feeling confident that I could accomplish all I needed to do in order to make it happen.

Writing a series poses a lot of challenges, though. Continuity is important. Some series pose more of a challenge in this respect than others, but they all require the author to build upon the events of previous installments. Unless you’re doing an anthology style series, of course. Because of the need for continuity and consistent character development, plotting has become a little more challenging with each novella in the Self-Help 101 series. Conflicts that were set up in prior installments need to come to a head later on. If they don’t, readers may feel cheated.

My largest challenge, however, when it comes to writing this series has been time. When I decided to write it, I set the goal of completing the four novellas by the end of the following year. That time frame made sense to me, because the four novellas take place over the course of a year. It also didn’t seem like too much to handle. When you start at the beginning of a new year, it seems like you have all the time in the world. As most of you know, however, life tends to throw up road blocks every now and then, and time tends to go far faster than you’d hoped. I unexpectedly got pregnant, so that left me feeling icky and not up to writing for those first few weeks. As it is, I’m still on track to meet that initial goal, and I’m feeling pretty good about that.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and the challenges have helped me grow as a writer. Try not to let challenges get you down. There’s nothing more rewarding than finding a way to overcome an obstacle and achieve your goal.

What writing-related challenges do you face? How do you deal with them?

 ***** 

Excerpt:

 “This salad has seen better days,” Daniel said as he moved the wilted greens around the plate with his fork.

“I think the same could be said of any food that’s about to be eaten.” I looked around the dining hall. The staff were all wearing Halloween apparel of some kind, and cheesy spiders, spider webs, and pumpkins adorned the walls. No sign of Seth yet. His class had probably run a few minutes late. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Daniel shook his head as he looked at my chicken sandwich. “No, I think your chicken’s worst day was the day it was killed to become food.”

“Yum. Slaughter. Just what I want to think about when I’m eating.” I picked up my sandwich and took a big bite anyway.

“You’ll never take over the world if you’re disturbed by a little slaughter.”

“That’s why I wrote a book about it. I never intended to actually do it myself,” I said. “If I had intended to do it, I would have kept my nefarious plans to myself.”

 *****

 final

 

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People

Author: L.G. Keltner

Genre: holiday/humor

Length: 29,000 words

Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker

Release Date: September 27, 2016

 

Blurb:

Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.

*****

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L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband. Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six. Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

Purchase Links:

E-book:

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Smashwords     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Print:

Amazon US     CreateSpace

Add it on Goodreads.

 

New Release! Jacqui Murray’s Thriller: To Hunt a Sub

Happy Release Day to Jacqui Murray as she launches her new thriller, To Hunt a Sub!

Be sure to check out the exciting excerpt below!

THAS cover--large

 

Title and author: To Hunt a Sub by J. Murray

Release Date: August 15, 2016 by Structured Learning

Genre: Thriller

Cover by: Paper and Sage 

 

The USS Hampton SSN 767 quietly floated unseen a hundred fifty-two feet below the ocean’s surface. Despite its deadly nuclear-tipped arsenal of Trident missiles, its task for the past six months has been reconnaissance and surveillance. The biggest danger the crew faced was running out of olives for their pizza. That all changed one morning, four days before the end of the Hampton’s tour. Halfway through the Captain’s first morning coffee, every system on the submarine shut down. No navigation, no communication, and no defensive measures. Within minutes, the sub began a terrifying descent through the murky greys and blacks of the deep Atlantic and settled to the ocean floor five miles from Cuba and perilously close to the sub’s crush depth. When it missed its mandated contact, an emergency call went out to retired Navy intel officer, Zeke Rowe, top of his field before a botched mission left him physically crippled and psychologically shaken. Rowe quickly determined that the sub was the victim of a  cybervirus secreted inside the sub’s top secret operating systems.  What Rowe couldn’t figure out was who did it or how to stop it sinking every other submarine in the American fleet.

 Kali Delamagente is a struggling over-the-hill grad student who entered a DARPA cybersecurity competition as a desperate last hope to fund a sophisticated artificial intelligence she called Otto. Though her presentation imploded, she caught the attention of two people: a terrorist intent on destroying America and a rapt Dr. Zeke Rowe. An anonymous blank check to finish her research is quickly followed by multiple break-ins to her lab, a hack of her computer, the disappearance of her three-legged dog, and finally the kidnapping of her only son.

 By all measures, Rowe and Delamagente are an unlikely duo. Rowe believes in brawn and Delamagente brains. To save the America they both love, they find a middle ground, guided with the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago. 

*****

Available on Amazon

*****

Preview Chapter from To Hunt a Sub

 

Three days before present

 

Ten hours and thirty-seven more minutes and the crew of the USS Hampton SSN 767 would be home. Seasoned submariners, the six-month covert intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance tour down the eastern seaboard of South America had gone flawlessly and silently. The Atlantic is a large ocean and the Los Angeles-class sub’s noise footprint small. Once the boat cleared Cuba, the crew would relax.

The Captain sipped the morning’s fourth cup of burned coffee when the hair on the back of his neck prickled. He glanced around, trying to identify what bothered him.

“Captain,” the Watchstander’s gaze bobbed from the Executive Officer to his watchstation. “Navigation is non-responsive.” Confusion tinged his words.

That was it. A change in the deck’s subtle rumble. Before the Captain could react to the impossibility that guidance controls had crashed, every monitor in the sub’s nerve center shut down.

He hadn’t seen this in twenty years of driving subs. All personnel made a hole as he rushed toward the Control Center, shadowed by the XO.

“Sonar readings?” The Captain called to Sonarman Second Class Andy Rikes in the compartment just aft of Control, barely larger than a broom closet but elbow-to-elbow with operators, fingers flying across keyboards and eyes locked onto screens that blinked a dull grey.

Rikes answered, “Negative, Sir. The hydrophones are working, but aren’t sending raw data, like someone pulled the plug and flushed everything out to sea. Trying to fix it.” His voice was hopeful.

If the screen had worked, Sonarman Rikes would have seen the ping, a final gasp before everything electrical collapsed.

The COB—Chief of Boat—interrupted, “Captain. Reactor Scram!” The sub’s nuclear power had evaporated. “Nuclear technicians isolating the problem. Battery back-up is being attempted.”

“Shift propulsion from main engines to EPM,” an auxiliary electric motor that could turn the propeller.

“Negative, Captain. Non-responsive.” Fear leaked from his voice.

The depth meter no longer worked, but the XO guessed that the sub was angled downward at 10 degrees.

“Blow main ballast tanks!”

“No response, Captain.”

“How deep is the ocean floor in this sector of the Atlantic?”

The Sonarman answered, “It varies between 1,000 and 16,000.”

16,000 feet was well below the sub’s crush depth.

“There are seamounts and ridges spread throughout. We could get lucky and land on one. Or not.”

“Inform US Strategic Command of our situation.”

“Sir, comms are down.”

“Release the message buoy,” though all that told the world was they were in trouble. It could quickly drift miles from their position.

The Captain continued, voice calm, face showing none of the worry that filled his thoughts, “I want all department heads and Chief Petty Officers in front of me in five minutes. I want the status on every system they own and operate. Wake up whoever you need to.” He had a bad feeling about this.

 

“Gentlemen, solutions.” The Captain looked first at XO, then COB and finally NAV, the Navigation Officer who turned to the senior chief of navigation.

“It’s like an electromagnetic pulse hit us, which can’t happen underwater…” then he shrugged as though to say, I have no idea, Sir.

They practiced drills for every sort of emergency, but not this one. No one considered a complete electrical shutdown possible.

“We’re checking everything, but nothing is wrong. It just won’t work.”

“Where’s CHENG?” The Chief of Engineering.

“Troubleshooting, Sir.” COB’s voice was efficient, but tense.

The Captain didn’t wait. “Condition Alpha. Full quiet—voices whispers, all silent, no movement not critical. Defcon 2,” the second-highest peacetime alert level.

No one knew who their enemy was or why they were under attack, but they had one and they were.

“XO, get lanterns up here.”

 

Within an hour, the massive warship had settled to the ocean floor like the carcass of a dead whale. It teetered atop an ocean ridge, listing starboard against a jagged seamount, and the gentle push of an underwater current from a cliff that plunged into a murky darkness. Every watertight door was closed. As per protocol, the oxygen level was reduced to suppress a fire hazard. Without climate controls, the interior had already reached 60 degrees. It would continue dipping as it strove to match the bone-chilling surrounding water temperature. Hypothermia would soon be a problem. For now, though, they were alive.

The hull groaned as though twisted by a giant squid.

The Captain peered into the gloomy waters that surrounded the sub. “Thoughts, XO?”

“We’re stable for the moment, barring a strong underwater current.”

Based on the creaking protests from the hull, they were at or beyond crush depth. Any deeper, the outside pressure would snap the HY-80 outer hull and sea water would roar into the living compartments. Everyone would be dead in seconds, either drowned or impaled on the ragged remains of the sub by a force in excess of a Category Five hurricane.

“We’re beyond the depth of the Steinke Hoods,” escape equipment that included full body suits, thermal protection, and a life raft. Budget cuts had eliminated funding for more advanced solutions.

XO pointed toward a darker expanse of black just yards from the sub. “No telling how deep that crevice is.”

“Gather the crew in the Forward compartment. Seal all other compartments. Ration water. Start O2 candles when levels reach 50% normal. Did the message buoy launch?”

“Yes, sir.”

That was a relief. The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) deployed in emergencies from shore couldn’t assist if it didn’t know they needed help.

*****

jmm picJacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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Blog Tour! With Julie Flanders — Read the Latest Excerpt!

I’m celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Trouble By Any Other Name, the sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble!

Coming down the home stretch with my blog tour! Up today is an exciting excerpt from deep into the story. Stop by Julie Flanders’ site to see what Tara and her friends are up against!

 

Trouble By Any Other Name

 

Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo               iBooks

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Blog Tour! With Kristin Smith — Check Out the Latest Excerpt!

I’m celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Trouble By Any Other Name, the sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend! I had a fun time spending the day with my Dad and Mom, playing games, watching a movie, and getting some work done. Special times to treasure.

And now on to the blog tour!

Last week I shared an excerpt from the beginning of the book. I hope you’ll join me today at Kristin Smith’s, where I’m sharing a poignant scene from a bit further on in the story. See you there!

Happy First Day of Summer! 🙂

 

Trouble By Any Other Name

 

Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo               iBooks

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Blog Tour! With Leandra Wallace — Read an Excerpt and See the Coolest Castle Photo Ever!

I’m celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Trouble By Any Other Name, the sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble!

Today I’m visiting Leandra Wallace with an excerpt from the beginning of the story. She asked me to send some photos of the characters and setting along with it. While searching for a location photo, I found an image of one of the most beautiful castles I’ve ever seen. I would so love to go inside and see the rest of it. Stop by Leandra’s place to check it out! 🙂

 

Trouble By Any Other Name

 

Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo               iBooks

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Blog Tour! Saturday Sampler with Diane Burton!

I’m celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Trouble By Any Other Name, the sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble!

Today I’m visiting Diane Burton with an excerpt from the book for her Saturday Sampler series. If you like a little romance with your adventures, be sure to check it out. See you there! 🙂

 

Trouble By Any Other Name

 

Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo               iBooks

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.