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Writing the Private Investigator

March 17, 2021 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , ,

Presented by: Steve Pease
Date: April 1 – 30, 2021
Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15
Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop:

Television and movies do not reflect real life. Surprised? The Private Eye’s image in the mind of most Americans (and elsewhere) was formed on the screen and in pulpy mystery novels, and it’s mostly wrong. We don’t pull guns, beat up thugs, drink whiskey with a straw or take dirty photos thru motel Venetian blinds. We’re in a tough business, and we need insurance, permits, equipment and coffee. Oh, and good shoes and a comfy chair.

This 12 Lesson course will present a very practical view of the single-person PI business based on my experience as a licensed PI2 in Colorado. I’ll cover the main duties of the investigator, the effort needed to run a sustaining business and a few anecdotes to illustrate points. I’ll recommend resources, steer you away from a few, and suggest a couple things you can do to experience the PI life, AND, get some real-life details into your stories.


So your Hero is over 35, and maybe over 55. And they want to make a career change? What the hell do they bring to this? EXPERIENCE. And maturity from those hard lessons earned and learned during a working life. The punk kid hasn’t learned yet. You have. Most PIs aren’t life-long PIs, but they have been curious forever. Most have done something else, reporter, librarian, civil servant, cop, military, nurses. Their minds have discipline. They’ve been people watchers. They know an opportunity when they see it, so here they go. And they will succeed at THE core PI task: Find Out About. My Lessons aren’t simple Conference handouts. They’re writing resources. You can lurk. And you can imagine and ask. My two main mystery characters are late life PIs. Let’s see how this works.

About the Presenter:

Steve Pease is a licensed Private Investigator in Colorado. He is retired from a career in Intelligence and space engineering. He also teaches a course in writing against the intelligence cliché. He has published military history and SF/mystery/horror fiction as Michael Chandos. He is working on a romantic-suspense novel featuring an elegant lady who runs a lacey tea shop – and who knocked off her abusive husband with some lethal tea and put him in the rose bed.

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The Black Candle Killings Book Tour and Giveaway

March 17, 2021 by in category Rabt Book Tours tagged as
 

 

 

 

Conspiracy Series, Book 3

 

Detective Thriller

Date Published: March 1st 2021

Publisher: Happy London Press

 

 

A church going district of North London and a neighbourhood where friendly residents know each other. But when a brutally murdered woman is found next to a burned-out black candle, a strange mark etched deep into her back, the locals became afraid.

 

Her old boss, a Chief Superintendent in the Met, calls for PI, Tammy Pierre’s assistance. He’s aware of her Caribbean links, and knowledge of Obiah, a voodoo curse found in Trinidad, and used, some claim, to commit bizarre murders. So, is it voodoo? Or just superstition?

 

A trip to the West Indies reveals some disturbing facts, new evidence of child abuse and murders going undetected for over twenty years.

 

Returning to London, her situation becomes dangerous – is it all more than Tammy had bargained for?

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Having never written a dramatic word in my life some thirty years ago, an idea for a short story popped into my head. With the encouragement of my wife and daughter I wrote a tale about a timid and ineffectual man and his pet cat, called Cat and Mouse. Wife and daughter approved so I produced more stories and then joined a writers’ group who also liked what I wrote.

 

Sir George Everest said, they climbed that mountain, ‘Because it is there.’ The same might be said of writing. Why do we write? because of the idea, the notion, the thought. ‘Because it is there,’ and the irresistible urge to put it down in print.

 

My inspirations have come from real people, events or situations that have presented themselves. Titles like, I am a Contract Killer, Beads of Blood, Death Zone, License to Kill, are all based on my own lifetime experiences, questions asked, incidents occurring. So far, nobody has been murdered on my watch. But the notion gave rise to the impetus to write my first murder mystery, The Lyme Regis Murders. Could I make the jump after years of writing macabre short stories to a full-length drama? That familiar beating in the gut, said, ‘Yes, try it. Give it a go.’

 

And so to that cosy coastal town where nothing untoward ever happens. Or perhaps it does. The author seeks to shatter notions, change people’s perceptions, spoil long held views. That was my intention in entering into the world of crime thrillers. I’ve found that ‘nice’ people are not always what they seem. The helpless can be transformed into the most dangerous, the most dangerous become the most harmless. It’s all up to the writer and what they’re hoping to achieve. For me, so far, there have been several children’s books, one collection of short stories, with three more planned and three novels completed, plus a fourth in the mixer.

 

Whilst a short story might be written with a flurry of adrenalin in the space of a few hours, a book will need more than just a flash of creativity. It will need, perseverance, discipline and dogged determination. But then, isn’t that what is required of every ambition?

 

 

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Excerpt

The Black Candle Killings
Andrew Segal

Prologue

Yuh gonna die!

“Hmm? Watch you say, lady? Hear me now, hear me. Don’t y’all cry. You muss up yuh face. Me ain’t gonna hurt you none. Gonna be quick an’ easy. All be over soon, soon. You understan’? De Lord, he am waitin’ for yuh.”

Lillian Persaud hadn’t had sex with Tom for over a month. As she made for the office at a brisk trot, she smiled to herself. Gorgeous fresh morning. Gentle breeze. A few spots of rain tapping at her brolly. Some wispy grey cloud. Might warm up later, though. Bound to really, she thought with her usual optimism.

Out of the corner of her eye she spotted something moving. A shadow; perhaps her own? Couldn’t place it. Coming from behind a parked car? A moment of unease, but not one to break the glorious mood she was in.

The day ahead, filled with appointments, staff meetings and then, this weather forecast had said it would be a mixed day, so at least there’d be some sun to look forward to.

Business was getting busier by the week in her expanding company, Persaud IT Ltd. A hectic day ahead of her. Evening to think about.

Plans for sex, she mused. Lots of it. Asap. On the agenda. And about time too. She smiled again at the prospect. Some soft music; modern jazz. The contemplative tones of Miles Davis’s trumpet. Chic Corea on piano. Tom’s favourite record, Peggy Lee singing, ‘Some Cats Know’, and she added mentally the following refrain, ‘How to go real slow’. Tom knew how to go real slow. Lovely man. What a wedding night they’d had. Not a real wedding, but an exchanging of vows and commitment before an Unofficial Officiant in a Humanist service. They both had their own reasons for preferring to avoid a religious ceremony. A couple of dozen close family and friends in a tiny hotel off the beaten track, near to Bourton-on-the-Water, in the Cotswolds.

Of course, it wasn’t the first time they’d made love, but Tom made it feel that way. It was as if he’d saved something special for just that evening. Up till then, every night with him had been special. But, wow! she thought. Was that night extra special, or was it not?

Not too many nights like it since the baby. Gracie was a demanding tot, and now an even more demanding little girl. Still, she thought, their imp seemed to have got over her current bout of sleeplessness.

Someone on the other side of the street, emerging from behind a tree this time, looking at her. Looking at her? A phantom silhouette. Following her. Dark tracksuit and trainers. Hoodie obscuring the face. Soundless steps. Were they smiling? She couldn’t see.

Lillian frowned for a moment. No-one else around. Early morning. A few parked vehicles. An unexpected feeling of loneliness. Maybe they were scowling? She hurried on, getting nervous now, her heels clicking on the pavement, echoing in her ears.

Like being on the ghost train in a fairground. Never sure what was going to jump out at you. Nothing was going to attack her out here in the street. This was Bloomsbury where bad things didn’t happen. She’d soon be at the office. Door locked behind her. Safe. Then, hot coffee. The world waking up. Staff arriving shortly.

Tom said she was a worrier. “Darling,” he’d told her one day, “if you didn’t have something to worry about, it’d almost certainly worry you.” He was right of course. But worriers get things done, she’d protested. And, looking around, she found her imagined stalker had vanished. A heaved sigh of relief.

Baby Grace had been fractious and her sleepless nights had impacted Lillian and Tom. But there’d been six undisturbed nights when the parents had caught up with some desperately needed shut-eye, and now Lillian was beaming to herself as she mentally planned the evening in.

“Look! Look! See? It say in here in de Bible, Deuteronomy 23, verse 2, dat no-one born of a forbidden union may enter de kingdom of de Lord. Even to de ten generation, none of his descendants may enter de assembly of de Lord. Yuh gonna have to pay, lady.”

Tom loved cooking, but he also liked to eat out. He’d probably booked somewhere for them already. It was their anniversary, that of the first time they’d met. But tonight was going to be all Lillian’s treat. And for a change there’d be no meat. Tom could eat lamb and beef for England, but he’d been told by his doctor to cut down as his cholesterol levels were too high. So tonight, would be fish. Cod, baked in fish stock, with chopped onions and tomato, and a handful of black olives to finish it off. Steamed new potatoes in their skins, dripping in butter, well, maybe not exactly dripping. A mixed salad, with her own dressing. A bottle of Pino Grigio. And for dessert, a blueberry pavlova coupled with vanilla ice cream by Marshfield Farm, an English make on a par with the best of Italian. Divine thoughts.

Tom hadn’t seen the white thong yet. The one with the split crotch. The matching, barely there, white bra. The contrast with her ebony complexion would be stark. Heavens! she thought, I’ll be stark, or as good as. She’d kept them for an occasion like she was going to make tonight’s. Her legs went slightly wobbly at the thought. However would she make it through the day? she wondered.

The first thing she noticed upon opening up the office was that the alarm hadn’t been set the night before. She frowned. Must have a word with the cleaners later today. But, just the same, she thought, worrying.

They’d kept all the original features of the beautiful Georgian building’s interior, whilst managing to lay out desks with smart glass dividers to allow, if not privacy, at least the chance to concentrate on work without the immediate intrusion of others in the room overwhelming you.

There was a separate boardroom for client meetings, and it was to this she presently repaired. She needed to spread out paperwork in a manner more convenient than might be obtained, no matter how many screens she chose to work with. For all her IT skills, sometimes it was the old tried and tested routines that worked best.

Lillian was happy. Happier than she’d ever been in her life. After a ghastly childhood, from which she’d made a timely escape, things were coming together more satisfyingly than she had ever dared to hope.

“Dey all jagabat womans tink dey can fool me. Dey run away from me, but me have catch yuh. Me have seen you, lady, flahntin’ y’all an’ yer babby. Lady, de chile am barn of a forbidden union. Who you tink you is? Me ain’t no dotish man. No mamaguy. Me am gonna bring y’all back to God.”

And yet, that shadow again, from the corner of her eye. And, here? In the office? Her mind playing tricks? Had to be. But why, all of a sudden? She wasn’t normally given to random fears. She’d be seeing ghosts next. Shaking her head resolutely, she told herself not to be stupid.

Then the light pad of a muffled tread, a sharp pinprick in the back of her neck, the warmth of a thin stream of blood, her blood, running down her spine and a cultured voice warning her not to look round.

She felt as though she were being crushed with fear. She couldn’t breathe properly. Her blood was freezing in her veins, as she shuddered, uncontrollably. She could see the papers spread around the boardroom table, but made no connection with them. It was as though she were marooned in a foreign country, where she could neither understand nor make herself understood.

She knew she mustn’t panic, mustn’t scream, because the shadow would want her to scream, would need her to scream in order to exercise power over her. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply to try to calm her nerves. The voice was educated, could be spoken to. She might use reason. This was clearly a case of mistaken identity which she could quickly establish.

Then the voice changed. The tone dropped by a couple of octaves and to her consternation, the accent was now clearly patois.

Lillian heard a match flare, smelled burning tallow as smoke played around her head. She tried to think who it could possibly be. Racked her brains, uselessly. Didn’t know who it was. No idea in the world. But they clearly knew all about her.


“De candle am burnin’ dong. It have you name on de side, Lillian.

“When it reach de bottom yuh gonna die.

“Hmm? Ah! Now you screamin’, Lillian? Dat’s good. Show y’all repentin’. Keep screamin’ now, Lillian, keep screamin’. Ain’t no-one to hear you.

“Praise de Lord.”


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Calling Published Romance Authors

March 16, 2021 by in category Contests, Published Contest tagged as , , ,

2021 BOOK BUYERS BEST
CONTEST FOR PUBLISHED AUTHORS

The OCCRWA is running its annual Book Buyers Best Contest for traditional or indie romances in print or e-novel format published during 2020.

Non-refundable entry fee:  $30, RWA members; $50, non-RWA. 

The contest is open now and closes on April 30, 2021. We invite you to submit to our contest (and tell your non-RWA writer friends about it, too!).

Even if you’re not entering one of your books into the contest, you’re invited to be one of our judges. It’s a fun experience to be introduced to the writing of published authors you don’t know (see link below).

Follow this link to learn about contest categories rules, entry form and fee, past winners, and call for judges

Thanks, Nancy Brashear and Cathleen Armstrong, BBB Coordinators

Go here for BBB Categories and Rules

Go here for BBB Entry Form and Fee Payment

Go here for BBB Past Winners

Go here for Judge Sign-Up

Go here to Contact BBB Contest Coordinator

Please contact OCC/RWA BBB Coordinators, Cathleen Armstrong and Nancy Brashear, at bbbcontest@occrwa.org

Orange County Chapter/Romance Writers of America®

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WHEN AUTHORS ROAM

March 15, 2021 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , ,

Hiking in Albania. Met a bride & groom. We were invited to the wedding.

I was going through my travel pictures – some as close as another town in Southern California, others as exotic as China and Albania – and was reminded that my writing was richer for each experience. But it wasn’t just the places that fired up my imagination. By far, it was the people I met that made the journey unforgettable. Here are the five groups I seek out on every trip because meeting them always inspires my work.

Keepers of the Keys: A hotel maid, a waiter, a shopkeeper. The interaction with these people might be fleeting, but they know what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes the small details, the seemingly most insignificant secondary character, can make a good story great.

Merry Makers: Festivals, a local pub, a county fair are where people let their guard down. Join in.  Experience the sights and sounds to enrich your descriptions. Festivals are especially fertile ground for romance writers.

A shepherdess we asked for directions. She told us she had 7 unmarried daughters for my son.

Wise old Sages: A simple hello, an offer to help carry a package, a greeting in their language, will make an instant friend of the elderly. From them you will learn the history of the country and the person. Seeing through their eyes enhances the pacing of your work and the backstory of your character.

The Village People: No, not the singing group. These are the folks outside the mainstream. They are a wonderful contrast to city dwellers. Taking the time to go off the beaten path to meet them is invaluable to those who write family sagas or historical fiction.

Fellow Travelers: Some people travel out of necessity, others are running away from something and some running to their destiny. The traveler you think most humble might be a titan of industry. One of my favorite encounters ended up as a major character in one of my books. He literally inspired a complete novel because he was not what he seemed.

When the pandemic comes to an end, travel. Near or far, it doesn’t matter. Meet one or all of these five people. They will be an inspiration. If you take the time to truly connect, you will inspire them too.


Books by Rebecca Forster

BEFORE HER EYES

Buy now!
BEFORE HER EYES

BEYOND MALICE

Buy now!
BEYOND MALICE

CHARACTER WITNESS

Buy now!
CHARACTER WITNESS

DARK WITNESS

Buy now!
DARK WITNESS

DREAMS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
DREAMS: The 90s Collection

EXPERT WITNESS

Buy now!
EXPERT WITNESS

EYEWITNESS

Buy now!
EYEWITNESS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGOTTEN WITNESS

Buy now!
FORGOTTEN WITNESS

HOSTILE WITNESS

Buy now!
HOSTILE WITNESS

KEEPING COUNSEL

Buy now!
KEEPING COUNSEL
LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller

PRIVILEGED WITNESS

Buy now!
PRIVILEGED WITNESS

SEASONS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
SEASONS: The 90s Collection

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS

SILENT WITNESS

Buy now!
SILENT WITNESS
THE BAILEY DEVLIN TRILOGY: BOOK 1-3 (The Bailey Devlin Series)
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S SHIP CAME IN
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

THE MENTOR

Buy now!
THE MENTOR

VANITIES: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VANITIES: The 90s Collection
THE RECKLESS ONES: The 90s Collection

VOWS: The 90s Collection

Buy now!
VOWS: The 90s Collection

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The Extra Squeeze Book Club

March 14, 2021 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , , ,

The Extra Squeeze Book Club

The Extra Squeeze Team loves book. We love to read them. We love to talk about them. We love to find new books or revisit old friends.

So, we’re going to hold a book club on A Slice of Orange, and we want to hear from you.

What books would you like to read and discuss in the book club. Do you have a favorite book? A book that made you laugh? A book that made you cry? A book that made you think?

 

Some of the titles suggested so far:

Send us the title and author of a book you love by using the handy dandy form below.

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