Friday, March 16, 2018

Two Sales For St Paddy's Day

It's March madness if by madness you mean free books featuring female sleuths. Anne R. Tan is hosting a book funnel giveaway with 37 titles available. Visit this link from now 'til March 31 for the details.

Meanwhile, this weekend also marks the return of Renée Pawlish's monthly promo. 38 mystery and thriller titles for 99¢ are available from Amazon for your kindle at this link.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Author Interview: Sarah Scholefield: Author of Redferne Lane

Sarah Scholefield initially trained as molecular biologist gaining a BSc (Hons) in Biology from The University of the West of England. After realising she wasn’t cut out for life in a laboratory she worked in numerous schools across the West Country.
She has always enjoyed making up stories in her head and finally began to write them down. In 2014 she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Redferne Lane is her first novel.
She lives in Somerset with her husband and children.

 Redferne Lane
Ezra had it all when he died. A good job. A nice house. His loving wife, Grace. 
Grace doesn’t even realise she’s struggling to keep herself together. Until Torin turns up in Redferne Lane. It’s been nearly two years since Grace has seen Torin. Since Ezra’s funeral. Now Torin is back in her life, emotions from the past are resurfacing and Grace begins to realise elements of her life are going wrong. She’s not sure she can take control. 
But Grace isn’t the only one with problems in Redferne Lane. Josie has a husband and young family to contend with. Ada is facing the difficulties of old age. Jerome thinks he’s found the perfect girl. Eliza just wants to grow up. And Torin isn’t sure he should have what he wants. They all begin to turn to Grace for answers. Can Grace look beyond her own difficulties and help those around her, even while she’s trying to save herself?

Who are your influences?
The first writer that really got me into reading was Sebastian Faulks. I read ‘Birdsong’ and was smitten. At the moment, I particularly enjoy Maggie O’Farrell, David Nichols and for literary indulgence I always go back to Jane Austen.

When did you begin writing?
I started making some primitive scratchings around 2003. I’ve been writing with intent since 2010. In 2013/14 I did an MA in Creative Writing, which really helped my writing.

How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
It all usually starts with daydreaming. Perhaps I’ll see or hear something that interests me, maybe something someone says or a picture. Then I’ll go for a wander in my head with that thing and start building a character or a situation. Characters usually come first for me and I can hear them in my head. Then I’ll start writing and play with aspects, like POV and tense and see what feels right. I’ll add some concrete facts, like personal attributes and setting. Then work out what the arc of the story is about and whether I can take that further.

Do you work from an outline?
Yes, but often it’s vague and always changes!

Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
My favourite scene in Redferne Lane is when Torin first comes back to see Grace, it’s quite near the beginning of the novel. It was one of the first scenes I ever wrote with Torin and I loved writing him from the moment he hit the page. In that scene I love the tension between Torin and Grace, and all the things that go unsaid.

Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
I try to make sure I sit down to write every day. It’s not always possible, so I try not to give myself a hard time (unless I know I’m slacking!). If I know I can’t write for a couple of days I make sure to give my work some mental time, which is often really beneficial anyway. I don’t reread much of what I’ve written the previous day, just a paragraph or two to remind myself where I am. Only if I get really stuck with a plotline or when I’ve finished the first draft do I go back and start reading and editing.

Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
I love reading YA fiction (although I am certainly not a YA anymore!) and I’ve been playing with writing some of my own, we’ll see where that goes in the future.

You can follow Sarah here:
Her novel ‘Redferne Lane’ is available from Amazon.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Author Interview: Max McBride: Author of Mink Eyes

Max McBride is a lawyer, novelist, playwright, and poet. He writes. He reads. He works. The bulk of his time is spent at the office.  He will never read all the books by his bed or watch all the shows saved on his DVR. Max enjoys art, design, college basketball, ballet, modern dance, and sacred music. Bob Dylan, Shakespeare, Rumi, and Yeats are just a few of the greats who have had an impact on him.  His book Mink Eyes, a novel he calls “white noir,” and Tenebrae, a collection of poetry centered around the death of his wife (but also including several snapshots of growing up Irish in America) are both available for purchase in print and digital form from Amazon, B&N, and bookstores nationwide, as well as directly from the author. McBride is also a social commentator of sorts, and his occasional observations about culture, travel, and—when he can’t hold it in any longer—politics can be found on his website:

Mink Eyes 
October 1986—the tarnished heart of the “Greed Is Good” decade. Private detective Peter O’Keefe is a physically scarred and emotionally battered Vietnam vet. Hired by his childhood best friend, ace attorney Mike Harrigan, O’Keefe investigates what appears to be merely a rinky-dink mink farm Ponzi scheme in the Missouri Ozarks. Instead, O’Keefe finds himself snared in a vicious web of money laundering, cocaine smuggling, and murder—woven by a mysterious mobster known as “Mr. Canada.” Also caught in Mr. Canada’s web is the exquisite Tag Parker, who might be the girl of O’Keefe’s dreams—or his nightmares. Mink Eyes weaves murder, addiction, obsession, sex, and redemption into a fast-paced, compelling detective novel that also brings in themes of duty, fatherhood, friendship and love. Peter O’Keefe is a reluctant hero who struggles every day to choose in favor of life over death.

Who are your influences?
I am able to say who my “inspirations” or “admirations” are, but I am reluctant to call them “influences” because they all wrote so differently, and so much better, than I do.  In poetry and drama (and everything else), Shakespeare above all.  In poetry, Wordsworth and especially Yeats.  In prose, Dickens, Turgenev, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Salinger, Donleavy, Joyce Cary, Simone Weil, Joseph Campbell, Robert Stone, E.L. Doctorow.  In detective fiction, Chandler and the MacDonalds (Ross and John D) showed me how good it could be, and Elmore Leonard showed me not only how good but how funny it could be and how ordinary people could be its heroes.   
When did you begin writing?
Since high school I have felt the strong and persistent “call” to “write.”  But, due to an unfortunate combination of not knowing how and where to enter and not having enough confidence in my abilities to take the risk of plunging into it as a full-time vocation, I instead pursued a career in academia and then in law, both of which involved a lot of writing, creative in its own way but not of the imaginative variety.  Yet I have periodically managed to find enough time to actually finish a creative writing project.  I have written several plays, one of which received a staged reading at a theatre in NYC, but it didn’t go anywhere from there.  I have written a few short stories that I have just kept in a drawer, an occasional poem, and two other plays.
Finally, the “call” was just too strong to resist any longer, and, while continuing a very busy legal practice, I wrote and have now published, a novel called Mink Eyes and a book of poetry called Tenebrae.
How do you come up with your stories, characters, character names, POV, etc?
The milieu of Mink Eyes—lawyers and courts and bankers and financial manipulations, both legal and otherwise–is one I have worked in all my life, but the plot itself is pretty much pure imagination (although I did get involved with a failed mink farm once, although it was far less exciting than the events portrayed in the novel), which I worked out very deliberately, knowing how I wanted it to end but working hard to figure out the best way to achieve that end and asking myself at every step—is this realistic, could it really happen in the real world?  It’s easy enough to have a message but so much harder to embody it in believable characters, situations, and outcomes.  I am not sure where the names of my characters come from; they often change and more than once, as the writing proceeds.  The main characters are in my mind from the start although some good ones “pop up” as the plot moves along, and characters have their own way of evolving as the book evolves.  As for POV, although it can be very tricky, I like the omniscient with fairly frequent changes in POV.
Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel.
That’s a really hard one, and I am afraid to give too much away, but three stand out in my mind as I answer this—the Halloween scene, the interview with Ullman, and the last chapter of the book.
Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
Make it interesting, with main characters that people will care about; make it worthwhile in terms of themes and message; and make it real—believable in every way--believable characters with believable reactions, thinking and saying believable things, in believable situations with believable outcomes.
Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
A screenplay of Mink Eyes.  I have written several plays, in fact my original efforts were all plays, one of which has enjoyed a staged reading in New York, and several of which I still hope to get produced.  Also a few short stories, no publications. 
I have also recently published a book of poetry, Tenebrae.  The lead poem in the collection, Tenebrae: A Memoir of Love & Death, is an interlocking chain of 15 verse and prose poems that amount to a single narrative of my wife’s final sickness, her life under a death sentence, and her death itself, a hero’s journey (heroine’s in this case) if there ever was one and one that we all are fated to take.  My effort in poetry is to be as clear and direct as possible, but to use poetic techniques of concision, rhythm (and even rhyme occasionally, violating the contemporary notion that rhyme is puerile), and relatively simple, but hopefully exalted, language to reach as personal and as deep an emotional level as I can. As in Mink Eyes, I try to convey the way that the foundation literature of the West—myths and fairy tales—are still with us and how the grand rituals of Western religion, even emptied of their original theological content, still can connect us with the sacred in our everyday lives.
Do you have any interesting writing-related anecdotes to share?
Writing itself is pretty uninteresting really.  Often painful too.  Best I can come up with is this bit of irony:  One of my specialties as a lawyer is business bankruptcy.  Mink Eyes was accepted by a publisher that was unable to complete the publication because it had to file bankruptcy.  The world can give with one hand and take away with the other.

Again, Max's website is

Friday, January 12, 2018

January Promo

Hey, gang, it's time again for Renée Pawlish's monthly thriller and mystery promo. This month, all of the titles are 99¢. My short story collection, 8 Tales of Noir, is featured; so if you haven't picked up a copy yet, this is the perfect opportunity.

Renée is considering giving up her hosting gig, and there definitely won't be a give away in February, so this go 'round is possibly your last chance at some of these titles at this low price. Also, I am currently in the process of recording and editing the audio book for 8 Tales, and I could really use some honest reviews on the ebook version before I release the audio.

For your copy and to check out the other titles, visit

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Xmas!

Announcing a sale for the holiday! 

Twice Told, a Lupa Schwartz Box Set, gathers all of the Lupa Schwartz novels and novellas which have been released since the first. The series tells the story of Cattleya Hoskin, journalist for Gamut Magazine who moves from Ohio to Pittsburgh to chronicle the investigative cases of Lupa Schwartz, the outspoken PI with a love for women, classic cars, comedy movies, and good meat; and a strong disdain for religion, bad parking, and wasted time.
This box set contains all of the Lupa Schwartz novels and novellas which have been released since the first. The entire series; Extreme Unction, Common Sense, Fair Play, Shared Disbelief, and Five Secrets; tells the story of Cattleya Hoskin, journalist for Gamut Magazine who moves from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to chronicle the investigative caseload of Lupa Schwartz, the outspoken PI with a love for women, classic cars, comedy movies, and good meat; and a strong disdain for religion, bad parking, and wasted time. Book one, Extreme Unction, is available to read for free, so this set, which brings books two through five together in one place, makes owning the entire series easier than ever before.
This sale is only available through Smashwords, but all eBook formats are available. Get you copy by visiting this link! You'll have to download the first book, Extreme Unction, separately, but it's FREE.

Use the code  SEY75  at checkout for 75% off during the Smashwords site-wide promotion!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday eBook Sale

Author Alexa Kang is hosting a fantastic Black Friday Sale featuring romance titles, holiday themed stories, and yes, mysteries and thrillers. You'll find all of the details on her site at

FYI, my latest book, On the Side of the Angel, is also included in this sale. The sale continues through November 28th.

Friday, November 10, 2017

99 Cent eBooks!

I don't have a book in this one, but Renée Pawlish's monthly promo featuring 99¢ mystery and thriller eBooks is this weekend. Visit this link for nearly 40 titles each available for less than $1.