Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Winners

Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.
 
And before we announce our winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to these Christian authors who offered a sample of their writing to our faithful readers:

Hannah Duggan who offered her Historical Novel Dear Kate.
Michelle Levigne who offered her Inspirational Romance Detours.
Caryl Mcadoo who offered her Christian Romance Sing A New Song. 

And now: We're pleased to announce this week’s winners:
Deanne Patterson has won Hannah Duggan’s Historical Novel Dear Kate.
Sharon Miller has won Michelle Levigne’s Inspirational Romance Detours.
And Mary F. Allen has won Caryl Mcadoo’s Christian Romance Sing A New Song. 
Congratulations Winners! Remember, it's your responsibility to contact me  sharonalavy {at} gmail {dot} com) with your address so the author can send you a book. 


Be sure to check past winners posts. Subscribing by email will ensure you don't miss seeing the winners list.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rescue Me by K.D. Harp

A hurricane's a bad time to learn why people say 'no good deed goes unpunished'.
For Sergeant Ike Porter, a solo rescue of two citizens stranded in raging flood waters should earn him the final gold star on his way to a slot on Georgia's new anti-gang task force. When his victims' car slams into the rescue boat, both Ike and the tin can passing for a rescue vessel sustain damage, leaving the three of them high and far from dry.

It could be worse.

He could be Heather Harmon, the CERT emergency response volunteer who sees their plight and tows them all to safety. Heather thinks fast on her feet, but has no way of knowing the same tool she used to save the flood victims is fresh from a murder.
It isn't often a cop gets rescued by a civilian. Widower Ike is quickly smitten with this brave woman and isn't about to let the sins of her ex interfere with their future, but he doesn't quite know the solution to helping Heather let go.
...Or that rescuing a killer has made her his next unwitting target.

Picking up a cop boyfriend should be pretty handy under such dire circumstances, but as the bodies pile up and evidence of murder mounts against Heather, close proximity to law enforcement becomes a double-edged sword for them both. Sharpshooters like Ike aren't known for their Cassanova skills and he soon learns voicing your doubts is a real romance killer....


Heather distances herself from his protection, leaving the field wide open for the murderer to strike again, frame his heroic victim, and walk away clean. ...All while rubbing every bit of it in Ike's face. Heather and Ike's faith in God is strong enough to sustain them individually, but if they can't show some faith in each other, history will repeat itself. Heather will face off with a practiced killer alone, Ike may lose his last shot at love, but this time, he'll know he had the power to save her.

Book Excerpt

This book is a little different for me. It opens with the villain’s point of view. He’s not a light-hearted person, and the story’s about Ike and Heather thwarting his bad deeds, not about him, so we start with this sample a bit into the book, at the point where volunteer emergency responder Heather is working post-hurricane and thinks she’s seen a signal light at the river. She goes to investigate and finds Ike’s patrol car, but no Ike.

See? Nothing. No one. No cries for help. No trapped people. Just a long, wet, hike back up to the house.
Heather scanned the area and confirmed there was nothing, no one along the bank, and oddly, no one in or near the warm, rainproof safety of the patrol car. She jogged closer and noted an empty boat trailer attached to its hitch. With the blue lights behind her now, she peered at the river and looked across.
There it is.
The flashlight had come from this area. She waved a hand. I see you. You aren’t alone.
Now what? She had a trailer, but no boat.
Heather climbed into the patrol car; a fortified world of gears, lights, switches and computer relays not found in normal vehicles. In the midst of the gadgetry the more familiar shape of a hand microphone eventually caught her eye.
They’ll know what to do. “Um, hello?”
An immediate, authoritative response crackled through a speaker Heather couldn’t locate. “This is Spencer P.D. You are on a restricted band. Identify yourself.”
“Heather. Uh, Heather Harmon. I’m with Gwinnett CERT, but I’m in one of your patrol cars. It’s empty and someone’s signaling from the middle of the river, I think. Is your officer OK?”
“We haven’t been able to raise him on the radio for over ten minutes, Ms. Harmon.”
“Heather.”
The tense voice on the end warmed a touch. “Heather.”
“I’m going to go to the bank and see what I can see. I think he needs help.”
“We’ll send someone as soon as we can, but tell him to sit tight. It’s going to be a bit, at least another ten minutes. Everyone is on priority calls. We’re finding a reroute, but no one is close to your location.”
“I’m sorry. Please repeat that. I couldn’t hear you. There’s a terrible noise coming from the river. It’s-.” Heather turned and peered at a rush of gray-white foam on the river surface. It surged up and forward, bending some trees and popping others from their footings. Limbs daggered to the ground like box kites in a death dive. Water washed large, shattered, pieces of all manner of debris ahead of it as if they were inflatable toys, but most of it moved too fast for her to identify. The energy of the surge seemed to rumble the very earth beneath her feet. Heather’s eyes tracked the wall of water and saw it shatter against a car, and then a small boat still bobbing on the surface-.
That’s where the light was.
“Oh no!” Heather gripped the microphone harder, as if it’d help the holder of the light and his companions hang on.
The gesture didn’t help Christina one whit. “Heather? What is it?”
“They’ve been hit! There’s a boat. There’s, one, two, three, yes, three people in it. One had a hat on, but it fell off into the boat. This giant tidal wave just barreled downriver and slammed them. Could you hear them smack into the trees? The boat looks funny now, kinda lopsided, but they seem to still be floating, I think. It’s hard to see...”
Before Christina could acknowledge, Heather gasped again. “Now a car’s headed for them! It’s going to crash right into them unless we can stop it somehow. Is there anything in here that will help?”
Silence magnified the pause from the COM. (It’s not like police cars come equipped with laser guns capable of taking out moving targets at a hundred yards.)
Heather needed for them to have some sort of miracle equipment and pressed for answers. “Hello?”
“We’re thinking, Heather. The boat has a motor. If they’re still afloat, they should be fine. They’ll maneuver out of the crash location. Please stay where you are and keep us posted.”
“I-. …Sure.”
Now you’ve lied to the cops, because the last thing you are is ‘sure’.
Heather scrambled around in the seat and scrunched low enough to watch through the back windshield. She had the bad habit of gnawing her lip when anxious, and would need plenty of balm on it tomorrow. “The car hit them! He nearly fell out, the one who had the hat. He’s much younger.”
Christina covered the catch in her throat. “That’s Sgt. Porter.”
“He’s fast. He was at the bow, but something made a horrid squealing noise at the back of the boat and he’s there. He’s-.” Heather sucked in air as she kept watching.
Father God, keep him safe.
Christina managed to maintain calm. “He’s what, Heather?”
“He’s crazy. He’s leaning out over the boat, doing something to the car. I can’t tell... Oh my stars! He’s gonna fall! He’s gonna fall in and be swept away in the current! There’s debris everywhere. There’s no way he can swim against this. No wait, they grabbed and held on to him. He’s back in the boat...”
The metallic screech of boat versus car scraped her eardrums again, louder, harder. It shrieked down Heather’s spine.
Even Christina’s professional composure fractured. “What was that?”
“I don’t know, but it came from right by the boat, or it might be the boat itself. …It wasn’t good.”
“We’re trying to locate backup. Are they sinking?”
“I-.” Heather squinted. “I don’t think so. It’s very hard to see. What can I do? OH!”
“What is it?”
“Something’s trying to drag him under. His hand’s already down in the water. I think he hit his head. No. Maybe not... I can’t tell. It’s just too far away. I could see more, I might be able to do more from the edge of the water.”
“Understood. Stay where you are and keep us informed.”
“You don’t understand. I don’t like the way this looks. I could drive the car to the water, and still talk to you.”
“You’re alone. You don’t have a boat. Stay out of the water. The last thing Sgt. Porter needs right now is the distraction of his patrol car in motion.”
Heather drew a breath. That’s for sure. “Right.”
“What is happening?”
“He knelt down for a second, but he and another man have the motor back on the boat. The car floated away. It’s toast, downstream. I don’t …think anyone was in it.”
“They’ll use the motor to get to the shore.”
“Yeah. I think he’s priming it or something now.” Heather waited for the beautiful thrum of an engine catching, but nothing but the relentless, pounding, rush of water shrouded them all. “I can’t hear it. It might just be the noise of the river… No, it’s not starting.”
“It may take a moment.”
“Yeah.” Heather waited, and stared, and chewed on her lip.
Please keep them safe. Please keep them safe.
She keyed the microphone again. “Hello?”
“We’re here, Heather.”
“He’s signaling with the light again. He’s flashing it up the hill, where I was before.”
“They aren’t moving?”
“No, and I think he’s figured out I’m not there anymore. His light’s scanning the house we were working and blinking on the windows.”
“We’re trying to raise help. The storm…” A long pause followed. “…Heather?”
“Yes?”
“You’re CERT trained?”
“Yes.”
“Are you willing to see if you can help? You’re under no obligation...”
Heather’s breath blew across the microphone like a hard breeze. “I thought I was going to have to threaten you guys or something.”
“Start by signaling them so they’ll know they’re not alone. There’s a bullhorn in the trunk. There should be rope there as well.”
“OK. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Hang on. The river can rise without warning. If you get anywhere near the water, wear a life jacket. Do you see one in the back?”
“No.”
“You are not to get in the water, under any circumstances. Is that clear?”
“Clear.”
“There’s a camera feed near the center at the ceiling, do you see it?”
Heather turned forward, felt a button near the rearview mirror, and pushed. “I think so. Did that do anything?”
“That’s great. Thanks.”
“Hang on.” Heather cranked the engine, and pressed the gas. The powerful motor throbbed under her touch and the car whipped around with a solid, heavy, grace that surprised her. The empty trailer rattled and bobbed up and down behind as it bumped up on (and then off) the curb. She parked alongside the water.
Well, they know they’re not alone.
“Heather, there’s a spotlight to the left of your window. Do you see it?”
She put the vehicle in park and checked. “Yes. Wow, it’s bright. I’ve got them, three people, one with the hat, and two older people.”
The one with the hat has had a bad day.
Blood smeared his forehead, and he kept his right arm bent close to his middle, like he guarded it from pain. His left hand held the flashlight, which he dropped once the spotlight hit them. He squinted into the powerful beam from the cruiser, and she changed the angle a touch.
Now they’ve got light …but aren’t under interrogation.
…Sorry about that.
“He’s hurt! Sgt. Porter’s bleeding at the head, and I think he’s done something to his right arm.”
That’s just not right. His reward for helping people is to get hurt.
Christina’s training was more pragmatic. “Is he conscious?”
“Definitely.”
“We’re notifying the EMTs.”
Heather found the trunk release and looked for the PA system. She flipped a switch and jerked back as it squelched, sending a loud shriek that would’ve startled the local birds, if they weren’t already too shell-shocked from the storm. She leaned away from it and tried again. “Hello. Can you hear me?”
The light winked on.
“Flash up and down for yes, side to side for no, OK?”
Up and down.
“Great.” Heather paused. OK. Now what?
She chewed on her hapless lip. “Is the motor working?” Please go up and down.
Side to side.
“It’s OK. There’s rope here. I can haul you out.”
Side to side.
Why not? Heather sighed in exasperation. The bullhorn definitely helped, but half a conversation wasn’t working for her.
I can’t ASK why, just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions… Maybe someone’s so hurt they can’t be moved.
“Do you need to stay there?”
Side to side, very hard and fast.
…Does not need to stay there, with a vengeance. It’s something else. “Is it the current?”
Up and down.
“The boat can’t handle it?”
Side to side.
“The boat can handle it?”
Up and down, but in a far more half-hearted way than the first time.
The boat can probably take it, but there’s something else. So what’s the problem? “Can the passengers handle it?”
Up and down.
That’s a relief, but what in the world is the-. Heather sighed in exasperation, this time at the flashlight bearer. She cocked her head to the side in challenge. “You don’t think I can do this.”
Nothing.
“C’mon, you owe me the courtesy of a reply.”
Up and down.
Fatigue forgotten, her spine straightened. “That’s it? You don’t think I can.”
Up and down.
You are one stubborn flashlight in need of some enlightenment.
“I’m it. The police are trying to get here, but their ETA is at least ten minutes. Can you wait?”
Nothing.
“Can you wait?” Heather swallowed. Necessary questions could be so …blunt. “Hello?”
The light winked on, then went dead.

She pressed her lips together. Yeah, I was afraid of that.

Author's Note: A longer sample of RESCUE ME (We Have Escaped) which starts at the beginning of the book and includes all the insight into the villain’s evil nasty nature can be found here: http://kdharpbooks.com/autographed_rescueme.html#bookinfo

About K.D.
K.D. Harp enjoys world travel, volunteering, and educating people about the appropriate use of the phrase "Bless his heart," the original meaning of which has nothing to do with sarcastically calling someone a sucker or dimwit, and is properly used to imply a 'there but for the Grace of God' sentiment.


The BBA graduate of Georgia State University loves truly smart female leads, and most of hers will MacGyver their way out of some sort of situation whether it's jury-rigging a flamethrower with kitchen supplies or finding new uses for a fire extinguisher to escape an inferno. Bored and dismayed by the trend in fiction to equate genuine love with the pale imitation of lust without personal investment, K.D. chooses to portray people of character engaged with a world that lacks it. When they do it without losing the physical passion and sense of humor God would give to them, it's a total win.]


To purchase K.D.'s book:
CreateSpace (Be sure to use coupon code YHLSNV2Q to save $4!)


K.D. Harp is giving away a copy of Rescue Me.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)



Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Monday, April 27, 2015

A Warm Welcome to K.D. Harp

Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?

I live with the world’s finest husband and son and most skilled mooch of a dog in a suburb of Atlanta much like fictional Spencer. It’s big enough to have big box stores and fast food chains, small enough you recognize the cars on the highway and Mom ‘n Pop restaurants have a fighting chance of survival. It’s doing well enough most folks can afford to be civic minded, (or at least I cross paths with a high percentage of people like that.) I am blessed.

Is there a story behind RESCUE ME?

A couple of them, actually.

Heather’s backstory, being betrayed by her church family when her church leader husband gets caught cheating on her, is loosely based on real events in the life of a dedicated pastor’s wife I know and respect. In both cases, people confused their anger against the husband’s sins against them with the innocent victimized wife. We don’t have to go far to find similar instances of church people attacking their own wounded, and it’s alienated a lot of good folk from organized faith. My hope is Heather’s story will make people think twice about how they handle themselves when times get rough inside their sanctuary, and that any other victims out there might take comfort from Heather’s perspective, or at the very least, feel less alone and possibly understood.

In the course of research, I got interested in and joined Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) a few years ago. It’s the kind of self-empowering thing a woman so poorly treated would be smart to pursue during her healing, so Heather’s a CERT because she’d want to move forward, and I also get to raise awareness of this opportunity. Regular citizens can prepare for disasters and train to self-rescue, and if they so choose, assist others in times of crisis. CERTS can be found worldwide and I encourage anyone who can take a class to do so, (even if they have no intention of rescuing cops from swollen rivers). Contact your local emergency management agency for details.

What is the last thing you wrote?

The first title in the Fighting For The Heart of Spencer series is CODE PRODIGAL. Ike helps a military buddy protect his young niece and competes with him for the affections of Brianna Parrish, world’s most courageous summer camp director.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

Romantic Suspense, hands down! It’s got action, nail-biting, the tug of heartstrings, adventure, high stakes, and usually some good laughs. (I suppose if we set in 1776, it’d cover ALL the fiction bases). Best of all, the research is tons of fun. How do I shoot an arrow? Fire a gun? Whack a guy in a padded suit with a foam baton for defense class practice? Defeat zip ties around my heroine’s wrists without a knife or scissors? You can’t beat the research, and No Corsets Required!

What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?

In a different series the heroine died. (This is the problem with being character driven and giving them loose rein. They sometimes go over the cliff before you can stop them.) It was what would’ve happened in a real life scenario and she went for it. Fortunately my hero had different opinion on the matter, (and more resources than I), or it’d be a very short series.

How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?

Accuracy, or at least, plausibility is key, so the research takes more effort than I thought.
Aside from details of locale, there are more critical factors like how a character would talk or behave. I grossly underestimated the number of volunteer hours, ride-alongs and police department courses for citizens an author can take before they can attempt a reasonable representation of what police work is like or at least not do stupid things like having them run with live guns pointed forward or go after known armed suspects without wearing vests and such. (I am very annoying to sit with when watching movies and TV crime shows as a result.) I’m grateful for the kind words people have offered about my stories thus far, but the highest compliment I’ve gotten was a policewoman who told me she summed my works up to a colleague: “She gets it right.”
HUGE sigh of relief! That’s the goal, but it ain’t as simple as I’d thought… Tons of fun learning, though.

How do you find the time to write?

You do not find time to write. It’s like finding time to do your taxes or go out for exercise. You MAKE time. You give up lunches with friends or the notion a house that never embarrasses you with roving bands of rabid dust bunnies thundering across the plains. You commit to it (and sometimes, the characters kidnap you until the wee hours of the morning.)

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

Oh, I believe, and the best way to contract a bad case of it is to write an article about how to get over it! True story: No sooner had I sent a piece off on overcoming writer’s block to Southern Writer’s Magazine Suite T blogspot, than my brain seized like an old engine on winter morning. NOT pretty. (Ask me if God has a sense of humor….) The article’s mirrored at: http://kdharpbooks.com/blogs.html#2-13-15  if you’re curious. I got over it by leaning on the outline for direction and forging ahead, pretty much like I wrote in the piece. I’m a pantser at heart and prefer to have the characters do what they’d do, not what an outline tells them to do. I hate outlines generally, but it sure saved me this time.

They’re also handy for making sure you’re going to hit your target release.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

I am doing that now. MURDER BY MASCARADE is the working title of a piece targeted at a popular secular publisher years ago. It got favorable interest from an editor but found out I was in a high risk pregnancy (complete bedrest, no stress of any kind) and quit the project. Years later, the “baby” is over six feet tall and counting and I’m thinking MBM would be much improved by adding its unspoken faith subplot and launching it instead as another faith-infused romantic suspense.

What are your five favorite words?

I love you unconditionally, eternally.

How do people react when they find out you write?

I’m new to the game and not well known enough to impress anyone with it, if that’s what you mean. Worse, a year into the process, I decided to withdraw CODE PRODIGAL from a well-known house and went Indie with it. As a result, most people look like they’re desperately refraining from patting me on the head. Run along and play, Dear. Avid readers will ask follow up questions, not because of an interest in me per se, but because books and the whole process are their thing. I know if they’ve read something I wrote when I see them the next time. I’m much more popular then! …Very gratifying and rather humbling, seeing real people affected by my fake ones.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

For the FIGHTING FOR THE HEART OF SPENCER series, the next title is not finalized. It’s a prequel to CODE PRODIGAL, and will explore the story of the missing mother in PRODIGAL, Katie Ballestra Doyle and her fight for survival as a key witness prior to the murder trial of her ex-husband.

It is tentatively scheduled for February 2016.


Thanks for asking, and for having me here. This has been fun -- almost as fun as having an enthusiastic police K-9 attempt to rip my (well padded) arm off. THANKS!

Back Cover Blurb
A hurricane's a bad time to learn why people say 'no good deed goes unpunished'.
For Sergeant Ike Porter, a solo rescue of two citizens stranded in raging flood waters should earn him the final gold star on his way to a slot on Georgia's new anti-gang task force. When his victims' car slams into the rescue boat, both Ike and the tin can passing for a rescue vessel sustain damage, leaving the three of them high and far from dry.

It could be worse.

He could be Heather Harmon, the CERT emergency response volunteer who sees their plight and tows them all to safety. Heather thinks fast on her feet, but has no way of knowing the same tool she used to save the flood victims is fresh from a murder.
It isn't often a cop gets rescued by a civilian. Widower Ike is quickly smitten with this brave woman and isn't about to let the sins of her ex interfere with their future, but he doesn't quite know the solution to helping Heather let go.
...Or that rescuing a killer has made her his next unwitting target.

Picking up a cop boyfriend should be pretty handy under such dire circumstances, but as the bodies pile up and evidence of murder mounts against Heather, close proximity to law enforcement becomes a double-edged sword for them both. Sharpshooters like Ike aren't known for their Cassanova skills and he soon learns voicing your doubts is a real romance killer....

Heather distances herself from his protection, leaving the field wide open for the murderer to strike again, frame his heroic victim, and walk away clean. ...All while rubbing every bit of it in Ike's face. Heather and Ike's faith in God is strong enough to sustain them individually, but if they can't show some faith in each other, history will repeat itself. Heather will face off with a practiced killer alone, Ike may lose his last shot at love, but this time, he'll know he had the power to save her.

To purchase her book:
CreateSpace (Be sure to use coupon code YHLSNV2Q to save $4!)
 Kindle

About K.D.
K.D. Harp enjoys world travel, volunteering, and educating people about the appropriate use of the phrase "Bless his heart," the original meaning of which has nothing to do with sarcastically calling someone a sucker or dimwit, and is properly used to imply a 'there but for the Grace of God' sentiment.

The BBA graduate of Georgia State University loves truly smart female leads, and most of hers will MacGyver their way out of some sort of situation whether it's jury-rigging a flamethrower with kitchen supplies or finding new uses for a fire extinguisher to escape an inferno. Bored and dismayed by the trend in fiction to equate genuine love with the pale imitation of lust without personal investment, K.D. chooses to portray people of character engaged with a world that lacks it. When they do it without losing the physical passion and sense of humor God would give to them, it's a total win.]

To connect with K.D:

K.D. Harp is giving away a copy of Rescue Me.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)



Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Interview with Christian Author James R. Callan

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Mr. Callan.
Question:Is there a story behind Over My Dead Body?

James:  To some extent, yes. The use of eminent domain for private companies has long been an irritant for me. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limited eminent domain to “public use.” President George W. Bush issued an executive order limiting eminent domain to “public use” with “just compensation” and for the “purpose of benefiting the general public.” The order states it should not be used “for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties…”

However, eminent domain is still granted to further the economic interests of private companies. 

I decided I could not do justice to such a topic, so I used it to get the story started. But I do not delve into it as deeply as I would have liked, and as it deserves. So, it becomes simply a murder mystery novel.
  
That is certainly a topic that deserves to be examined more closely.
Question:What’s your favorite genre of writing?

James: That’s an easy one. Mystery and Suspense books.  I have always liked to read those two areas.  I enjoy weaving clues and red herrings into the story in an effort to keep the “real” answers hidden until the end.

What a coincidence! Mystery and Suspense are my most interesting genre to read.
Question: What’s one genre you’ve never written and probably never will?

James:  Another easy one.  I won’t write erotica. I just wouldn’t be comfortable writing such.

Um, thats good. I don't read it either!
Question:Who is the most fun character you ever created?

James:  That’s a tough one.  I have two, very different characters that have been and are fun to work with.  Neither is a protagonist and both are in the same series.  Brandy is a streetwise young woman who now shares a house with Crystal, a near Ph.D. research computer scientist.  Brandy says she barely made it out of high school, but she has the street smarts that frequently let her teach her very smart house mate.  Then there’s Eula, Crystal’s seventy-six year old grandmother, who raised Crystal after her parents were killed in a car accident when Crystal was just seven.  Eula lives alone in the middle of a forest and sees things very clearly with seldom a doubt. She’s a no-nonsense, straight talking woman who will dress-down a man holding a gun on her as quickly as she will the local sheriff.  These both show up in my Crystal Moore suspense series, starting with A Ton of Gold, and following up with The Silver Medallion.

Since you enjoy these characters so much it's great that they show up in your other books. That way you get to visit with them often.
Question: Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

James: Writer’s block is not usually a problem for me.  When I stop a session, I always know what the next paragraph or scene will be.  When I come back, I can hit the ground running and move right on to the next scene.  On the rare occasion I face writer’s block, my solution is to write.  Anything.  E-mails, a blog, something not connected with the book.  Just write.  Usually, before very long, I’m thinking about the book and what I want to write in it. So I just drop the e-mail or blog and get on with the book.

Thank you for the good advice.
Question: What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? What are you most proud of?

James: I’d have to say The Silver Medallion.  Not because it is the last book I’ve completed, but because it deals with some people who are in a hopeless situation. And then, a woman who does not know them, who is ill equipped to help them, decides to take on their cause at great personal risk. There are scenes that, after reading them thirty times, are still emotional for me.

I'll have to look for that one. 
Question:When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?


JamesOver My Dead Body released in April this year.  Next up is The Silver Medallion.  It is complete and going through beta readers before sending it off to the publisher.  I expect it out early in 2016.

I'll be waiting for it!

Readers: You can purchase James's latest book, Over My Dead Body in Paperback or the Kindle version on Amazon
Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

James R. Callan is giving away a paperback copy of Over My Dear Body. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on the past few posts)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

James Callan's Mystery, OVer My Dead Body

Back Cover Blurb: 
A large corporation is taking land by eminent domain.  Syd Cranzler stands in its way, threatening a court battle. After a heated meeting with the corporation representative, Syd is found dead from an overdose of heart medication.  The police call it suicide. Case closed.

But Father Frank, Syd’s pastor, and Georgia Peitz, another member of the church, don’t believe Syd committed suicide and begin to look for clues of what really happened. Will this affect Georgia’s romantic involvement with the lead detective?

When the priest is almost poisoned, the police are convinced to investigate further. Immediately, Father Frank becomes the target of rumors, plus speculation he might have had something to do with Syd’s death.

The more clues Father Frank and Georgia uncover, the more danger they find themselves in. Can they find the real killer before they become victims?   

 Book Excerpt:
Over My Dead Body

Chapter 1


S
yd snorted and thrust his chin toward his adversary. “Over my dead body.”
The man almost smiled. “If you insist,” he said easily.
Seventy-two year old Syd Cranzler squinted against the bright Texas October sun and scrutinized the well-dressed man in front of him. Syd was probably six inches shorter than the man, but Syd’s voice had more iron in it. “Was that a threat?”
“No sir, Mr. Cranzler,” Duke Heinz said.
Syd didn’t like this city slicker, wouldn’t have even if he weren’t trying to steal Syd’s homestead. Even Duke’s clothes irritated him. The conservative black pinstriped suit, power-red tie and black wing-tips polished to perfection made the man look like he was posing for a magazine picture in New York City. And what was this “Duke” bit? Did he think he was John Wayne? “Why don’t you just mosey on down the road a mile?” He jerked his hand up and pointed. “Lots of land there.”
They stood on pine needles under three towering trees. Forty feet behind them was Syd’s small, frame house, looking like a giant, square tumbleweed.
Bud Wilcox, Pine Tree’s City Manager pushed his straw hat back a little and took a step forward. “Syd, Pine Tree wants this shopping center here, inside the city limits. Think of all the tax revenue we’ll get.”
“So’s you can waste even more’n you do now? It ain’t your house and land, Pipsqueak”
Bud reddened at the nickname Syd often used on him, but kept his mouth shut.
A mud-caked ‘92 Camaro rattled to a stop half off the black-top road. A man got out and started across the yard to where Syd was shaking his finger at Bud.
Duke started to speak, but Syd cut him off. “And don’t tell me again it’s twice what it’s worth. You don’t know what it’s worth to me. And what’s this ‘fee simple’ bit?” He cocked his head to the side. “You think I’m simple? Take your money and go back to Jersey.”
Bud waggled his balding head. “It’s a lot of dollars.”
“He don’t need your money,” said the man from the Camaro. “He stole enough from me.”
“Stay out of it, W.C.,” Syd snapped. But his focus never left Duke. “You keep your money; I’ll keep my land.”
Duke spread his hands. “Mr. Cranzler, the Supreme Court says eminent domain can be used to obtain land needed for a project in the public interest.”
“I know all ‘bout the Supreme Court, and how they trampled all over people’s property rights. I’d like to see some private company try to take the land they live on. They’d change their tune right fast. But that case was decided for a Yankee town. This is Texas. We still believe in property rights down here. And this ain’t in the public interest. It’s in Lockey Corporation’s interest.”
Duke smiled as he pulled a folded paper from the inside pocket of his coat. “Here’s the court order, and it’s signed by a judge right here in Texas.” He held the paper out to Syd.
Syd ignored it. “Judge McFatage, right? He’d sign anything for a price.”
Bud Wilcox leaned in. “Now, Syd, you shouldn’t talk about the Honorable McFatage that way.”
“Honorable, my foot. He’s for sale. Common knowledge. You know what they say: he’s the best judge money can buy. And it looks like Lockey’s the buyer.”
“Look, Mr. Cranzler,” Duke said. “We’re going to start dirt work in three weeks. I’d like to have all the paperwork in order by then. You’ve lost this fight. You might as well recognize that. You can delay signing. But by fighting this, you may end up getting less money and paying a lot of it to lawyers. You can’t stop it. This project will be built. And it starts in three weeks.”
“Three weeks?” Syd pulled on his chin and a sly grin crept onto his leathery face. “I’m bettin’ my lawyer’ll have my appeal filed before then. And I’m thinkin’ I can tie this up for years. You sure Lockey wants to wait that long?” His head bobbed up and down as he continued. “Be a lot faster to go somewheres else.” Now he laughed. “Bet they’re gonna cut you loose when this don’t happen. Can your butt.”
Duke’s smile faded and his eyes turned hard. “Two months from now, this will all be asphalt.”
“Like I said, over my dead body.”
Duke put the paper back in his pocket. “Old man, you’ll hardly make a bump in the pavement.”


Author Bio:
After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He has written articles for a national magazine, and published several non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book released in 2015.  His work has also appeared in a number of anthologies. In addition to writing, Callan presents workshops in the U.S., Mexico, and on the Internet covering various phases of writing

You may find James on the internet at these links:
Website:                     
Blog:                           
Amazon Author page:            
Twitter:  @jamesrcallan

You can purchase his book in Paperback or the Kindle version on Amazon
Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

James R. Callan is giving away a paperback copy of Over My Dear Body. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on the past few posts)



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