Friday, November 21, 2014

Cover Reveal for Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years by Vasudev Murthy

First book in the series coming in March from Poisoned Pen Press! 

It’s 1893. King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day ... Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea ... The Bengal Famine worsens ... A brilliant scientist in Calcutta challenges the system … The senior priest at Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. Then the quiet, distinguished Mr. Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay. In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion.
Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. Has Sherlock Holmes survived the Reichenbach Falls?

In a seriocomic novel that radically ups the ante, Sherlock Holmes and Watson find their match in more than one man (or indeed, woman) as a clock inexorably ticks. History, mystery, romance, conspiracies, knife-edge tension; a train in Russia, roadside crime in Alexandria, an upset stomach in Bombay, careening through Cambodia, nasty people in China, monks in Japan–here’s a thrilling global chase that will leave you breathless (occasionally with laughter) as the Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years series begins.

About the Author:

Vasudev was born in Delhi and has meandered around the world with lengthy stopovers in Tallahassee and Dallas. His books span a variety of interests, from Indian classical music to crime fiction, humor, and business management. A violinist and animal rights activist, Vasudev lives with his family and five snoring dogs in Bangalore, India where he runs a consulting firm.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The H&K VP9

Today I shot a Heckler and Koch handgun for the first time. This is a kinda big deal, you know, since that's the firearm my former SWAT guy carries (he carries a P7M8, which you can see over on the left, and which is sadly no longer produced). Like him it's sleek and efficient and gorgeous, but I'd never gotten to actually fire one before.

Now, thanks to the people at Patrick's Uniforms and Gun Range, I did. Here's an excellent review of the H&K VP9. All I know is, it was smooth. Utterly smooth.

http://www.reddit.com/r/guns/comments/2d48dz/first_thoughts_shooting_the_hk_vp9/

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

DEEPER THAN THE GRAVE Release Day Celebration!

To celebrate the birth of this, the 4th book in the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series, I'm having a day of giveaways over at the Deeper Than The Grave's Facebook page.

It will be going on from 9 AM to 9 PM EST, so hurry over to get you name in the hat for books, candles, tea, mugs, and more books.

You can find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/DeeperThanTheGrave

And thanks to everyone who helped me get this book into the world!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Introducing Tai Randolph

*This post is part of a Meet My Character bloghop. I was invited by the talented mystery novelist James Montgomery Jackson, whose character Seamus McCree is featured on Writers Who Kill (you can find that post HERE). At the end of this post, you will find the links to Mary Anne Edwards and her POV character.

And now, please meet my protagonist, Tai Randolph — an almost-thirty caramel blonde with a new job, a new hometown, a new man, and a penchant for trouble. She's smart, aggressive, tattooed, and Southern all the way to the middle. So . . . I'll let Tai take it from here.

You want me to introduce myself? Really?

I mean, I’m glad to share — nobody’s ever accused me of being shy — but most people ask about Trey. What’s it like having a former SWAT-cop boyfriend? Does he ever let you drive the Ferrari? What kind of gun does he carry?

For the record, he packs an immaculately maintained Heckler and Koch P7M8, and I am almost as good as he is with it. I have yet to drive the Ferrari, however —  he gets nervous palpitations at the thought. And it is utterly awesome having a boyfriend with Special Ops skills, especially since he’s willing to teach me the tricks of the trade. Like how to perform a Krav Maga takedown or hit center mass with a .38 revolver. Trey is a challenge (and I’m not just talking about his brain rearrangement either) but he’s totally worth it. And I’d say that even if he didn’t have those gorgeous blue eyes.

I’m finally beginning to get my bearings in my new hometown. Atlanta is a sprawling maze of construction, still smarting from the beatdown General Sherman handed it during the Civil War. It’s often stubbornly quaint — every other street is called Peachtree Something-Or-Other ­— but you’d better conjure up some NASCAR mojo if you want to survive the freeways. Plus there’s money here — old money, new money, dirty money.
My days are pretty routine, assuming there are no fresh corpses on the ground (don‘t laugh — this happens to me far more often than the law of averages should allow). I am the half-owner and sole proprietor of Dexter’s Guns and More, in Kennesaw, a small city north of the metro area where every head of household is required by law to own and maintain a firearm. I kid you not. Georgia's enthusiasm for firearms is good for business, but it does create a certain . . . havoc. Let's call it havoc.

The “more” in the shop’s name refers to the Civil War antiques and replica re-enactment gear that I sell. I inherited it from my Uncle Dexter, who left it to me and my brother Eric, a corporate psychologist who lives in Atlanta but who wants nothing to do with it. He refers to my career as “arms merchant for anachronistic rednecks.” He says this as if it’s an insult.

Anyway, most of my working hours are spent in the shop working on ATF paperwork and trying to keep the books in the black. My customers come from all walks of life — hunters, cops, stay-at-home moms —  but the largest slice of the client demographic belongs to Confederate re-enactors. One of my favorite tasks is tracking down authentic Civil War-era weapons and accessories for them. Especially underwear. I have a proprietary source who makes the finest circa-1860 reproduction long johns in the Southeast.

After work, I kick back at Trey’s place in Buckhead, watch the Midtown lights come out from his thirty-fifth floor balcony. And if he’s off being Mr. Corporate Security Agent, I hang with Rico, my best friend from way back. Our nights aren’t quite as wild as they were growing up together in Savannah —  we’re both semi-responsible adults now — but nobody keeps me grounded quite like Rico.

Well, there’s Garrity. Detective Garrity, Trey’s former partner and slightly-estranged best friend. That man has a heart as big as Stone Mountain, but he’s got a temper as fiery as his hair. I can usually find him on the shop's doorstep, lecturing me at length on why I shouldn’t tamper with official investigations, question suspicious people, or use the phrase “life or death” around Trey.

My new life keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. If I had more time, I’d tell you about the reticulated python or the KKK sniper or the freaking tornado that chewed up the Confederate cemetery just down the road from me. Rico says I should write a book. I might . . . as soon as things calm down. Which isn’t looking likely, unfortunately.
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
(A previous version of this post appeared at Dru's Book Musings. You can find that HERE, along with Tai's second visit to Dru's page, which you can find HERE.)


Visit other mystery authors also introducing their characters:


A Good Girl: A Charlie McClung Mystery by Mary Anne Edwards

For Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family: “Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma.”

Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life, revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl. 

Get introduced to Marian Selby of The Charlie McClung Mysteries HERE.




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Books and Backbeats

*This blog post is part of Sisters in Crime's fabulous September SinC-Up. For more information, you can visit the SinC website:  www.sistersincrime.org/bloghop.

One of the things I enjoy most about talking to other writers   especially my fellow Sisters in Crime members  is learning about their writing processes. Some of us plot; some of us pants it. Some of us are morning writers; other are night owls. And some of us adore writing while music flows around us, while others need absolute quiet.

I’m firmly in the latter camp. Even the most gentle strains of classical sonatas poke at my brain like a whiny toddler. And yet music is a necessary part of my writing process. I don’t know what I’d do without it during brainstorming — nothing gets the imagination pumping like a solitary road trip or an hour on the front porch swing, one of my mixes playing, the creative juices flowing.

I’ve created playlists for each of  my main characters — one for Tai Randolph, my smart intrepid narrator, and one for Trey Seaver, her partner in both romance and crime-solving. Some of the songs represent personality traits; others call to mind specific plot points. I also made a playlist for them as a couple, songs that illustrate their relationship as it progresses (you know, the usual love-sex-conflict mix).

Here’s a sample of my Tai and Trey mix — you can check out the whole thing on Spotify by clicking HERE.

“Bedroom Hymns” by Florence and the Machine — Oh my, I need to fan myself for a minute just thinking about this song. Nothing captures the primal imperative of sex like driving percussion and pounding chords, but add Florence Welch’s throaty vocals, and lyrics that practically drip with sweat and need, and you’ve got a song that might catch your MP3 player on fire. This is one deep and passionate and hungry song, and it reminds me that no matter what complication I throw at my protagonists, no matter how annoyed they get with each other, there’s heat humming between them.

“Little Black Mess” by Shivaree — Sexy, retro, and make-no-apologies manipulative, this song is a testament to the fact that even if Tai manages to tamper her way into an enormous problem, she can always count on Trey to show up for her (even if he doesn’t always bail her out). He’s promised to be there for her, no matter what. He meant it. And she knows it.

“Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down; “Strung” by Joe Henry and “Where Are You Going?” by Dave Matthews — These songs couldn’t be more different. The first is a post-grunge rock anthem with an infectious hook, the second is pure blues jazz salted with ache and desperation, and the last is a tender ballad. And yet together they define the personality of Trey, my psychologically complicated, ex-SWAT hero. Damaged and haunted, strong yet vulnerable, Trey is a hero right to the middle of his bones, and listening to these songs is the solution to every “what would Trey do?” dilemma I have.

“Dani California” by Red Hot Chili Peppers — Every time I hear this song, I think of my girl Tai. Hot-blooded, mouthy, and assertive to the point of reckless, she’s a kick-ass heroine, and I love to watch her in action. This is the kind of song she’d listen to while driving down a Low Country highway in her Camaro, windows down, hair blowing in the hot summer wind.

“I Wanna Be Your Dog” by Joan Jett — Trey doesn’t listen to music anymore. The brain damage he suffered in a car accident damaged his auditory processing capacity. He can’t hear the beat, and so his cassette and CD collection sits in storage, getting dusty. I am getting to dig around in his basement for my fifth book, however, and I was fascinated to find a collection of hard rock down there, including every album Ms. Jett ever made. This song in particular, with its driving guitar and rough-edged lyrics, defines a part of his personality that has gone into hiding. I’m thinking his inner head-banger is still in there, though, under all that Armani. I’m thinking it’s going to emerge once again, like some resurrected goth butterfly.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Tina Whittle's fourth Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver novel  Deeper Than the Grave — releases on November 4th. You can find the author on her official website— www.tinawhittle.com.

For more information about joining this fabulous Sisters in Crime September SinC-Up, visit their website for all the details:

www.sistersincrime.org/bloghop.

What Am I Up To Now, You Ask?

Thanks to Holly McClure for tagging me in this blog hop (you can read her answers to these questions at her website). Holly says of herself, "I've been many things in my life and if I'm lucky I hope to become many more things before I leave the world. Today, I'm a priest, an author, a literary agent, and mentor among other things." Holly has several books out  you can read about them here  including The Vessel of Scion, which is getting amazing reviews. 

Plus, you can learn about three more awesome writers at the end of this post.


1. What are you working on now?
The fifth book in the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series, a contemporary traditional mystery series set in Atlanta. It features amateur sleuth Tai, owner of a Confederate-themed gun shop, and Trey, a former SWAT corporate security agent. And a Great White Shark named Mary Lee.

2. How does my work differ from other authors in the genre?
For one, I have co-protagonists. Tai is my narrator, but Trey is her partner in both romance and crime solving. Their issues with trust and commitment and what it means to care about someone provide lots of practice in the kind of skills that make them excellent detectives. Tai is emotional, intuitive, quick off the starting line. Trey is rational, analytical, more inclined to take things slow. Their respective strengths and weaknesses complement as often as they conflict.
Another unique aspect of my series is that I write a character in recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (a TBI in the medical parlance). Trey suffered damage to his frontal lobes – the seat of executive judgment, decision making, language processing, and emotional intelligence – and his challenges to recover his sense of purpose and identity help me think about larger thematic issues.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy exploring identity, the ways we create our personas to keep our real selves safe and protected. My characters allow me to do that in multiple ways – through Trey, whose sense of self was literally scrambled, and Tai, who has spent a lifetime rebelling against other people’s constructions of who she is. And I get to do it through one of the brain’s most natural function – story-telling.

4. How does my writing process work?

It’s taken me years to figure this out. I am a pantser all the way (one of those people who just starts writing and seeing where the story goes). It’s messy and inefficient, and when I wrote my second book, I swore I’d do it differently. It was a nightmare! Outlines do not feed my creative engine. I have to jump in and get messy. I’ve discovered it may not be the easiest or fastest way, but it’s my way, and now that I’ve accepted that, I’m becoming better at streamlining the process. Scrivener – a word processing program for writers – helps a lot because it allows me to write and organize simultaneously, saving me tons of rewrites.

Also get to know:

Susanna Ives

Tammy Kaehler

Bernadette Pajer






Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post by Megan Cyrulewski

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact—and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

An excerpt from Who Am I? by Megan Cyrulewski

On January 18, 2012, we all convened in the courthouse for the Motion for Parenting Time hearing. My dad and I arrived with my attorney, but Tyler loved an audience so he brought his dad, step-mom, and his new on-again off-again girlfriend, Heather. Tyler walked in with his posse in tow, cocky as hell. It took all of two minutes for the judge to knock him off his feet.

The Judge addressed our respective attorneys. “Why are we here?”

“Your honor,” Tyler’s attorney began, “my client has clearly been denied his parenti—”

The Judge didn’t even let him finish. “How?” She turned to my attorney. “Don?”

“Your honor, as you can see in the divorce decree, there was supposed to be a review when the minor child turned twelve-months-old. The Defendant has ignored that review.”

“I—if I may, your honor,” Tyler’s attorney sputtered.

“I see the review in the decree. It’s here in black and white,” she told Tyler’s attorney. “What is the problem? Why didn’t you understand the review? Your client signed the divorce decree.”

Tyler’s attorney tried again. “But your honor—”

The judge cut him off. “There is to be a review conducted by the Friend of the Court referee assigned to the parties. Until then, the Defendant will continue his parenting time schedule as agreed upon in the divorce decree. Dismissed.”

And that was it. After eight police reports and numerous harassing text messages, phone calls, and e-mails, we won. As Don and Tyler’s attorney went to speak with the clerk to file the necessary paperwork, Don told us to wait for him outside the courtroom.

As we exited the courtroom, the hallway was so packed with people that my dad and I were only able to find enough space to lean against the wall. We were talking about the court proceedings when we looked up at saw Tyler and his new girlfriend standing right across from us.

“Why do you lie about everything?” Tyler screamed.

Heather walked up to me and stood about an inch from my face. “As a mother myself, you should be happy that Tyler is the father of your child.”

My jaw dropped. “I’m sorry but I don’t know you.”

She smirked. “Well you’re going to get to know me, bitch.”

Tyler made a big show of pulling her from me like I was going to punch her or something. By this time, everyone in the hallway was watching us. We were pure entertainment.

Heather continued her rant. “Two times in the psych ward, Megan? What a great mother you are.”

“Where is your mom, the real mother of our child?” Tyler screamed. “She’s the one who takes care of Madelyne.”

My dad and I tried to move away from Tyler and Heather but they followed us.

“Awww…” Heather mocked. “Do you have to take a Xanax because of your anxiety?”

“Go take your Xanax and sleeping pills, you drug addict,” Tyler shouted.

Finally, Don emerged from the courtroom and pulled us into a quiet corridor. He explained that I needed to call our referee to set-up a meeting to discuss a visitation schedule. I told Don about the verbal assault by Tyler and Heather. Don said he would call Tyler’s attorney to let him know that Heather would not be allowed in my house.

Upon leaving the courthouse, Heather screamed, “See you on Sunday, Megan.”

I turned toward her and said calmly, “I don’t know you, but you are not welcome in my home.”

That night, Tyler sent me multiple texts attacking my mothering skills, my supposed drug addictions, how he was going to fight for joint custody of Madelyne, how Heather would be accompanying him for his visitations, and a barrage of other insults:

·    “Get a life already”

·    “Don’t you have something better to do than wasting your parents’ money?”

·    “Go take your pills and relax, oh yeah, then your parents would have to watch our daughter. Oh yeah, they already do.”

·    “Go talk to your friends. Oh yeah, you don’t have any because of how crazy you are.”

·    “Interesting to know you’ve been to the hospital a couple of times. You really need to get it together.”

·    “Better go call your lawyer and make up some more stuff about me.”

·    “Don’t be mad at your sorry life.”

·    “I am sure living with Mom and Dad the rest of your life will be fun.”

·    “When you get a job, then you can pay me child support. Fun.”


I finally had to turn my phone off at midnight.

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