Friday, October 28, 2011

Turning Series by Dawn Kirby

Dark Soul

Ben tightened the handcuff around Alana’s wrist, securing the empty cuff to the headboard. She jerked at the cuffs testing the strength of the wood. Not surprisingly the bed didn’t budge. Well, this wasn’t what she had in mind.

“You really think you won, don’t you?” she asked. As she looked around the room she began to realize where they were. But this house was never this quiet before. Fear for his family’s safety ripped through her. “Where are they?”

Ben looked at her and grinned. His eyes glazed over. “They didn’t care about me,” he said, sauntering to the bay window overlooking the woods. “I showed them just how much I cared about them.”

“You killed them?” She was stunned. Tears rolled down her cheeks. His parents were so kind and his younger sister had only graduated from high school this past year. “When?”

“They were my first kills,” he answered proudly. “Mom and Dad never knew what hit ‘em thanks to this mind control thing. But Allie? Allie, I wanted her to know what was happening. I wanted her to regret the day she disowned me.”

“You didn’t think simply killing her did that?”

“No!” he yelled. Even in the dark room she could see his fangs peeking out from under his upper lip.

 “That bitch sided with you. With the cops. With everybody but me. Her own flesh and blood! She deserved to suffer.”

“Allie was a kid!” she screamed back at him. “She knew you were wrong. She had every right to do what she did.”

“No, no,” he said shaking his head vigorously. Within seconds he was standing in front of her. His nose mere centimeters from hers. “She was family. You don’t turn your back on family.”

“She was disgusted by what you did. You killed a man, Ben. Killed him!” He turned his gaze back toward the window, but didn’t back off. “Even if you hadn’t beaten me to a bloody pulp I’d still have a hard time forgiving you.”

“You I get,” he snorted. “You’ll forgive soon enough. But her? She should have stuck by me through everything. The trial, prison.”

“Do you think it was easy for her?” Alana asked. “Do you think there was one minute when she didn’t look past what you’ve become and see the man she looked up to all her life?”

“What I’ve become?”

“Mean, heartless.”

“I’m no different than I was before,” he snapped.

“You’re right,” she agreed. “You were a monster long before I broke up with you. I just didn’t see it.”

He struck fast and hard, knocking the breath out of her. She felt the warmth of the blood running down her neck before the felt the pain of his fangs. She tried to push him away, but with one hand cuffed to the bed it was useless. He’d pinned her legs between his so tightly she’d lost feeling in them. Now she was starting to feel faint. In a last ditch effort to stay conscious she jabbed her nail on his eye. Seconds later her body fell to the floor as he leapt off her and into the bathroom.

“You’re damn lucky you didn’t take out my eye,” he fumed.

“Tell me Ben,” she said forcing herself off the floor and onto the bed. The dizzy feeling was still there, but it felt as though the danger of passing out had passed. “What could you possibly do to me that you haven’t done before?”

In a flash he was lying on the bed beside her. His arm wrapped tightly around her waist. “Turn you.”   

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to My Life, Jack... Winter!

Yep... did you notice that switch? I'm talking about a guy named Jack, and it isn't that Reacher guy that I wrote endlessly about last year. It was last year, wasn't it? Honestly, this year has past by so fast that if I did read or talk about that Reacher dude he clearly didn't make much of an impression.

Jack Winter on the other hand...

He popped up on my radar a couple of months ago, out of the blue and with no warning. It was love at first read. And sight, if I'm being honest.

Jack was brought to my attention when Stephen Blackmoore turned his blog, L.A. Noir, over to author, Caitlin Kittredge. After talking about the next book in her Black London series, I found myself ordering all the books available and decided to have them read by the end of October. I mean, why not? October IS the month of goblins and demons and zombies and all the scary things that keep you awake at night, right?  And the Black London novels are about a truly badass crow-mage that has sold his soul to a demon to escape death.

Soooooooo... I read book one and knew I wanted more...

Read book two and was sold on the adventures of Jack Winter and Pete Caldecott.

Read book three and couldn't believe I'd gone all this time without knowing a thing about this series.

And then I read book four and found myself depressed about the idea of having to WAIT for the next book.

Oh, how I hate waiting.  *sigh*

In Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge, the first book in the Black London series, we meet Pete Caldecott. She's sixteen and spending an afternoon summoning a spirit in a cemetery with the incredibly handsome, overly-confident, and equally powerful mage, Jack Winter. Unfortunately, the spirit summoned kills Jack, forcing Pete to flee without him and leaving her to deal with the trauma of that day for years to come.

Fast forward 12 years and we find Pete Caldecott a detective inspector working a child-snatching case and chasing down a tip from an informant. And that's when things get interesting. The informant turns out to be... Jack Winter.

Back from the dead (if he was even dead in the first place), Jack Winter is no longer the strong and powerful mage that Pete knows him to be. He's a heroin addict... using drugs to keep down the voices of the dead that constantly invade his mind. He's also bitter, and carrying a huge grudge against Pete for having abandoned him all those years ago in that cemetery.

Even so, Jack has information on the missing girl that proves to be accurate.  And when two more children go missing Pete does everything within her power to help Jack get clean so she can use his contacts in the "supernatural shadow-world of the fey" to find the truth behind the missing children... and maybe even learn what happened to Jack in that cemetery so many years ago.

In Demon Bound, Pete Caldecott has resigned from her position as detective inspector and is now living with Jack running a paranormal investigative service that allows them to use dark magic for cleansing ghosts, finding lost souls, and even calling upon the dead for clarification regarding last will and testaments.  We also learn that Pete's sensitivity to the supernatural is because she's a weir *dramatic pause* and that Jack didn't just want Pete with him at the cemetery all those years ago... he needed her there to perform that summoning. 

Now, thirteen years have passed since Jack found himself dying and calling upon the demon Belial to save him. The poor guy was given thirteen years of life in exchange for his soul... and those thirteen years are coming to an end. 

But don't worry, ladies... Jack's a sweet talker. So much so that it's possible he may have found a way out of his problem without losing his soul. Not letting Pete know about the bargain he's made with a demon, Jack sets off for Thailand without her in an effort to pay back his debt. And using her connections with her former partner, Pete tracks him down and together they fight the powers of hell, but without the happy ending one would expect. So, so sad.  *sigh*

Which brings us to Bone Gods...

Unfortunately, Jack's been summoned to Hell and Pete is left alone in the dreary world of London to live without him.  But living without Jack gets a little easier for Pete when a bizarre ritualistic killing has Pete's former partner calling her for help in the investigation.

This investigation takes her to an evil underworld dance club that leaves her on the floor about to be trampled to death in the middle of a mosh pit, when suddenly... Jack appears. Yep,  he's back from Hell, and changed forever... and the poor guy doesn't even remember being released.

As they work together in another investigation, we learn about a turf war brewing in the supernatural underworld of the fey with necromancers threatening to take over and go to war with the demons. But the more Pete learns, the more dangerous things become, and the more she understands about her and Jack's role in how the war will end.

Wait. What was that? The more Pete learns, the more dangerous things become, and the more she understands about her and Jack's role in how the war will end. You see, Jack,  the all-powerful crow-mage, has been chosen to lead the army of demons in this war.   And Pete, well, she's been chosen to kill the crow-mage.  At this point most people would probably throw up their hands in despair and pack their bags and run. Pete, however... follows the example of her lover and makes a deal with the demon  Belial and saves Jack's soul.  This deal turns out to be a good thing, because having Jack around will prove useful in just a few short months (totally a spoiler, btw). *wink wink*

By the time we get to Devil's Business, the fourth book in the Black London novels, Pete is a few months pregnant, and the members of the supernatural world are not too happy about having Jack around. He's being hunted...  and after getting his butt kicked by a grocery store clerk, Jack's starting to think it might just be a perfect time to pack up and leave London... with Pete, of course.

And Pete has plans to do just that. With no work for their investigative business available to them in London, Pete decides to take a case in L.A. The case is concerning a family that was murdered in a home they were renting. The most disturbing part of the crime is that the pregnant woman's unborn baby is missing. Interestingly, there was a similar case ten years earlier and this detective in L.A. is determined to solve both crimes.

And, of course, Pete and Jack aren't in L.A. very long when the demon Belial makes an appearance to collect his debt from Pete. Turns out there's an "evil older than the black" haunting the City of Angels, and this evil is harvesting the bodies of the unborn to create their own little... I have no idea what they are, but when the one kid shows up in the book things got a little creepy. Like.. real creepy. And when they went after Pete and Jack's unborn baby, and Pete could feel the baby changing inside here... I totally panicked. In fact I found myself silently screaming; "DON'T HARM THE BABY!"

Will Jack and Pete's unborn baby be a vessel for all that is evil, or will they destroy the evil and restore order in the Black? Hmmmm... I guess you'll need to read the book and find out.

So there you have it... My take on Black London. I love this series so much I'm willing to share. If you think this series is for you leave a comment on the blog and I'll enter you in a drawing to win all four books listed in this post.

Street Magic is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Demon Bound is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Bone Gods is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Devil's Business is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

You can learn more about Caitlin Kittredge on her website  ----->>>  HERE.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Turning Series by Dawn Kirby


Chris settled in behind the wheel with a hot cup of coffee and a cold burrito. Not the best food to keep a guy going for long, but if he were lucky the wait would be worth it. There was something off about this whole situation and he was determined to find out what it was. Since the girl had been killed here, Matt’s house seemed like the best place to start.

Best case scenario he’d catch them trying to dispose of evidence. Worst case, he’d wake up with a massive neck cramp and nothing to show for it. Either way he’d get a little closer to the truth. Carter may have excused the girl, but he didn't. Playing the victim only works when you've got nothing to hide

Crouching low in his seat he watched as Matt’s truck pulled into the driveway. No sooner than he stepped out of the truck than he was on top of it. Chris shook his trying to figure out how he’d not seen him before. How could he miss the one guy they’d been looking for for weeks? He put his hand on the door handle prepared to intervene. He pulled once, nothing. Twice. Still nothing.

“Stay,” a voice said. He jerked his head to look in the back seat. Nobody. The disembodied voice came again. “I can only protect so many.

Lost, he turned his attention outside. He pulled the handle again. Still it stuck. Seconds later a man appeared out of thin air. Alana arrived shortly thereafter. The man pushed her toward Matt’s girlfriend, urging them inside. She froze; watching as her former lover began to squeeze the life out of her brother. Even from where he’d parked he could see the blood trickling through Ben’s fingers.

Chris drew his side arm and tried again to get out. “Stay,” the voice growled. “You have no idea what you’re dealing with.” Not about to give up he pointed the gun at the window. Somebody had to put a stop to this craziness now. “You do this and they’re all dead. This I promise you.”

The man stepped in front of Matt, blocking any further blows and shot a contemptuous glance Chris’s way. He lowered the gun. Somehow that guy had managed to get inside his head. As much as he didn't want to believe it, he knew it was true. What the hell was he dealing with?

Matt’s body sailed through the parking lot coming to rest mere feet from his car. In seconds his earlier question was answered. Fangs, blood...He barely had time to register the fact that vampires were in fact real and one was right here in front of him before he and Alana disappeared.

Stunned he tried his door again. Gun drawn he hurried out of the car and ran to Matt’s side. Though his neck was a bloody mess and his body was broken he was still conscious. Barely, but there.

“We need an ambulance,” he said reaching for his phone.

“No,” Carly said. She glanced up at Nicholas. “We've got him.”

“Hun, this guy needs a doctor.”

Nicholas took the phone from the detective’s hand and turned to Carly. “Do I have permission? I’d rather not do this out here. It’s not safe.”

“You bet your sweet ass you do,” she answered. “I assume you have a plan?”

“She does,” Nicholas said. As dire as the situation was he couldn't hide the smile. This was Alana’s way of not being a victim? “Had she not, she would still be here.”

“Do you mind?” Chris said impatiently. “I’d like to get this guy some help.”

“He is helping you nimrod,” Carly spat. She slid her arms under Matt’s. “Yo! Grab his feet. Nicholas, keep your eyes open. I doubt he’ll come back, but you never know.”

Chris reluctantly helped them get Matt inside and on the couch. Blood was everywhere. Once the kid was settled he went for the phone. Carly tossed her shoe at him stopping him in his tracks.

“What is it with you people?!” He turned around to see Nicholas dropping blood from his wrist into Matt’s mouth. “What the hell?”

“Ben’s not the only vampire,” Carly said stroking Matt’s hair. Chris sank into a chair, shaking his head in denial. “Nicholas will give him what he needs to heal and then we can go get Alana back.”

“No!” Nicholas yelled. A couple of drops more and Matt was out. “He will be useless for hours. She won’t have that long.”

“Then what do you suggest?” Carly asked. “You know he’s gonna wanna help when he wakes up.”

“With any luck she will be home safe by then.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Click x 9 and Then Some

If I was being honest that title above would read Click x 47. At least that's how many I have purchased since my last Kindle purchase update. But since there is no way I can write a post about 47 new Kindle purchases, I thought I'd just list the ones I've purchased this month.  Feel free to click on the links and read about the books. Then, if you're interested, buy them.

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Volume II by Edward A. Grainger  $0.99

Liverpool 5 by Luca Veste   $0.99

Monkey Justice: Stories by Patti Abbott  $2.99

Mayhem: A Collection of Stories by R. Thomas Brown  $0.99

Smoke by Nigel Bird  $2.99

Shotgun Gravy: An Atlantis Burns Novella #1 by Chuck Wendig  $2.99

Dove Season by Johnny Shaw  $7.99

Stay God by Nik Korpon  $2.99

That Damned Coyote Hill by Heath Lowrance $0.99

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


Matt was running late. He had promised Carly he’d meet her at his apartment thirty minutes ago. On the downside he was still a few miles away. On the upside she was a very patient woman. Whatever he’d done to have a gal like her just drop in his lap he didn’t know, but that was one of the things he should probably be thanking Nicholas for. After all, had he not decided he liked Alana the two of them never would have met.

Carly stood by the window patiently waiting for Matt to drive up. She’d already called Alana to let her know they’d be late. Not surprisingly she didn’t mind. Since the cops had been forced to give up their post Alana and Nicholas had become close. He never left her side at night. She never left his during the day. A smile crossed her lips when she thought of how Matt would react if he ever did figure out what she already suspected.

“Too bad you don’t have a say in it, babe,” she said to the picture hanging on the wall beside her. “No matter how hard you try you can’t protect her from this one.”

“He may not, but I can,” a man’s voice whispered. The sound wasn’t spoken, but thought.

She closed her eyes, focusing on the direction of the voice. “You say that like you believe it,” she thought back. “You’re young. You can’t possibly think you can ever best Nick.”

“I did Thomas.” He stepped up to the window. Carly opened her eyes; avoiding his gaze.

“Thomas was different,” she reminded him. “Nick set him up. You had an advantage.” She stepped closer to the window and smiled. “Besides he didn’t really have anything to lose, did he? All this was just a game to him.”

“True,” he conceded. “But I do. Alana was, is and always will be mine. Nothing that guy can do to stop that.”

“You’d be surprised.”

“The power of persuasion is pretty strong motivator.” He looked towards the street and smiled. Fear shot through Carly like a bullet. “Look, here comes my motivator.”

She yanked her phone out of her pocket and dialed Matt’s number. No answer. She tried again. Still nothing. She texted Alana. If Nicholas could get here, Matt might stand a chance.

Headlights suddenly came into view. It was only a matter of seconds before Matt’s truck pulled into the parking lot. Carly ran to the door, throwing it open. Ben stood right in front of her just out of Matt’s line of sight.

“Hey beautiful,” Matt said as he shut the driver’s side door.

“Matt, get back in truck,” she yelled. Air brushed her face. Ben was on the move. “Hurry!”

“I just got here. Lana’ll understand me wanting to take a shower. Trust me.”

“To hell with your sister! Get in the damn truck!” She ran into the parking lot just in time to see Ben pick Matt up by the neck and throw him onto the hood of his truck. Terrified she froze.

“Now we wait,” Ben said. He smiled wickedly exposing his razor sharp fangs. Matt struggled to no avail. “Oh save it. If I wanted you dead I would’ve done it already.”

“She’s not gonna fall for it,” Matt said. He scratched at his throat trying to loosen Ben’s hold. “Lana knows you. She knows damn well what you’re capable of.”

“That’s right, she does.”

“Let him go, Benjamin,” Nicholas said, fading in beside Carly. Alana faded in next to him. He pushed both women towards the house. “Get inside. Both of you.”

“No! I want her to see this.” Ben looked Alana dead in the eye and started to squeeze Matt’s neck. His fingers dug into his skin. Matt’s face turned deep red. Alana took a step forward. His hold let up. Blood trickled through small cuts. “That’s it. You know how to play this game.”

“Leave him alone,” Alana said. She was scared to death, but she didn’t let it show.

“Now why would I want to do that?” He threw Matt on the ground and stomped on his stomach. Matt rolled into a fetal position, exposing his head. “Hm. I do that, too,” he sighed as he kicked repeatedly.

Nicholas put himself between them. Matt rolled away, but couldn’t stand. His head was swimming. Blood dripped into his eyes, blinding him. He could hear them talking, Carly crying, but he had no sense of direction left.

“Leave now,” Nicholas demanded. “I do not want more innocent blood on my hands.”

“It’s a little late for that, wouldn’t you say?” He sidestepped. Nicholas tried to grab him, but he was too quick. Matt’s body sailed across the parking lot, slamming hard into a tree. Ben turned to smile, fangs glinting in the moonlight. “Come to think of it, I haven’t had dinner yet.”

He winked at Alana and jerked Matt’s body off the ground by his hair. No matter how hard he tried, Matt couldn’t get it together. He knew he needed to fight. But he physically couldn’t. When he felt something sharp cut into his shoulder everything shut down.

“NO!!” Alana ran across the parking lot and tried to pull Ben off her brother. “Take me! I’m right here! Let him go!” Nicholas ran to her side. She pushed him away. “Stay away. I can’t let him take him from me.”

She looked up at him, her blue eyes blazing. Nicholas dove into her head, seeing the makings of a plan and backed off. She knew exactly what she was doing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Primal Law by J.D. Tyler

Some of her fear began to ease and she wondered how well trained the animal was. Maybe he was someone's guard dog that got lost? He'd certainly protected her from those bastards. "Roll over."

At that the creatures' form began to waver. Sort of reshape. She blinked rapidly, thinking there must be something wrong with her vision. But no, she was simply losing her mind after all, because fur retracted, became skin... 

And now a black-haired man crouched where the wolf had been seconds ago. A big, very naked man who unfolded his tall body and gazed down at her, one corner of his mouth quirking upward.

"I'll do a lot of things on command," he drawled lazily. "But I don't roll over for anyone, sweetheart."

Meet Jaxon Law, a former Navy Seal turned wolf shifter and member of the elite Alpha Pack.

After a mission in Afghanistan left Jaxon permanently injured, half his team dead, and the rest turned into wolf shifters, Jaxon and the remaining members create a top-secret, elite squad tasked with seeking out and eliminating the most lethal predators in the world. This elite Navy Seal team already had psy abilities before their mission, and now, working with their new shifting powers, they’ve become all kinds of deadly.

On break in Las Vegas, the team members find themselves coming to the rescue of Kira Locke, a lab assistant in the process of being taken down by her employer after she has been caught stealing documents from the lab.  Having seen Jaxon in wolf form, she ends up going with the Alpha Pack to their compound where her own "gifts" land her a job on the team working with those captured and in custody in Block R.

It doesn't take long for a bond to form between Kira and Jaxon. And that bond is tested as the members of the Alpha Pack go on the hunt for the people responsible for tracking down and experimenting on other humans with psy abilities. Will Jaxon overcome his fear of falling in love and mating? Will Kira choose Pack life over the life she used to know? Or will the killers they seek destroy any need for decisions to be made?

J.D. Tyler is on the right track with this first book in the Alpha Pack series. The characters are likable, the story line is riveting, and the sexual tension between the two main characters never seems forced or out of place. In fact, I loved the characters so much I was thrilled when I found an entire link about the Alpha Pack members on the author's website. It's like the Alpha Pack meets X-Men and the Black Dagger Brotherhood with a little bit of time-bending magic thrown in.

*This review was first published at The Season

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Great News for Dawn Kirby

Today I thought I'd share some great news about the author of the Turning series, Dawn Kirby. She's been hit with a run of awesomeness these last few weeks, and I thought it would be fun to let the fans of her Turning series know about her latest news.

#1  She's been asked to work on a website called 7DS: Seven Sins. Seven Authors. Seven Lessons.  Dawn will be writing for the LUST department, of course. And it looks like these fine writers will be releasing an Anthology in 2012.

#2  A short story of hers will be published in 13 Tales of the Paranormal by Firefly and Wisp Book Publishing. Check out the cover... Does that say Dawn Kirby on the front?  Very cool.

#3  AND....  *drum roll * Dawn has signed a book deal with Dark Dragon Publishing! I don't have all the particulars about this just yet, but I'm sure Dawn will keep us posted.  

So lets show Dawn some love and congratulate her on all of her success.  And don't worry, ladies... Dawn is still planning to write the Turning series until there is no longer a story to share.

Congratulations, Dawn!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


Lieutenant Carter got in the car and gripped the wheel. It took everything he had not to turn around and ring Chris’s neck. He’d just made himself look like an ass. Not to mention accused an innocent woman of a crime she in no way could have committed. To suggest Matt had something to do with her friend’s death was absurd. Had killer been in his nature Ben would have never made it to trial.

“What the hell were you thinking?” Carter asked. He tossed the keys on the dashboard, waiting for an answer.

“I’m doing my job,” Chris said coolly. “Something we should have done a long time ago.”

“The only job we had here was to make sure that girl didn’t get attacked again. If you had a problem with that you should’ve asked to be reassigned.”

“Do you not see it?”

“What? That she’s scared? That she’s lost her best friend?”

“Is she?” Chris asked staring through one of the windows in Alana’s house. He’d just seen a shadow move across her window. Who it was he didn’t know. She and that jack ass brother of hers were still standing in the door way. “You treat her like she’ll break. You never even bothered to ask where her brother was the night that girl was killed. For all we know they found the con and killed him.”

“Hate to say it, but that’s one case of justifiable homicide.” He grabbed the keys and started up the car. He could tell Chris had rattled them. They didn’t usually perch at the screen door they way they were now. The best thing he could do was drive away now. “Maybe you need to read that file again. Refresh your memory a little bit.” He pulled out onto the street leading away from the complex. “She was the victim. Not the suspect.”

“Carter, for all we know she took out that kid for some stupid little something and blamed him for it.”

“You’re kidding right?” Carter asked, hopeful he was. “You saw the pictures of her. Hell you saw the autopsy report. There’s no way that scrawny little thing could’ve killed that boy.”

“When passion’s involved ‘scrawny’ can do almost anything.”

“He confessed! Did you forget that part?”

“No, but what’s to say he wasn’t covering for her?”

“How?” Good God, this kid was out for blood. “He beat her senseless. That poor girl was in the hospital for days recovering.”

“When you’re desperate.”

Nicholas pulled Alana away from the door. Danger lurked and here she stood like a lamb put up for sacrifice. “Please. Stay away from the door. Benjamin is stronger than most new vampires. I do not know yet how advanced his abilities actually are.”

“But if I’m inside my house-”

“It takes only one toe outside the boundary,” Nicholas said, cutting her off quickly. “The young officer will be a problem. You do know this?”

“Carter’ll straighten him out,” Matt said. He shut and locked the door then collapsed on the couch. “Nothing to worry about.”

“The lieutenant will try,” Nicholas said leading Alana toward the kitchen. “But he will fail. His partner is a very strong willed man. By nature he is suspicious. He will dig until he gets to what he thinks is the truth.”

“Which is?” Matt asked.

“That you had something to do with Jennifer’s death. I am almost positive he has decided Alana committed a crime of passion and left Benjamin holding the bag, so to speak.”

Matt snorted. That was ridiculous. The only thing his little sister could kill without feeling some guilt for was flies. “That guy needs to have his head examined.”

“If he comes back here I’m sure he’ll get that and more.” He glanced outside, looking for any sign of his rival. “Benjamin will likely be less forgiving.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DEAD WOOD - Guest Post by Dani Amore

Today I'm pleased to welcome the beautiful and talented, Dani Amore, to the blog and invite you to read about her latest book, Dead Wood. Dani first showed up on my radar on twitter when she tweeted to tell me how much she loved the color scheme I had chosen for my twitter profile. Always the first to compliment, Dani is my ray of light on a cold day; always sending me smooches through the twitter feed. She's an incredible writer, too.  So let's welcome Dani to My Friends Call Me Kate... *smooches* to my favorite girl!

“The past is never dead.  It’s not even past.”
-William Faulkner

What if you made a mistake so bad, it actually cost someone their life?  And what if it had been your job, your duty, to protect that person?  How would it make you feel?  How would you survive?

Would it ever come back to haunt you?

The idea came from a true story. The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer used to drug his victims. Once they passed out, he would kill and dismember them, then have sex with their body parts.

One of his victims, however, managed to escape. He staggered into the street, completely drugged out, and flagged down a cop. Dahmer came chasing after him and convinced the cop the victim was his boyfriend, and was merely drunk.

The cop gave the victim back to Dahmer, who took him back to his apartment and butchered him.

That story, as well as the quote above from Faulkner, made the idea of living with a tragic past the starting point for my new crime novel DEAD WOOD.

In DEAD WOOD, John Rockne is a cop who inadvertently causes the death of a young man.  His police career over, he eventually ends up as a private investigator in Grosse Pointe.  Rockne takes on a case involving the brutal murder of a woman who builds custom guitars.  Soon, he becomes the target of a violent ex-con and comes up against a mysterious hired killer with links to his own tragic past.

The idea of never being able to forget your past was central to me.  It seems in my own life that whenever I’ve been arrogant enough to believe that a certain part of my history was gone and forgotten – BAM – it popped up in the strangest of places.

It also explains why I was so drawn to the idea of this salvaged wood.  Imagine hundreds of years ago, trees already five, six, maybe even seven hundred years old are chopped down and transported via water.  Maybe a lake, or maybe a river.  A storm hits and the wood eventually sinks to the bottom of Lake Michigan, or Lake Huron, or Lake St. Clare.  In the deep cold water, the wood is perfectly preserved.

Fast forward to present time, someone figures out that the expense of locating and retrieving this “dead wood” is miniscule compared to how much it can be sold for.

It was a perfect metaphor.  Like the wood at the bottom of the lake, Rockne’s past refused to be forgotten.  It suddenly popped to the surface, as whole and intact as the day it had disappeared.

I hope you will consider reading DEAD WOOD.   I’m busy working on the sequel.  There’s one little loose end that will come back stronger, meaner and even nastier in Book Two.

Some things, it seems, just refuse to stay hidden.





“Dead Wood is a fast-paced, unpredictable mystery with an engaging narrator and a rich cast of original supporting characters.” –Thomas Perry, Edgar-winning author of The Butcher’s Boy.
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“From its opening lines, Dani Amore and her private eye novel DEAD WOOD recall early James Ellroy: a fresh attitude and voice and the heady rush of boundless yearning and ambition. This is the first new private eye novel in a long time that just swept me along for the ride. Amore is definitely one to watch.” — Edgar-nominated author Craig McDonald

Dani Amore’s writing reminds me of the great thriller writers -- lean, mean, no nonsense prose that gets straight to the point and keeps you turning those pages.  --author Robert Gregory Browne

"As gritty as the Detroit streets where it's set, DEAD WOOD grabs you early on and doesn't let go. As fine a a debut as you'll come across this year, maybe any year."   --author Tom Schreck

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Dani Amore is a crime novelist living in Los Angeles, California.  You can find out more about her at  Or follow her on Twitter:  @authordaniamore

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Most Memorable Bouchercon Moments

The rain was coming down fast and hard, and the wind was blowing a steady stream of debris (I still say it was snow, but...) when I pulled up to the hotel in St. Louis to attend my first ever Bouchercon.

And blah blah blah blah blah...

I had plans, ya know. Plans to live blog nightly from Bouchercon just like I lived blogged my trip to New York for that Lee Child double book signing.  But this trip was different. This trip had been planned an entire year in advance. I even had a list of people I planned to stalk, take photos with and eventually blog about, but...

Let's just say things didn't go exactly as I had planned. So instead of trying to rehash my day to day activities during my 4 day adventure, I've decided to share some of my most memorable moments. The moments that will stay with me always. The moments that will cause me to smile, maybe even make me giggle out loud. The moments that meant the most to me because they were spent with people that I've grown to love and care about from my time on twitter... or from one on one time at Bouchercon.

Meeting Andrew Grant *sigh*

Many of you know that after finding Andrew Grant's debut novel, EVEN in the wrong aisle at the grocery store that I fell in love with crime fiction. But did you know that Mr. Grant's decision to write a book changed my life forever? It did. People laugh at my story, but my close friends... the ones that have watched this transformation, they know this to be true. After checking into the hotel with my friends, Leah Anderson and Josh Stallings, we headed down to Bouchercon registration. In the hall on the 14th floor we ran into the incredibly tall, and very kind, Andrew Grant. Then less than an hour later we ran into him again on the same floor just outside my hotel room. We stopped for pictures, chatted briefly and then my face turned red with embarrassment when I realized that Mr. Grant, the man that changed my life forEVER,  was staying in the very next room with his beautiful wife Tasha Alexander.  It was very nice meeting both of you...

Meeting Russel McLean 

There are no sweeter words then a man looking at you and saying, "is that who I think it is?"  Why, yes, Russel... it's me!  I still have the email and remember the day when Russel McLean started following me on twitter. I waited patiently for that day to come and when it did... I fell off my chair at work from shock. It was so worth the bruise on my bum. It was lovely meeting you, Russel. I didn't see you much after that initial greeting, but thanks for visiting with me and letting me snag your picture.   And I'm very thankful that you waited for me when I chased you up the escalator. Very nice of you, sir.

This meeting came with a double bonus... I met the incredibly beautiful, Jennifer Jordan. She's lovely and kind and just plain cool. I love her.

Meeting Joelle Charbonneau and Running My Fingers Through Her Hair

Whatever! Think what you want. This is a woman I've been dying to meet for several months now. She was kind enough to plan a dinner get together and the bonus was allowing me to run my fingers through her thick, wavy, beautiful red hair. It's gorgeous. She's gorgeous. And my very first published story was written with her help and encouragement. We didn't get to spend much time together, but every moment we did see each other was met with a hug. Oh  how I miss your hugs, Joelle.

Attending N@B St. Louis

There was a room full of people. Awesome people. Sexy people. Handsome people. They read us stories and we laughed and clapped and waited for more. It was wonderful. The best time I've ever had.  Really. And I think I enjoyed it so much because, to me, even though I had never met any of these people before, I felt like I was at this big family reunion and we were all there to cheer each other on and push each other to succeed. It was perfect. N@B was a perfect start to a perfect Bouchercon weekend.

Meeting Dan O'Shea

Our first introduction was brief. I probably scared him when I hopped off the escalator and gave him a hug. Whatever it was... I was able to meet up with him later that night at the bar.  He's everything I imagined him to be.

Shotgun Honey

Just when I thought I wasn't going to be able to meet Kent Gowran or Ron Earl Phillips, they both were able to attend Bouchercon.  Ron stayed the entire weekend and Kent showed up on Saturday. It really was great for me to finally shake hands and hug the men that allow me to work alongside them for Shotgun Honey. We had breakfast together, hung around the hotel and then took a lovely walk for dinner... we also hung out at the bar together.  I've never really hung out at a bar before, and think what you will... I love the bar scene.

Meeting Hilary Davidson

We met the lovely and talented Hilary Davidson while checking in at the Bouchercon registration desk.

"See that?" *points at the counter and makes a circular motion with her index finger* "Josh, this pool of blood on the counter means you need stitches."

My plan to be in bed by midnight pretty much went out the door that first night in St. Louis when Josh Stallings shut his finger in the door of our taxi van after arriving at the hotel from our evening at N@B.  And when I say shut it in the door, I mean just that. Josh said he had to knock on the van window to get the driver to open the door for him. UGH! OUCH!   
Higher security then what you might find at the airport, this hospital came complete with a waiting room full of gang members, screaming mothers, and security guards. The critical care unit where Josh was worked on housed student doctors, buzzing flies, fresh urine on the floor, and some mad woman taking photos, tweeting and placing bets on how many stitches they would need to close him up.   

Our hospital visit lasted five hours and put us back at the hotel at 5:45 in the morning. I lost the bet by one stitch, but technically you could say we both won... for having survived our first night in St. Louis. (he needed 15 stitches)

Attending a Librarian Breakfast with friends and Meeting Brad Parks

Not sure how I ended up on the list to attend this event, but I can say that it really was a highlight of my weekend. Not only did I sit at a table with many of my twitter friends I sat next to Laura Benedict and I  was introduced to the incredibly handsome, Brad Parks. Our special guest at this breakfast was Charlaine Harris. 

Hanging with My Friends at the Bar...

Pappy's BBQ

And... Sharing Gooey Butter Cake with a Friend.

I loved every minute of every single day at Bouchercon. Four days, only thirteen hours of sleep and too many memories to list in a blog post.

And before you even ask... I'm already registered for Bouchercon 2012 =)