Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Criminal Minds at Work: Rural Crime: The politician speaks

Criminal Minds at Work: Rural Crime: The politician speaks: Criminal Minds at Work is honoured to have Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, as a guest today.  In...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Abusive relationships: why not just leave?

It takes a woman an average of twenty attempts to break free of an abusive relationship, according to information provided by the local women’s shelter.
So when Allie gets caught up with Carbon in my novel SHADOW RIDERS, it should come as no surprise that getting out from under his control takes the entire book...and (perhaps) then some.

It is not, however, a reality that all appreciate. As in society at large, many readers put the onus on Allie to break free and are frustrated by her failed attempts.

It has bothered me for a long time that people blame women in abusive relationships for their troubles, their pain, their murders. “Why didn’t she just leave?”

My intent in writing SHADOW RIDERS was to explore the ties that keep women in violent relationships. In the SHADOW RIDERS’ Afterword I write, “It’s my hope Allie’s story helps both the victims of domestic violence and their communities understand the mental and emotional processes involved in the bonding between abused and abuser. May this understanding empower victims to break free and encourage us all to support them until they find the strength to do so.”

This intent is, of course, wrapped in an entertaining story that circumnavigates the globe, involves biker gangs, murders, espionage, drug trafficking, and the maligning of Canadian justice...among other things.

This month you can get the eBook here for half price in a format for any device during Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale.

Abusive relationships...has been brought to you by SHADOW RIDERS.

"Shadow Riders is absolutely phenomenal. Keeping me up at night."

"Love for an abuser is a mystery...but Schuh carries us so thoroughly into Allison’s mind...we almost understand.

"Shadow Riders is a thriller with depth and weight and fully explored characters" 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Winners in the Solstic Scavenger Hunt 2019

Winners in the Solstice Scavenger Hunt 2019

The phrase to find was:
'But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.'

Many entered but there can only be ONE Grand Prize Winner!
Drum roll.... Our Grand Prize of $75 USD via PayPal and 19 eBooks goes to...
The Second Prize winners are listed below next to the title of the book they've won:
A Bit of Magic by Mae Baum - Michael Christofield and Kimberly Grube
Azimuth by Rennie St James - Amanda Willis and Jessica Walters
Bonded by Cheryllynn Dyess - Becky Lynn and Leonie Townsend
Curse Breaker: Enchanted by Melinda Kucsera - Emmaline Emmaline Lavender Fields and Nicole Nicole Evan Dunton
Elven Jewel by Kasper Beaumont - Mary Brannian and Lori Powell Johannes
Forever People by Alison Lyke - Kim Rose and Mary Lunsford
Ian's Realm Saga by D.L. Gardner - Betsy Barnes and Luana Eugenia Ciobanu
**Schrodinger's Cat by Eileen Schuh - A.m. Donovan and Helle Søe Gade
Sleepless Flame by Odin Oxthorn (Ox Wodin ) - Jacob Rasmussen and Ennajo Agnak
The Fox and The Hunter by Linn Tesli - Aaron Reck and Jennifer Murphy
The Glass Gargoyle by Marie Andreas - Joy Flynn and Catherine Medal
The Hand of Atua by Charity Bradford - Angie Peterson and Deissy Rubi Hermunslie
The Shikari by Dora Blume (DM Staley) - CJ Soyer and Carol Harris
This Cursed Flame by Selina J Eckert - Cindy Cindi Evelyn Knowles and Cary Comas
Witch's Moonstone Locket by Marsha A Moore - Christina L. Riggs and Ashleigh Hack
Winners will be contacted by the authors via EMAIL (using the email address used in entering the contest) - please give the authors 2-3 weeks to complete all prize deliveries. Keep an eye on your junk folders as we may get pushed there since we may not have you in our contacts.
Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you for all who entered to play!

"Winners..." has been brought to you by SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT

"I loved it from the first word."
"And the ending I never expected"
"thoroughly rocked my socks..."

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Born to believe in magic

We are born to believe in magic...and fairies and dragons. For everything about ourselves and world is fantastical from a child’s eyes.

It’s nothing but magical that tiny seeds should become trees. And water, ice. That rainbows should appear out of grey skies. That blueberries, strawberries and mushrooms should sprout freely from the forest floor to feed us.

That the children we are will become doctors, parents...perhaps even authors as we pluck dream worlds from infinity and set the processes in motion to make them reality.

Woe to all adults who lose touch with their sense of magic.

I invite you to join with me and a group of fellow science fiction and fantasy authors as we celebrate the summer solstice and all things magical. Romp through our social media platforms to find secrets words hidden in the sun graphic that when all collected and deciphered will spell out a quotation from a famous speculative fiction novel.

Solve the quotation and it could win you books...and money—$75.00 in hard U.S. currency, fact.

But better than that, more magical than that, it will introduce you to some great books by some awesome authors.

We ask that you connect with us not only by entering the contest, but if you like our blogs, follow us (there’s a button to the right of this posting that says ‘follow’), so we can continue to talk our magic to you through the words we post. Or, sign up for our newsletters, link to us through our twitter or facebook accounts, find us on Instagram.

Our dream is to share our magic with others and your secret powers can help us do that.

FSF Readers Lounge Presents its first ever Solstice Scavenger Hunt

Running from June 16th to June 29th.

Nineteen authors have joined forces to offer readers a chance at $75.00 USD cash via PayPal and 19 eBooks as a Grand Prize! Thirty-eight secondary prizes (an eBook from one of our participating authors) will be given to randomly chosen participants with the correct answer to the scavenger hunt.

To play for a chance to win you must go to each of the authors sites listed below, collect the "hidden" word(s), unscramble them, and then enter to win! Enter Here

Entering does not obligate you to anything! You have the option to choose who to subscribe to and who to follow - the only requirements are:
1. You must follow the Facebook page for the Readers Lounge in order to get the winners announcement and
2. Use the link above to enter the giveaway, but I hope you choose to follow the wonderful authors participating in this hunt!

$75 Cash via PayPal

eBooks up for prizes:

A Bit of Magic
Curse Breaker: Enchanted
Dragon Blood
Elven Jewel
Forever People
Ian's Realm Saga
Schrodinger's Cat - by Eileen Schuh
Shadow's Hand
Sleepless Flame
The Fox and The Hunter
The Glass Gargoyle
The Hand of Atua
The Shikari
This Cursed Flame
Witch's Moonstone Locket
Wolves' Gambit

Image may contain: night

To the left, is my secret word, part of a quotation from a famous SciFi/fantasy Speculative Fiction novel.

Happy Hunting!

Make sure to visit all the sites listed below to gather your words! 

"Born to believe in magic" has been brought to you by SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT

"I loved it from the first word."

"And the ending I never expected" 

"thoroughly rocked my socks..."

"A book that engaged all senses and emotions" 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure. What a great name for a book.  Oh, yes. The mystery, the intrigue...the riches.Who among us wouldn't rather unearth a hidden treasure than win a lottery? Marry rich? Or write a New York Times Best Seller? Well, okay then--forget that last example. 

Today, author Gilli Allan shares her family's folklore regarding a genuine, historic treasure and introduces us to her most recent novel, BURIED TREASURE.

I've read Allan's previous novels and love her writing. Her style is unique, free from genre constraints. Her plots are always compelling. Her characters, to die for. 

Take it away, Gilli!

Author, Gilli Allen
Not many people dig up treasure, but my uncle did …. or did he?

My childish imagination was very inspired by the idea of archaeology – the closest science there is to treasure-hunting.  I was probably influenced by the fact that my great uncle, Sydney Ford, ‘discovered’ the hoard of Roman silver tableware, named the Mildenhall Treasure, on his Suffolk farm during WW2.

I put discovered in inverted commas because on more recent investigation, the story is a lot less straightforward than uncle Syd ever admitted to.

I admit to plundering Syd’s story when I began to write BURIED TREASURE, a book with an archaeological theme.  In his account (which I heard from his own lips), he was driving the tractor and plough which turned up the hoard from one of his fields. He took it home and cleaned it up. At the time, he thought it was pewter.  He tried to declare the find and took a piece to London - to the British Museum - to show them and ask their advice.
Reputed treasure-finder, Sydney Ford

However, because it was war-time the British Museum was closed, so he kept it. What else could he do?  At Christmas he kept his fruit and nuts in the great dish. But a nosy neighbour tipped off the police and the hoard was taken away from him after the war, so he never got any credit for finding it, nor any recompense.

This was his story and of course we all believed it.

In more recent years I’ve learned more about the ‘official account’.  It was not Sydney but his farm worker, Gordon Butcher, who turned up the treasure. It wasn’t even found on my uncle’s farm at all, but on neighbouring land that he was looking after. He was unable or unwilling to be clear about the specific location where it was unearthed, the account changing every time he was interviewed on the subject.  
Ford's Great Great-nephew, Tom Williams, poses with the Mildenhall Treasure

Partly because of this vagueness, there has even been doubt cast over the fact the hoard originated in the Mildenhall area at all.  Roman villas have been found around that location, but nothing of sufficient grandeur to have owned such a service has ever been excavated in the environs.

Other suggestions I’ve read, linked to the previous point, is that it was stolen (from whom or from where?) and had been hidden by twentieth century villains or by airman flying from Italy into the airfield at Mildenhall during the war.

The treasure wasn’t snatched from him unexpectedly, as Syd would have it later. He did know in advance he was going to be relieved of his fruit bowl and the rest, apparently, and (because he knew they were coming) rumour has it he was able to keep back a cache of coins or some other choice artifact from the hoard.

Declared 'treasure trove', the Mildenhall Treasure can now be seen in the British Museum.  Contrary to Uncle Syd’s claim, he was recompensed - £2,000 divided between Sydney and his ploughman, Mr Butcher – but he never did get any credit.You won’t see his name attached to the treasure at the British Museum.    

Great Uncle Syd, was a favourite. We always loved seeing him.  He was mischievous and rascally and had a definite twinkle in his eye which, looking back, I suspect was something to do with the fact he knew he was fibbing. But when I was young, I took on board the story as he recounted it. Of course it was true.  Now, though?  I can quite believe him capable of a degree of roguery, but I don’t suppose we will ever know the real story; Syd is long gone and unable to provide any answers.   



Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again.

But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve.

Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems. 
Gilli Allan began to write in childhood - a hobby pursued throughout her teenage years. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

She is published by Accent Press and each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams (pictured above with the Mildenhall Treasure), is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

Connect with Gilli Allen and her books through the following links:   (@gilliallan)


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

When the bough breaks...

Today I welcome Author, Luke Murphy to Magic of the Muses, in celebration of  his upcoming release, Rock-A-Bye Baby. This is Luke's third guest appearance on my blog. He first visited here in June 2012 to introduce us to his debut novel, Dead Man's Hand. And in July 2015 he presented, Kiss and Tell.

Yep, I think he has a crime series going here....take it away, Luke!

Click here to purchase Rock-A-Bye Baby

Writing a Sequel
This is my second go at writing a sequel, but it always feels like a new experience for me. ROCK-A-BYE BABY is the second book in my Charlene Taylor series. I have no plans, no idea how many books I’ll write with these characters. I’ll just write, and see where the characters take me. Who knows?
There are definitely some benefits to writing a sequel.
For one, the main cast of characters is already formed. Readers are familiar with the main characters in the series, and there is no need for a lot of backstory to get readers caught up, or a lot of explicit detail to show character traits and physical appearances.
Since I already researched the setting of my first novel, I can save that time in novel #2, because I am already familiar with the city (Los Angeles) that I’ve chosen for the setting of my adventures.
Since I have book #1 under my belt, I’ve already formed a small fan base and readership who are earnestly awaiting my next novel. I won’t have to worry about reaching those readers, as they are returning customers, and will already be searching out my books.
Because KISS & TELL garnered so much attention and success, now there is a level of expectation that comes with my next book. With so much praise and five-star reviews, readers have a high expectation of what they are looking for with a new Charlene Taylor book.
I don’t have to tell you that it’s a lot faster to read a book than it is to write it. Readers are expecting another book as soon as they finish reading the previous one. It took me four years to write the sequel to KISS & TELL (sandwiching another book in between), and once readers have finished ROCK-A-BYE BABY, they will be expecting another Charlene Taylor adventure. I might not have time to breathe LOL
There are only so many ideas/conflicts to write about, so coming up with new, fresh ideas for my characters with each new novel, can possess a bit of a challenge for a writer.

With all that said, I really enjoyed writing ROCK-A-BYE BABY, the sequel to KISS & TELL, and I look forward to possibly writing more Charlene Taylor adventures in the future.

Rock-A-Bye Baby

An aunt’s worst nightmare…

In the city of Denver, a series of baby kidnappings has the town devastated.  With no ransom demands and no contact from the perpetrators, local law enforcement is at a dead end. No motive equals no answers.

A cop’s personal obsession…

Charlene Taylor’s niece becomes a victim, and the LAPD detective is thrown headfirst into a whirlwind case with similarities to one from seven years earlier. Out of her jurisdiction, and with no friends or leads, Charlene must walk-the-line between cop and sister.

Who can she trust?
Charlene has to decide who’s an ally, and when an unlikely partner steps forward, they must race against the clock: because that critical 48 hour window has come and gone.

What the reviewers are saying:

Rock a Bye Baby has everything—a haunted protagonist, heartfelt emotion, and a twisty, thrilling plot.  A scorcher of a follow-up in a promising series.”—David Ellis, NYT bestselling author of The Last Alibi

"Murphy has cleverly crafted a riveting crime thriller, with a hefty dose of white-knuckle suspense. Entertaining and enticing to the very last page."—Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Submerged

Rock a Bye Baby is an exquisitely told thriller, full of surprises and terrifying moments. Murphy is a gifted storyteller who keeps the tension crackling throughout. Charlene Taylor drives the story to a very satisfying and unexpected ending.”—Kristina Stanley, bestselling author of the Stone Mountain series.
Author, Luke Murphy

Author Bio 
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand , Kiss and Tell, and Wild Card.

Rock-A-Bye Baby is Murphy’s fourth novel.

Prior to becoming a novelist, Murphy played six years of professional hockey, retiring in 2006. His sports column, Overtime (Pontiac Equity), won the  2009 Best Sports Page in Quebec Award and was nominated for this award in 2007. Murphy also worked as a radio journalist at CHIP FM 101.

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife and three daughters. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education magna cum laude.

For more information on Luke and his books, visit his website,  ‘like’ his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter.