Friday, October 21, 2016



Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.

On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.

Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?


To celebrate, 30 Seconds, the follow up story, is on sale for 99 cents!

Sale Oct. 21st – Nov. 4th



Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Well, if I were a mobster, I'd probably be a pretty poor one. My lack of depth perception would keep me from being an assassin: can't hit a target even standing a few feet away, no matter how large it is. I was in the Air Force, and during basic training they have no clue where all the bullets went I fired. Although that was a lifetime ago, I've shot enough pool (billiards) and darts to know my aim is still lousy. And, I'm not a very good thief or liar. Lets face it, I've spent my career in the helping services for a reason.

However, for the sake of this blogfest, and diving completely into this fictional personae, let me come up with a semi-badass profile.

My Mobster Name:Veda. According to she knows baby names, people named Veda have a desire for stable family and community relationships; love working with others; are adventurous, flexible, rebellious, optimistic, intelligent, friendly, and energetic. And untidy (keep your mitts off my desk and out of my closets). Some of these traits already fit me - but this is mostly who I'd like to be.

My Rank: hmm, not "the boss" but high enough "the boss" relies on me and everyone below caters to my whims to garner favors.
Crime Zone: somewhere north-west - I like moderate to cold weather.

My Look/Disguise: mini skirts, stilletto's and a loooooong jacket. Red hair, tall, alluring

Weapon of Choice: Information. I'm chief of the spy ring and know everything about everyone. If that doesn't get the job done - poison. I may be environmentally untidy, but intellectually I hate loose ends.

Mobster Vehicle:1962 Shelby Cobra: sporty, sexy, spirited, fast . . .

What I’m Known For: Queen of knowledge, effective use of information. I can make or break your mobster/political/military career with a word in the right ear. I can smell a fraud from a third-world country away. I'm a collector of beautiful things - and beautiful people. I can't be bought, but I can be rented; except for a very few loyalties. "Family" is forever.

My Catch Phrase: Copy that!

The Name of my Mob Leader: "The Boss." Few know who this person actually is, and fewer have actually met - - Her.

I've always been drawn to the spy rings (guilds) in all my favorite fantasy adventures. Really, how does anything get done without effective use of information (gossip)? My mobster self is intelligent, resourceful, outgoing, connected, and oh so indispensable. With the right information leaks, you don't need a gun of any size to kill people.

So, who's your mobster self?

Now please hop around to the other participants:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


This month's question is: When do you know your story is ready?

For me, that answer differ's with each story. I have a minimal criteria: my crit partners need to be down to story tweaking only (no formatting or technical errors mentioned); I have to review my story premise (sometimes entails writing a blurb) and be sure the beginning, middle, and end hit all the hastily written plot points; the submission deadline is not more than a week away; I'm spending more time on a potential sequel or the next new project than this familiar love.

Or, more likely than not, I've found a publisher I want to submit to and I'm curious if I'll get a rejection or acceptance.

I have written several novels, and even queried the one complete book; but I've only really focused on getting short stories published. I guess its because I've had several published. I'm all about the instant gratification - even without a major pay out. I know, the writing motto is essentially: I do it because I have to, not for the money. Well, I guess that's why I call myself a hobby writer: I write because its fulfilling not cuz it pays. Something to keep the boredom away. I play Lotto on the off chance my numbers will come up someday too.

Well, that was the long answer. The short answer would be: its a leap of faith. I either submit to a potential publication (after much tweaking and rewriting) to achieve its fate; or save it to a file and forget about it. I don't believe there is a true "done" to a story. Its like asking the question: when do you stop raising your children?"

I've raised five children to adult-hood. One told me to butt out of his life at 17 and I had to bite my tongue so hard on his decisions I'm amazed I still have a tongue. Another made it to 25 before I finally told him he had to deal with his own life. Is there a right answer to the questions "when is your story ready" and "when are your children grown-ups?"

I say "Nope!" But if you want that thing to be published, you gotta just let go. And believe in your nurturing/creative instincts.

Please be sure to visit our host Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts: Beverly Stowe, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora, Angela Wooledridge, and Susan Gourley.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Hello All!

Normally I like to have an author interview/guest post with a book review. But, Jay has not been feeling well lately (judging by his recent posts) and I'm pressed for time. However, I was hoping a favorable review of his book would cheer Jay up somewhat.

About the author:

Jay Noel was born in New York, but currently lives in Missouri with his family. He received a degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University many moons ago. Jay is a prolific blogger, and one-time podcaster, and he enjoys connecting with writers, readers, and fellow bloggers from all over the world. Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night, he is the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, was published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press. Jay loves science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies. .

About the book:

The Mechanica Wars: Savage Machines Are Afoot...

At the age of twenty, Kanze Zenjiro's bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him.

Zen embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

My review: An interesting world and concept. This reminds me of the fantasy/syfy novels I read as a young adult. It has a mix of western, samurai, action/adventure, steam punk. A multi genre delight. I was initially drawn to the western/samurai theme (like THE LAST SAMURAI), and loved when it transitioned into the steampunk genre. Zenjihito is a nicely developed young character, on a quest for a talisman that will unite and save the nations of the newly formed empire of Nihon. His travels have him meeting, and collecting, many interesting and complet characters. There are many story plots that eventually all come together for the climax of this story plot.

The world building is well integrated into the story and character plots. It is active, progressive, and utilizes many of the story tropes of multiple genre's. I was just a little overwhelmed by the steampunk technology;I lost a bit of interest in the story when the western/samurai story line gave way to modern artillery, and much of the timelines for the alternate plots did not align, but the characters were complex- hero's and villains alike - and intriguing.

I give this a 4 star rating. While the characters and world building were excellently drawn, and there was enough action and violence to intrigue me, the overuse of modern warfare detracted from the steampunk subgenre. I recommend this book/series to readers who enjoy the Star Wars, Rift War, Indiana Jones, Shannara Chronicles sagas.

Purchasing links:    Amazon US 

I think Jay could use some serious blogger love right now, but he is not a member of the BLOG BLITZ. So I'm appealing to the community here. Please drop by his site and say hello, and wish him a speedy recovery back into the writing and blogging world.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


The question for this month's IWSG posting is: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

My short answer is: I don't.

But the longer answer is: I make the time when I'm passionate about a prompt. An anthology theme, a scenario prompt, a special group to join, sudden inspiration from my Muse. And if I get to a hotel early enough, or a week off, I usually open up one of my many WiP and add a few words (very few), or do some editing. Or, write a book review or blog post. Reviews and posts are writing, right?

Speaking of book reviews, this seems a good time to review the first IWSG anthology PARALLELS: FELIX WAS HERE.

I'm giving it an overall 4 stars. Some of the stories were better organized (flow wise) than others, some were just not my reading style. It was an entertaining read, all the stories fit the theme, and I did not notice any technical/formatting errors. Since I had the Kindle read the book to me, I would have noted most even minor editing errors. The authors were all excellent story-tellers; many of the stories made me wish I did not have to put it down for whatever reason. Well done authors, publishers, and contest organizers.

I hear rumors that IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh will be announcing the specifics of the next anthology today, so be sure to visit his site, the IWSG site, and this month's co-hosts: C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Farris, Lori MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata. (Elsie's links are showing error)

Thanks for stopping by. I've pre-scheduled this as I'm on the road - as usual - but will be getting around the linky list through the weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Well, here it  is, my GARDENS post for Write Edit Publish (WEP) challenges, hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee. All I can say is, it takes place in a garden. This is something I started a while ago, but haven't figured out what to do with it. I hope it loosely fits the criteria for this prompt despite the lack of beauty.

(894 words, full critique acceptable)

I was born twenty six years ago, in Year 133 by my clan’s reckoning. The oldest clan in our territory – those that lived under ground since the end and only came out about 4 years before my birth - counts time back 451 years; the youngest clan marked seventy one from day of destruction. But who, besides Rovers and time keepers, is really counting; and not every clan has time keepers.

Some things from the old world haven’t changed. Hours in a day, days in a week, months that make a year. It is said the Universe did not notice the self destruction of one civilization on the youngest planet in the solar system; time moves on, civilizations rise and fall. People gotta eat, and breed.

Only the timekeepers know the secrets of past and future; those obsessed with keeping and reading journals, making calendars and marking off days, listing events. Time-keeping is a revered skill in our clan, and my parents were teaching me the tradition until my grandfather diverted my education when I was twelve.

He had the courtesy to ask me first, which was strange and exciting at the same time. He said, “Jensa girl, is this really all you want to do with your life?”

I loved my grandpa more than anybody, so I immediately said ‘no Grampy,” just because I knew that was the answer he wanted. Some years later I had occasion to regret my quick response, but only for a fleeting moment. I’ve seen the world outside these walls, fought the living and the dead, tallied the worth of the present, and insured the continuity of the future.

Sitting in the village garden today, listening to the Tillerman Rover’s proposal for uniting our clans, I was glad it was my grandfather’s advice that would sway the Counsil and not mine.

As Rovers, Grampy and I had logged the births, deaths and continuing line of the Tillerman’s, knowing it was just a matter of time before our own distant clan would attract their attention. I felt safe in this man’s presence not only because of my skills with bow, knife and words; but also because I was childless. Tillermans only bred outside their clan with women who had already proven fertility and living children.

I pricked my finger on a blackberry vine and wondered if it was an omen.

The heir, Vigor Tillerman, had been here a year before in the guise of a Rover gathering information. The gloves and long sleeves hid his identifying tattoo on wrist and palm, but he’d left plenty of euphemisms about his true lineage before leaving town. Grampy and I both considered him an arrogant prick, unworthy of even our lowest pure bred.

“I have recorded all births within my clan in the last six months, and none of the women claim to have slept with Vigor during his undercover visit. I have all the names of the fathers.”

“And you question every girl who is actively having intercourse? Do you pry into the private lives of all your citizens?”

“Yes we do,” I answered too loudly.

The gardens were positioned close to the gates to insure tranquility and quiet for relaxation, and introspection. We traded squash, beets, beans, corn, tomatoes, a variety of berries, grapes and other vine fruits, and even some of the flowers; but this community garden mainly fed our clan. Time keepers insured all citizens worked their allotted shifts in either the gardens here, or the orchards to the south; but many of our community preferred to contribute in the gardens and had never seen the outside.

Several citizens looked up from their hoeing and harvesting fearfully, though we hadn’t had an attack in my lifetime.

“Vigor has provided the name of the girl, the date of the assignation, and expects she should have conceived already. He is willing to pay tribute for the bride and to claim the child – providing it is healthy and still living.”

“He should pay for the conception regardless of outcome,” I said, accepting a cold lemonade from Maria, a constant gardener.

“Now Brent,” the Rover began, addressing Grampy and ignoring the apologies for my outburst from Counselor Erve.

“My granddaughter is right,” Grampy acknowledge. “However, if there is proof of paternity, and the girl is willing for the barter, we may come to some arrangement.”

I drained my glass to keep my tongue still. Sneaky, under-handed . . We’d turned Gage Tillerman’s proposals down twice prior to his bastard-heir’s not-so-secret visit. Commodities we had in plenty, as well as arms and a fighting force. What we needed, and Tillerman refused to barter, was an infusion of healthy, male donors. Our counsel was not even demanding long term contracts or support, though it would be greatly welcomed.

Too many female births, too few bartered males, inbreeding. The weakness was becoming noticeable among the other clans. I had an idea which family might be concealing a birth, and why. I picked up a hoe and headed towards the east wall where the new vegetable plot was planned. Slashing at the earth would help settle my anger, organize my arguments, and help the community grow.

The growing season was about to begin, and this year the bumper crop wouldn’t be confined to the soil.
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Leave your comments if it pleases you, and if you'd like to read other participants to this challenge, or submit your own interpretation, click here for the list. Linky closes on Aug 19.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Wow; did you notice its August already? Pretty soon it will be September, and then OMG October, and my birthday again. I think I could stop having those now, I've reached a ripe enough age.

I missed posting for IWSG! I was all set to write up my post when I discovered my battery was down to about 15 minutes- and I left my charging cord at a hotel four hours away. Ugh. Two days later I had a new cord (couldn't find one in a thrift store), was two days behind on work paperwork, slow internet access, and I was just plain tired. I really wanted to post for this IWSG too.

Oh well, I didn't really have the time to go visiting and commenting for this massive monthly event. Besides, I wrote a short story- yay me. About 3600 words, written then submitted to THE FIRST LINE magazine. (Thanks Shannon for the link.) Because I waited til exactly the deadline *hangs head in shame* I did not allow proper time for my CPs to fully crit, so I self edited and hoped they wouldn't find too much cleaning up to do (in case it is rejected and I need to find another place to submit it).

Needless to say, the submitted piece is a mess. But I had fun writing it, and will also enjoy tweaking it again, so even if it gets rejected for lack of editing, at least I wrote something. *pats self on back*

All this to say I've been really busy with work, traveling, and I'll be even more pressed for time throughout this month. I'll be working with my training supervisor again, and should be getting that iPad to make the paperwork much less a hassle. That will be fun to learn and use.

I'm missing all my writing friends, I'll catch up as time allows.

Have a great month!

Monday, July 25, 2016


Are you ready for some pretties today? Pretty tattoos, pretty interesting information, pretty book cover art? And of course, the pretty miss Tamara Narayan. Please train your dead stare at the following narrative and fill your skull with intriguing facts about Día de Muertos, Halloween, and Tamara's upcoming release HEART STOPPER.

Colorful. Whimsical. Scary? Not exactly. Images like the tattoo above depicting skulls painted in bright colors and surrounded by flowers have become increasingly popular. You also see them in movies (The Book of Life), music videos (Prayer in C), and even children's toys (Monster High's Skelita Calaveras). Merchandise featuring these skulls shows up around Halloween. But what are they and what is their cultural significance? 

Image: Lynnsi

Sugar skulls are part of the Mexican holiday known as Día de Muertos, or The Day of the Dead. The purpose of this holiday is to welcome back spirits of the dearly departed and celebrate their lives with events occurring from midnight on October 31 through November 2. 

Altars to guide the dead back to their homes, called ofrendas, are decorated with pictures, candles, and flowers. Marigolds are used because of their vibrant colors and scent. (Source) Toys and candy may be added to an ofrenda for a child. Returning spirits of adults may find tequila, cigarettes, or other traditional beverages at their ofrendas.

Sugar Skulls, made in clay molds and decorated with feathers, colored beads, foils, and icing  (Source), also go on ofrendas along with the departed's favorite foods and pan de muerto, a sweet bread often in the shape of bones or skulls. 

Skulls in this context are not supposed to be scary; they are an Aztec symbol of rebirth. Death is seen as a "positive step forward into a higher level of consciousness." (Source

Halloween may occur at the same time of year, but this celebration's origins come with an entirely different vibe. 

Image: Deanna Wardin, witch moon tattoo

Like the Day of the Dead, Halloween also marks a time when spirits return, but these ghosts were feared, not welcomed as guests. During the festival of Samhain, ancient Celts “would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.” Food was left out on doorsteps to keep the spirits from “causing trouble or damaging crops”.  (

Image: Mez Love, pumpkins and kitty cat

Skulls were associated with physical mortality, the fear of death, danger, and the brevity of life. (Source) Halloween falls at the end of harvest time, the transition between fall and winter, which brings to mind the cycle of life and death.

In Heart Stopper, Dallas Radner is caught between these cultures. He grew up with jack-o'-lanterns and trick-or-treating, but his wife is from Mexico. When his daughter Tessa starts planning to bake pan de muerto and design her own ofrenda, he doesn't know quite what to make of it. The soul Tessa wishes to honor is Dallas's sister, who died when he was a boy in an accident he still feels responsible for.

In the days leading up to October 31st, random objects start disappearing from their house: ten plastic bags, nine ballpoint pens. As the odd countdown continues, Dallas is terrified that the last thing to vanish might be the most important thing in his life: his daughter.

Heart Stopper and Other Stories is a collection of four suspenseful tales, available now at

Halloween comes, and the Day of the Dead 
For one man this custom brings heartache and dread. 
As belongings disappear, a child makes her shrine 
Is it a ghost? Perhaps. Or a shattered mind? 

Are you familiar with Day of the Dead traditions? A fan of sugar skull art or make-up? Any tattoos to discuss?