Throw Back Thursday: In Memory Of Tupac Amaru Shakur 1971-1996 – The Conscious Poet/Rapper /actor #throwbackthursday #music

 

 

Throwing it back musically as usual on a Thursday! This week I thought a bit about Tupac, after a movie marathon the other night. I was up until 4:00 a.m watching the biopic “All Eyez on Me” recently released in memory of  him. I was impressed with the casting, the actor who portrayed Tupac is not only as drop dead gorgeous as the real man, (sorry no matter what you think of him, this man is a stunner!! 🙂 ), the actor also put over Tupac’s characteristics we know him for well.

One thing that I’ve always felt about Tupac is that no matter how “gangster” some my find him, he was at times a very conscious rapper and a poet.  He was in love with Shakespeare! His lyrical content at times was intelligent. Sometimes this may have been ignored. Or it could have been that sadly he was not “media friendly enough”, as his way of showing his consciousness upset and reminded certain groups of society members, about the struggle they turn a blind eye to… but those from poorer backgrounds facing the struggle could relate, no matter what side of the Atlantic they hail from.

Interestingly,  I have read things that suggest Tupac was a contradiction to himself, conscious on one hand but everything that young black / Hispanic males are stereotyped as, like he lived up to what society expect from young males of this background. Personally, I feel his delivery of consciousness came from a certain place, his environment, and who he was skin deep and may always be seen as due to history. And if you don’t understand  or acknowledge that environment you won’t get his consciousness!  He was associated with the Black Panthers. His mother is a very strong woman and supported the human/civil rights movement in the USA. You can’t get more conscious than that. He was a voice for a certain demographic of people around the world facing oppression, only some understood it while others saw it as aggression. I’ll never forget him, his voice represents the thoughts and feelings my own son, who is just three may feel one day growing up in a harsh world.

Today I’m throwing back two of my favourite hits from this award winning, platinum selling actor, poet and yes rapper… “gangster rapper” if that’s what you want to label him as… whatever… using his own words “middle finger up! Only God can judge him.”

R.I.P Tupac

16th June 1971- 13th September 1996

Died age twenty five!!!

 

 

 

Keep ya’ Head Up: Love this song with its conscious words, I can’t help but two step dance!

 

I ain’t Mad at Ya: Video made just a week before his death… makes you wonder about his death.

 

Miracles Can Happen: Short Story Theme #kdsuspense #amwriting

After all the blood, gore, crime, thrill, suspense and sex! Didi and I are feeling a little heartfelt and soft. When miracles happen in life it can be so touching. We ask you what miracle would make a great heartfelt story? What’s your favourite this week? Thank you for voting and thank you for your time, we are very grateful and humbled by all feedback we get. Don’t think for a moment we’re not! Each week we’re challenged by your winning vote and we love it.  As creatives it’s so much fun, but as professional writers it’s such a great experience to work on  our craft, both in and out of our genre by writing a story at the drop of a hat in a weekend 🙂 ! We’d love to read your stories from the winning writing prompts do write with us.

updated-telling-tales-weekly-challenege-kim-didi53

 

This Is How Kim & Didi’s Suspenseful Collection Works!

We never discuss beforehand how a story should go or who writes what. It’s a surprise for each other to see how their story ends, or what lands in their inbox to finish off.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge us by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.

Read Previous Stories Here!

Conscious Talk Magazine: Issue #1 Online! #newrelease #launchday #amreading

Updated Banner

My team and I are pleased to announce we’re now live! We are online with issue #1 . Our long term goal is an in print twice monthly format of CTM also. This month we have some interesting articles on parenting & families, sex & relationships, the writer’s life, fashion & beauty, health & well-being, bookish & author news and more! Each month we have a team focus called Conscious Thoughts, every one at CTM writes up their thoughts and response to some world event….. This month it’s the recent gender discrimination case at Google. Enjoy!

Here’s a bit about us:

Details: Conscious Talk Magazine will launch its first online edition in August 2017, (we aim to become a print version magazine also). Conscious Talk Magazine is a proud online multi-cultural and diverse global magazine, covering a range of topics. There is something for everyone. Readers will find interesting thought provoking articles, from health and wellbeing , fashion and beauty, bookish news and reviews, sex and relationships, men’s issues, finance,  travel, international news, music, LGBT, film and entertainment to name  just a few. We have a team of talented and diverse writers from all corners of the globe, and walks of life, here to entertain, support and empower our reader’s mind, body and soul.  Conscious Talk Magazine is neutral and does not lean to one side politically, religiously or socially.  Conscious Talk Magazine is published twice a month on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Readership Target: 25-50 years old, male and female, globally situated. Conscious intelligent readers not after Hollywood gossip!

 

Check us out here  click:  www.conscioustalkmag.com 

Like us on Facebook: @conscioustalkmag

Follow us on Twitter: @conscious_talk

Week #4: THE CRIME SCENE – A Short Story #kdsuspense #amwriting #crime #shortstory

CRIME SCENE

 

The Crime Scene

AUTHOR ONE: SCENE ONE

23:12 p.m. Down Town Los Angeles

“Evening, Detective McBride. This is Detective Flynn, what ya got for us?”

As Detective Daniel McBride listened to the low down from the LA CSI forensic team, Detective Kate Flynn drowned out the sirens, and low hum of voices as she moved her eyes over the crime scene. Mr Wang’s Chinese restaurant is normally a busy eatery, popular with tourists and locals. Tonight, it’s cornered off with police tape, and the media everywhere. They circled the scene like a hungry pack of wolves waiting to fed. Flynn glanced over at the restaurant, the steel shutters covered with graffiti are lowed over the entrance.

“McBride, I’ll catch you inside okay? I’m gonna head in and take a look.”

McBride nodded and returned his attention to the forensic team. Detective Flynn made her way over the Mr. Wang’s, she eyed the outside of the building and news reporters with a sharp eye. Mel Turner a well-known CNN News reporter caught Detective Flynn’s eye. Mel jogged toward her, as she stepped in line with Flynn’s path she shoved a microphone under her nose, and a camera man zoomed in on the action.

“Detective, Detective do you have any idea who the killer is?”  

“No… not at this point.” Flynn responded avoiding the camera, mindful not to give away too many details. She kept walking at a brisk pace to the crime scene.

“But Detective, you can’t be serious, this is the third murder in one week. You mean to say the LAPD are still clueless about the killer?”

Flynn stopped dead in her tracks, annoyed at the reporter’s bravery. Cleverly, she tried to get a rise out of her with her comment.

“Ma’am get that microphone outta my face. With all due respect, this is a crime scene and y’all need to move away from here.”

Flynn, increased her pace toward Mr. Wang’s, her flat loafers pounded the pavement as a swarm of reporters headed her way. As Flynn approached the restaurant’s entrance, she inhaled a deep breath, cameras flashed behind her.

Bang bang!

“Open up, LAPD.” Flynn announced in a flat tone.

A quick badge flash at the forensic team member, covered in a boiler suit, goggles with camera dangling from his neck gained her access.

“Thanks, Detective Flynn. Can you lead me to the body please?”

“This way Detective.”

Flynn stepped over the threshold of the restaurant into what looked like a regular Friday night occurrence. As she scanned the scene of the crime, it appeared tables were dressed in traditional Chinese cloths, delicious Chinese food  left half eaten along with glasses of wine. The guests must have been horrified to find out their meal had to be interrupted as the LAPD were on their way.

“Where’s the owner?”

“Right this way ma’am.” The forensic responded over his shoulder as he led Flynn into the kitchen area. Mr. Wang sat on a crate with his head in his hands sobbing. Flynn lower herself to his level.

“Mr. Wang, I’m Detective Kate Flynn.”

“Hmm, Detective, my business, my customer! Everybody leave unhappy no money, I need money to send home, my wife in China.”

Flynn watched Mr. Wang’s tears overflow as he threw his arms around in frustration, gesturing to the empty dining area and LAPD and forensic team crawling all over his restaurant.

“Mr. Wang, I need to ask you a few questions in a moment okay?”

“Hmm hmm.” Is all Mr. Wang responded as he lowered his head and wept some more.

With a sigh, Flynn pulled herself up to her full five foot nine height, then glanced at the forensic to her left.

“Right this way, Detective.”

***

“Detective.”

Another forensic in a full body suit acknowledged Flynn’s presence with a nod, as he took photos of the body outside the back area of the restaurant.

“Stephen, hi. Okay what have we got here?”

“Well, as you can see Detective, the victim is a white female, around her late twenties, found behind the dumpster over here as Mr. Wang put out the trash.”

“Hmm, okay. Any obvious cause of death?”

“No stab wounds, or gunshots noticed. We’ll need to wait for the full autopsy report.”

“Okay, don’t fall asleep on this one, contact the coroner’s office asap. I’ll be over there first thing for a report. Prints, evidence, I need that on my desk before noon tomorrow.”

“Yes ma’am. No problem, Detective.”

Flynn spun on her heel and walked around the outside area of the restaurant, just a small garden area cornered off by a fence. A few dumpsters, bags of trash, nothing appeared obviously out of place. The question was how had the killer gained access to dump the body. She walked over to the open gate and examined the lock another forensic was dusting off, presumably for prints.

“Flynn, how’s it going?”

The sound of Detective McBride’s voice over her shoulder startled her, she was deep in thought, as she imagined what could have motivated the killer to use the back entrance of Mr. Wang’s to dispose the body.

“Not good, white female, late twenties no obvious signs of death as yet.”

McBride rubbed his grey beard, and narrowed his eyes in thought. The contrast of his salted pepper beard against his smooth chocolate skin, gave him a slight Denzel Washington look.

“Shit, same as the other two, hard to say if there’s a link though, they’re the same age group but no connection with the background. One Hispanic and one African- American.”

“Hmm, we need to find out who she is and see.” Flynn responded as she glanced back over at the victim’s body on the floor.

“Right, what about Mr. Wang?”

“He’s inside in tears, concerned over his business, naturally.”

“Take him in, leave no stone unturned. See what he knows.”

“I’m on it.”

McBride watched Flynn make her way back inside the restaurant, then moved his eyes slowly over the scene of the crime.  He felt the sense of urgency he felt every time a crime was committed, especially a murder. Three bodies, one week, three females, late twenties and one killer on the loose. He and Flynn, had work to do.

***

“This is Detective Kate Flynn, today is Monday 28th August 2017. Present is Detective Daniel McBride. This interview is taking place at Los Angeles Police Department, in interview room three. Mr. Wang you are not under arrest, however we’re carrying out routine investigation questions as you were the first one at the crime scene. You are being interviewed under caution, anything you say may be used as evidence in a court of law. For the purposes of the tape can you please confirm your name, and date of birth.”

“My English… no good, I sorry, not perfect.”

“Take your time Mr. Wang, if at any point you don’t understand or need an interpreter please let us know.

Mr. Wang lowered his gaze to the worn brown wooden table, that separated him and the two detectives. He felt nervous, in all his years in America he had never had a brush with the law.

“Okay, I try.”

“Thank you, when you’re ready sir.” McBride reassured him.

“I Chan- Lee Wang, 13th February 1950.”

Flynn took over the questioning, while McBride made swift notes.

“Thank you. Mr. Wang are you the owner of Mr. Wang’s Chinese eatery in downtown Los Angeles?”

“Yes.”

“And for how long have you owned that establishment sir?”

“Since I in America.”

“Which was when please sir, when did you arrive?”

“Ten years, 2000.”

“Thank you. Mr. Wang. Can you tell us in your own words what happened tonight, when you found the body?”

Mr. Wang hesitated, the shock of finding a body on his premises put the fear of God into him.

“Okay, okay. I clean plate, put food in trash bag, tie bag and go outside to dumpster… then… then.”

Mr. Wang places his hands over his face, as he broke down sobbing again. He is inaudible behind his sobs. McBride and Flynn glanced at each other, mindful this could all be an act. McBride cleared his throat and took over the lead.

“Mr. Wang if you could continue please sir, when you’re ready.”

“Yes, yes. I go outside to dumpster and push bin to wall, too far forward, not in right place… Then it no push. I look down, behind, I see body.”

“And then what did you do?”

“I ran inside, call police.”

“Did you touch the body at all?”

“No sir … No no no way.”

“Did you recognise the victim?”

“No.”

“Does anyone else have access to your property Mr. Wang?”

Slowly, Mr. Wang shook his head as if deep in thought.

“No, nobody.”

Feeling as though the interview was leading to a dead end, McBride closed the interview, pending further investigation.

“Thank you, Mr. Wang. That will be all for tonight, it’s late you’ll be released with no further questions– for now.

***

8:00 a.m. The Coroner’s Office

“Good to see you Kate as always, under such sad circumstances but good nonetheless.”

Dr. Solvinac eyed Flynn over his half-moon glasses, as he finished off his autopsy report.

He took in her tall stature, and short blonde hair. On the outside Flynn was all business, and radiated more of a masculine air about her. Her tailored dark pant suits, low heel loafers, bare fingernails and lack of cosmetics, gave nothing personal away about her or any kind of femininity. Underneath it all, she had a heart of gold. Over the years the two had become close, since she transferred to the LAPD from the Nevada Police Department, Las Vegas.

“Morning Doc, good to see you too.”

Flynn approached the table with caution, on top was the victim from last night. Her pale skin contrasted against her blonde hair.

“So, who is she?”

“Here we have Danielle Bray. Her ID was in her pocket, oddly. The killer must have taken off with her purse.”

“I see, what else do you know?” Flynn pressed as she followed Dr. Solvinac around the table.

“Thirty five years old, a drinker quite heavy, probably been dead around twenty four hours before she was found. Prior to that she had intercourse, semen was present in her mouth and internally, the semen however is mixed there was more than one man.”

“Thirty five! She looks so much younger! McBride and I were sure she was in her twenties.”

“They all look young in death, Kate. Danielle is in her thirties according to her photo ID, and the autopsy I done.”

“I see, and you say more than one man? And the cause of death?”

“Strangulation, not with the hands, more like stockings or some such thing. There was a struggle too. And yes, just to make your job that much harder there were two semen samples found.”

“She was a busy lady.”

“She sure was, I’ll run a check on the samples and come back to you as soon as I can.”

Flynn, bit the inside of her lip and looked over Danielle’s body slowly.

“Thanks Doc, I’ll be in contact.”

“No problem, see you when the next one turns up.” Dr. Solvinac lightly chuckles.

“That’s not funny Doc, we’re gonna find him.”

“Or her, you never know…” Dr. Solvinac retorts.

***

“Hey, what’s the latest.”

“She’s thirty five.”

“Thirty five, get outta here, really?”

“Yes really, death by strangulation too. Danielle Bray.”

“Hold on a sec, lemme run her name through the database see what it throws up.”

“There’s more, two semen samples present.”

McBride let out a low whistle on the other end of the line.

“I’m on my way to base, see you soon.” Flynn, pressed end on the call to McBride, threw her car in gear and took off.

***

“Morning boss.”

“Morning.” Flynn responded as she made her way through the open plan office, of the LA Police department, to McBride’s office. As she opened the door her partner was slumped in his chair, deep in concentration looking at his screen. Ever the snappy dresser today McBride had on his pink shirt open at the neck, with no tie and a pair of black braces. Gold cuff links sparkled at his wrists. Without so much of a greeting Flynn got to business.

“So, what’s up, anything come up?”

“Yep, she works over at the bank on Main Street. Minor records on driving offences, drinking under the influence a few years back. Her next of kin is Leena Bray her younger sister.”

“Right, we better pay a visit and give her the news, then come back and see if this case links up with Kelsey Lopez and DeLisa Jones.” McBride responded as he stood up and reached for his suit jacket.

“Hard to say, Kelsey Lopez, Hispanic, poor, unemployed, DeLisa Jones African- American from a good background, with a nine-five. What the hell could these three women all have in common?”

McBride blew out a slow breath at Flynn’s question. “Wrong place, and the wrong time that’s all we know for now.”

***

“Can I help you?”

“Detective McBride, this here is Detective Flynn.”

McBride flashed his badge, and Colgate white smile at the pretty blonde who opened the door. Flynn remained poker faced, and unfazed.

“Are you Leena Bray?” McBride questioned.

“Yes.”

“We need to speak to you about your sister, Danielle. May we come in please?”

“Sure.”

Lena moved to one side, full of confusion she let the detectives into her home. Flynn and McBride walked into Leena’s neat and tidy small condo apartment. Both detectives looked around alert, as they tried to pick up clues about the lifestyle this young lady led.

“Take a seat, would either of you like something to drink?”

“No thanks I’m fine.”

“I’m fine too, thank you.”

“Well, all right, take a seat.” Leena nervously gestured to the seating area.

All three of them lowered themselves to the coach. Flynn, took control.

“Leena, your sister’s body was found late last night.”

“What? Where? How… I just spoke to her the day before yesterday and.. Are you kidding me?” Leena’s pretty face moulded itself into a pleading look.

“No, afraid not. She was found behind a dumpster, by Mr. Wang’s downtown.”

“Downtown? What the hell was she doing there?” The disgust was clear in Leena’s voice.

“When was the last time you saw your sister?”

“I spoke to her the day before yesterday, she had some hot date to go on as always.”

“Did she say who it was with?”

“Some guy named Ryan, she met him online, via an advert he placed.”

“Did she say anything else?”

“Nope, just filled me in on her crazy love life as usual and how things were going at the bank.”

AUTHOR TWO: SCENE TWO.

***

“What do you have for me?” Flynn asked the uniformed officer waiting by an interrogation room. “This better be as urgent as you claim, we don’t want any repeats of last time.”

Officer Dannally lowered his head in shame. Remembering his false alarm. He’d pulled Flynn from the the actual scene of a crime the very hour the act took place. He looked up at her from beneath his bushy unibrow that stood out against his pale skin. He cleared the lump from his throat before he spoke.

“Yes, ma’am,” he forced through a timid voice. “I have a security guard from a night club downtown. He’s been watching the news and claims to have seen each victim the night of their attacks.”

“Hmmm.” Detective Flynn nodded at the Officer Dannally in approval. “Do you think he’s telling the truth?”

“Seems so, yes,” he answered, still a little embarrassed at her recognition of his last big mistake.

“Has he been briefed and aware of the camera?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Mcbride chimed in, “I think we should both go in with this one, don’t you boss?”

“Agreed.”

Mcbride forced open the heavy metal door to a cramped interrogation room. The walls were a dark gray, and the floors thinly industrial grade carpeted. The supposed security guard sat on the opposite side of an elongated fold up table. It separated him from the two entering detectives. Flynn reached her hand across the table first to greet him.

“Sir. I’m Detective Flynn and this is my partner Detective Mcbride.”

The man stood to return the courteous introduction. He was tall, well over six feet with wide shoulders and a sharpe serious look on his smooth mocha face. His dark eyes explored the length of Flynn’s tailored, form fitting suit. After an obvious smirk consumed his face and he adjusted the belt line of his pants, he shook her hand first. His grip was purposefully weak but his hand was big enough to completely engulf hers. The warmth of his rough skin mixed with the way he undressed her with his eyes made her cringe.

“Detective.” He smiled.

Flynn ran a hand down the front buttons of her suit as she took a seat, wholly uncomfortable, which was rare. Not many men were capable of getting under her skin, but this particular one had that look. The look of someone hiding a twisted secret. Something disgusting lurked behind his undressing glare. Flynn’s detective intuition charged full speed ahead, alerting every part of her that something was off with this guy. Her heart pounded in her chest trying to get out. But, she put it in check and put her most collected face on show.

After shaking Mcbride’s hand in just the same fashion, they both took their seat, joining Flynn at the table. Mcbride didn’t waste any time.

“So you say that you’re a security guard at a club down town?” He asked.

“Yep, the Boom Room,” he beamed, looking mostly at Flynn. “Been there for five years now.”

“I’m sorry,” Flynn jumped in. “I don’t think we caught your name?”

“Thomas Toby, or Tom if you’d rather.” He threw her a wink.

“I’ll stick with Thomas,” Flynn mumbled with disgust.

Mcbride placed his large black leather briefcase on the table and began rummaging through photos of each victim. Soon a snapshot of each girl before their murders was laid out on the table.

“So Thomas,” Mcbride said, “You claim that you’ve seen each of these girls in the club within this last week?”

“Yep, every one.” He sat up a little taller in his seat, seeming proud of himself.

“And you’re sure of it?”

“Without a doubt.”

“What else can you tell us? Anything you can think of is helpful.”

“Well, like I said, I’ve been working there for five years. I can tell you a lot actually.”

Thomas scratched his chin with his thumb and forefinger in thought. It wasn’t a look of straining to remember, so much as pondering on how much to actually give away. Finally he nodded to himself as if to confirm the direction he wanted to take. Then he grinned the same proud smirk he sported while shaking Flynn’s hand and blurted out his words.

“They’re escorts. Everyone of them.”

Both Flynn and Mcbride perked up in their seats.

“That’s impossible,” Flynn said. “Not one friend or family member said anything about this. Trust me, we’ve asked every single one.”

“They wouldn’t know, now would they?” Thomas grinned. “Would your daughter want to tell you she was a prostitute?”

“I thought you said escort?” Mcbride corrected.

“Yes, of course.” Thomas rolled his eyes, peeling them away from Flynn to finally give Mcbride his attention.” I can’t speak for this one,” he said while pointing at the Hispanic girl, Kelsey. “She was new to that crew and seemed to carry herself with more class. But blondie here was well known for how deep her deep throat could go, if you know what I mean.”

“So you actually know these women?” Flynn asked, “You didn’t just see them”  She accentuated the way she announced ‘see’ while signaling quotations in the air with her fingers.

“I wouldn’t go that far, ma’am.” Thomas corrected her with a giant grin and while holding both palms in the air as if to playfully surrender. “I haven’t actually spoken to any of these women, but they come into the club very often. And, I know their boss well.”

“How well?” Mcbride asked.

Thomas’ smile spread nearly from ear to ear. He leaned across the table on his elbow, and spoke in a low menacing voice, “He’s my brother.”

***

“Officer Dannally?”

“Yes, ma’am?”

He stood immediately at attention as the door to the interrogation room slammed behind Mcbride and Flynn.

“I want several search warrants, and I need them within two hours or less. Do whatever you have to do to get them rushed through. We have to act fast before night rolls around. We have a lot of new information, and several leads. I want them all looked into before we have any more victims on our hands.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Grab a pen, I don’t want you messing this one up.”

 

***  

Toby Enterprise was located in the heart of downtown L.A. on a skyrise overlooking the city. Mr. Jarek Toby, Thomas’ brother, stood by his corner office window with arms folded tightly across his massive chest. The resemblance between him and his brother was uncanny, and he gave Detective Flynn the same uneasy feeling… Maybe even worse. She paced the large open room, taking in every book and photo on his overstuffed shelves.

“Tell me again why you’re here.” Jarek grumbled.

“We’re here to talk about your escort service.” Mcbride said, while sitting perfectly calm and collected in a fluffy black leather chair. One ankle propped up on the other knee and hands casually set in his lap.

“I no longer run an escort service.”

One side of Jarek’s lip curled up and his eyes danced with the excitement of a skilled liar.

“Yes Mr. Toby, we’re well aware that the operation was shut down three years ago for prostitution.”

“Which brings me to ask again. Why are you here?”

Mcbride sat forward and lowered his eyes. “Because we’re also aware that your previous clientele upped the price they were willing to pay you to keep the business running under the radar.”

The smirk on Jarek’s face quickly melted away, yet he stuck to claiming his innocence in the matter.

“Toby Enterprise is strictly a holdings company. I buy out businesses, break them down and sell them for a very substantial profit. The escort side of things was a liability. There never has been a need to do anything under the radar. With all do respect Detectives, you’re looking in the wrong place.”

“We have three dead girls on our hands who I’m sure would beg to differ if they were able.” Flynn said, as she stopped to take a closer look at a photo.

The still frame she stopped at sat next to one of Jarek and Thomas together on the beach. It clearly ranked up there with family and it instantly raised the hairs on Flynn’s arms.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Jarek insisted.

Flynn turned on her heels, and held up the photo. “Mr, Toby?” She asked. “Explain to me exactly how you and are brother are both so closely acquainted with Mr. Wang as to be in a photo with him and his entire family?”

“We did business years ago.”

“What kind of business?”

Jarek remained stone faced, yet the color of his ears darkened from a very light brown to a deep scarlet. “Toby Enterprise was a silent partner for Mr. Wang’s restaurant.” He paused as a spark of recognition lit on his face. “Wait a minute. How do you know my little brother?”

Mcbride chuckled, “Wow, you really are in deeper shit than you realize, aren’t you?”

“Okay, what the fuck did that low life tell you exactly?” Jarek scowled, the anger rising in the back of his throat.

“That’s beside the point.” Flynn interjected. “What do you mean was a silent partner?”

“Mr. Wang screwed us out of millions, and at the same time drove a wedge between Thomas and me. When I said I stopped running the escort business, I didn’t mean the entire business stopped.”

“Well Mr. Toby. Why don’t you fill us in on exactly what you do mean.” Flynn said with one hand on her hip and the other still holding the photo in the air. “Also, why don’t you explain to us why you keep these photos in your office if the hate for these individuals is so clear?”

Jarek slumped forward in defeat. With his weight supported by his elbows on his desk he buried his face in the palms of his enormous hands. He pulled in a large breath of oxygen and then let it out very slowly, while rubbing his hands up and down his face.

“You don’t know my brother,” Jarek said. “There’s a reason he’s doing this. He must have finally found out about the affair.” He rubbed his face again with the palm of his hands, this time much rougher, and much more urgently. His demeanor flipped from irritation to an odd sense of urgency and fear.

“What affair Jarek?” Mcbride asked, “Explain quickly please. We’re running short on time, and I’m running short on patience.”

Jarek let out a long breath of anxious air, his cheeks blowing out like a balloon. He reached over the top of his desk, holding a hand out for the photo. Flynn handed it over willingly and finally took a seat in the chair next to Mcbride. She gave Jarek her full and undivided attention, knowing that whatever he had to say must be big. Jarek began pointing at the faces on the picture.

“This man here is Chin-Lou Wang, he his Mr. Wang’s brother. This woman is Sue-Lee and she is Chin-Lou’s daughter. Thomas was engaged to her when she and I had an affair. When Mr. Wang and his brother found out about the affair he threatened to tell Thomas as well as my wife. The escort business was under investigation at the time. So I backed out of our silent partnership in the restaurant giving Mr. Wang full profit. Then I handed the escort’s clientele over to Chin-Lou to run quietly after it’s downfall through Toby Enterprise.”

Detective Mcbride leaned back in his chair and said, “I can imagine Thomas wasn’t very happy about you handing over the business like that?”

“Not at all. Especially when I wouldn’t tell him why I went over his head.” Jarek shook his head in shame. The grief was visible in the purse of his lips and the wrinkle between his brows from pulling them together.

“What happened between Thomas and Sue-Lee?” Flynn asked. “And if you handed over the escort services then why would Thomas say you still run it?”

“Sue-Lee died in a car accident shortly after it all happened. Thomas didn’t take it all very well. He signed over all of his shares of the business to the staff and then took off. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.”

“Hmm…” The wheels in Flynn’s head were turning like a well oiled machine. There had to be something else. Something they were missing.

“Like I said.” Jarek continued. “My brother is a dangerous man. He sent you here knowing that I’d spill the beans. He wouldn’t have done that unless he has something planned… Something big.”

“Do you have anything to hide, Mr. Toby?” Flynn asked. “Any other reason for your brother to send the police to your office? He’s clearly out for revenge. If he wanted us to find out that Mr. Wang’s brother ran a prostitution service then he would have sent us straight there. This is more than just a wild goose chase, you must have something else to hide.”

“No ma’am, I swear I told you everything I can think of.”

Before anyone had the chance to say anything else, there was a loud knock on the door. Four uniformed men barged in, the first holding up an official document.

“Officer Dannally, I’m glad to see you finally made it.” Flynn stood and took the document from the officer’s hand before turning back to Jarek. “Jarek Toby you are hereby under arrest. You a have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney, and if you can’t afford one, then one will be appointed to you. You have been charged with tax evasion.”

“You can’t prove anything!” Jarek shouted over his shoulder, cutting her off. A pair of shiny cuffs clicked as they secured his wrists in place behind his back.

Flynn turned her back to him as she reached into her pocket to answer the phone call ringing in. “Detective Kate Flynn here.”

“Kate, it’s Dr. Slovinac down at the coroner’s office.”

“It’s great to hear from you Doc. Please tell me you have something useful.”

“We have a match to one of our seman samples.”

“And, who was the lucky guy?”

“The specimen in her mouth came up as one Thomas Toby. Does the name ring a bell?”

“Yes Doc. Thank you. Call me as soon as anything else comes through.

Flynn clicked off her phone and slid it back to is place in her pocket. She turned to face Mcbride, “It seems like our boy Jarek here was telling the truth. It’s time to use our next warrant and pay Thomas a little visit.

As they made their way to the door amongst the chaos of the officers searching Jarek’s office a menacing laughter crackled through the air. Mcbride turned back around his face twisted in confusion.

“Is something funny, Mr. Toby?”

“You’re dead!” he laughed. “My brother is going to kill every last one of you mother fuckers.”

Who wants part #2?? Thank you for reading & voting for this writing prompt we loved this week’s challenge, we could write this story more!

🙂

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This Is How Kim & Didi’s Suspenseful Collection Works!

We never discuss beforehand how a story should go or who writes what. It’s a surprise for each other to see how their story ends, or what lands in their inbox to finish off.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge us by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.

Read Previous Stories Here!

And The Most Voted For Writing Prompt is: A Crime Scene… Damn Kim’s excited!! #kdsuspense #amwriting #crimefiction

CRIME SCENE

 

Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU!! For all your votes on Twitter and the blogs this week. This week Didi and I asked you to vote for your favourite type of movie scene.  This week we will start a story at random, with the most voted for type of scene. It was a close call between romantic comedy – first date and a crime scene.  However, a crime scene won the vote. We are SO excited,  as suspense authors we do love a bit of crime fiction. While Didi likes to write them (characters) a little psycho, I like to keep it fast paced and edgy so this should be a GOOD week, as we join forces again!  Don’t forget we’d love to see your stories , please write with us. Start your story at random with a crime scene and let us see. Post your link on one of our blogs and share with #kdsuspense. We’ll catch you Tuesday. Have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend if you’re in the UK.

This Is How Kim & Didi’s Suspenseful Collection Works!

We never discuss beforehand how a story should go or who writes what. It’s a surprise for each other to see how their story ends, or what lands in their inbox to finish off.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge us by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.

Read Previous Stories Here!

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Last Chance To Vote this week! What’s Your Favorite Type of Movie Scene?

Likes like y’all want us to write a crime scene… I’m excited for this. Do vote if you have a different view…

Didi Oviatt

Drama, Thriller, Romance… We all have a favorite, what’s yours?

Are you a movie lover? For this week’s short story writing prompt, what’s your favorite kind of movie or scene in a movie? Is it action & adventure, erotic, romantic comedy, thriller and suspense… what?? We’ll create this week’s #kdsuspense short story, by starting the story randomly, using the  type of  movie scene with the most votes. We’ve left off a horror scene as … well… we wrote that  genre last week. Did you miss it ? It had blood, gore,sex and more 18 + reading. Read it here.  Thank you for voting! Don’t forget to write with us. We’d love to read your work. Post the link on one of our pages to see.

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Authors, If You’d Like A Read & Review and Interview With Conscious Talk Magazine Let Us Know. #authors #spotlight #amreading #amwriting

 

In the run up to launch day (30th August), I’ve had a brainwave. I love to read, and so do a lot of us over at CTM.  We also love to support authors, by helping with publicity for them and their work. My Bookish News & Reviews columnists and I are now offering a read, review & interview service, to all authors of all genres. This is a paid service, however we are nowhere near as expensive as many our rate is just $25.00 USD  per book.

What will authors get.

  • Any book read and reviewed within one month of acceptance.
  • A review published in an issue of CTM.
  • A review posted on Amazon, Goodreads and anywhere else the author would like.
  • An author interview published in CTM also.
  • The review &  book cover tweeted and shared on Facebook to CTM followers by the CTM official page, and all columnists who write for us will share!

Here is a bit about CTM:

Details: Conscious Talk Magazine will launch its first online edition in August 2017, (we aim to become a print version magazine also). Conscious Talk Magazine is a proud online multi-cultural and diverse global magazine, covering a range of topics. There is something for everyone. Readers will find interesting thought provoking articles, from health and wellbeing , fashion and beauty, bookish news and reviews, sex and relationships, men’s issues, finance,  travel, international news, music, LGBT, film and entertainment to name  just a few. We have a team of talented and diverse writers from all corners of the globe, and walks of life, here to entertain, support and empower our reader’s mind, body and soul.  Conscious Talk Magazine is neutral and does not lean to one side politically, religiously or socially.  Conscious Talk Magazine is published twice a month on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Readership Target: 25-50 years old, male and female, globally situated. Conscious intelligent readers not after Hollywood gossip!

Note: The editor will turn down any books promoting racism, or any form of discrimination, child harm, rape, or underage sex. In fact, she’ll say NO to anything not suitable. Reviews will be honest, fair and balanced. 

Any author interested should contact me at editor@conscioustalkmag.com

Meet The Best Selling Thriller / Mystery Author- Kristina Stanley!! #amreading #thriller #mystery

 

 

Kristina Stanley Author Photo.jpgIt’s the 25th of the month, taking centre stage we have another great author, a best selling one at that all the way from Canada! I’m thrilled to have her here let’s not waste anytime, let’s get into it and learn Kristina’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi Kim,

Thanks for having me.  I currently live in British Colombia, Canada and am avid skier and sailor, but writing is my passion.

I write the Stone Mountain Mystery series. DESCENT, BLAZE, and AVALANCHE are published by Imajin Books. LOOK THE OTHER WAY, my latest novel, was released August 1st.

Kim: Nice to have you here ma’am.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

Late one night in Unteruhldingen, Germany I was reading MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU by Mary Higgins Clark. The opening—a woman trapped in a grave. Darkness and silence surround her, and she doesn’t know where she is. I can still see her fingers clawing at the edges of the coffin.

Tucked in my bed, I knew a driver would arrive at 4 a.m. to carry me to the Zurich airport for a flight to London, England. The sensible thing to do was sleep. But I couldn’t. I turned pages until the car arrived. I was exhausted, bleary eyed and excited. At that moment I knew I wanted to write something that forced a person to read and to forget about life for a while.

When I finally started my first novel, I’d been living in a ski resort for five years. Skiing is one of my passions and seemed the obvious topic.

Kim: wow, it’s so great when you find a writer that does that to you. I had  the same experience, the first romantic suspense I ever read was by Jackie Collins. Them pages turned, and Lord knows I was way too young to be reading about that kind of stuff... here I am over ten years later writing that genre. This is great to hear.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’m addicted to mysteries. I read one or two a week.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I am so a “panster.” I spent years developing spread sheets to help me rewrite my drafts so they were structurally sound. Finally I got so fed up with the cumbersome process that I created a company, Fictionary.co, and developed Fictionary to help me. It’s recently been released, so other writers can benefit. The goal is to help writers turn a first draft into a story readers love.

Fictionary is a game-changing online tool for fiction writers with a first draft. Fictionary guides writers through an automated, big-picture edit with a deep focus on story structure, not on the words. Think characters, plot, and settings.

Kim: yes you told me about this I remember I must go and take a look. Thanks for reminding me.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m rewriting the first draft of EVOLUTION. I’m using Fictionary to do that.  As soon as I finish, I’ll start work on the sequel. I plan to join Nanowrimo in November to get 50,000 words written.

Kim: Good luck, my Nanowrimo was a no no this time, third time lucky I hope. I’ll be joining you in November.

So… where can we get your books?

All my books are available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Kristina-Stanley/e/B0106J097I

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

I try for little successes rather than big ones. If I wrote 1,000 words before breakfast, that’s success. If I ran 5 kilometres after I wrote, that’s success. Did I make my husband laugh? Another success. I believe it’s the little things that make a lifetime of happiness instead of trying for that big one.

Kim: very grounded. I’d love to know how you felt the day you woke up a best selling author, honestly?

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book

You know the saying, write what you know? I believe it should be write what you love. I write about skiing, so imagine how fun it is to research that? For AVALANCHE, I spent hours with the avalanche forecaster at a ski resort.  For LOOK THE OTHER WAY, I lived on a sailboat in the Bahamas. That novel takes place – yup you guessed it – in the Bahamas on a sailboat.

Kim: Bahamas?? … Nice. I like location stories * opens up Amazon to take a look.*

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Sometimes. I’d rather take feedback from beta readers when I still have a chance to make changes. Once the book is published, there’s not much I can to. I’ll admit I read the 5 starts reviews just to make myself feel good. Who doesn’t like a little ego boost once in a while?

Kim: Guilty, in all areas. For me I guess not so much ego but knowing you did a good job.

Do you Google yourself?

I have Google alerts set up for my name.  I found out my novel, DESENT, had been released in Germany. The German version, ABWEARTS, was out on Amazon before my publisher told me it had been released. That was a fun moment.

Kim: Okay, seems like this Google alert is a winner then? Another author this month mentioned they too have an alert. *Pouts in deep thought.*

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Having other authors as friends is tremendously important. I’ve developed friendships with authors who write in same genre as I do, so they are great people to trade beta-reading services with.

Kim: agreed, or even writing buddies.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I can write a first draft in about three months if I write six days a week. Then it takes me another few months to rewrite and edit, and that’s before any proofreading is done. This month I’m using Fictionary for my big-picture edit of EVOLUTION. This will speed up my editing and rewriting process.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

My favourite character is always the protagonist I’m currently writing.

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Longevity!  Writing makes me happy, so I want a lifetime of it!

Kim: Good answer! Same here.

And that’s a wrap people. Great to have so many authors from different parts of the world here. A real diverse month too in terms of genre. I hope you all enjoyed meeting Kristina. Connect with her below.

Author site  www.KristinaStanley.com

Twitter:         

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KristinaStanley.Author/

 

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SUBMERGED BENEATH THE DEPTHS IS A SEA OF SECRETS…

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.

If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.

 

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monthly features

Meet The Author – T. D Edwards YA, Urban, Fantasy Author #amreading #fantasy #fiction #chicargo

Tdedwards1

It’s the 25th of the month, time for Meet The Author. Here’s one of the three great authors I have lined up for you this month. T. D Edwards all the way from none other than Chi-Town Chicago in the USA. A state I’ve never been to, but heard so much about. T.D Edwards is my first YA author I have featured, I’m wasting no time let’s get into it! Let’s get to know T.D’ Edwards’ style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi! I’m from Chicago, IL, and other than writing, I enjoy reading and listening to music. Outside of my writing career, I’m a licensed professional counselor.

Kim: Oh, clever lady. Nice to meet you.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading paranormal fantasy, suspense, thriller, and horror, and I’m a fan of YA literature.

Kim: Snap, we enjoy the same. You like suspense and thriller, stick around you’re in good company on this blog.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I published my first book in 2009, and it was a very valuable learning experience, to say the least. At the time, I was so excited to publish that I didn’t spend enough time making sure the book had been edited enough. When I finally realized how much more work should have been put into that book, I took it off the market. I can only hope the only copies around now are owned by forgiving family and friends who can accept that I didn’t know what I was doing back then!

That first book definitely led to a change in my writing process. Not only am I much better at making writing flow more smoothly, but I’m much better at editing now as well. In fact, my favorite part of the writing process has become editing. I think a lot of writers hate editing, but for me, it’s the best part. Giving “birth” to a new book is the hard part; shaping the book into something I’m satisfied with is the rewarding part.

Lastly, I learned a great deal about vanity publishers and the traps they set for inexperienced authors. Needless to say, I’m a lot more careful now!

Kim: *sighes* girl, I feel your pain. Good learning curve though. Yes the first one is like giving birth I’ve said it so many times “slow and painful in places.” But it breaks you in for the next one… just like actual child birth.

So you’ve published a series—what is the series about?

I’m publishing a YA urban fantasy trilogy that has psychological and supernatural elements. The series (Lunacy) follows Kory Diffoten through his turbulent final year of high school, where suspicious events leave him questioning his sanity. As the series progresses, he discovers the truth behind these unusual events, how they involve him, and how they impact the person he is becoming.

What was it like creating back-to-back stories that link?

It’s been fascinating creating a series. Initially, I hadn’t intended on making a series out of Lunacy. However, I kept adding things to the story, and discovering so many twists and turns that I felt it would be too much for one book. So I eventually figured out how to divide it into smaller, more manageable segments.

Although it’s been fun, I think it will be a while before I embark on another series. I’m interested in creating more stand-alone novels. There are so many book series out there these days, especially in YA literature. I find it overwhelming, and a little frustrating, to be honest. My To-Read list has grown out of control! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve picked up a good book, only to begrudgingly realize it was part of a series and that the additional books would end up on my to-read list indefinitely. I don’t want to create that kind of frustration for readers, and feel a little guilty as it is for doing so with the Lunacy series, especially since my #1 beta read, my sister, was quite vocal about her frustration in realizing Lunacy was a series!

I think good stand-alone books have become undervalued and underappreciated in today’s series-obsessed society.

Kim: Hmm interesting view on this, I have mainly always read stand-alone books the only series I really ever read was Fifty Shades of Grey (don’t judge me, I liked it, leave the poor woman alone so what if her writing is “simple” it was entertaining). 

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in?

Yes! I would love to dabble in different genres. In fact, I did just that with the release of my latest novel, The Peculiar Case of the Lakewoods. It is a hybrid of a few genres—mixing in a bit of a detective mystery with a horror story, in a format that is part epistolary novel (i.e. told through letters, diary/journal entries, etc). Needless to say, it was a very ambitious project for me! But I was overall pleased and surprised with the outcome, and I’m eagerly awaiting more feedback on it—whether good or bad.

I’d love to one day write something in the genre of magical-realism because I love how whimsical those stories can be. I’m just waiting for inspiration to strike. Dystopian fiction is another genre I’d like to try someday soon. I’ve had ideas about dystopian-like societies for a while now, so maybe that’s what I will dabble in next. Who knows.

What has been your proudest moment as an author?

For me, the proudest moments are when I get good reviews from someone who isn’t a friend or family member! It makes me feel that perhaps my writing is decent after all. I love writing something that someone else genuinely enjoys.

Kim: *Nods her head*, well done you! And I know the feeling well, it never leaves you. Sometimes it’s hard to believe someone read and enjoyed your creation that much. Good job.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Only when the Internet is running slow, or my music isn’t playing properly!

Kim: Hmm cool as a cucumber! Nothing fazes you while writing.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants, “pantster,” as a writer?

I’m a plotter who usually gets caught off guard and winds of pantsing my way through!

Kim: Thank the Lord, we still exist. Most authors I’ve featured lean towards panster… I blame Stephen King for putting that one out there.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip-up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther, exit or exists—but hey, I’m over it now.  Do you have a word(s) that make you go, “Blah, go away! Not another damn typo!”

 I usually get caught-up on “past” and “passed.” And I’m always trying to figure out whether it’s more respectable to use “leaped” or “leapt.” And I thoroughly hate when words literally have two spellings—like “accidentally” and “accidently.”

The English language is so complicated! I’m convinced that anyone claiming to have perfect grammar or perfect mastery of this language is outright lying, or too naïve to know otherwise!

Kim: Sweet baby Jesus… wait, wait there’s two spellings? I better check that out myself! *Avoids eye contact.*

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

1). Keep writing.

2). Read a lot, across multiple genres.

3). Learn to distinguish good writing from bad writing.

And for a bonus: Learn, period. As often as you can. Random knowledge can be the key to escaping writer’s block!

Kim: Great advice.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Lunacy Shared, Book 2 of the Lunacy series, is my next release. After that, I’ll start preparing Book 3, Lunatic, with the intention (and hope) of releasing it in 2018. Then it will be time to start paying more attention to the various book ideas that have been constantly floating through my head. Hopefully, I can explore them more in depth this year during NaNoWriMo.

So… where can we get your books?

Lunacy’s Core: https://www.amazon.com/Lunacys-Core-T-D-Edwards-ebook/dp/B017ANWY08/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499884912&sr=8-1&keywords=lunacy%27s+core

The Peculiar Case of the Lakewoods: https://www.amazon.com/Peculiar-Case-Lakewoods-T-D-Edwards-ebook/dp/B071VJTWL9/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1499885484&sr=1-1&keywords=the+peculiar+case+of+the+lakewoods

Lunacy Shared (pre-order): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WQ5Q5G/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think big egos hurt in any field. No matter how good you think you are, you could always be better. Anyone who doesn’t accept this is bound to stagnate. As a writer, however, you do need thick skin, because everyone isn’t always going to like what you produce. Plus, it takes a lot of bravery to put something that you’ve worked so hard on out in the open for everyone to critique. There’s a difference between having thick skin and a big ego though. Being a writer requires being brave, but humble.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes! I haven’t gotten many reviews at this point, and fortunately, what I’ve received thus far have been good. I know bad reviews will come eventually though. I think I’m good at distinguishing between when a reviewer is being malicious for the heck of it, and when constructive criticism is being given. So I will try to be mindful of this whenever I inevitably get that first bad review.

Kim: Totally… you can tell a whine and bitch, from the stuff you need to take on board. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

The ending scenes of The Peculiar Case of the Lakewoods comes to mind. I don’t want to give away too much about the book, but I was aiming to write it in a way that allowed the events of the story to be interpreted in two different ways. I never wanted one possibility to overshadow the other because I want readers to decide for themselves which side they believed is accurate. It was a tricky balance to maintain, particularly at the end.

What’s your favourite book and why?

I’m going to cheat and say the whole Harry Potter series, although Deathly Hallows was my favorite of the series since I felt each subsequent book was better than the last.

What attracted you to write in your genre?

Like most authors, I write the kind of things I would like to read.

Do you ever get nervous over how people will view your work?

Definitely! Don’t we all? I’m always torn between desperately wanting people to read my work, but then being positively terrified when I know someone is actually reading my work. It doesn’t quite make sense, but I think that’s just the nature of being an author. We’re strange people.

Kim: It makes a lot of sense! That’s how I felt when I co-wrote Lisa Vanacilli,  in It Was The First Time I Killed A Man.  A lesbian (explicit) serial killer, in an accent so far removed from my own. I had no idea how people would take her even though I love her!

And that’s a wrap people! It’s a pleasure to have so much diversity in Meet The Author. Let’s wish T. D Edwards well with her work. Connect with her below.

 

Life apart from her twin, Matilda, isn’t easy for Charlotte Lakewood. On the other hand, life with Matilda wasn’t exactly easy either. In more ways than the obvious, Charlotte always felt the two of them were too close for comfort, which especially presented problems when she was regularly blamed for her sister’s disturbing antics.

Upon starting college, Charlotte finally feels free from her sister’s clutches. The freedom is short-lived though, when she returns home over summer break only to become the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Even though Charlotte experiences occasional black-outs, she’s sure she would remember if she hurt someone. Hence, she has a terrible feeling Matilda may be the real culprit. The only problem is that Matilda has been dead for nearly three years…

Things quickly spiral out of Charlotte’s control when she is summoned for questioning by Detective Mallone and search warrants lead authorities to some of the most private details of the Lakewood family’s lives through diaries, stolen mail, and notes from the family therapist. With Matilda possibly reaching from beyond the grave and long-lost secrets having troubling consequences, Detective Mallone soon learns that the circumstances surrounding the Lakewood family are just as terrifying as they are peculiar.

Part epistolary novel, The Peculiar Case of the Lakewoods is a psychological and supernatural thriller about a family’s unusual history, the consequences of their darkest secrets, and the lives caught in the chaos.

If you’re an author and you’d like a feature or read and review contact me here.

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monthly features

Meet The Author: Jack Binding- Dark Humour, Horror Author #amreading #horror #british

Jack

It’s the 25th of the month and boy am I glad to spotlight this British author. He is super talented and I loved his book of short stories Pills. You can read my review here. Jack’s style sits well with me personally as a reader, I get him and his work. It’s dark, it’s raw, and not for the faint hearted.  Inspired by the main man Stephen King himself. I could not keep a straight face during this interview it was an absolute pleasure to  meet him. Let’s get to know Mr. Binding’s style… let’s get into it!

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello. My name is Jack and technically, I’m from Slough (where The Office is set). But I moved to Southampton when I was three years old. Okay if I say Southampton? Does that count? I live in Sydney now, though. Maybe I should say I’m from Sydney. I move around a lot. Restless.

Other than writing I enjoy creating music and watching on repeat that scene in Spring Breakers where a gold-toothed James Franco sings Britney.

Kim: Britney? You don’t look like the “type” *eyes Jack closely.*

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’ve always written in one form or another. Lyrics, diaries, death threats. This is just a natural progression. There is no single inspiration to create, it’s just something I have to do. Whether it be music, writing or whatever. I go crazy if I can’t create.

Kim: Hmm know the feeling.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Although it’s hard to pin down one author, as I’m answering this question, it’s JG Ballard.

Other than his excellent short stories, I’m a particular fan of the urban dystopia in his later works such as Super Cannes and Cocaine Nights.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Anything, as long as it’s good. Horror, obviously. And dark fiction like Bret Easton Ellis. Just finished reading his wonderful Lunar Park.

I love science fiction, too. I grew up reading Asimov and have a real fondness for the genre.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Although I market myself as a horror writer (pigeonholing is a necessary evil in order to find the right audience), I actually don’t set out to write horror. I always come at writing new stories from the psychological point of view. I write a lot in the first person – I like to be in the character’s head. Sometimes, however, that process isn’t too good for my own sanity.

I have thought about writing erotic romance under a pseudonym as I’m not shy about writing a sex scene, but at the moment it’s nothing more than an idea. (Or is it? Perhaps I have an entire series of erotic novels out there..?)

Kim: *wide eyes* reeeeeeeeeeally? You’re the second male author I’ve interviewed who has entertained writing romance. Go for it, I imagine your style of romance would be … err… hmmm dark maybe?  *Narrows her eyes* wait, wait.. what’s this about erotica and pseudonyms?? If you’ve got an anthology of erotica out there Jack, you better spill the beans! We wanna know… details please.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Maybe whilst editing the short story Breeders. There was a great, creepy tale in there, but I had a hellish time trying to pull it out. It was a very painful experience. It’s one of the longest stories in Pills. Did I succeed it making it good? Let me know.

Kim: Ya did good kiddo, I loved all of Pills… until the bitter end.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I used to meticulously plot, but I find that for me it leads to contrived situations and I often force my characters to do something that doesn’t fit with their personas. So now I have a vague plot, but I let my characters dictate how I get from A to B. It’s more natural that way. If that alters the plot, so be it.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I don’t, know what you mean.

Kim: *shakes head*  me neither I, don’t, have, no, problems with commas :).

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

No, my spelling is perfect and their is nothing wrong with my grammar.

Kim: *Pouts shrugs shoulders* sure, same hear my speling and grammar, is excellant.  🙂 Who needs an editor?

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

If you’re pissed off, channel it to drive your plot or your characters.

Don’t write for your audience, write for yourself. If you don’t like what you’ve written, chances are nobody else will.

Take chances. That murder scene too violent? Fuck it. Leave it in there. Don’t be afraid to offend people.

Kim: * heart pounds, OMG. Did he just say what I’m thinking*…. Ahem, okay, thanks Jack great advice there. 🙂

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on a very dark thriller right now which has the nastiest villain I have ever created. It also has a clear protagonist, which is unusual for me, because I tend to steer away from writing good guys. Can’t relate to them. It’s on draft two, although I suspect there will be many more drafts before it’s fit for public consumption.

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon! Everything’s available on Kindle. Here’s the link to my US author page:

https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Binding/e/B01M1YNRMB/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1496988813&sr=8-5

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I’m not gonna lie, I have a huge ego. To be able to write something – something that will most likely be very personal – and put it out there for strangers to read (and the inevitably judge) takes guts. There’s a fine line between delusion and confidence, however, so being self-critical is also very important. Luckily for me, everything I’ve written is fucking brilliant and it’s only a matter of time before the awards deals start rolling in and I can dine out on movie rights with my new celebrity mates.

Kim: Erm, I guess the short answer is .. no?

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My writing tends to stem from personal experience, so I don’t need to research much. I only tend to research medical things like how to best dismember the body of a dog with rigarmortis.

Kim: *Avoids eye contact.* Thanks Jack, I think. 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Thankfully most reviews tend to be positive. But bad reviews don’t bother me. I actually like that something I’ve written has elicited an emotion in someone so strong they feel compelled to document it on Amazon or Goodreads or whatever. Bring it on. Haters gonna hate, to quote modern poet, Taylor Swift.

Kim: Haha that’s a sure thing just like tax and death, it will happen. Them haters gonna hate. 

What was your hardest scene to write?

There’s a short story in Pills called Sleeping Pills, and there’s something awful that happens to the narrator near the end. I don’t want to spoil it here, but that was the hardest scene I’ve had to write. It was very personal and upsetting. Had to get drunk in order to finish it.

Kim: Sleeping Pills is a deep story and one of my favourites. 

Do you Google yourself?

I have a Google Alert set up for “Jack Binding”.

Kim: *shakes her head* you’re too much Jack, seriously?

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I am a solitary beast.

Kim: Ha more like Billy No Mates. 🙂

What would you like readers to know?

Deep down I’m actually an okay guy. Honestly.

Kim: Raises an eyebrow to readers… have you read Pills yet? You  be the judge of that one. Just kidding.

What’s your favourite movie?

It changes every week. Sometimes it’s Candyman – the most underrated horror movie of all time. Sublime story and wonderful gothic Philip Glass score. Sometimes it’s Withnail and I, because that was basically my life for about three years. And sometimes it’s White Chicks, because … well, why not?

What’s your favourite book and why?

England Made Me by Graham Greene. I first finished it on a train between Reading and Basingstoke and burst into tears in the carriage. It has had the same effect on me every time I’ve read it since. Heart breaking. Underrated classic.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I’m fortunate enough to have travelled extensively, but the one place that sticks in my mind is Lake Garda in Italy. Exquisite scenery, food and people. I will buy an apartment there when I sell the rights for Dot Matrix to Hollywood.

Kim: Dot Matrix is an excellent story!! I could see that in a movie. Great characters.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters develop themselves. I let them run with it.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

There’s a strange old lady called Mags, who pops in and out of the short stories in Pills. She’s my favourite. Sad old woman who has lived for years and has seen so much she has to resort to some very dark things to get her kicks.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I’d have grown a moustache in my early twenties.

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Either, as long as something I write strikes a chord with people.

And that’s a wrap people, I strongly suggest you grab a copy of Pills, it’s a great introduction to what this author is about, really entertaining. But brace yourself it is over eighteen reading for sure. I’m a fan! Can’t wait for the next anthology to land on Amazon.

Pills-Kindle (1)

Jack Binding’s Pills splices gritty realism with surreal imagery and otherworldly dread.

From the vicious high fashion horror of FMM (The Devils Wears Prada via Bret Easton Ellis-esque debauchery) to the stark, unsettling heartbreak of Sleeping Pills, Binding takes the reader on a journey through the secret parts of London that few people ever visit.

Influenced by writers such as Stephen King, Martin Amis and JG Ballard, there’s Cronenberg-inspired body horror, creepy kids (and their creepier parents), death, love (often unrequited), seedy massage parlours and late nights fuelled with lust and narcotics.

With overarching themes and characters, the 18 short stories in Pills can be read either as a whole enjoyed as stand-alone tales.

 

Read my review of Pills  here

Connect with Jack here

Author site: https://jackjbinding.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjbinding

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jack_binding/

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