Friday, October 24, 2014


The Day She Died: A Time-Travel Mystery

by

Bill Garrison

A mystery. In this clean time-travel whodunit, a middle-aged coffee-shop owner always wondered what his life would have been like if he’d stayed in town the day his college fiancee disappeared, the victim of an unsolved crime.

One morning he wakes up 20 years earlier and finds himself a student at the University of Oklahoma again on the day she died. In a journey that takes months, he stumbles over people connected to Kim’s disappearance and puzzles over connecting the dots.

Oddly enough, things are different when he relives sections of his life. For example, as a teen he plays baseball and as an adult he discovers what it’s like to be a Christian pastor, things he never did before.

Can he find some answers about Kim and about his own life? Or prevent Kim’s death? And if he succeeds in changing history, what happens to his wife and kids?


Excerpt:
 

Chapter 1

Darkness pulled at John, weighed him down like an anchor. Tendrils of knowledge and light penetrated his subconscious, lifting him toward the noise hammering against his mind.

Buzz, buzz, buzz, followed by heavy silence, not the usual Dora the Explorer from the living room television.

Would today be any better, or would Renee still not look him in the eyes?

The musty smell of dirty laundry wafted to his nose. Twisted covers. Brightness.

Brightness!

He threw the covers aside and swung his feet to the floor. Why hadn’t Renee or the kids awakened him?

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

He shut off the alarm.

He sat at the edge of the bed and looked around in stunned silence.

Heart pounding, he tried to make sense of it. This had to be a dream. But dreams were never this real, the smells never this strong, the colors never this bright. He squeezed his eyes shut, but he knew nothing would change. This was real.

He sat on a twin bed in a small apartment. Not just any apartment. His old Village Square efficiency apartment, the place he lived during the fall of 1992.

Could it be an elaborate prank? Would Dennis do something like this? Would Renee let him?

John stepped to the window and looked out. Overgrown weeds shot up through cracked asphalt. His dark gray 1988 Grand Am with the racing pinstripe, a car he’d relegated to the junk pile many years ago, sat in perfect condition, parked to the left of the front door.

He turned back to the room and took it all in. The bed with its sagging mattress served as chair, couch, and, of course, his bed. The ironing board, a permanent fixture in the kitchen, doubled as more shelf space when necessary.

The dirty laundry formed a pile in the corner between his bed and the wall. His pride and joy, a Compaq 386 computer, sat on top of a rickety computer desk that had taken him hours to put together. A TV rested on a milk crate with a VCR perched on top. It had been luxury … eighteen years ago!

A clicking noise caused him to jump.

The window air conditioning unit powered up and began delivering ice cold air.

This wasn’t a joke. This was his old apartment.

The phone rang.

John stared at the phone on the dresser. It kept ringing. Four rings. Five. Six. No answering machine. No Caller ID.

Should he answer it? He shrugged. Why not?

“Hello.”

“Are you coming over or what?” Music pounded in the background, the Fresh Prince’s “Summertime.” He recognized the voice right away. Dennis Vance.

“Um, sure. What time?”

“Now would be good. Don’t forget the money. I have the tickets.” Dennis hung up.

Tickets? The memory slammed into his mind. The Red River Rivalry. The only tickets he ever bought from Dennis were for hard-to-get tickets, especially for the Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas Longhorns football game at the Texas State Fair. His hand tightened around the phone. No! It couldn’t be.

He swallowed, and his gaze darted around the room for anything that would tell him the date. John dropped the receiver onto the dresser. His trembling fingers grabbed the Oklahoma Daily, the college newspaper, off the kitchen counter.

A cockroach scurried away.

John’s heart pounded out of his chest as he focused on the date.

October 9, 1992.

The day Kim disappeared.

The worst day of his life, and he was living it again.

He clenched his fist and slammed it into the refrigerator. The appliance shook, and a framed picture of his parents and younger siblings fell from the wall onto the vinyl kitchen floor. The glass shattered. John shook the pain out of his hand. You didn’t feel pain in dreams.

He grabbed a pair of Levi’s off the floor and pulled them on. They fastened so easily, a sensation he hadn’t experienced in a while with his expanding forty-year-old waistline. Putting on a Sooners sweatshirt, he stepped into the tiny bathroom.

He leaned toward the mirror and stopped cold. A smooth face with thick, dark hair stared back at him. No wrinkles and no gray hair. Somehow, someone or something had reached into the life of John Michaels, forty-year-old coffee shop owner, and transported him back into the life and body of a twenty-three-year-old college student.

Fear wedged into his heart, but he pushed it away.

How had this happened? Why did it happen? He needed to get out of his apartment. He grabbed his wallet and keys from the ironing board but couldn’t find his phone. John threw clothes and papers across the room looking for it. He’d lost the stupid thing again.

No, wait. John halted his frenzied search. He didn’t have a cell phone in 1992. No one did.

He grabbed his watch. Two fifteen.

Tickets could wait. He still had time.

He picked up the cordless phone from where he’d dropped it. His fingers, white with fear, clenched the receiver as he dialed Kim’s number from memory even after so many years.

The phone rang. And rang again. No answer.

He hung up.

“I can do this, I can do this.” He searched his memories. The police had talked to all of Kim’s acquaintances, but never figured out her exact movements that day. Except for one thing . . . she had last been seen going to Gittinger Hall on the South Oval of the University of Oklahoma campus.

 

This is an except of a full-length novel, releasing Oct. 15, 2014.

For more information about the rest of the book, visit


or

 
 
MEET THE AUTHOR:
 
Debut author Bill Garrison lives the American Dream with his family of five in Oklahoma City. As a graduate of Oklahoma University, Bill works in the healthcare and accounting industry by day, but lives his creative side once he leaves the corporate world. After putting the kids to bed with a good story, he turns to his laptop and spins his daydreams into novels. Bill Garrison, CPA by day, story weaver by night
 

Friday, October 17, 2014


Vegas Vacation

by

Clare Revell

 Former protective services officer, Sgt. Martin Ames, is five weeks short of medical retirement from the Vegas PD when he lands one last case: spoiled English heiress, Lady Tamlyn Bradshaw, whose bodyguard is hospitalized with suspected food poisoning. 

Tamlyn is on holiday, her first without her father and his ever present bodyguards. She wants to have fun, not spend the time stuck in a hotel room with a disabled cop, even if he is tall, dark and disturbingly handsome. 

When food poisoning becomes murder, passions and tempers flare as Martin attempts to keep Tamlyn safe from the assailant who gains everything on her death.

Extract

“Martin, you’re the only person in the department with the security clearances and the experience to do this.” 
“I haven’t worked protective services for over three years and for good reason. I’m five weeks from early retirement, and I don’t want to spend them running around after a spoiled heiress.”
“Did I ask what you wanted? This woman’s father is royalty and I just got off the phone with him—”
Tamlyn cringed in her seat, her cheeks burning. This was a bad idea. She’d go back to the hotel and trust God to protect her. No one knew who she was; she was just one more tourist in a city of thousands. 
The angry voice continued its tirade in the office. “Royalty? In that case, I’m sure she can afford a replacement bodyguard. Even better…ask the British Embassy to provide one. My days of babysitting people are over.”
“Unless you want to be fired five weeks before your retirement date, your assignment for the next three weeks is to be Lady Bradshaw’s bodyguard. There’s the door. She’s by your desk waiting for you.”
The door flung open, and Tamlyn glanced down. She focused her gaze on her fingernails. Maybe she could just pretend she hadn’t heard. 
Heavy steps crossed the room as muted conversations started up again. They stopped by the desk. “Lady Bradshaw, I presume?” 
She looked up into the most intense, glittering pair of blue eyes she’d ever seen. His hair was pulled back in a long black ponytail, and he leaned on a cane. They had to be kidding. A disabled cop? His navy blue shirt and tie at least gave an appearance of professionalism. Although the gun holster on his shoulder made her shiver. 
She stood, grateful he couldn’t read her mind, because she was already regretting that first thought about his gorgeous eyes. She held out a hand. “I am. You must be Sgt. Ames.” 
 
AUTHOR BIO:                                                                     
 
                                                                                            
Clare lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from an early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, reading, or sewing, she's keeping house or doing the many piles of laundry her children manage to make.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of three registrars.
 
 

Friday, October 10, 2014


REDEMPTION

by

Lillian Duncan

 

Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently.

Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation.

She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with her kidnapped son. Used to working alone, Jamie’s not happy when she’s assigned a partner. And after a failed operation and their failed romance, Enrique Rodriguez is the last person she wants to work with—ever.

To succeed, Jamie must confront her past as well as the people who want her dead.


REDEMPTION PROMO:

To celebrate the release of REDEMPTION, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. But wait…there’s more! I always feel bad for the people who enter the contest but don’t win. So I’m also going to pick FIVE more lucky names to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Just the right amount to buy REDEMPTION! Just kidding, the winners can use it to buy whatever they wish.

So hop on over to TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com  to enter. Leave a comment on the post REDEMPTION and you’ll be entered to win. Easy Peasy!!
 

 AN INTERVIEW WITH LILLIAN:
Tell us about REDEMPTION.
It’s the third and final book in my Sisters by Choice series. Well, probably last. I do have an idea for a fourth book rattling around in my brain, but it’s only an idea at the moment. Who knows if it will actually grow into a book?
Redemption brings the series full circle and gives closure for those who’ve read all three books. Jamie is the missing twin in the first book-DECEPTION. And in REDEMPTION, we come to learn more about Jamie and her spiritual struggles. But the main story is about a missing child who Jamie is determined to find—no matter the danger to herself.
 What’s the setting for REDEMPTION?
This story is all over the place. It starts in Florida, then Jamie goes to Ohio and on to Wyoming and New Mexico—and not all of her own doing!
 How did you come up with the title for REDEMPTION?
The story begins with Patti not understanding why her twin, Jamie, continues to place herself in serious jeopardy time and time again. Jamie doesn’t understand either. Only that she needs to help others if and when she can no matter the danger to herself.
As the writer I know why, and I’ll share the secret with you. Jamie is ashamed of things she’s done in her past. As a result she feels God can’t love her the way she is. So she seeks redemption by putting herself in dangerous situations to help other people.
But then I checked out the definition of redemption. Dictionary.com defines redemption as an act of atoning for a fault or a mistake; deliverance or rescue; deliverance from sin; salvation; atonement for guilt.
Wow! As I look at those definitions, I realize REDEMPTION is full of all sorts of redemption for many of the characters in the story—not just Jamie’s. No wonder that’s the title I chose.
 
Why did you write REDEMPTION?
We only catch a brief glimpse of Jamie in DECEPTION and BETRAYED. REDEMPTION is Jamie’s story.
 
What do you want readers to take away from REDEMPTION?
God loves us no matter what we’ve done in the past or what we do in the present or will do in the future. His love is the one constant we can always count on!

Does REDEMPTION have a theme?
God loves us just the way we are and He is always there waiting for us to come to him.
 
What’s the SISTERS BY CHOICE series about?
This series definitely has romance in it, but I also wanted to explore the strong bonds that form between women—through blood or through the choices we make. Each story focuses on a relationship between two women that becomes as important to the story as the romantic plot.
 Why did you become a writer?
I always had stories in my head waiting to be told. Unfortunately for many years those stories were only being enjoyed by me. One day a light bulb went off—hey, maybe I should be writing these stories down for other people!
That was the day a writer was born, but it took many long years until I could say, “I’m a writer!” Now, I love saying that.
 
What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.
When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.
 
Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be. As the story comes to a conclusion, I am surprised right along with my readers. REDEMPTION was no exception. I thought I knew who the bad guy was but as usual there were a few surprises!
 
Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s all right. I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.
As mysteries and suspense, there is, of course, some violence in the stories. However; I don’t promote or glorify violence. I make sure to show characters experiencing the natural consequences of bad choices and bad actions.
 
Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?
My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.
My stories shows characters in crisis. I use the crisis to illustrate how real Christians react to real problems in their life. We all react in different ways when bad things happen and the same is true in my stories. I show characters having doubt but also resolving that doubt and becoming stronger in their faith as a result of the crisis.
One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.
 
If REDEMPTION becomes a movie who would you like to see play your main characters?
I’d love to have the Oslin twins play Jamie and Patti. As for Enrique—a dark, handsome actor with a bit of a Hispanic accent. Mmm, who could that be?
 What are you working on now?
In July, I had a new mystery novella series released--DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. It features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. Having been a speech pathologist for almost 35 years, this story was so much fun for me to write.
The second in the series—NOWHERE TO BELONG—will be released sometime next year and I still have some work to do on the third in the series. Along with that I have a few other projects I’m working on. Busy, busy, busy!
 HOW CAN READERS FIND YOU ON THE INTERNET?

My website is www.lillianduncan.net. My blog is TIARAS & TENNIS SHOES at www.lillian-duncan.com. I’m also on Twitter as @LillianDuncan and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lillian.k.duncan I also contribute to Putting On The New at www.puttingonthenew.com.