Zed, The Next Dovetail Cove Novel, Jason McIntyre Tour #AmReading @JasonCMcIntyre

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zed by Jason McIntyre!

Zed, The Next Dovetail Novel

It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she’s the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.

But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

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Author Interview

What has inspired you to become a writer?

Inspiration to tell stories came early. I was the kid in the fourth and fifth grade sneakily reading Stephen King novels at 800 pages apiece behind my propped-up math text book. At eight, I was the editor of a short-lived school paper and we didn’t have enough content to fill the back page. I went home and hauled out my Mom’s old IBM typewriter to begin an epic serial about two young girls who are abducted by aliens in their backyard. I knew I had something when the other kids begged to know what would happen in part two. Alas, the teacher who managed the newspaper project got a transfer and part two of the saga never made it out. I guess, in a way, I’ve been writing towards the end of that tale ever since.

How do you come up with your characters and how do you make them so interesting?

I start in a very visual way. Without even closing my eyes, I can clearly see what’s happening and, as I noodle around on the ‘what’ of a story, I eventually start to form a visceral view of the ‘who’ in the tale. The people inside that vision have to become real to me, even before I start the first sentence. If they don’t then I don’t care about them. I have to care, or else I never haul them out of trouble. And, really, isn’t that what makes fiction great? Dumping someone you care about into a heap of worry and then methodically traipsing them out of said trouble in a believable and satisfying way.

My biggest conundrum is when a dazzling or lovely person gets in a trap and they aren’t pulled out in time. It’s the biggest challenge for me — I can’t save everyone and, sometimes, a character I adore needs to die so that things keep chugging for the whole story. Forgive me, readers. I will kill again.

What makes your stories and books different than other books you have read? Everyone has their own style, what is yours?

I mix and match genres, influences and types of stories. One major thrust of my writing life is to never repeat the same kind of book twice. I want to push myself to unearth new and different pieces of myself as I tell stories. So while a book like ZED has companion books that have a flow between them, there are nearly a dozen different genres represented among them. One might be a coming-of-age paranormal while the next might be a murder mystery and then I may discover that the next works best as a straight-ahead horror. There’s noir and crime books and even a western. Now, do they all look exactly like their home genres suggest? Not at a glance. They use the tropes from each genre but usually in a new mix. They meld into something that, I guess, looks and reads like a Jason McIntyre novel. Hopefully, readers enjoy the journey through all the different places I like to play. Oh, and I hope they get scared and a little upset along the way.

Do you plan on writing any other genres?

Future genres include something that no one who’s read my work will believe. I want to write a romance novel and a deeply historical fiction that is true to an extremely ancient time period. As always, I want to have fun with what I write, and produce something unique that interests readers, but pushes me into new territory.

Anything else you would like to discuss about you as a writer?

ZED is part of a mosaic novel. The only other writer I know who’s written this kind of a work is George RR Martin. His mosaic comprised of books written by a dozen different writers all working within one world and telling stories about the same characters.

DOVETAIL COVE works in a similar way. The characters flow in an out of the background of several books and the island setting is the same place, spanning a decade in the history of one place that has a succulent past and a lurid present. The difference between Martin’s mosaic and this one is that I’m writing all the pieces myself. Each DOVETAIL book stands on its own, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. But if you read more of them, the pieces of a much larger puzzle begin to fall into place. At present, ZED marks the fourth of ten books to be released. Others available now are BLED, SHED and DREAD. Look for new ones in 2015 and 2016.

Getting to Know the Author as a Person

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I travel as much as I can and spend time with my crazy kiddos. Readers and friends from social media will likely remember all the posts about the nutty things my kids say. I won’t even mention my wife here. She has her own cult following among my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

I have built a lovely studio in my home and use it to write music, paint when I’m able and, yes, nap profusely when the spirit is not moving me otherwise.

What relaxes you when you need to unwind?

Creation of every sort is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine doing. I adore many forms of music and art and, when I’m in the middle of drafting a new book, it’s the greatest escape from life’s stresses. I peel back the page and transport to an entirely new place as I write. The process of uncovering a story is food for my soul.

What are your favorite foods?

I have always loved to travel and try new experiences and dishes wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been on a jag for Eggs Benedict and have been trying that in as many countries and cities as I can. Now, of course, lots of places don’t have that so I’ve broadened it to ordering eggs prepared in whatever style is most prevalent in the place I’m visiting. It’s really interesting to discover the different cooking methods — not to mention the different kinds of birds’ and lizards’ eggs that have been brought to my table!

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?

I’ve had what I call ‘inconclusive’ paranormal experiences. Things have happened that, even after intense scrutiny, a rational person might not be able to form a judgment as to whether it was explicable by science or by para-science. Rest assured, all strangeness in my world (paranormal or just odd and intriguing) eventually finds its way into a story or two. Writing, I’ve discovered, has really become my own form of torture, er, I mean self-therapy. I write to understand the events of the world, of people and of my own life.

Tell us anything you would like your readers to know about Jason McIntyre.

I once shared a bottle of expensive red wine with a homeless man. The throat infection I developed the following week nearly put me in the hospital and my health insurance had lapsed so I couldn’t get a scrip for antibiotics. I went through six tubes of topical Polysporin. Yep, I gargled the stuff five times a day until I could see straight again.

Character Interview

Record: 1974-03452
Subject: Zeke <Last Name Redacted>
Date: August 31, 1974
Type: psychological assessment
Method: audio cassette recording
Interviewer’s notes: Zeke seems to be of below average intelligence. My understanding is that he’ll be given comprehensive intelligence and psychological tests upon admittance to a local group home care facility. – CF

Zeke, can you tell me how you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?

I got me no memory of my Mama. My Daddy, he and I didn’t get along so good. Now we have some good times. He lets me work with him. Least he used to. Now that Chief Birkhead come and get me and start doing his talks with me, I don’t know. I might never do the work with my Daddy again. That might be sad.

What do you want from life?

To keep my truck, wash it, and have it nice fer always. I only got a me few scratches and I buffed them out. I’d like to find a purty lady who maybe doesn’t care that my thinker bottle is cracked and don’t work so good no more.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Like a genie in a bottle? I saw that on a tv show once. I Dream a Genie. Let’s see. A shiny bufferin’ machine. For my truck you know. A new poker stick so’s I can reach way down deep into the sewers. For when I’m on duty and the trash pick up on Main street.
And maybe, I dunno, maybe I’d like to take a train trip one day. I member going on the little loco-mota when I’s a boy. We got one on the island, you know. Lotsa people don’t know that but we do. It was fun. That big smoke stack going way up and making that big smoke in the air. It was fun and I’d like to get me on a train like that again.

What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

I dunno, I already live on an island. Dovetail Cove and a bit north of town is the only place I ever been. Hard question. Can I skip it?

In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?

I ain’t never different with nobody. Same Zeke alla time. I hate when people give those fake smiles, you know? Or when they lie to you and you know they lyin but you can’t figure out what to say so that the lie is seen. Fakeness is hard. Same Zeke always. Scout’s honour.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

<inaudible> <muffled response>

Zeke, can you answer? How do you fall in love? Does it take a long time or happen all at once?
I bin in love a couple times you know. I like it when purty girls laugh. They sound so nice and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get—
<inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said.

and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get—
<inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said.

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Trust? I don’t know. What do you mean, trust?

Oh, I don’t know Zeke, I guess I mean, how do you know someone isn’t lying to you?

I never really think about it. Don’t all Mommies and Daddies teach their little ones to tell the truth? Mine did. I always do. Everyone should.

When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

I was real good at re-doin floors. All kinds of floors. Tile and wood, polish and rug. I like to see how good a floor is and then I think about how I could do it better.

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

Nobody should look at Zeke. My Daddy told me I ain’t supposed to look at nobody so maybe they shouldna look at me.
Describe yourself to me.

Me? I’m strong for my size. I can lift two of me, and I’m real good at looking after Main Street.

Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?
When I was a kid I got hurt real bad. My thinker took to leaking and I don’t imagine anyone knew I was gonna be like I am. But I can still get by. I do okay.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

Daddy says we ain’t got no souls. But if I had to say, I’d tell you. Purty girls. When they laugh. That’s what touches Zeke’s soul.

What’s the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t? What would happen if you did do it?

My Dad says I’m not supposed to say.

What do you consider are your strengths?

My arms. My back is pretty strong too.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right?

What one physical attribute would you change?

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right?

What one physical attribute would you change?

I put two new tires on the back when I saved up enough. I’d change out the front ones if I could afford to.

What do you consider your special talent?

I always do what I say I’m gonna. No one has to guess. Zeke always comes through.

What do you wish your special talent was?
Maybe if I could patch up my thinker. I can see the words. I know what I’m supposed to do and say, but it pours out before the words come to my mouth. Maybe like sand. Or water. If I could patch up m’ thinker, tha’d be good.

What are you most proud of about your life?

You keep asking me that same questions! I told you about my truck, din’t I?

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?
This question again. Where’s my Dad? Did he make you ask this one? Trine ta trick me, maybe.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town.

Describe your ideal mate.

Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…?

maybe.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town.

Describe your ideal mate.

Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…?

What are you most afraid of?

<inaudible> <muffled> Okay. I can’t talk to you anymore. Kay?

Zeke, what’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

<sobbing> Come on, Mister, please, you have to let me go back. I’m gonna get in trouble. I can’t do no more of your questions right now.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Pleeaaase! Let me go! <inaudible>

*End of Recording

About Jason:

JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers BLED and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense, THALO BLUE. His first novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM, earned a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.McIntyre’s debut novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM was VOTED as one of the TOP 20 DEBUT AUTHORS — Goodreads Choice Awards

Learn more and connect with the author at http://www.theFarthestReaches.com

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Mirrored Voices: Best Contemporary Poetry #AmReading #Poetry

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I’m lucky to be included in Mirrored Voices: Best Contemporary Poetry anthology

alongside some very talented poets from all over the world.

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This combined poetic anthology embraces free thinking of the untapped mind and spirit. The vast array of best contemporary poets from around the globe share their voices together in harmony. Various styles and thoughts flourish amongst the pages, bringing emotions to life and creating beauty from nothingness. The writers included in this collection have been selectively chosen to represent the best modern talent of the age.

The list of extraordinary poets featured within include such great talent as Paul Morabito, Aric Cushing, Jason P. Hein, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Regina Puckett, Laura Crean, R.M Romarney, Clarissa Simmens, Mark Green, Irum Zahra, Laura A. Lord, Regis McCafferty, Roberto Carlos Martinez, Linda Dobinson, Robert G. Brown, Carolyn O’Connell, Sherry Rentschler, Ben Ditmars, Christopher Meesto Erato, Jill Roberts, Dr. Leesa Abbott, Nichia Morales, Andrea McKenzie Raine, Koyel Mitra, Helle Gade, Terri Cannon, Jerome Michael Bailey, Harika Kottakota, Hafsa Idrees and Kristy Rulebreaker.

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Midnight Moonrising #NewRelease @Kshaigwood @AnneConley10 #AmReading

Title: Midnight Moonrising
Series: Moonrising #1
Author: K.S. Haigwood & Anne Conley
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
 Release Date: July 31, 2015
Blurb
Mena wants the Master Vampire of Montgomery, Alabama, but the wolf inside her wants the homicide detective working the case of the man she murdered.
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Excerpt
With everyone thinking I was angry, I was taking a wild guess that it would be at least thirty minutes before anyone realized I was gone. That was a good head start. From the vague vibe I was feeling from Jess and the other traitors, I was looking at covering a distance of about four miles. I ran that nearly every morning, and the time it took to get there would allow my wolf and me time to figure out what we were going to do when we got there.

Cutting the bitch was what my wolf wanted to do, and I couldn’t honestly say that I wasn’t on board with that plan, but I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t take on eight werewolves on my own. I would have to find their hideout and come back with my pack. Bringing Phoenix and his clan to watch my back in case any of my wolves were really on Jessica’s side was a smart thing to do, so I would let them come, too, not that I would really get a choice in the matter; I doubted he would stay behind even if I begged him to.

A loud clatter had my head whipping around to look behind me again. An aluminum trash can lay on its side, its contents spilling into the street. A tabby cat peeked around the edge of the torn trash bag and I exhaled in relief. I was a sad case, indeed. I laughed at myself. I was not used to being the monster.

“I aim to change that, Mena.”

I rolled my eyes at my wolf. “You just be you and let me be me and we’ll get along just fine.”

Soft laughter filled my head and I had to smile. I had to admit that I liked her, regardless of how much trouble she was causing me with Phoenix. At least we had come to a compromise. I didn’t know how well said compromise was going to work out, or even if it would at all, but I was willing to try. Everyone deserved a shot at happiness, even with as insane as our case may be.

As I turned my head back around to continue on my journey, I ran smack-dab into the hard chest of a man. He was in shadow, so I couldn’t see his face. Stumbling back, I attempted to get my balance, but his arms closed tightly around my body, jerking me to him and trapping my arms down at my sides so I couldn’t move.

Struggling against his solid hold on me, I opened my mouth to let out a scream, but he twisted me around and clamped a hand over my mouth so fast that I didn’t know what was happening until I was being pulled backward, away from the security of the streetlights that lined the suburban road.

I raised my knee up then brought my foot down hard on the toe of his shoe. He let out a muffled grunt, but continued to drag me into the shadows.

This had to be one of the werewolves. The strength alone told me that. They had to have been watching my house, just waiting for me to leave. This bastard was going to kill me if I didn’t do something.

My wolf stirred under my skin. She wanted out and it was the first time since I’d been bitten that I agreed with that plan. With only a little more than human strength and quick reflexes, it wasn’t possible for me to handle a grown male werewolf on my own.

My final option, before letting my wolf free, was try to at least injure him. I hoped that would be enough to make him loosen his grip on me enough so I could run. If he gave chase, I would have to concede and let my wolf take over.

Gripping the dagger tighter in my palm, I rotated my wrist and drove the blade into his side as hard as I could. An ear-piercing ululation erupted from his throat and he let go of me. I didn’t wait or look back. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, adrenaline and my wolf giving me the speed and strength to push my muscles past what a human would be able to endure.

“Mena… Mena!” I heard the cry behind me, but my mind wasn’t registering anything except panic and the need to get as far away from my attacker as possible. “Mena—wait! It’s me…” A strangled groan had me slowing. “…it’s… it’s Phoenix. I—I’m so sorry, Mena.”

I froze, not wanting to look back at the man, terrified that what he’d spoken was true. If it was—if I turned and saw those ice-blue eyes staring back at me, it would destroy any trust I had ever had in him.

“Please, Mena, I never meant to hurt you. I was only trying to scare you so you would realize what a stupid stunt going off on your own to find the killers was. What were you thinking?”

The blood rushed through my veins at an impossible speed, and fury washed over me in waves as I stood there trying to decide whether to walk away or allow my wolf to rip Phoenix’s head off. She was all for the second option.

I heard him cough, and then groan in agony. I imagined he was pulling the dagger out of whatever organ I had been lucky enough to hit. There was a lot of heavy, ragged breathing and two more guttural-sounding coughs. It appeared as though I had hit a lung. Too bad it wasn’t his heart! I wasn’t sure stabbing him in the heart with a silver blade would kill him, but I would have put money on a bet that it would have been a hell of a lot more painful.

I turned my head to glare at him, but the hatred I had expected to feel wasn’t there. He had fallen to his knees, and his head was bent, his eyes focused on the bright red stain spreading across his new shirt.

Shaking my head, I looked up to the sky and asked, “Why me?” After receiving no answer, I sighed and began the one-hundred-meter walk back to Phoenix.

 
K.S. Haigwood
Kristie Haigwood (a.k.a. K.S. Haigwood) is currently writing her 10th novel. She lives in Arkansas, US. She is the mother of 2 awesome kids and 2 great dogs. She is happily married to her soulmate who thinks reading is a solid waste of time. Opposites attract. Kristie’s works include ‘Save My Soul’, ‘Hell’s Gift’, ‘Good Side of Sin’, ‘Eternal Island’, ‘Eternal Immortality’ ‘Eternal Illusion’ ‘Accepting the Moon’ and ‘Midnight Moonrising’. ‘My Sweet Purgatory’ and ‘Andromeda’s Reign are releasing soon.
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Anne Conley

Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the last four years. Currently she is writing three romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, and Simon. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.
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