Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Teaser: Hide Not Seek by D.E. Haggerty


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Cozy Mystery, Romance, Humor
Date Published: April 18th

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I know who you really are.

Pru has a secret, which she has no plans to reveal – ever. But after a woman is murdered and all clues point to her, she has no choice but to disclose her true identity. When her revelations help thwart the killer’s plan to frame Pru for the murder, the killer begins stalking her. With each note he sends, he gets closer. The police are stumped. Pru wants to run away. She really, really wants to run, but Ajax has found the woman of his dreams and he’s not letting her go anywhere. He can be patient. In the meantime, he’ll protect her with his life. Pru isn’t feeling very patient, and her friends, Mel and Terri, are definitely not willing to wait until the police discover who the stalker is. The three friends take matters into their own hands and jump headfirst into the investigation.

Will Pru and her friends uncover her stalker before he turns his violence on Pru?



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Excerpt

“What the heck are you wearing?”

In response to Pru’s question, Mel stuck her hip out and struck a pose. “You like?” She strutted off a few paces and then twirled around before swaggering back as if she were at a fashion show. Only women at a fashion show normally didn’t wear dark blue men’s pants suits. And they certainly never showed off bulky, black oxford shoes.

“Um…” Pru could think of nothing nice to say.

Terri, who was giggling next to her, didn’t have the same problem. “Did you raid Owen’s closet?”

Mel ignored her and reached into her pocket and pulled out a pair of glasses.

“When did you start wearing glasses?”

Terri leaned over and whispered to Pru, “she doesn’t.”

“This is my detective look,” Mel explained.

“Because all detectives wear glasses?” Terri turned to Pru. “I have no idea where she gets these ideas.”

Pru shrugged. “Not from books. Detectives in novels never wear glasses.” There may be some modern-day detectives who wore glasses, but Sherlock certainly didn’t although Hercule Poirot did use a pince-nez for reading. “I thought you said they would talk to us because we aren’t detectives. And now you’re dressed up as an extra on Law & Order.”

Terri bumped her shoulder. “Mel will do almost anything to buy a new outfit.”

Mel ignored them and picked a briefcase up for the ground. Another item she’d acquired for her detective ‘look’. “Let’s go.” She didn’t wait for a reply before marching off to the entrance of the Daily Grind, the coffee shop where Kathy Greene had been killed. Pru and Terri stood in the parking lot staring after her.

“Aren’t we going to come up with some kind of plan before parading in there?” Pru asked Terri.

“I’d say Mel is going to wing it, but I’ve learned there’s a method to her madness.” With a shrug, Terri followed Mel.

“Please tell me this method won’t end up with us at the police station again.”

Terri shook her head. “Sorry, can’t do that.”




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About the Author

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I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Hide Not Seek is my fifteenth novel.


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Friday, 15 March 2019

Book Blitz: Becker Circle by Addison Brae


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Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Date Published: March 14, 2018

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My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.

A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer.



Excerpt
Chapter Thirty

I’ve got to say something. Stop this. Get back to the plan.

“Sir, can we talk about this? I have an idea that might work better.”

Silence except for the water.

Finally, I find the nerve to look back.

Absolutely no one is there. Every living soul in the park vanished along with my sanity like animals do when they smell danger.

Jon’s going to kill me if I don’t get arrested or murdered like Bobby first.

I look around at the empty stretch of grass frantic. Do I go home? Back to the pub? Talk to Pinkie? Call Jon? Are they watching me? Nothing seems safe. I’m not sure how to fix this—if anyone even can. What am I going to do?

My feet pound on the pavement. Out of habit, I head toward the pub. The waiters at the Italian restaurant whistle and wave from across the street. What used to upset me is reassuring. I stop and turn in the direction of Pinkie’s, and then home. Instead, I lean against the building and look up to the sky.

“Mom? Help.”

I don’t talk to her often anymore. Not like I used to. I can always count on Mom to help me find my strength. It was during long conversations with her staring at the sky when I plotted slipping out of Boston during the holidays while Connor was gone. She inspired doubling up on classes so I could finish early. Mom gave me the courage to leave him.

“I can’t pack up and disappear this time.” I look for her in the stars again. Facing it is the only option. I can’t run. I have to figure this out for Bobby. For you and Dad. For me. But how?

People walk out of the George & Dragon. Laughing. Carefree. Think, Gillian. Think.

Maybe I was the one who found my courage all along. The only way I ever made it through anything big is one step at a time. Follow their instructions. I can’t screw up.

I jump at the vibration in my pocket. It’s Jon. “Talk to me…you ok?”

My fingers fight to find the letters. “Meeting fine...headed home. Brunch?”

“Thank God. Yes, see you in the morning.”

I inventory the people on the sidewalks and turn toward my building. Step one, figure out how to tell Jon he’s out of the deal. Or maybe I don’t. Postpone so there’s time to get myself out of taking this on alone. Why didn’t I wear quieter shoes? My heels click on the brick sidewalk announcing myself like an old clunker car with no muffler.

When a car approaches from behind I walk faster, my heels echoing even louder. I glance back but don’t even know what to look for since the guy in the park didn’t show his face. A girl about my age sits behind the wheel of a taxi-yellow compact. The tension in my body eases but I’m still a wreck. I constantly look around thinking someone’s about to pounce out of every shadow. Everyone looks normal walking dogs or strolling between bars. But what does normal look like?

Seeing my stairs is a relief. Keys in hand, I break my one-step-at-a-time in heels rule to get home faster. To hell with rules. I’ve followed them all my life.

Rule sixteen of my new life—Break more rules.


About the Author

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Addison Brae lives in Dallas, Texas on the edge of downtown. As a child, she was constantly in trouble for hiding under the bed to read when she was supposed to be napping. She has been writing since childhood starting with diaries, letters, and short stories. She continues today with articles, video scripts, and other content as an independent marketing consultant.

When she’s not writing, Addison spends her time traveling the world, collecting interesting cocktail recipes and hosting parties. She’s still addicted to reading and enjoys jogging in her neighborhood park, sipping red wine, binge-watching TV series, vintage clothing and hanging out with her artistic other half and their neurotic cat Lucy.


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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Peter J Thompson author of THE RUNAWAY






Thriller
Publish Date: 01/31/2019

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A corrupt corporation. Ruthless assassins. Will the family that runs together… die together?

Zach Monaghan just became a target. Under witness protection from his father’s whistleblowing, his reckless desire to win back a normal life compels him to run away. But escaping his new identity won’t last long if two contract killers catch up to him…

Richard “Birdman” Byrd has worked hand-in-hand with his tormentor Gorski for years. Siphoning away money and sending assassins to hunt down the Monaghans could be his only way out of the crooked partnership. But if Birdman doesn’t watch himself, the verbal abuse he’s received for years could turn deadly.

As the ruthless killer draws closer to Zach, surviving the greedy corporate plot may force the whole family to get their hands bloody…

The Runaway is a fast-paced thriller with dizzying twists and turns. If you like non-stop action, high-stakes tension, and large casts of compelling characters, then you’ll love Peter Thompson’s gripping novel.

Buy The Runaway to join a thrilling race against time today!


Interview



 
Do You See Writing as a Career?

I do. It has been my hobby for a long time, but for me, I needed to make a commitment. I have always juggled my writing in with all my other responsibilities, and all too often the writing came last. It has been my dream to be a full time writer for a long time. Writing is something I love and something that I think I have a real gift for. I knew that if I kept on putting my writing to the back of the line, that I’d regret it. We don’t know how long we have on this Earth, and I feel strongly that this is a big part of the reason I am here. I am writing full time now and I don’t see myself looking back.

What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?

Sometimes it’s just sitting down in the morning, and putting those first words down. I write every day and the habit helps. Some days you feel more creative than others, but if I just sit down and try, it usually starts flowing and one of the best feelings is when the story pops in place and starts to write itself. Then I’m just hanging on and trying to keep up. The other part of the writing process that is hard, is when I am moving forward with a novel and I lose my way. It happens with pretty much every project. I start with a good idea and some strong characters and I have an idea of where I am going. It starts out strong, and then something happens and I lose the
trail, and can’t figure out what comes next. When that happens I often take a break and start working on something else. Just taking my mind off it is sometimes enough to get tuned in again. when I look at it next I have ideas again, and wonder why I had such a problem with it. Other times, the best thing I can do is have someone else read it, and give me their feedback. I get
too close sometimes, and having another set of eyes, someone to tell me what isn’t working, helps to set things right.


 Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?

In my family my mother in law was a huge help. She’d been a professional business editor who loved fiction, and she was a mentor, teacher and coach when I first started writing. I got involved with a writers group early on, and this was one of the greatest things I could have done. We met every week
and we read our work, and listened to the others read theirs, and made comments and constructive critique. I learned as much by analyzing what worked and what didn’t with others stories, as I did by the comments they had for me. If you get involved in a writer’s group, make sure you are the right fit. If the people are genuinely there to help, it can be a great experience. But egos can get involved and I know some people didn’t have the great experience that I did.


What is next for your writing?

I am half way through a thriller novel that has one of my previous characters as the hero. It’s not really a series, but it is linked into the same universe, and I see more characters popping up in future works. Once I finish this, hopefully it will be released before Summer, I have a series I want to start. This too will have a previous character as the leading role, but she will be in a much different situation than when we saw her last. It’s too early to give any real details, but I have a bunch of ideas and I’m excited for the stories that I still need to write. 

Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

I love to read, but honestly, I used to read so much more. I still read every day, but it is at night before going to bed and at little times during the day when I can catch up. Right now I am reading several things. First, I’m reading a manuscript from a friend. This hasn’t been published yet. I’m also reading about wilderness survival, which fits in with the story I am working on, and for pleasure I am Reading the latest Elvis Cole book from Robert Crais, one of my favorite writers.

 DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

When a boy runs away from his fake home in the Witness Protection Program, assassins pick up the trail, unleashing a world of problems for him and his family.
  
This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3? 

Mp3. Or maybe Ipod. It’s such a great thing that you can take music or audiobooks with you wherever you go, I really don’t pay much
attention to the delivery, I do both.

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate all the way, the richer the better.

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?

I’m kind of a health nut and try not to binge, but I absolutely LOVE crispy french fries.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?

I can’t make this an either or. It depends on what I’m in the mood for, I love both.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?

Hmmmmm. I honestly don’t read either now, but I read a couple of Danielle Steel books when I was younger, and she told a great story.

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?

Reality. Mostly. It’s always great to have flights of fantasy where anything is possible.

#7 – Call or Text?

I’m kind of old school. Texting is great to communicate quick information, but for a real conversation, I prefer a human voice over the phone.

#8 – Public School or Home School?

My kids were all raised in the public schools and they did great, but I have friends who have been homeschooling their daughter and she is amazing. It’s a lot of work, but I can see how it can be an investment in your child’s future.

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate

I need my caffeine.

#10 – eBook or Paperback?

There is still something I love about holding a physical book in my hands, but I am a convert to the ebook. It’s so convenient and doesn’t take up any space. My only problem is that I have a huge backlist of books, and keep on buying new ones.



About the Author

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Peter Thompson grew up on the east side of Chicago, in the shadow of the steel mills where the air was sooty and smelled of sulfur. His life wasn't always so gritty, but the grit and realism find its way into his thrillers. He has always loved stories of every kind, and one of his joys is finding a way to get inside character's heads, seeing the world as they see it and feeling their triumphs, pain, and fear. He visualizes his characters when he writes, and they are larger than life in the big screen of his imagination.

Before pursuing his passion and becoming a full-time author, he tried his hand at everything from factory work, breaking cement in a construction crew, running his own pizza shop, and he was a well-regarded presence in the mortgage industry for nearly thirty years. When he isn't writing, Peter loves, spicy food, live music, and exciting and thought-provoking books and movies. He is a fitness buff who loves to spend time with his grown sons and is looking forward to traveling the world and seeking adventures with his lovely partner.

To get in touch, find out more about future projects, please stop by authorpeterthompson.com. Sign up for his reading list to find out about new releases and receive free perks.


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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Creating Characters


It’s a question writer’s get asked a lot: what comes first? The story or the characters? The answer for me is usually a bit of both. They tend to arrive together. I’ll have an idea of the kind of story I want to tell and the characters who will be involved. That’s how it always begins, but when it comes time to planning the book, I always develop the characters first.

I can’t go ahead with the story until I know exactly who it’s going to be about. That means getting to know the characters in detail before I start. This is probably one of the most exciting parts of the process. I liken it to going on holiday. It’s the moment when you’ve decided where you’re going and you’ve bought the tickets. Now, you start looking forward to the trip and making plans for what you’ll do when you get there.

I always start with the basics – physical features. It’s a great help to know exactly what your characters look like. For the leads I’ll often work with the likeness of a real person: a friend, an actor, a model, someone from an article. If possible, I like to save a photograph of that person to my notebook. If I base a character on the guy who works in my local coffeeshop then that’s out of the question, unless I want to get into stalker territory, which is not happening. But say I use an actor, I’ll find four different photos to work with – different expressions, smiling, moody, etc. This is a huge help for the next stage, where I build up their stats: age, hair and eye colour, height, weight, chest and waist size, etc. This is also where I note any tattoos, scars, piercings, any distinctive physical features. If the character is going to feature in any sex scenes then I need to know a lot more: body type, hairy, smooth, dick size, etc. I need to know everything.

 
My character notes for Logan in Written in Scars


With their looks in place, I’ll start to work on the background. Where were they born? What kind of childhood did they have? What were they like at school? What do they do now? Where do they live? What significant relationships have they had? What scares them? What do they want out of life? Do they have any regrets? Likes and dislikes?

A lot of the stuff detailed above won’t make it into a finished story, but it’s the kind of detail I need to get the character clear in my own mind, and I can’t progress to the story without knowing it. I won’t want to, because I really love this part.

I create a list of characters and flesh them out in this fashion. Not everyone needs such deep development. A minor character may need no more than half a page to fix them in my mind, but all the main players have to fully developed. Once I have them, I’m ready to looks at the story.


My character notes for Sam in Written in Scars



I always work with an outline, even for a short story. I know I lot of writers prefer to fly by the seat of their pants and see where it takes them, but I’m the opposite. I’m a control freak. Ask my husband. If we set off on a trip without a clear plan of where we’re going, what we’ll do there, and a back-up plan just in case, I get mega stressed. It’s the same with writing. I work out the beats of every chapter before I ever write the first page. That’s not to say things can’t change. Like that road trip, if you spot something interesting along the way, it’s good to take a detour to check it out.

This what works best for me. It won’t work for everyone. But if you’re a writer and you’ve ever felt intimidated by that first blank page (or computer screen) give it a try. It’s much easier to get started when you already your characters and their story inside out.




Friday, 1 March 2019

Pre-release Blitz: The Case of BIlly's Missing Gun by SJ Slagle @jeanne_harrell

The Case of Billy’s Missing Gun Blitz HTML Copy the code then paste into the html area of your blog, you can go back to the compose area to change colors of text if you want. Just highlight the text and select the color. Please note, you WILL have to add in manually any Excerpt, Interview, Guest Post, etc. you have signed up for once you receive that. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


(Sherlock and Me series)

Cozy mystery
Date Published: March 2019

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Super sleuth Lucy James is hired to find the Colt pistol that may have belonged to Billy the Kid. Hampered by dishonest weapon experts, a pawnshop murder and unusual architecture at a downtown casino, her investigation is rocky at best. A massive snowstorm has blanketed Reno leaving Lucy to slog her way to interviews with uncooperative witnesses. Her father’s abrupt firing from his job as the host of a local children’s television show and the impending marriage between her best friend Cindy Floyd and her detective fiancĂ© Skip Callahan grab chunks of Lucy’s fleeting attention. But she is determined to find the missing gun before the next snowstorm even though she on and off relationship with handsome professor Eric Schultz is off again. With sheer tenacity and a pair of thick snow boots, Lucy muscles through to the mystery’s resolution. It isn’t easy but the mystery and murder never are.


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

My name is Lucy James. Life seems to revolve in cycles and I’ve been trying to decide if this is an up or down cycle at this moment in time.  
On the up side, I earned my private investigator license in Nevada last year and got a decent chunk of cash a couple of cases ago. On the down side, I shot through most of it renting my new office in downtown Reno and blowing the rest on a horse. No, it wasn’t a racehorse and I wasn’t betting in one of the casinos around here. I’d helped out a little boy in his hour of need.
That’s me. Lucy the do-gooder or so my best friend Cindy always tells me. Anyway, the boy’s dad was so grateful that he’s paying me back in installments. Problem is sometimes his installments don’t meet all my expenses and since another case hasn’t darkened my office lately, I’m still plugging away at the old movie theater by the Truckee River that winds its way through the city. It’s been my go-to job all through college and it appears it’s going to see me through a bulk of my adulthood too. 
It pays the rent.
Today I wandered down to a local television station, KNVP, to see my dad at work. Larry James has been the host of Uncle Ollie’s Playhouse, a hit local show for kids under ten since the beginning of my ill-fated college career. Not my cup of tea but he enjoys it. Dad’s tenacity to stick with the program is the one characteristic I’m pleased to have inherited from him. Jury’s out on the rest.
In through a back door, everyone nodded as I slipped by to stand at the edge of the playhouse set to see how Uncle Ollie was doing. Shelves with colorful toys, bouncy balls, a purple-leafed plant, a man in shining armor and bowls of fruit decorated the interior. Ollie was perched on a stool in the center of the activity singing a song about getting along with your neighbors. His singing partner was a puppet resembling some unidentified breed of dog. The droopy ears and bulbous nose should have been dead giveaways but weren’t. Not that it mattered. Several happy little kids hovered around the puppet clapping and singing along with a beaming Uncle Ollie. 
I watched in wonder at the man in bright red slacks and striped sweater. With his feet encased in fuzzy slippers and a shaggy blondish wig, Uncle Ollie, aka my dad, was a cross between a stylish Mr. Rogers and a 1950s Captain Kangaroo. But if memory served me, Dad should have been singing with a bunny rabbit if his emphasis that day was Captain Kangaroo.
I never asked him what daytime children’s show his was patterned after because I knew what he’d say. With wide eyes and a forlorn look etched on a comic face, Larry James would exclaim, “Lucy! How can you think I would ever stoop so low as to mimic one of those people?” He would draw out the word ‘those’ to two syllables laced with enough irony to make me want to starch a shirt. Ugh. Then I would get his standard lecture about being an original and if you couldn’t be original, why bother? 
But there weren’t as many children on the set as usual and the two cameramen stifled yawns. No director hovered creating the usual chaotic whirlwind and there was a slight chill in the atmosphere I’d never experienced before. Even Uncle Ollie’s typically bright eyes and smile seemed forced and I wondered what was up. I found out as soon as Ollie and his sidekick Pete the Dragon finished singing the theme song, signaling the end of the program and the children were herded off the set. Dad stormed after them heading right for the control booth on the second floor. Sensing trouble, I tagged along.
“Wait up, Dad. What’s the rush? Aren’t you going to take off your costume?”
He didn’t turn in his haste to acknowledge me as he ran up the stairs, but managed to spit out, “Not now, Lucy.”
Blowing through the door of the control room, he got right in the executive producer’s face. A large man with few strands of hair and fewer principles, Rance Morgan wasn’t more than forty but looked fifty, clogged the already stuffy air with cigar smoke and ordered his staff around like they were born to wait on him. He had only become executive producer this past year and he and Dad had clashed from day one. Today didn’t seem more promising than any other day.
“Morgan! What the hell is the idea?” Puffs of steam from Uncle Ollie’s ears seemed to wilt his shaggy wig.
Rance Morgan stood stiffly towering over Larry James with a look of defiance.
“What is it now, James? The lead arc light too bright again?”
“You know what I’m talking about, Morgan. Cut the crap!”
Morgan smirked, folded his arms across his broad chest. A button popped open when he inhaled.
“Yeah. Same old, same old. Pete got more camera than you did.” He shook his head so slowly that I nearly laughed out loud. The guy was as big a ham as my father.
“Pete did, the children did, the puppets all did. Even Leapin’ Lizard got great angles. Why I was barely in the program at all. Why don’t you make it ‘Uncle Ollie’s Playhouse Without Uncle Ollie’?”
Morgan’s smirk became a sneer. “Great idea, James. Pack up that crap costume you insist on wearing and don’t let the door hit you on the backside when you slink out!”
Dad’s jaw hit the floor. “What are you saying?”
“Just what you suggested: I’m firing you. Thanks for saying what I’ve been meaning to for the better part of this year.”
Dad raised himself to full height, put his fists on his hips and sneered right back. “How do you expect to have Uncle Ollie’s Playhouse without Uncle Ollie? That’s me, you idiot!”
“What?” He laughed. “Think I can’t get another guy to play your moronic character? In a heartbeat, pal.” Morgan stepped aside and headed toward me. “You and your stuck-up daughter can find your own way out.”
“Hey!” I protested. But he muscled by me tossing a shrug in my direction without giving either of us a second look. When I turned to my dad, a very indignant Uncle Ollie met my open-mouthed stare. His camera make-up looked about ready to drip off his tomato red face.
“Dad, you just got fired.”


About the Author

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SJ SLAGLE started her writing career as a language arts teacher. Her initial interest was children’s stories, but she moved on to western romance, mysteries, and historical fiction. She has published 24 novels, both independent and contract. SJ contributes regularly to guest blogs and has her own blog called anauthorsworld.com in which she discusses the research involved in the books she writes. SJ has established Twitter and Facebook fan bases, a quarterly author newsletter and a website under her pseudonym: JEANNE HARRELL at jeanneharrell.com.

Her first historical fiction novel, LONDON SPIES, was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion in 2018 and Slagle was a finalist in the 2017 UK Independent Book Awards. She was given the Silver Award with the International Independent Film Awards for her screenplay called REDEMPTION. SJ conducts writing/publishing symposiums in her local area. OSLO SPIES, her second historical fiction novel will be published in September. She lives and works in Reno, Nevada.

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