Thursday, May 30, 2013

Treating Murder free ebook giveaway June 1-13

Treating Murder will be on a blog tour for the first half of June. To celebrate this, we have a free ebook giveaway. Click to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jamie Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy

Today I'm pleased to host Jamie Marchant author of Demons in the Big Easy. We're interviewing Cassandra, our protagonist. GB: When is your birthday? The fifteenth day of the third lunar month. I guess that would be around March 15 by your calendar. GB: What kind of music do you like? I think you call it jazz. I got quite attached to it during my earlier visits to Earth. GB: What does your name mean? It means Prophetess, quite a grandiose name for a simple old lady. GB: Are you an early riser? I am now. I can’t sleep as much as I did in my youth. GB: What subjects interest you the most? Herbal craft and healing. While my magic can bring death, I prefer to bring life. I only grieve that it wasn’t enough to save my own children. GB: Which are three 3 physical features you often get complimented on? Go on, now! Who compliments a seventy-year-old woman on her appearance? But in my youth, I was known for my lush hair and brilliant eyes. My eyes are still my best feature. GB: What are you excessively obsessive-compulsive about? My demon banishing spells. It’s important to be a bit obsessive about such things because a mistake can be fatal. GB: What do you prefer, eating salsa or dancing it? Definitely, eating. I’m much too old to be dancing salsa. My knees would never forgive me. GB: Do you believe in God? I believe in the Goddess, the great Mother of us all, and I suppose for there to be a mother, there must also be a father, but I have never concerned myself with him overly much. GB: What are your hobbies? With banishing demons, playing midwife, raising children, who has time for hobbies? GB: Is there someone you look up to? My old mentor, Briallen. GB: Why? She taught me everything I know. GB: Do you think it's okay to lie in certain circumstances? The truth is a sacred thing and should be treasured, but in circumstances where lives are at stake, lying is sometimes necessary. GB: What are the three things that you cannot live without? At my age, I’ve learned that things don’t mean a whole lot. Still, without my staff, I’d be prey to demons, and I couldn’t bear to lose either of my granddaughters. GB: Which was the scariest moment of your life? When I realized my granddaughter had fallen through an unstable gateway and I was the only one who could bring her back. GB: Well, thanks for giving us this interview. Look up Jamie at: Jamie Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy. Website: Facebook: Goodreads: Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy. Title: Demons in the Big Easy Author: Jamie Marchant Blurb: Adventurous in her youth, Cassandra built gateways between Domhan and its parallel realm of Earth. Now she’s too old for that kind of thing. But something is making it easier for demons to pass into Domhan. Not only that, but their behavior becomes inexplicable: whenever Cassandra banishes one, it laughs at her rather than resists, and it promises it will soon devour her essence and that of every resident of her small village. Cassandra is certain such a thing is impossible, for strong wards protect her village. But then Cassandra’s granddaughter Aine falls through an unstable gateway. Cassandra is the only one within a hundred miles capable of creating a gateway and bringing Aine back. Despite her aching joints, Cassandra goes after her, and the gateway lands her in New Orleans. But something goes wrong with her tracking spell, which indicates Aine exists in four different places at once. As Cassandra struggles to find the true location of her granddaughter in the Big Easy, she discovers the source of the demons’ confidence. Now, with an unlikely pair of allies—her timid granddaughter and a homeless man who may or may not be crazy—she has to not only save her granddaughter but also prevent both Domhan and Earth from being overrun by demons. Author Bio Jamie Marchant lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her first novel The Goddess's Choice was released in April 2012 from Reliquary Press. She released Demons in the Big Easy in January 2013. She is hard at work on the sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, tentatively titled The Soul Stone. Her short fiction has been published in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, and Buy Link: Amazon Contact Links (Facebook, Twitter, etc): Email: Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: @RobrekSamantha Goodreads:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Post Memorial day

Yes, I will post the rest of the crime fiction series soon. Just as soon as it gets written. But, I just want to comment on the day after Memorial day in the office. We have been swamped today. Everyone is banged up, bruised, and broken. Plus a few cases of overindulgence. This happens every holiday weekend. Seriously folks, be careful out there. Just because you are not driving, does not mean that you can't get hurt while drunk. And now that you are forty, you can't just go out and play when you haven't exercised in 6 months. Take preventative measures: Limit any alcohol intake to when you are sitting around safe at home. Four wheeling and beer don't mix! Wear the protective equipment recommended for your activity. Don't just wear the minimum to meet legal requirements. Wear what you need to keep you intact if something goes wrong. Use your sunscreen and insect repellent. Have plenty of drinking water handy. Don't try new risky activities when everyone else is out doing the same thing, and likely to blunder into you. And God Bless our military and their families. That's what this holiday was all about anyway. :-)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Crime Fiction: Part 2

The next disease we will discuss is schizophrenia. 
The good depiction of this disease would be Parry in the Fisher King. This is far more common in real life than pure sociopathy. It is a product of nature, not nurture (Fisher King notwithstanding), and it has profound effects on the sufferer. This is the paranoid; the one who hears voices. This disease strikes at all socioeconomic levels, but consistently results in lower socioeconomic levels. Because it is very difficult to medicate, it frequently results in the sufferer being unable to hold a job or function in society. To draw a true schizophrenic, you have to remember that there is a certain pathos to these characters, regardless of what crimes they might commit. They do not pre-meditate, plot or scheme. They do act from the confused jumble of their brain. A schizophrenic has trouble distinguishing the real world from the one inside their head, and will frequently obey the voices they hear, and the people they see in their minds. These are the people for whom the 'by reason of insanity' plea exists.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crime Fiction. Psychology for Writers: Part One

Crime fiction. Criminal Psychology 101

As a physician, I have gotten a special glimpse into abnormal psychology. I have treated convicted, but sane, criminals in my office; I have treated not yet convicted criminals; and I have treated unincarcerated people with every flavor of psychological abnormality.
I received training in the largest inpatient psych facility in the southeast, and Georgia's largest maximum security hospital for the criminally insane. (You know, where they go when the lawyer gets them 'off' on insanity pleas.) In England they sent people to Bedlam. In Georgia, we send them to Milledgeville. We may not like to deal with them in real life, but we LOVE to examine them in fiction, so what makes the crazy people tick?  (I will be using examples that have been in movies so as to be recognizable by the widest audience.)
 First, we'll look at the most famous fictional malady. The serial killer/psychopath. These are best represented by Hannibal Lecter. Their fictional defining characteristics are generally that they are brilliant, cannier than most of the criminologists assigned to them, and absolutely sociopathic. These are fortunately extremely rare in real life. Regular, non-wunderkind sociopaths are far more common.
The important thing to remember about them is that they do not care. Sociopath means that a person is completely separated from societal and cultural norms. They do things that you and I would avoid because it is frowned upon, or because we live so far inside the lines that we would never think of doing them. A sociopath does not even know where the lines are. Or he does, but the concept that these rules might apply to him is completely alien. These types are fun to write about, but there are a few things that are necessary when writing about them. You must first have an idea of what happened to them to make them sociopaths. This disease is a product of nurture, or lack thereof, not nature. Second, you will have to invent a world from the sociopath's point of view. This can be as complex as inventing a sci-fi or paranormal world. You must delve into his set of rules, and the traumas/motivations leading to these rules. These rules will be as foreign to a normal person as those of Tolkien's middle-earth would be, yet the organized sociopath is very strict within his rules and is bound by them. To draw a good sociopath, you must learn his rules, and why he has them.  He will take you from there.

Next time: Schizophrenia

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monterey Mischief by Henry Simpson

I'm happy to present a review today for Monterey Mischief, a well-paced murder mystery set in Big Sur. FBI retiree Carlos Acuna moves to Monterey, but finds that he can't retire his investigative skills just yet. The Village is rife with criminals and confusion, and it seems that everyone has a skeleton in their closet. Acuna uses his investigative acumen and his knowledge of fine art to track the killers, shut down the drug dealers, and otherwise make his retirement spot the paradise it was meant to be. I give it 5 stars.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Read or Write

I am a reader. First and foremost a reader. Compulsive reading is why I got to go to medical school, it is why my pre-med degree is in literature, and it is how I decompress at the end of the day.
Ask me about music, I don't know what to tell you. The latest reality show... hmm, no.
But novels, let's talk!
And naturally, like most compulsive readers, I've always dreamt of writing my own novels. Now I am, but, it is not the same as reading. It is a brain strain. I can only do it for short periods. So, I've figured out what to do! When my brain gets tired: I GO READ. Perfect.
Go. Read.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Interesting people

I have met some interesting people during this process. Writers and editors. Mostly driven, creative types. This is a good thing.
Today I want to talk about my friend J.B. McGee. Her genre is YA Romance, a little different from mine. Just a little. ;-) She is an absolute workhorse. Her fourth!!! novel is coming out in a few weeks, and she has been writing fiction for less than a year.
That's as opposed to me, who has been fiddling with the same book since 1997. Yes, I'm one of those. My novel in the drawer. That's okay though. At the last writer's conference I went to, the speakers/author almost all had an original drawer novel for a long time. Some of them still have drawer novels, that they plan to leave there.
Anyway, J.B. has used this new indie platform to the fullest, and is a shining example of what can be done. May I just hope to write half as much.
Check out the first book of her series. Broken (This) and then look for her newest work Forgiven before the summer. It promises to be a great beach read.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Treating Murder is back and better than ever! That's great advertising lingo, right? It is, however, all of those things. This whole indie publishing thing is a huge learning curve.
When you grew up in the old dinosaur days before PCs, the web today is an overwhelming place. Remember Basic? That's what I learned in high school. It took an entire semester to build the program that would show a four letter word in cursive. Not that kind of four letter word! Now, I can't write HTML, but I can copy and paste it. Baby steps...see?