Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Excerpt: PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY by Donna Russo Morin
Excerpt / June 30, 2016

Excerpt from PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY by Donna Russo Morin Viviana stood near the front of the congregation beside the Conte and Contessa, for once as enthralled with Fiammetta’s rank as Fiammetta always had been. She forgot any and all earlier concerns; her slippered feet—her best pair, though worn—tapped upon patterned marble, her thumbs twirled around in the clasp of her hands. It was the best attempt at quiet reverence she could manage within the multitude of distractions. The Gothic vaults of the central nave towered above, guarded by the columns and round arches of ancient Rome, so high only birds could reach its apex, set aglow by the sweet light streaming in through the mammoth clerestory windows. It was a cave of wonders built by the hand of man, a hand guided by God. Viviana aimed her eyes forward, on the priest standing in wait, small and encapsulated within the chancel and the cupola over it. “Where is our Lapaccia?” Fiammetta leaned close to whisper, and Viviana could merely shrug in ignorance. They had planned to be together on this special occasion but the woman and her son were nowhere in sight. Mass was often no more than an…

Interview with Tristan Gallagher, hero from VERNAL by Randi Cooley Wilson
Author Guest / June 30, 2016

Tristan Gallagher walks into the room and stops when he notices me. I turn to face him and he raises an eyebrow, before his gaze slides to the photo I’m clutching of Serena St. Michael and him. Casually, I place it back on the fireplace mantel. *clears throat*“You have a lovely home here in the woodland realm. It’s log-cabin chic.” TG: small smile tugs at his lips*“Log-cabin-chic? That’s a new way to describe it.” Tristan hands me a mug off coffee and motions toward the couch. I take a seat and wait for him to sit across from me. He doesn’t. Instead, he sits next to me invading my personal space. The smell of spice and citrus hits me and I almost ask him to leave Serena and marry me. TG: *smirks in a knowing way* “Shall we get started?” I stare. It’s hard not to. He’s hot. *clears throat* “Um. Yes. Let’s get started.” Character Interview Do you have a nickname? TG: “Nope.” I notice you have this sexy scar on your upper lip. How did you get it? TG: *shifts uncomfortably* “Years ago, during a coronation, I was running through a dark forest and an angry tree branch…

EXCERPT: The Dead Don’t Bleed by David Krugler
Excerpt / June 30, 2016

THE DEAD DON’T BLEED by David Krugler: Chapter 1 The alleys of Washington, D.C., are unlike those of any other city. Small carriage houses, one after another, abut the cobbled or clay backways. Within certain long, wide blocks, the alleys intersect, creating labyrinths as complex as a casbah. Here the two-story dwellings—woodframed and sorely in need of paint—pitch and lean, like a drunk who has stood up too fast. Stray cats slink along weed-choked walls, the stench of shit wafts from outhouses. Residents slump in rickety chairs and makeshift benches, drinking, throwing dice, sleeping. Here and there, scattered signs of neighborly pride. A vegetable garden tucked away, a whitewashed fence, a woman scrubbing her two-step stoop. Washingtonians who live streetside rarely venture into these slums pocketed dark and dank between the city and the capital. Why would they? “Maybe rolled?” suggested Terrance. His listless tone could hardly hold up the question mark. “Here?” I flicked my hand at the open windows of the dilapidated houses lining the alley south of M Street and west of Second Street, SE. Two young Negro boys watched us from a corner yard, thumbs hooked shyly at the corners of their mouths. Curtains fell back…

Final Clue with Nancy Bush!
Author Guest / June 30, 2016

This is the final clue in Nancy Bush’s own version of the Clue game. Post your best guess on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/nancybushauthor/, of how a chess game might be part of her July romantic thriller, THE KILLING GAME, and she’ll send the poster of her favorite guess not one but FIVE of her books! THE KILLING GAME by Nancy Bush Rafferty Family From New York Times bestselling author Nancy Bush comes a tense, intricately plotted novel of suspense, as one woman becomes the focus of a killer’s warped game of revenge and murder. The Rules Are Simple: It’s the ultimate test of strategy and skill. The killer chooses each opponent carefully, learning each one’s weaknesses. Every meticulously planned move is leading to a devastating checkmate. Because in this game, all the pretty pawns must die. First You Play Andi Wren is fighting to keep her late husband’s company safe from vindictive competitors. When she receives an ominous note, Little birds must fly, she turns to P.I. Luke Denton. But though Luke has personal reasons for wanting to take down Wren Development’s opponents, his investigation suggests this is deeper and far more dangerous than a business grudge. Then You Die….

Abigail Baker | Tattoos
Author Guest / June 30, 2016

Something about me, the author—I love tattoos because they tell a person’s story. History and archeaology shows us that humans have been wearing ink since we began writing words down. Long before the advent of scientific inquiry, humans had strong, possibly magical reasons for why they got tattoos. These marking identified them as members of certain clans or as healers or chiefs or as those seeking the healing powers from their ancestors. While the times have changed and people of today don’t necessarily believe their tattoos are magical, they still get them to tell a story about their own triumphs or losses or hopes or their history or familial connections. The Deathmark series was born from the idea that tattoos can have good or bad magical properties. Perhaps that butterfly on your shoulder helped you heal a wound or that favorite quote kept you focused on your seemingly unachievable goal. But for anyone unfortunate enough to get a skull tattoo from Master Scrivener Ollie Dormier, they are set on the fastrack to their death. The idea of Ollie’s job—tattooing death into unwitting humans—seems both an interesting and heartbreaking one. The job as a Scrivener becomes a real problem for an…