Quetzalcoatl: Man-eating Deity

Mesoamerican Deity is Threat in Dark Fantasy

Excerpt from “Lemurian Medium” a Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery

by G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

Rachel Blackstone confronts the man-eating deity Quetzalcoatl in her Santa Fe kitchen in “Lemurian Medium.”
Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

Rachel stared at the piece of jewelry lying on the floor.

“I’m sorry,” Chloe stood and started to pick it up.

“No, don’t,” Rachel stopped her.

“Why not?” A second later she remembered Rachel’s earlier experience with the necklace and took a step back. “Is it doing anything?”

“Not yet.” Rachel thought for a moment it had all been a ghastly delusion, until it began to move.

Chloe saw Rachel react, looked again, but it was just lying on the floor.

“Don’t you see it?” Rachel implored as the necklace began to stir and change shape.

“See what?” Chloe kept watching the harmless piece of jewelry and couldn’t figure out why Rachel looked so afraid.

Within seconds the serpent stood up and filled out as if he’d been formed from air blown in from a bicycle pump. But he wasn’t a balloon and didn’t float away. Chile Pod watched with huge eyes. Her fur stood up on her back, ears flat, she dove under the tablecloth and onto a chair. The snake didn’t miss a thing and knew exactly where she hid. He made sure Rachel saw where she cowered by slithering across the floor and nosing at the tablecloth. Then he turned his attention to Rachel.

“I am Quetzalcoatl,” he said as the green substance dripped from each of his fangs. They were six inches long and dagger sharp. The odor of sulfur emanated from his hobnail skin as it grated against itself. He was constantly in slow motion. The stench itself was enough to make her want to flee, but the continuous shifting of his spine beneath the scales was sinister.

Quetzalcoatl feathered serpent form as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensi. Wikimedia Public Domain

Quetzalcoatl feathered serpent form as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensi. Wikimedia Public Domain

“I know who you are,” Rachel tried to say it with strength. Everything in her told her to run, but she couldn’t leave Chloe or Chile. She resisted the urge to recoil, feeling intensely this time the reptile’s desire to harm her. He barely controlled his desire to destroy her.

It rippled and swelled in both height and width. His feathers unfolded around his head, back and tail. The effect was even more menacing this time.

“Screaming won’t help you,” it said reading her thoughts.

“How do you know?”

“I am a deity,” Quetzalcoatl said in a deep hoarse voice. Add a little cinematic CGI and he would make Bruce Willis run and hide. Only this monster was real.

“Rachel,” Chloe stood in the doorway not understanding why Rachel was talking or to whom. “Who are you talking to?”

“Can’t you see the snake? He’s right here in the kitchen.”

“No, I can’t see it, but I can see you and you’re. . .”

“Never mind,” Rachel stopped her not wanting the self-proclaimed deity to know she was about to freak.

“What do you want?” she asked Quetzalcoatl.

“Once again, you called me?”

“Are you sure about that?”

“I do have a message,” it said.

Oh god, she thought, what now?

The snake’s head began to morph before her. In a few moments, it took on more human characteristics, but the fangs remained. She wondered how many more tricks he had.

“Does this look make you more comfortable? You know, lions eat their own kind.” It deliberately turned its head to look at the small tortoiseshell cat peaking from beneath the table; the only thing that separated her tiny cat from this snake-god was a piece of fabric.

“Chloe, would you please take Chile out of the room.”

“Of course.” Chloe reached under the table and pulled out the scared kitty, cupping her tiny body in her arm. Before she could exit the kitchen, Quetzalcoatl rose up and struck out in their direction.

“Run Chloe!” Chloe did, all the way to her car where she locked the doors and held Chile Pod in her lap. She petted her with shaking hands. “Did you see it?” she asked the cat, but couldn’t understand when Chile told her she had.

Back in the kitchen Rachel said, “Tell me the message and get the hell out.”

By Jami Dwyer [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jami Dwyer [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“My dear, you must not speak to a deity in that manner. You know I’ve eaten Homo sapiens many times. You’re all quite tasty.” He was eyeing her as something on the menu. He sniffed like a dog checking out a piece of meat. “You have my favorite blood type: red. I find it to be as satisfying as a fine Bordeaux.”

Rachel shuddered. She softened her tone. It pissed her off to do it, but she had to get rid of this raw material for making boots. “Please tell me the message.”

“Much nicer. Was that so hard? I said before they want the artist, but that was diversionary. They want you. You were supposed to enter the picture, not the other woman.”

“Is Stella all right?”

“For now, she is safe. I see you are perplexed. Humans get confused easily. It is a defect.”

“Why do they want me, and who are they?”

“Enough for now. I’ll allow you to digest this information.”

Rachel wanted Quetzalcoatl to go and never return, but she had to know.

“Please answer my questions.” And she blanched when she heard her voice break.

That was when she heard the low growl behind her. She was certain it was the wolf, but took a moment to check for him. Nothing. And when she turned back to the snake, there was nothing but a necklace lying on the floor. “Stupid, stupid!” Rachel berated herself. “Of course it was the wolf. He was warning me to be careful and what do I do? Take my eyes off the monster!”

Her hands shook as she opened the front door and motioned to Chloe that it was safe to return.

She took Chile from Chloe and held her in arms that continued to tremble. Tears threatened. Chloe guided her gently to the sofa where they sat quietly for a few minutes. Rachel began to shiver uncontrollably.

“Are you okay?” Chloe asked.

“Yes, I guess.”

 “Of course you’re not okay,” Chloe said softly. “You’re scared half to death. I’m scared half to death and I couldn’t see a thing, only you reacting to it.

“What did you see on the floor if you couldn’t see the snake?”

Temple of Kukulkan, closely related to Quetzalcoatl. By ATSZ56 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Temple of Kukulkan, closely related to Quetzalcoatl. By ATSZ56 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“All I saw was the necklace.”

Rachel felt defeated. How could Chloe understand if she couldn’t see it?

“It told me something. They, whoever they are, want me—not the artist.”

Chloe gasped. “But then why did they take Stella?”

“Apparently, she couldn’t resist the pull of the painting.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t take a chance on astral travel,” Chloe said. “I’m getting a real bad feeling about this whole thing.”

“But doesn’t this make it even more imperative that I learn to do it? We can’t just leave Stella there, wherever that is. We have to try to rescue her and discover what this is all about.” Rachel wiped angrily at a tear.

“I’m not leaving you tonight,” Chloe said. “We’re going to have some of that weed right now and then I’m sleeping here on the couch. No protesting.”

“No problem. Would you go replace the necklace in that damn envelope?”

“Will we be safe then?” Chloe asked.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be safe again. The rules have changed, I fear irreparably.”

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Copyright Laws Apply to All Countries

Copyright Infringement is Against the Law Worldwide!

I can’t believe I’m having to do this. Take time away from writing to attend to someone who is stealing content from my blogs (Reluctant Medium at Large and Parallel Universe at Large) and posting them in another country. Copyright Infringement is against the law worldwide. Please respect all the time and hard work that goes into anyone’s blog and DO NOT STEAL! 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.” Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations.

WIPO was created in 1967 “to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.” Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Organization

For more information on copyright infringement please refer to my COPYRIGHT/CONTENT/PRIVACY POLICY page on both blogs.

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Character Interview: War Merchant

An Interview with Dydre Rowyn,War Merchant Protagonist

Character interviews are so much fun. We get to see how authors and their protagonists interact. They can be lighthearted or dead serious. Today, meet Dydre Rowyn, Patrick Parker’s lead in the War Merchant. I wouldn’t turn my back on her! GGC

by Patrick Parker        (Copyright 2016)

War Merchant is available at Amazon.

War Merchant is available at Amazon.

War Merchant is a suspense-filled novel that crosses the globe in a world of corrupt politics, a ruthless greedy opportunist, terrorists, and a pawn with deadly skills. First a little about Patrick.

Patrick says his goal is to entertain you. He wants you to be thrilled and on the edge of your seat all the time, wondering what is going to happen next.

After retiring from the Army, he worked in the defense industry for fifteen years. Now writing full-time, he draws from his military and corporate experience to write fast-paced, suspense novels. Inspired by authors like Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, John le Carré and, of course Tom Clancy, his books will keep you on the edge of your seat.

His previous title, Treasures of the Fourth Reich, is based on actual events that occurred at the end of World War II.

  • What is life really like in your line of work?

Hmm. That one is a bit hard to explain. I deal with some of the world’s worst people. I want out of this business. It is a bit tense at times and you have to be as tough as woodpecker lips, if you’re going to survive. Other than that, I live on the edge, not knowing sometimes if I’m about to take my last breath or not. I travel all over the world, often at a moment’s notice. Most of the people I deal with would just as soon kill me as look at me; I only meet with them on my terms and from a position of strength—I have something they want. I don’t like doing business with the fanatic Muslims and they don’t like doing business with me. Most of the others I deal with are dictators, thugs, and terrorists. There’s not much difference in any of them, actually. I look forward to a long hot bath after I meet with those slime balls.

  • You’ve given your business title as international business development consultant. I know Zsigmond took you in but how did you wind up doing his dirty work?

I needed some kind of title and that one doesn’t raise eyebrows. It started out very benign. At first, I just made phone calls and ran errands for Clay. That increased to a few simple meetings in low threat environments. Although most of them were in third world countries and the people I met with, you probably wouldn’t invite them to Christmas dinner. It wasn’t long until Clay was quite busy and wanted me to do more. The next thing I knew he was hiring people to train me in weapons, explosives, as well as escape and evasion techniques. I was young and it was a bit of an adventure. The money is damn good. I’m very accomplished in jujitsu, you know. That, in itself, gave me a lot of confidence. I had a lot of instruction in hand-to-hand combat, too. I didn’t realize how dangerous it was until it was too late.

Author Patrick Parker

Author Patrick Parker

  • Do you always wear a disguise? What’s that all about?

Yes, usually.  It’s about staying alive. In school, I was very active in the theatre and learned a lot about makeup and disguise for the stage. I got the idea during one of the escape and evasion classes. Intel agencies around the world use disguises, so I applied the same technique. Early on, when Clay sent me out in the field, I was quite naive but smart enough to conceal my identity. I knew several people who wound up dead because of miss communications, something didn’t go just right, or wanted out. Most of the cockroaches I deal with would track you down and kill you. So, I disguised my appearance and identity. I even kept my house in Italy a secret.

  • Zsigmond kept a dossier on you? Would he really turn it over to Interpol?

Yes. Clay changed after his wife, Johanna, died. I loved her like a mother. I tried to quit and suffered Clay’s wrath. He threatened to kill David, my son, if I tried to leave. He made it very clear to me that if I did manage to break free from him, he would send my dossier to the authorities and hunt me down. He’s crazy. I knew he would.

  • You’ve worked with many notorious and ruthless people. What was the scariest situation you’ve been in?

The scariest? Good one. There were a few. I guess it was when Clay screwed things up with the terrorists and told them I betrayed them when the Ranger devices didn’t work. I had to convince the terrorists I was going to fix the problem. I really thought I was going to die. If I didn’t address the issue, they would come after me. If we didn’t fix those devices, I was dead. Honestly, I didn’t have much faith that we would fix them.

  • Why did you kill Mac? Didn’t you have feelings for him?

Mac. I liked Mac. Ruggedly handsome guy—a professional and no-nonsense. Unfortunately, he was a loose end. He was the only one, outside of Clay, that could tie me to the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda.

  • Ludwig Stäbler set you up. Didn’t you see that coming?

No, I didn’t. I’ve known Ludwig for a long time and he owed me. Besides, he didn’t care for Clay. Looking back, I might have been too focused on getting David. Ludwig is a soldier of fortune, and money talks.

  • Did you sleep with Anthony Mangiano? Are you involved with someone special?
Available at Amazon.

Available at Amazon.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss whom I may have slept with. I might ask you if you slept with someone; would you tell me? Next question.

  • Are there any romantic plans in your future?

 

I hope so.  I want to have a family and be like normal people—David, me, and a father for David.

  • You seem fearless. What scares you?

A lot of things. Clay, Muslim fanatics, and, believe it or not, Anthony. He can be cold and is always one-step ahead of me. Silverfish and lima beans, well they don’t scare me, I just don’t like them.

  • What does the future hold for you? Will we see you again?

That is a very good question. I understand a number of people want to see me again. Patrick has talked to me about it several times. It is possible. I do think he likes me.

 

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1izsnBH

Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1pnfAoM

Google+: http://bit.ly/1y8cCI5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pparkerntx

Goodreads Profile page: http://bit.ly/1pnLth0

Blog: http://bit.ly/1tTUjjv

Webpage: http://bit.ly/1ZEoYGu

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Meet Spirit Animal: Walk a Labyrinth

The Story of the Spirit Wolf

Excerpt from “Atomic Medium,” a Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery

by G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

Rachel Blackstone, the Reluctant Medium, counsels with her friend former priest Eddy O’Brien. He advises her to walk a labyrinth to gain insight to her predicament. While doing so she sees the dead shaman Joseph and learns the story of her spirit wolf, Kiyiya. We pick up where Eddy encourages her to walk.
Labyrinth in Santa Fe, NM

Labyrinth in Santa Fe, NM

“The labyrinth will guide you. I’m going to wait here in the car. If anyone comes, I’ll delay them so you can complete your walk. It is your journey.”

“Should I ask a question?” Rachel asked, stalling. “Something specific?”

“Just walk and see what happens?” Eddy said.

Rachel nodded. At first she looked down at the heavily trod path edged in stones. The ground was hard and dry beneath her mocs. She was grateful for their thick lug soles. The red sun was sinking deeper into the cosmos. The sunset colors played across the labyrinth mixing with the dust in the air. She thought it must be what star dust looked like; fine particles in magic shades drifting through space. The shadows of nearby piñon crossed her path here and there, moving as she did. As she strolled the first circuit she was aware of not really wanting to do it, but as she moved deeper into the labyrinth she became more engrossed.

Like yoga, she found as her concentration increased, the distressing concerns of her day faded away. Rachel had heard of walking meditation and attempted to do that. There had to be some presence in the moment or she might stray from the path, but yet she needed to allow her mind to quiet.

As she finished each track a little more of the environmental noise dropped away: traffic, construction, all man made sounds. She was no longer aware of the rustling leaves or chirping birds. Rachel closed her eyes. For a moment she felt as if she floated among the enchanted airborne particles.

But as the quiet settled, another noise began to intrude. It was familiar. Just she had experienced in her living room months ago when she performed the ceremony to return the dead, she picked up on some subtle crackling almost as if the air overflowed with electricity. Yet she felt no evidence of it. Rachel held her ground and closed her eyes. There was a faint rattling.

Available at Amazon

Available at Amazon

“Oh no,” she whispered and opened her eyes, fearing what she would see.

In the gathering dusk, fog seemed to flow from all directions, despite the persistent dry air. She hurried.

“Should I get the hell out of here?” she muttered to herself.

By the time she reached the center, the vapor was meeting and began spiraling upward, each strand wrapping around what appeared to be an empty center, but it created a perfect human-shaped mist.

It’s happening again. And she was afraid. She closed her eyes once again and fought down the panic. Grappling for control so she wouldn’t run, she tried to prepare herself for anything. Would there be another Nazi to manage? Or was she dealing with another evil entity?

Calm down. Take a deep breath. Rachel tried to do this simple breath, but with her fight or flight instincts all amassed and at ready, she could hardly inhale.

Open your eyes. Slowly, looking down first, she glimpsed a pair of bare feet. Having expected something military in nature, this confused her. When she raised her line of vision, there was Joseph standing before her, smiling with some amusement. His skin was brown from decades in the sun and his eyes laced with lines from squinting. He was a slight man, but a giant spiritually. Rachel could see aura glowing around him. Usually he wore the white aura of a spiritual guide, but today he it was the purest of blue which she knew to represent harmony and great understanding of people and other creatures.

While he never spoke aloud, he was telling her a story. At first, she didn’t get it, but then it became clear he was talking about her spirit wolf, Kiyiya. The white wolf had been different all his life. Although his parents had been alphas in his family pack, and therefore he was deserving of respect, he had been aware that others judged him as unusual.

One day while drinking at a stream he took a moment to look at his reflection. He felt both exhilaration and shame at his differentness. He wanted to be like the other wolves. Troubled, he asked his mother why his fur was white as snow. She recognized his need for reassurance and told him white wolves were destined for greatness in the spirit world. Someday, he would understand why he had been created this way.

For several years, he lived with his pack, hunted with them, played with his siblings and howled into the night. It was a good life, but something seemed to be missing. On a particularly cold, crisp winter day, he arose early and strode up the rocks in search of food. Just as he was about to catch a rabbit he felt a sharp pain in his chest.

Meet Yikiya, Reluctant Medium's White Spirit Wolf Photo Public Domain

Meet Yikiya, Reluctant Medium’s White Spirit Wolf
Photo Public Domain

The falling was more frightening than painful, but as he continued to fall his rate of descent slowed and the terrain changed from mountainous to cloudy and then to night. He slowly righted himself as if he were a cat and landed on his feet in a place he didn’t know. A woman stood outside of a car in the middle of a big road. Confronted by a ghostly figure, she was alarmed. Instinctively, he knew she must be protected. His presence frightened the spirit away but also the woman. When he showed her no aggression she returned to her car to continue her way. Somehow he knew her journey was important.

In his new world he would shield others as well, but this woman was to be sheltered at all times. As he grew in the wisdom given by the Great Spirit, he learned ways of helping her when she was confused. His body could glow when light was needed. His shadow could change in size and shape. When he howled she knew that danger was near. She had much to learn, but he felt she had vital work to do.

And so he came to understand what his mother had told him. He was destined for greatness and he would do his very best to make her proud.

Rachel became cognizant of where she was and the tears streaming down her face. She began to sag but strong arms caught her.

Let me help you. Joseph found this way into her mind again. She felt sleepy and foggy and tried to shake it off.

“But what about the threshold?” Rachel said aloud. “Should I cross it?”

You will receive a message from the other side. It will come from an unlikely source. Be open to it. It will be true.

He was gone.

Rachel stepped over the stones and sat on a nearby bench. She was exhausted, drained. After resting for a few minutes, she returned to the parking lot where Eddy waited.

“Did you get what you needed?” he asked. “Was there an answer?”

“Yes,” she said. “It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but it was something I wanted to know.” She described meeting Joseph and what he said.

“That’s the way labyrinths work,” Eddy said. “In mysterious ways they channel knowledge we need.”

“I’m so tired.”

“You had a spiritual experience,” Eddy replied. “You have arrived.”

All the Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries are available at Amazon. Thank you for reading.

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Interview with Novelist G.G. Collins (Reluctant Medium)

My thanks to Matthew Toffolo and WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival for the interview.

Novel Writing Festival

Having walked several beats, G G Collins has racked up a lot of column inches, a few awards and a fellowship. An avid reader since childhood, she started her reading career with Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. From there, Stephen King was a small leap. The day she discovered the Hopi ceremony to call back the dead, she just had to ask: “What would happen if the wrong spirit returned?” Read it for yourself.

Books:

http://amzn.to/1t2z6Eu     Reluctant Medium

http://amzn.to/1PuwQix    Lemurian Medium

http://amzn.to/1RpatNv    Atomic Medium

http://amzn.to/1T8JYAD   Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation (anthology)

Blogs:

https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/

https://paralleluniverseatlarge.wordpress.com/

 ggcollinsInterview with G.G. Collins: 

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

G.G. Collins: Weird with a twist. That twist would be humor and horror together. Rachel Blackstone is a reporter in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in…

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Interview: Kristen Elise, PhD, Writer, Editor & Now Publisher

Cancer Fighter by Day; Murder Mistress by Night

Interviewed by G G Collins     (Copyright 2016)

Kristen had an idea: Invite crime fiction writers from all over the U.S. to take part in an anthology. Big undertaking—and perhaps a bit bigger than she expected. It’s not like she doesn’t have enough to do; important day job, writing books, two websites and her family. But she gently herded 31 writers from every region, slaved over uncooperative technology and voilà, Murder, USA: A Crime Fiction Tour of the Nation is a reality. Here’s how she did it.

  1. What possessed you to put together the mystery anthology Murder, U.S.A.?

Book Murder USA FinalI got the idea for Murder, U.S.A. from a few anthologies that I have seen recently. Typically, anthologies are short story collections, and they do a great job of offering a sampling of the work from multiple authors to readers. However, I’m not a short story writer. Never have been, and doubt I ever will be. So it got me to thinking: what if, instead of a short story collection, we created an anthology of sorts that is just snippets from the novels of novelists? It might be a great way to offer that same sampling of work without asking novelists to come up with short stories to tell. And it might be more representative of what those authors really write.

  1. Tell us something about yourself. Was there anything in your experience that prepared you for this undertaking? Also mention Murder Lab. It’s a terrific website.

Thank you for the compliment! Hmmm… well, I’m a “drug hunter” by day. I work for a biotech company, and my job is to look for molecules that will eventually become cancer medicines. It was in this work that I got the idea for The Death Row Complex, which is featured in Murder, U.S.A. Murder Lab is a website (http://www.murderlab.com/) that I put together a few years ago with the goal of uniting authors, readers, and basically anyone with an interest in crime fiction. You can see my experience from my day job in the website as both are basically a series of “experiments” — except that in my day job, I’m running experiments to identify the right molecules, whereas on Murder Lab, I and the Murder Lab community are constantly experimenting in what makes good crime fiction, how to sell crime fiction, and other such questions. Murder, U.S.A. was another experiment, by the way!

  1.  How did you reach out to other writers to participate?

I posted the idea on Murder Lab, reached out to my mailing list, and reached out via Facebook, Twitter, and whatever social networks I’m a part of. There was quite an amazing response! I’m so pleased with the finished product because it’s exactly what I had in mind—a very diverse collection from a wonderful group of authors. There is something in there for everyone. If you like to read mysteries, thrillers, or suspense novels of any breed, please download your free copy! http://amzn.to/1TBcjir  (Also available wherever eBooks are sold.)

  1.  What are some of the issues you experienced in compiling the excerpts and publishing the book?

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

    Author Kristen Elise, PhD

Haha! Well, I’m not gonna lie—it was much more work than I thought it would be. I had pictured that since the excerpts were all from published works, there would be no editing and it would just be a matter of putting them together and publishing. Not so much. There were actually a lot of technical difficulties I had to overcome, mostly based on the fact that everyone’s excerpts came in a different format, and I’m not skilled enough with software to just make them all magically become uniform. There were also some publishing difficulties since this was the first work I ever offered perma-free. And the first anthology with multiple authors. And the first book that was filled with links throughout the text. Etc. etc. etc. Having said that, it was a labor of love and I’m SO glad I did it! And the authors are all super cool, and I made a lot of new friends. So… worth every minute of effort.

  1.  Why is the book always free?

I wanted this book to be perma-free across all channels so that it can be available to anyone. The real goal of Murder, U.S.A. was never to sell it as an entity of its own, but rather, to expose the authors and their works to as many readers as possible. It’s a marketing tool, not a product in and of itself. It is my hope that the authors will help to get the book out there, and that readers will buy the books they like based on the excerpts. It is for this reason that there are easy buy links for every book featured in Murder, U.S.A., right there at the end of the excerpt.

  1.  Explain how the book cover came to be. Why did you choose Damon Freeman’s cover company Damonza.com?

I have now used Damonza for four books—both of my full-length novels, Murder, U.S.A., and a fourth book I’m doing as a fee-for-service for another author. I keep going back to them because they do excellent work for a reasonable price and they are highly professional. For this cover, we asked them to come up with a few concepts, which they did, and then I basically took a vote among the authors in the anthology. The cover with the most votes won. Simple as that.

  1.  What would you want readers to know?

Blog Murder Lab ButtonI’d like readers to know that if they sign up on my Murder Lab mailing list (just click the icon in the upper left corner of the page), I’ll send them a free copy of a spreadsheet I put together which a lot of authors are finding very useful. In short, I once spent a giant sum of money on just about every paid advertising site I could find, and then I kept track of which sites really led to sales and which didn’t. Readers can just click that link for further details. I’d also like readers to know about my personal author site, www.kristenelisephd.com. This site is a bit different from Murder Lab in that while Murder Lab is geared toward readers and authors of all crime fiction, my author site is dedicated to topics featured in my own novels—which, by the way, are historical and medical mysteries and thrillers. AND, last, I’d like your readers to know that if they sign up on THAT website’s mailing list, which is separate from Murder Lab since they have different focuses, I will send them a free copy of The Vesuvius Isotope.

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Book Review: “Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure” by Shirley MacLaine

Not What We’ve Come to Expect

By G G Collins          (Copyright 2016)

Book Above the LineIf you’re expecting a real spiritual journey like MacLaine’s exceptional books Out on a Limb or The Camino; Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure will be a disappointment. But if you’re interested in the behind the scenes on a film set, it might be appealing. Sadly, the back-biting, broken promises and how special actors are wasn’t what I was interested in.

I bought it with the promise of insight into Atlantis and an exploration of the Canary Islands. Neither really happened. In fairness, MacLaine is in her 80s and probably isn’t the fearless explorer she once was. No shame in that. We’re all lucky if we make it to the Third Age. Had this book been represented honestly by the publisher as a memoir from a movie set—I would have passed.

What I really wanted was more connection to Atlantis on the Canary Islands. Some believe that Atlantis existed where the Greek island of Santorini is now, so perhaps it was just the wrong location for the wisdom I was looking for.

If only the last portion about her injury and subsequent treatment had been left out: Thud! What did it have to do with the movie shoot? It’s a whole other story. And memories of life on Atlantis are suddenly pouring forth? I would have enjoyed reading these intermixed with revelations on the Canary Islands.

MacLaine has a lot to offer and I hope her next book is more astute and less aggrandizing.

Atria Books, 2016

Copyscape Do Not Copy

 

FREE Mystery Anthology: Murder USA is Out!

Murder U.S.A. Promises Country-Wide Crime Spree 

 

Book Cover Murder USA Final

Free Wherever eBooks are Sold: http://amzn.to/1TBcjir

Welcome to a country of mystery, mayhem and murder. Thirty-one mystery writers from all over the US joined forces to wreak havoc. It’s a virtual mystery candy store with everything from Cozy to Procedural to Paranormal. North, south, east or west; we’ve got you covered. No region was spared from the grip of terror.

Atomic Medium

“Atomic Medium” is included in the Southwestern states. Meet Rachel Blackstone, New Mexico journalist and Reluctant Medium–very reluctant. This is the third outing for Rachel in her new persona. This time she and friend Chloe follow the clues to 1945, just before the first atomic bomb is tested–but can they stop those intent on changing history?  Atomic Medium Available at Amazon

And the really big news?  “Murder U.S.A.” is FREE! Free to try new, known and emerging authors. Compiled by Kristen Elise, PhD.

 

Starman Gone Too Soon

CD Black Star BowieWe can be heroes, just for one day. — David Bowie

Holiday Greetings 2015

Whatever Holiday You Celebrate, May It Be A Happy One!

Santa Fe Poinsettias Copyright G G Collins

Santa Fe Poinsettias
Copyright G G Collins

This time of year is rich with holidays. It doesn’t matter whether you light a menorah for the eight days of Hanukkah, celebrate the ancient African harvest festival called Kwanzaa, fast and donate to charity during Ramadan, dress up and sing on St. Lucia Day, throw firecrackers at the dragon for Chinese New Year or give gifts and go caroling for Christmas, what matters is that you’re with those you love.

Wishing you Happy Holidays!  

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