Monday, April 12, 2021

New Crime Thriller Release Alert: 'The Fragile Ones' by Jennifer Chase

 “Please Mommy, can Tessa and I go play on the swing by the creek?” the little girl begs, pushing a blonde curl from her eyes. “We’ll stay together, and we promise to be safe.” Hours later, their mother waits anxiously for her darling girls to arrive home with a list of reasons why they are late. But the front door never opens…

When the bodies of eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, Tessa and Megan, are found at the bottom of a ravine—dressed in matching pastel summer outfits, their small bodies broken from the fall—Detective Katie Scott is called to one of the most shocking and heartbreaking crime scenes of her career.

Carefully picking through the fragile remains, Katie makes the first of many disturbing discoveries: the girls were not biological sisters. The youngest, Megan, is a DNA match to a kidnapping case years before. The tiny number burnt into her skin the mark of a terrifying killer intent on keeping count of his collection.

Her PTSD from the army triggered, Katie is left reeling as she maps other missing children in the local area. Has this twisted soul found a way to stay nearby his victims? Could he be watching now as Katie hits one dead end after another?

A wild storm building, matching a fiber found during the autopsy to a nearby boatyard is the break Katie needs. But when another girl goes missing, just as lightning strikes and the power goes out, Katie only has her instincts, her team and her service dog to rely on. As time runs out for Katie to finds the stolen child alive, who will become the next number on this monster’s deadly list?

Fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh, you better buckle-up for the ride of your life! BEWARE – this gripping crime thriller is guaranteed to keep you up all night!

Find out more about The Fragile Ones

READ AN EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

“Please can we go?” whined Tessa as she followed her mother through the living room and into the kitchen. “Please,” she said again, pushing her blonde curls away from her eyes. “I really want to go to the swing by the creek.”

“Not by yourself,” countered Mrs. Mayfield, ignoring her daughter’s angry stare. “We’ve talked about this before.”

“Yes, and you said I couldn’t go alone, and I’m not. Megan will be with me.” Tessa’s older sister was barely a year older and her best friend. Her mother began emptying the dishwasher, putting plates and glasses away in the cabinet. It was unclear if she was thinking about what Tessa had said or not, so she tried again. “I’m almost eleven and Megan is almost twelve. We’re practically teenagers,” she said. “Besides, Janey and her brother will probably be there.”

Mrs. Mayfield laughed. “You know, you would be a good lawyer the way you make your case.”

“I don’t want to be a lawyer. I’m going to be a vet,” Tessa said, grinning.

“Well, I know you are going to be whatever you want to be.” Mrs. Mayfield laughed to herself as she slipped the last piece of silverware into the drawer and turned to face her daughter. At the sound of her name, Megan had joined Tessa in the doorway and they both stood quietly waiting for an answer. Glancing at the wall clock with a sigh, she said, “You both have to be back by four thirty, not a second later. Understand?”

“Thank you! Thank you!” Tessa said, grabbing her sister’s hand in glee. Both girls were in denim shorts and pastel T-shirts with their favorite matching blue sneakers.

“Be home on time,” their mom called after them.

“We will,” chimed the girls.

Mrs. Mayfield heard the front door shut, followed by the sound of running footsteps.

She smiled and went back to her chores as the afternoon ticked by.

 

At 4:45 p.m. Mrs. Mayfield was waiting impatiently to hear the girls enter the house with a list of a dozen reasons why they were late—but the front door never opened. An hour after that, unable to wait any longer, she looked outside, thinking that the girls might be in the yard.

Debris from a croquet set littered the lawn; the wooden mallets abandoned and colored balls scattered as if the girls had been playing only moments ago. The trampoline in the corner had one of the girls’ bright blue sweatshirts hanging on the edge. It swayed slightly in the breeze.

There was no sign of them.

She ran through the house to the backyard, but it, too, was deserted. No whispers. No giggles. No shrieks of laughter. The wind was picking up and whistling through the branches and leaves of the surrounding trees—almost whispering a warning.

Mrs. Mayfield pulled off her apron and reached for her coat, deciding to walk to the creek and bring the girls back herself. At this point, she was more angry than concerned, knowing how they could be forgetful when they were having fun, and often lost track of time.

But surely they would be on their way home by now? she thought to herself as her pace quickened from a fast walk to a jog. Against her better judgment, and knowing that she couldn’t shelter them forever, she had crumbled and let them go down to the creek where one of the neighboring boys had constructed a swing that they loved to play on.

And now fear ripped through her body. “Tessa!” she yelled. “Megan!” Terrible scenarios shuffled through her thoughts as she tried desperately to keep her emotions on an even keel.

“Tessa! Megan!”

She yelled their names over and over until her voice went hoarse. Her chest felt strangely heavy and her vision blurred as she ran, but her strength and mother’s instinct pushed her forward, down the trail leading to the creek. The trail was well-worn by local kids looking for adventure and fun. Stumbling as she ran, she frantically turned left and then right. There wasn’t a soul around… She was alone. She kept moving.

Looking up at the tall pine trees, everything spun in a dizzying blur of forest and darkening sky. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and open again, then stopped for a moment to listen.

The swing was only visible at the bottom of the path just above the creek and she could hear the water rushing below. Peering over the edge, there was no sign of them—or anyone. She kept turning, expecting to see her girls everywhere she looked. They weren’t there. All around her were discarded candy wrappers and remnants of fast food containers. Proof that children played here often.

There was no sound apart from the whisper of the trees. No children laughing nearby.

“Megan! Tessa!” she yelled again, but there was only silence. She ran all the way up the trail to the street, still calling their names in a full-blown panic.

Mrs. Mayfield turned her attention up the road, her mother’s instinct in high gear. Something blue lying beneath a bush caught her eye and she ran towards it.

She leaned down and her hand trembled over the light blue canvas before she forced herself to grab the abandoned blue sneaker.

“No,” she said, barely breathing.

Written on the side tread of the shoe with a thick black pen was one word: Tessa.

 

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today BestSelling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers. Check out her website.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Q&A on Book Covers with Rev. Dr. Leonidas A. Johnson Author of Phenomenal Vision Eyesight to Life Sight #bookcovers


Rev. Dr. Johnson attended Evanston Township High School. From there he went on to study at Illinois Wesleyan University.  His professional education for his Doctor of Optometry degree was completed at the Southern California College of Optometry, now known as Marshall B. Ketchum University.  Rev. Dr. Johnson received his Master’s degree at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. “I plan on leading a crusade against blindness due to age related cataracts. I’m able to do all these things because I serve a great God who does great things and He has allowed me to do great things,” commented Rev. Dr. Johnson. He has set up a foundation known as the Rev. Dr. Leonidas The Optometrist and The Miracle Eyes Foundation. See this web site for more information www.revleonidastheoptometrist.org. Due to his work demands – Dr. Johnson lives in both Chicago and Los Angeles.

Visit his website at Books | Christian Faith Publishing | Free Publishing Kit | Christian Faith Publishing and www.revleonidastheoptometrist.org.

 

Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

I’m a licensed optometrist. I’m also an ordained minister. I have spent my life helping people to see. Vision is what I know, vision is what I do. I’ve discovered something about vision that I believe will change your life. Next to life itself God’s greatest gift is sight - the key to this mysterious thing called life. I believe I can help you and many of your readers live a phenomenal life. Understanding vision is the key. I put this key, life transforming information in the form of a book, Phenomenal Vision Eyesight to Life Sight, so I can help people with their vision of life.

I believe I can help you see yourself and the world God created more clearly and in a new light. I believe this new perspective will lead to a more fulfilled, productive, and meaningful life.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

I submitted my ideas and sample manuscript to Christian Faith Publishing. They reviewed it, accepted my proposal, and agreed to publish my title. I signed a contract, which included an initial payment, to have it published. We went through several editing versions. When I was satisfied I finalized the edited manuscript. After the editing was done we moved to the book layout phase. I wanted to include a lot of colorful illustrations. I wasn’t sure if I was going to need to get an illustrator to do all the illustrations. The publisher referred me to a large library of illustrations. I was able to find and select the illustrations that fit my project. Some of the illustrations needed to be customized and modified and the publisher was able to that for me. We went through a few version of the layout phase before I finalized the layout.  After the layout phase we moved to the cover design stage. Once the cover design was done and the final version of the book complete, the book was made available for on demand printing. The conversion process to the electronic book format took another 8+ weeks.  iTunes took the longest to get approved. 

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

I didn’t come up with the title right away. I played around with a few ideas at first. As I started writing the book it became clearer to me what the title should be.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

I selected and submitted a couple of images and ideas to the publisher to consider for the book cover design. When I was looking through the catalog of illustrations for the interior illustrations for my book I came across a few images I thought would be good for the cover design. The publisher looked at what I submitted and came up with a design. I liked what they came up with. I just made a few minor adjustments to get to the end product, the final cover design.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

I used the publisher.

How was your experience working with the designer?

I was able to make suggestions and changes before I approved the cover design. I felt like my input was welcomed and acknowledged.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

So far, I have had nothing but good responses to the book. The book was just released so I don’t have much reader feedback yet, but my prepublication book reviews were very positive.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Work with a professional. Work with someone who is open to your vision and ideas but who will give you professional advice based on professional experience and best industry practices. The cover design so very important to the success of your book.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

This book will change your whole outlook on life. It can change your life, for the better.


Book Info:

Title: PHENOMENAL VISION EYESIGHT TO LIFE SIGHT
Author: Rev. Dr. Leonidas A. Johnson
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.
Pages: 116
Genre: Nonfiction

BOOK BLURB:

“I’ve spent my life helping people to see, both as a licensed optometrist and also as an ordained minister,” said author Rev. Dr. Leonidas Johnson. “Vision, what is it? I discovered that physical vision is very similar to spiritual vision and the mind is the bridge between the two.”

In Rev. Dr. Johnson’s book, readers will experience a concept called learning by comparison. Comparing physical vision with spiritual vision will help the readers see themselves and the world God created in a whole new light. Readers will see the world God created from a physical, mental, and spiritual vantage point that will enrich their lives, Rev. Dr. Johnson says. These vantage points help build a foundation for developing a decision-making strategy that is both liberating and biblically sound.

Rev. Dr. Johnson went on to say “The title of my book – – Phenomenal Vision: Eyesight To Life Sight – – came after contemplating the impact vision has on one’s life, not just physical but eternal. It leans into the concept of one’s worldview. A proper view of oneself and the world can deeply impact the outcome of one’s life. Jesus said I come that might have life and have it more abundantly. How can you see physical beauty if you are physically blind? Conversely, how can you have an abundant life if you are spiritually blind?  Vision should never be taken for granted and vision that incorporates physical, mental and spiritual vantage points is not ordinary but phenomenal and lead to a phenomenal life.”

Praise

I just read Phenomenal Vision Eyesight to Life Sight by Rev. Dr. Leonidas A. Johnson.  It is a delightful book written thoughtfully.  He linked the physical aspects of vision with the metaphysical aspects of vision in a creative way.  I share a common perspective as Rev. Dr. Johnson because I am also an Optometrist and a Christian minister.  He has captured both the physical science of vision and the metaphysical science of vision.  I am confident that there will be “aha moments” for readers who may not have a foot in either area.

This author so wonderfully explained the spiritual nature of vision.  His linking of disorders or disease to both the physical and spiritual makes it easy for the reader to “get it.”  His use of graphs, diagrams, pictures, and charts is also very creative.  Often books are “dumbed down” and don’t trust the intellect of the reader.  This book soars in bringing light to something that has often been opaque.  This book is a must-read.  It will be a blessing for those who desire to have a more in-depth understanding of the link between the physical and metaphysical aspects of life.

— Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr.

The title of this book, Phenomenal Vision: Eyesight to Life Sight, written by Rev. Dr. Leonidas A. Johnson, is one that entices the reader’s curiosity towards further exploration of its content. The author is an Optometrist and an Ordained Minister, therefore, this book is a valuable resource for various professional and religious environments, i.e. universities, colleges, seminaries, along with local churches for both clergy and laity. It is an insightful reference for readers interested in the relationship between eyesight and life sight. In other words, the reader will gain a wealth of knowledge concerning physical, mental and spiritual vision.

Rev. Dr. Johnson presents a thorough explanation regarding the connection between the mind, body, spirit and soul. His approach is holistic as he delves into the medical terminology towards understanding physical vision and creatively references biblical scriptures and stories to engage the reader in components of spiritual vision. Furthermore, Rev. Dr. Johnson has included several graphics, i.e. diagrams, charts and pictures to assist the reader “to see” and comprehend the three major areas emphasized in the text: 1.) inter-relatedness of physical vision, 2.) mental vision cognitive, and 3.) spiritual vision.

It is evident that the author has a passion for the love of God and God’s people as he reveals the depths of his knowledge, research, spirituality and life experiences as an Optometrist and Minister of the Gospel. Rev. Dr. Leonidas Johnson has written a phenomenal book that is a true treasure as each written page is most enlightening!

Rev. Dr. Venus L. Butler

Associate Minister,

Second Baptist Church, Los Angeles

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/38lIKiK

Thursday, April 1, 2021

New Memoir Spotlight: 'In My Next Life I'll Get It Right' by Rosemary Mild



Acclaimed novelist Rosemary Mild pulls back the curtain on life, love, loss, and everything in between in her new book, In My Next Life I’ll Get It Right.  In this charming, entertaining, and heartfelt collection, Mild dances to her own captivating tune. With a keen eye, wicked wit, and sparkling delivery, she produces a collection of essays ranging from the hilarious to the serious, from the practical to the irreverent. Clever, pitch-perfect, and polished, Mild’s conversational tales are destined to strike a chord with readers.

Mild writes with candor, compassion, and honesty in a voice that brims with humor and wisdom. Her essays run the gamut from gritty observations on everyday life to laughing at her own wishful thinking tempered with tough reality. In My Next Life I'll Get It Right has it all.

No subject escapes the pen of Rosemary Mild—wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. Readers will delight in her Hawaii adventures; “Senior Decade”; brief encounters with the famous; medical mishaps; and her rocky road from blind dates to lasting love. Join her as she takes on sailing, skating, Jazzercise, football, marathons, and more—and come along as Mild lays bare a mother’s heart-wrenching loss. A collection that is at once timeless and timely, In My Next Life I’ll Get It Right is utterly irresistible.

Find out more about the book



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosemary Mild is an award-winning essayist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Chess Life, and countless other outlets. When not dreaming up outrageous essay ideas, Rosemary Mild and her husband, Larry, wallow in crimes and clues that include their popular Paco and Molly Mysteries; Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries; two Hawaii suspense/thrillers; and three gripping story collections. They have two stories in the 2021 anthology Kissing Frogs and Other Quirky Tales. Rosemary has also authored two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life with My Mother; and Miriam's World—and Mine, in memory of the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Check out her website


READ AN EXCERPT

The Hazards of a Grandma’s Bragging Rights

In June, 2004 two stone lions welcomed Larry and me as we mounted the steps to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. We’d come for the opening of the National Scholastic Arts and Writers Exhibition, sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Inc. Each state runs its own annual regional competition. The 1,200 honorees at the Corcoran were chosen from the 250,000 regional winners. We had a personal stake in this show. One of the winners was a sculpture titled The Kelpie, created by our granddaughter Alena Lau, a sophomore at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu. 
In the first exhibit room we found the chest-high glass case containing small ceramics. The Kelpie was on the far right. It depicted a young girl crouching beside a rippling pond, with a horse up to its neck in the blue-green water. 
“This is our granddaughter’s piece,” I announced proudly to the parade of visitors. They all stopped to look. I grandly interpreted it, paraphrasing the definition from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. “The kelpie—the little girl—is a water sprite of Scottish folklore who delights in the drowning of wayfarers.” 
Visitors seemed to appreciate my explanation, because none of the artworks bore one. Many visitors took pictures. Speaking of pictures, I had called the Corcoran in advance to ask whether they allowed cameras. “No, only in the reception area.” Being obsessively obedient since I was a child, I didn’t bring mine. We got there and almost every visitor had one! A kindly looking woman approached and I whipped up my courage: 
“If you’d be willing to take a couple pictures of our granddaughter’s sculpture and send them to us, we’ll send you an autographed copy of our mystery novel.” 
“I love mysteries,” she said, “but I’ll go you one better. My sister is here with an extra throw-away camera and we’ll give it to you.” She refused to let us pay for it. What a lovely lady. I took umpteen pictures, and we sent her a book.
I held court at the Corcoran for two hours. And for the entire year after, I carried pictures in my purse, doing show-and-tell to all family and friends.  
Until Alena’s mom, my stepdaughter, heard me. We were all attending a large holiday party, when Jackie said in a stern voice that every guest could hear. “No, Rosemary, you’ve got it wrong! The horse is the kelpie!” 
What? Oh, no! Here’s what happened. I had indeed looked up “kelpie” in the dictionary, but I neglected to also read the origin of the word in brackets—from the Scottish-Gaelic “heifer or colt.” (You’ve heard the Latin phrase Mea culpa, meaning “My fault.” Well, Mea kelpie!) 
Since then I’ve promised Alena I’ll always write down her own interpretations of her artworks. No improvising. Fortunately, my humiliating goof had no lasting impact. The sponsors of the competition bought The Kelpie for their offices in New York. 


Find out more about the book