Saturday, January 28, 2017

A French Quarter Violet

I just put my latest manuscript up for pre-purchase on Amazon for .99 cents. Click on the image to take you there!


Officer Violet Babineaux is called to the scene of a suicide where she finds her childhood friend Charlotte Labarre lying on a blood-soaked couch with a gun in her hand. Violet believes she could have prevented her suicide with a simple call. While placed on administrative leave, guilt drives her to investigate on her own, starting with Psychology Professor Daniel Russo who had an inappropriate relationship with Charlotte, his student. Violet portrays a vulnerable facade to entice his interest, however she falls for his charms. And Dr. Russo's news of Charlotte’s secret diary threatens to blow the case wide open.

Unsure about Dr. Russo's involvement, Violet presents a bold conspiracy theory involving cops to her partner Lenny Blake, but he and Homicide Detective Walter Wild dismiss her despite the evidence. When Violet finally acquires an elusive piece to the puzzle, the answers are far worse than not knowing.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Story Cartel - an experiment

So, I was sitting around, considering putting my new novel A FRENCH QUARTER VIOLET on Netgalley before the release and my good friend and author Lynne Constantine lynneconstantine.com suggested Story Cartel, which is a fraction of a fraction of the price. The premise is simple. You sign up as a reader/reviewer and you download books for free and leave reviews.

Just to try it out, I put up WHERE THE DEVIL WON'T GO. It will stay up on their site for three weeks and then, there's a fourth week to leave a review. Don't know what I'm expecting, but if I'm let down, I'm really not out a lot. If it does work, then A FRENCH QUARTER VIOLET will go up next.

Please got to www.storycartel.com and sign up and check out my book - WHERE THE DEVIL WON'T GO - https://www.storycartel.com/books/where-the-devil-wont-go



Thanks!
E.J.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Audible Books - First Impressions

I decided listening to a book while driving from Chicago to New Orleans would help pass the time, and I've never listened to one before, so I thought it would cool. I downloaded the Audible app and listened to THE ZODIAC first because it was free. A lot of detail, but enjoyable for my work commute leading to my trip.

But for the thousand mile trip to NOLA, I bought Amy Poehler's YES, PLEASE to listen to on the way down, and I bought Michael Connelly's THE BLACK ECHO for ride back.

YES, PLEASE was very entertaining, being narrated by cameos of several guest voices. Poehler doing most of the reading of her own book was a pleasant touch.

However, on the way back, the man who narrated THE BLACK ECHO did all the voices himself, including the female's voice. And, bless his heart, he tried to speak in a higher, more feminine tone, but all that did was make me imagine a man in drag every time he spoke for the female characters. A couple of times, Jeffrey Tambor popped into my head. In several instances, the dialog made me laugh, being read in that manner, but I let it go. It was a good book.

Not discouraged, and while waiting for my free monthly credit for subscribing, I listened to MAFIA PRINCE because it was offered for free. Once again, the narrator did his own voices for the mobsters. But, he did a great job and the book was enjoyable.

With my next credit, I bought David Baldacci's NO MAN'S LAND. The male narrator's voice is great, but then there isn't much variation between his two main male characters. Plus, the main character sounds like Milhouse's dad's voice on the Simpsons. Find some audio of Milhouse's father, Kirk Van Houten. It's irritating to listen to in a book. Then, the bad guy's voice is so close to it, it could be Milhouse's dad's brother's voice. There are several confrontations with young, college boys who want to fight and that's a bit comical to listen to with the cheesy dialog.

The female's voices are done by a lady, thankfully, but one of the voices sounds like it should be in some kind of Valley Girl - tween - SNL skit or maybe Jimmy Fallen's EW skits.

So, I know reading these books give me a different experience, and I tell myself the narrators can only do so much and it's not an easy job to separate characters. I will continue to buy the audio books, learning just how my own books might sound read out loud. Plus, there's the entertainment value of an unexpected laugh while someone's getting murdered.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A French Quarter Violet

Here is the opening of A French Quarter Violet, the latest book I pitched and am waiting for responses. Any comments by my hordes of fans would be appreciated.
Chapter 1
The paramedic didn’t bother to lift his hefty ass off the rear bumper of his ambulance, but managed to flick the butt of his cigarette toward my feet as if marking his territory. I could guess his attitude came from my being female or my being a cop or maybe both. He acted like a grade school bully, with thin lips and close-set eyes that measured Lenny and me. 
Tourists wandering the French Quarter encroached as if we were street performers, but Lenny ushered them along. A piercing trumpet and dull drumming on an upside-down bucket could be heard near Bourbon Street as the afternoon sun descended. 
I pulled out my little notebook of facts, ready with my pen. “I’m Officer Violet Babineaux and this is Officer Lenny Blake. What we got?”
 “Young, white female. Looks like suicide.” The medic lit a new cigarette. “Gun in the mouth. Brains on the wall.”
“I can say the same about smoking.” Lenny’s baritone carried as he plucked the newly lit cancer stick from the man’s lips and tossed it onto Royal Street, adding to the discarded debris the French Quarter tended to collect.
“Hey.” The medic squinted, not quite sure if he wanted to mouth off to an angry black cop large enough to body slam him.
“Where’s the other medic?”
“She’s still with the body. It’s messy.”
“Is one of them the landlord?” I pointed at one man consoling another on the curb in front of Diamond Minds, a quaint jewelry store with a torn green awning. One was a thin man, curled up with his knees to his chest, showing the whites of his eyes. His unkempt gray Afro lifted in the breeze and his ears hung low. The other man was pale, with deep wrinkles.
“Black guy’s the landlord. Mr. Bud Dooley. He’s freaked out. Says the girl’s name is Charlotte something.” 
Wait. Charlotte
The medic continued, “The white guy is the jewelry store owner. Apartment’s right above.” He pointed to an aging window with yellow shudders.
Lenny turned to me. “Let’s hit it, Babineaux.”
My blood pressure had dropped and my stomach growled, and for the third time I wished we had gotten lunch before the call. The second-story window caused my intuition to rise up in my throat. Charlotte’s attempt to contact me has to be a coincidence. The demon possessing that apartment called down to me. Come up and see your friend.
We approached Mr. Dooley, who responded with a snail’s pace. Lenny bent at the waist to get his attention. “Mr. Dooley. I’m Officer Blake and this is Officer Babineaux. We’re going to check out the apartment. We’ll be back down in a few minutes to take your statement, okay?”
“Horrible. So horrible.” His lips trembled for more words that didn’t come. Poor man. I’m glad he didn’t say Charlotte again. I don’t think I could take hearing her name come off his lips. It wasn’t her up there. It couldn't be.
We entered a green door that was propped open on the side of the jewelry store. I noticed that the paramedic had crossed the street to join us, not wanting to waste another cigarette. My noodle legs climbed the narrow flight of stairs, holding the railing with a tight hand. I’d been called to suicides before, but this could devastate me, seeing my closest childhood friend who had just reached out to me yesterday, and whom I had completely ignored. 
At the summit of the stairs, a long, dreary hallway came into view. Light beamed through an open door, which had a crooked 2C barely hanging on. The medic and I entered behind Lenny as the second EMT rose from the kitchen chair. Her pants exaggerated wide curves and she had a butch haircut. Medics weren’t allowed to leave a body alone until relieved. My brain filtered Lenny’s words into sputtering noises as I crept closer to the body on the blood-spattered couch.
It was my Charlotte; the Charlotte that stood by my side during the Little Magnolia Pageants; the Charlotte whose fun-loving personality withered with our friendship until I ran away to start a new life at fifteen. It was the Charlotte who had just yesterday left a note on my door. My Charlotte.
She had shot herself in the mouth. Blood soaked her concert T-shirt above her cute pink shorts. Her body was still in shape, but from metabolism, not working out. Blackish, pasty film coated her mouth, shoulders, and chest. Bits of her skull on the couch proved there would be a nasty exit wound. The gun rested on her side, inches from her hand.
“Violet, what’s wrong?”
Ignoring Lenny’s question, I stepped up to the couch to face her head-on, leaning over to confirm what I already knew. Childhood memories prevented any thoughts of my calming down. Small points of light invaded my vision and the room swirled. Finally, my knees gave out. Charlotte’s body rushed towards me until I saw the nothingness.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Where The Devil Won't Go Giveaway

For the next week (July 30 - Aug. 5), I'll be hosting the giveaway of my novel Where The Devil Won't Go.

Please click on link for details!
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/4f9bb01762b103b7


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Thrillerfest 2016

This is my third Thrillerfest. It will not be my last.

When I first arrived at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, I prayed to God Of Pitching in hopes that requests would be plentiful.



My "pitch-dance," although viewed as strange and slightly arousing by hotel guests, worked, as many agents requested material, as well as requested I stop dancing without my shirt on.

At the cocktail party that night, I look out the window to see that Lee Child had arrived by his usual police escort. I found out later that these cops showed because the debut authors had a rumble in Ballroom I, and much blood was spilled.



I'll admit I'm a fan-girl when it comes Gillian Flynn. I had read Sharp Objects and Dark Places just when Gone Girl came out and I thought to contact her. Come to find out she lived very close to me. I tried to get her to meet me and another writer friend out for a bar to talk prose, but her book skyrocketed and that idea was shot to shit.

But, I did get to see Gillian Flynn interviewed by the very talented and hilarious Karin Slaughter. Dirty, dirty minds....


Another fantastic and inspiring interview was with David Morrell and Walter Mosley. I had to leave to take a call in the middle of it, and a huge roar of laughter came from the ballroom, but I'm sure I didn't miss one of the funniest moments ever.  I gotta buy the CD.



And finally, Lee Child Interviewed 2016 Thrillermaster Heather Graham. Not a great pic, but seating was limited and every cell phone was in the air. Two powerhouses talking love, life, family, and tossing food at dinner theater. Wisdom out the bleep-hole! Man, I love this conference!!!



I'll end this little tour by saying that this just a tiny, tiny sample of the exciting goings-on where the peons shake hands with the untouchables. Where Jon Land will get you another beer if you ask. Where you can sit at the hotel bar and rub elbows with agents and share belly-laughs with your peers.

Pretty cool.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Where The Devil Won't Go UPDATE

The editor I hired, Ms. Savannah Thorne - www.savannahthorne.com - did an awesome job on marking up WHERE THE DEVIL WON'T GO. I just finished the edits and trimmed some fat and am very proud of the result. So, for my 'tens' of fans - ha ha - it's re-posted as an ebook. The paper option will be available soon, too. And I'd like to mention that this is the first in a series and there will be more coming.

I'd also like to say to the inspiring writers out there that there is a Chicago conference I'll be attending May 14th this year. www.chicagowritingworkshop.com. I'll be pitching to several agents in the hopes of getting represented.

And then in July I'll be attending the Thrillerfest conference. www.thrillerfest.com to pitch to more agents. If anyone reading this attends, try to find me and say hello! You can even contact me before hand at ejfindorff@aol.com.

Happy reading!