Audiobook · book review · excerpt · Giveaways · interviews · medical thriller

Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – The Target List

Audiobook Tour: The Target List by Dr. John Reizer

Author: Dr. John Reizer

Narrator: Allen Grunerud

Length: 1 hour 57 minutes

Publisher: Dr. John Reizer

Released: Sep. 12, 2019

Genre: Medical Thriller

WAND is a revolutionary new medical tool that cures diseased tissues in human beings without the use of drugs or surgery. Ten years in design and production, the technology has a 95% success rate in curing most forms of cancer in animals and human beings.

The brainchild of 48-year-old Harvard Medical School graduate, Clyde Daniel, WAND (Wave-Altering-Nanoparticle-Disrupter) is going to move the profession of medicine out of the dark ages and into something that closely resembles science fiction. That is, unless the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to lose billions of dollars in lost drug revenues, can intervene with its hired assassins and destroy the technology and its team of creators before it ever has a chance to see the light of day.

The Target List is a medical science fiction thriller, a real pause-resister that will have listeners hooked from the first chapter through the very end of the book.

Buy Links

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Audible


John Reizer is a practicing chiropractor and indie author residing in the Upstate of South Carolina. He has been writing articles and books since 2001. His earlier publications dealt primarily with the subject of chiropractic as he has written several books for chiropractic practitioners and laypeople.
Over the past several years, he has been writing nonfiction books that address various subjects rarely, if ever, discussed by the mainstream media outlets. Many of these topics can be accessed by visiting his blog, http://www.nofakenews.net.
More recently, John has been writing fiction that attempts to entertain and educate readers about extremely important issues affecting many people worldwide.
His latest novel, The Target List, was published in June, 2019. Additional information can be found at the author’s website, http://www.johnreizer.com.

WebsiteGoodreads

Narrator Bio
Allen Grunerud is a recently retired theatre and English educator, He brings a love of literature and a reverence for the spoken word to his work.
Bringing characters’ stories to life has been Allen’s primary goal; each new challenge becomes his new passion. Allen holds himself to rigorously high production standards in order to deliver a product worthy of an author’s vision.

Facebook


The story begins with a “doctor” casting a wand over a young girl and curing her of a terminal disease. But it is some time before Clyde Daniel and his associate Donna are ready to share their breakthrough with the world.

However, it seems the world – or rather Big Pharma – is neither ready nor willing to accept this new radio wave technology. Many among us would query their hesitancy. Why would anyone not welcome such technology? Isn’t the point of Big Pharma to find cures for those pernicious diseases? Of course it is. But, such ‘cures’ come at a price – the cost of research is reflected in the amount charged for any new wonder drug.

Now, if patients no longer need to take daily medication to ease their pain and suffering as a result of chronic illness and diseases, then the demand for such pills and potions becomes redundant.

Oops!

Could big pharmaceutical companies be holding out against cures for today’s killer diseases? Is it all about money after all?

The short chapters really keep the pace taut and tense in this thought-provoking story. The narration adds to the tension, the personality of the main characters comes through, as does excitement for the wand’s potential in regards to the future of healthcare.

I could happily have listened to more about the characters and the conspiracies they face in bringing the wand to market, but I have to admit that the brevity of the story delivers the desired shock factor. It certainly had me thinking about the role of Big Pharma and the drugs industry and made me ever more thankful for European healthcare systems on which I currently rely. That said, if only there really could be something available like the wand … how amazing would that be?

Highly recommended for fans of medical thrillers: sharp, pacy and thought-provoking.

Q&A with Author John Reizer
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • After writing The Target List, I believed the story was really special. I had a gut feeling this short novella would make a great audiobook. I am so happy I acted on my feelings because I believe the final product turned out wonderfully.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I do believe certain writing styles probably translate better into audiobooks than others. I think thrillers, for example, are a natural fit for audiobooks. It’s the type of audio content that can grab hold of listeners and never let them go.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • I think about half way through the writing of the book, I felt the story would make a good audiobook.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • After I became affiliated with ACX, the company that produced the audiobook, I held auditions for the project. As soon as I heard Allen Grunerud’s audition track, I knew he would become the narrator for The Target List.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • We had several conversations about the book’s production. But in all honesty, I let Allen do his thing. I believed he had a good feel for what I had written and genuinely liked the story and most importantly, believed in the characters and what they were trying to bring to fruition.
  • Was there any real life inspiration behind your writing?
    • There’s plenty of real life inspiration associated with the story. There’s a lot of truthful content embedded within the fictional construct of The target List plot. I think that’s one of the things that makes the story so special and so important for readers and listeners.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I believe it’s natural for all writers to have a form of writer’s block or burn-out from time to time. Personally, I try to write something each day whether I am involved with a specific project or not. This keeps me actively engaged with the creative part of my brain and limits the episodes of not being productive from a writing standpoint.
    • Most of the things I write about come from the experiences I’ve acquired throughout my 56 years of life. Like a lot of writers, I draw from those things that have affected me, and turn them into blog posts and sometimes fictional stories.
    • If I am really drawing a blank about something, I go for a long walk in my neighborhood. I find that this seems to work pretty well. Sometimes, pushing back from the keyboard for an hour or so allows my mind to reset, and when I return the writer’s block is no longer an issue.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am new to audiobooks, but I really like them. It’s nice to be able to listen to a story while driving in the car or relaxing at home on the couch. It’s a very relaxing way to enjoy a great book.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I think the chapter in the book that takes place at the gas station, with the rocket launcher plays very well in the audio version. Allen did a great job with the entire book, but that chapter is one of my favorites.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I went out to dinner with my wife and daughter.

Guest Post

Author John Reizer’s Reasons to listen to this book

My most recent novel, The Target List was written and recorded with the dual intention to entertain its listeners while teaching them about the many machinations currently taking place within organized medicine and through its handler, the pharmaceutical industry.
This book delves into a subject that most authors would probably steer away from. But one of the great things about being an indie author is that you have the creative freedom to do what you want.
The Target List is an important book, in my opinion, because it exposes listeners to certain truths embedded within a fictional construct that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.
The idea for the book was borne out of my deep desire to educate healthcare consumers about these concepts and to do so through a fictional plot so that listeners would actually absorb the material and not be concerned that it was too far removed from the conventional paradigms that have been etched into our collective psyche.

Giveaway

Giveaway: 1-Month Audible Membership

The Target List Giveaway: 1-month Audible subscription
https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js

Nov. 7th:
Nesie’s Place

Nov. 8th:
Nyx Blogs
Always Love Me Some Books

Nov. 9th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

Nov. 10th:
Eileen Troemel
Just 4 My Books

Nov. 11th:
4 the Love of Audiobooks
Reading A Page Turner

Nov. 12th:
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 13th:
Southern Girl Bookaholic

Nov. 13th:
Southern Girl Bookaholic (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)
Teatime and Books (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.
blog blitz · historical fiction · interviews · medieval · romance

Mini Blog Blitz ‘n’ Interview – Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight

It’s Q&A time on the blog today with Jenni Fletcher,author of Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight.

So, without further ado, let’s go …

Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight

by Jenni Fletcher

Married to a perfect stranger

Reunited with her warrior husband

When Constance inherited her father’s lands she had no choice but to marry cold-hearted Matthew Wintour. He left her for the battlefield without even a wedding night. Five years later Matthew has returned—a valiant knight! But Constance is no longer a frightened girl. And this time she must reach out to discover the honourable man behind the armour and what pleasures await them in the marriage bed…


Purchase Links

Amazon viewbook.at/RebelKnight

Kobo http://bit.ly/2FPYhIz

B&N http://bit.ly/2G08q6S

WHSmith http://bit.ly/2GvC3vM

Apple https://apple.co/2ZxLcfU


Author Bio

Jenni Fletcher is Scottish by birth, but now lives in Yorkshire where she writes Medieval, Roman, Victorian and Regency romance novels. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull University and now teaches Creative Writing at a small university in the north of England. Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe thats just because she’s northern.

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/JenniAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletcherAuthor/

 

Giveaway to Win 3 x US Version PB copies of Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

1 Coffee or tea?

Tea first, then coffee mid-morning, then tea again for the rest of the day. Always with some kind of chocolate biscuit.

Chocolate biscuits? A women after my own heart!

2 How did you start writing?

I always wanted to be a writer, pretty much from the day I started reading, but I didn’t really know how to get started. So I read a lot of other books, started a few times and gave up, and then one day woke up with this idea for a Medieval story. I wrote the first 3 chapters and sent them off to Mills & Boon, who encouraged me to finish the rest so I did. That turned into my first book Married to Her Enemy. I’ve written nearly every day since!

I love the Medieval era! Kudos for writing every day – that’s dedication. 

3 Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Read everything you can, but also work out what genre you like reading the most because that’s probably what you’ll enjoy writing, too. It’s not easy so it really needs to be a labour of love. Also get a Fitbit or you’ll spend way too much time sitting and snacking at a desk.

Ha ha! I have a Fitbit – it’s in a drawer somewhere. Does that count? 

4 What is Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight about?

It’s a Medieval story set in 1214 so just before the year of Magna Carta. There’s a bit of political intrigue involving King John, but it’s really a romance between an heiress and a soldier who were married when they were both young and then didn’t see each other for five years. There’s also a scheming father and a mystery involving Matthew’s former step-mother and some noisy seals!

You had me at Medieval, but the seals sold it! 

5 Who are your writing inspirations?

There are so many. One historical romance writer who’s an auto-buy for me is Mary Balogh. She really goes deep into the psychology of her characters – I love that! I’m also a big fan of Kate Furnivall and Tracy Borman.

6. What next?

I have a Victorian book, Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess, coming out in December and I’ve just finished a Regency romance all about biscuits (some romance, mostly biscuits), but right now I’m writing a Viking story set on the Isle of Skye. So I’m keeping busy.

Vikings! I’m in – getting the biscuits ready!

Thanks for having me! Jenni x

You’re most welcome. 

For more news and reviews, you know where to go:

As always,

book launch · Casualty of Court · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court: Vikki stirs the pot …

Vikki Winner is a regular sight on the red carpet here on the Algarve. Armed with her trusty microphone she seeks out all the juicy gossip for her weekly column: Vikki’s Vices, and has never been one to hold back with her opinions, even when this has led to the occasional legal writ coming her way.

Tonight she’s attending an event at the Municipal Theatre, hosted by the local Expat community. Fern Mortimer is expected to attend after tickets from an ‘unknown’ source were sent her way, supposedly with the generous intention of taking her mind off the upcoming trial. Strangely enough, and allegedly unrelated, Vikki has suggested in her column that she’ll be targeting a certain young woman tonight. I think we can all draw our own conclusions from that. 

The event in question is a theatre production to be performed by a local drama group, notwithstanding a cameo appearance by homegrown talent and oft-nominated Jose Rosco (he’s particularly “big” in Brazil).

It’s getting noisy here as people flock into the theatre. Rumour has it there will be an auction in the interval, raising money for Access4All, a charity promoting wheelchair-friendly tours around the globe.

Here comes Vikki now with an entourage of photographers close behind; those  flashing bulbs give her an angelic aura, although I doubt she’ll be remotely heavenly once she gets her prey in sight.

Well, talking of prey, Fern has just arrived with Raven at her side. Vikki has spotted her too and the glare of the cameras now falls upon the startled young women.

RH: (whispers) I think we’ve been set up.

FM: What? I can’t hear you.

RH: (leans in closer) Don’t look now but there’s a woman with a huge microphone heading our way.

FM: Our way? Why?

RH: No idea, but maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.

VW: Miss Mortimer, Vikki Winner here from The Courier. How are you feeling?

FM: Fine, thank you. (She looks to Raven with a ‘what the heck’ expression)

VW: Great. You must be nervous, what with the trial starting tomorrow.

FM: Must I?

RH: Come on, let’s go back to the hotel. You don’t need this, not tonight. (She steps in front of Fern’s wheelchair and thrashes her arms about as though to clear people out of the way)

VW: Going somewhere?

RH: We’d like to, yes, please. If you could just …

VW: You’re not staying to lend your support to the charity. My editor thought it would be perfect for you, that’s why he sent those tickets.

FM: You sent them?

VW: (beams and turns to the camera) Not personally, although I might have suggested it to him.

RH: Are you going to let us pass?

VW: You really aren’t staying? That’s a shame. Maybe the stories in the other newspapers were correct. Not that I like to talk about them …

FM: (taps Raven’s leg and nods to her to move aside) What stories? I wasn’t aware of any.

VW: Really? That does surprise me. It seems the defendant’s father has been … shall we say, loose with his words.

RH: (now interested) But, surely that’s not allowed? Not until after the trial, anyway.

VW: Well, maybe in some places. Besides, the Pereiras are a local family. Very successful too – Mr Periera Senior mentions moving his law practice back to the area. Such news went down very well with the local Chamber of Commerce.

FM: Did he mention me, then? By name?

VW: Not exactly, but as you must realise this is a small community. People talk. Names are irrelevant. Let’s just say there aren’t many young blonde Brits taking a local man to court right now.

FW: So, what do these stories say?

RH: Fern, don’t get involved. you can’t risk anything that might harm your case.

VW: Harm it? Are you unsure about the case then? Having doubts, maybe?

RH: (Jumps in front of Fern again) No she is not! But as we are not familiar with legal formalities here, the less said right now, the better.

VW: That’s a shame. My readers are very interested in you, Fern. (She gently shoves Raven aside) They really want to know why you’re accusing Mr Pereira’s son of assault. It’s common knowledge there are no witnesses.

RH: (stepping forward again) She does have a witness, and a strong case.

VW: Really? Based on whose evidence?

RH: Based on a little thing called the truth. You might need to look that up, I know journalists are prone to ignore it.

VW: Hmm, can I quote you on that? (She spins to the photographer and mumbles something to him. A flashlight goes off. She turns back to Fern)

FM: Raven, you’re not helping. Come on, let’s go. (She looks up at Vikki as she passes) Please inform the organisers that we are unable to stay, but we’ll be making a substantial donation to the charity before we leave the country. Goodbye, have a lovely evening.

(The two cross the road and head away from the theatre, not caring where they’re heading so long as Vikki and her cameras are not close by)

VW: (Back outside the theatre, she faces the camera and winks) Seems we scared them off, guys. That spoilt little girl tag sure does seem appropriate now.

Well, what do you make of that? Has Vikki thrown a spanner in the works? I’m not so sure she has. Fern looked pretty composed to me. Raven, on the other hand, well, that  young lady certainly gets riled easily. This trial certainly promises to be addictive. Then again, I would say that, wouldn’t I? 😉 

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened to her last summer.

NB: Access4All is a fictitious charity, created purposely for this series of interviews – although it sounds like a great idea to me.

book launch · Casualty of Court · interviews · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court: A change in proceedings

Press Release – March 18th.

Issued on behalf of the team for the prosecution in the case against Stefan Pereira. 

Due to the imminent trial (hint, hint – Casualty of Court is released March 21st), it has been declared unfeasible to continue with the interview of Mr Stefan Pereira and Miss Nessa Sullivan by Dr Ed Case.

Due to concerns of the prosecution team , working on behalf of Miss Fern Mortimer, about the defendant being released (albeit with the appropriate guards) so close to the start of legal proceedings, it has been decided to remove this interview from the calendar of events.

A spokesperson for Miss Mortimer states that while previous interviews have gone ahead – with Annie Skillsett and CeeCee Dedmann – this latter one has come too soon before the commencement of said trial, in which the defendant, Pereira, is accused of assault against Miss Mortimer.

Talks are underway to see if Dr Ed Case can pursue said interview at the remand centre. Although not ideal and certainly not conducive to the atmosphere in which the renowned psychologist prefers to conduct his assessments, it remains the only avenue currently available should the interview proceed in time.

In the most likely event that this interview will not now go ahead, Detective Hugh Dunnitt will make his judgement on the case according to the information at his disposal.

A media event this coming Tuesday is expected to produce the final interview in this series, that of Fern Mortimer and the notorious Showbiz Reporter, Vikki Winner. Ms Winner’s column in the English press has not been wholly complimentary to the young British woman. It will be interesting to see how she handles the forthcoming encounter.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened to her last summer.

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · moving on · relationships · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – No couch for Dr Ed

We’re having a change of venue this week, since Dr Ed Case has own office in a rather affluent location in the City Centre. Much to Annie’s relief – she gets her space back, although she has requested a full steam clean to get rid of the lingering fragrances from CeeCee’s incense sticks. I think the Cedar wood was a step too far for her.

Anyway, Dr Ed’s therapy suite is on the thirteenth floor of the auspicious Rizzolo building, with spectacular views of the city and the River Rizzle. It should make the characters feel relaxed, unless they have a fear of heights, that is.

First up, as is the norm, we have Fern. She’s taking the lift right now and will be with us shortly. She won’t be alone, however. Dr Ed has asked Raven to join her. He has an altogether different approach to his questioning; his focus being on what drives the two young woman in this case and beyond. Eddie, as he’s asked to be called when the duo arrive, wants to be sure they’ll both come through this trial experience unscathed, and for that they’ll need to rely on and support each other.

So, while we wait for them to arrive, let’s take a tour of Dr Ed’s chambers and, if we have time, we can check out his credentials as well.

A steel door opens into a room bathed in natural light as a result of the floor-to-ceiling window directly opposite. The remaining walls are painted in a soft shade of green – I’d hasten a guess at a pistachio blend – with grey fixtures and fittings. Overstuffed armchairs – upholstered in a grey, paisley print circle a low, glass-topped table to the left, another chair and couch, in the same fabric, sit to the right. A steel desk and black, leather chair take the centre stage, with the cityscape in the background.

It’s rather low-key, but nonetheless elegant. Nothing like CeeCee’s makeover of Annie’s office at all.

Dr Ed Case, MD, Psy. D, sits at his desk, reading case notes, I imagine.

A knock on the door alerts him to their arrival. We’ll have to check his credentials another time.

EC:  Come on in (He stands and walks to the door as Fern enters, followed by Raven) Welcome, ladies. please, make yourselves comfortable (he directs them to the grey armchairs)

RH: What a stunning view (she wanders over to the window – it’s the artist in her – always a sucker for a view)

FM: Hello, Dr ..

EC: Call me Eddie. It’s not as though you’re here as a client. (He smiles, revealing a dazzling display of expensive veneers)

FM: Thank you, Eddie

Fern’s voice is rather faint. I’m not sure she’s comfortable in this environment. Maybe she’s seen too many doctors in the last few years. 

(Raven joins them, and takes a seat, sinking into the well-upholstered seat with a sigh. Fern shakes her head and pulls up besides her.)

FM: I’ll stay in my wheelchair, if that’s alright with you, Eddie.

EC: Of course. Whatever you’re most comfortable with. Now, would you like coffee, tea?

(Fern shakes her head – again) Someone is determined not to relax.

RH: I’d love a cappuccino, or failing that a simple white coffee. (she catches Fern’s disapproving look and mouths “What?” to her)

EC: No problem. This machine can handle that. It’s why I bought it – bit of a coffee connoisseur myself. Fern, would you prefer a cold drink?

FM: I’m fine.

That’ll be a “no” then! 

(With coffees poured, Eddie sits opposite them and takes a sip, discreetly observing the two women during a moment of silence)

EC: So, I understand you’ve met with Annie and CeeCee already? What did you make of those sessions? (He directed his question at Fern)

FM: Annie was professional, as you’d expect. CeeCee was … well, let’s just say, we didn’t hit it off.

EC: Why was that?

Oh, Eddie, you’re pushing it now.

FM: I don’t believe in “magic”, Eddie.

 Air quotes too. Well, you asked for it, Ed.

EC: Really? And, you, Raven, what’s your experience been like?

RH: Much the same. CeeCee’s attempts to connect with my dad were just too ridiculous for words. when she started talking through Blanche, her spirit guide, I knew it would end in disaster.

EC: Did it?

(Raven furrows her brow)

EC: End in disaster?

RH: Well, she certainly didn’t make any sense. Just spouted some nonsense about it not ending with the trial.

(Both women laugh – at CeeCee’s expense. Dr Ed gets up and fetches his notepad, then sits again and scribbles away. The women exchange glances.)

EC: Then you must have plans. After the trial?

RH: Too right we do. Once this is over, we’ll be focusing all our attention on a new business venture. Won’t we, Fern?

(Fern blushes) Is she as on board as Raven is with this?

FM: Correct. (she straightens her posture – a tad too much, possibly) Once this trial ends, and that creep is behind bars for good, all this will become a distant memory. Despite what CeeCee says, it all ends here, and I – we – get to return to normal.

Methinks she doth protest too much.

EC: Have you worked together before?

RH: (she jumps in to answer) No, but we have complimentary skills. I’m trained as a PI and Fern has the business brains. We’ve got this sorted.

(Fern nods)

EC: That’s good to hear. All too often, people who have been involved in a crime and subsequent court case, particularly those who are attacked, they struggle to rebuild their lives. Haunted by memories. It takes some people years of therapy to get over it.

FM: (laughs) are you touting for business?

EC: Just stating facts, Fern. You’re lucky to have such great support.

FM: I know that. And we will make this business work. Trust me.

Hmm, famous last words, maybe.

EC: (he bows his head in acknowledgement) Raven, you’ve given up your time to accompany Fern. You must be firm friends?

O-oh. Eddie’s messing with fire now. 

RH: (fidgets in her chair) We’ve not known each that long. Certainly not as long as I’ve known Nessa.

(Fern scoffs. Ed makes more notes)

RH: As I was saying, (she glares at Fern) despite that, we have lots in common. We’re both fighters for justice.

EC: You sound like a new superhero duo. (He smiles, but the comment stuns the two young women)

FM: I’m not sure where this is going, Eddie. I assumed you’d be questioning us about the case, not about our future plans.

EC: My role is to examine your reasons for taking on this case, Fern. And to ensure you have adequate support once it’s over.

RH: What business is it of yours to examine her reasons? She was assaulted, left to drown, abandoned. What more reason could there be?

Mother Justice strikes again.

EC: You’re right. But not everyone has the fortitude to pursue a case like this. Especially in person. We all know Fern need not have travelled to Portugal to present her case. The system allows for her to work through a legal practitioner. I’m merely curious why she chose to re-live the assault – your words, not mine.

(Fern remains silent throughout this exchange)

RH: Tell him, Fern. You are doing this because you want to see justice done. Not to hear about it from your solicitor. Tell him. (She is staring hard at her friend by this point)

Fern’s silence speaks volumes. Is she regretting giving her account in person? She has to face him in court to do so. I wonder if she’s really as ready as she thinks. 

EC: Fern?

FM: (She coughs, clearing her throat) That’s it exactly. I want to see the man who left me to drown, who tried to kill me despite only being on an assault charge … I want to see him found guilty.

EC: And you’re sure of the outcome?

RH: Of course she is. What other outcome could there be? I think we’ve answered your questions anyway. Thanks for the coffee. (Raven stands) Fern, are you coming?

FM: She’s right. You know my reasons and future plans. I think we’re done. Goodbye, Dr Case.

(Both make for the door)

EC: (stands and watches them leave) Thank you for coming, ladies. It’s been most informative.

Summary: Fern is more scared than she cares to admit. Raven, however, is determined to see this through to the end. Which is fine, considering she’s not the one in the hot seat, giving a statement. As for the future, can they really work well together. Only time will tell.

***

Dr Ed will see Nessa and Stefan together for his next session. 

His approach certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons this time. Does that mean more fireworks to come? 

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – CeeCee attempts to charm the Charmer

CeeCee’s confidence is back for this final interview. As is the costume. The sophisticated look wasn’t for her. Detective Dunnitt, however, did compliment her on her report, but he also added that maybe she’d been a little too soft on Nessa. As a result, the old CeeCee takes centre stage once more, ready to perform as only she can, in this her swan song.

She’s out to impress, but whether Stefan Pereira will oblige is anyone’s guess. I’m not holding my breath. 

CeeCee lights the incense; she’s chosen Cedar wood this time. Like all wood-based incense, it is fire associative, generally seen as denoting strength or power. She’s making a statement as to who’s in control right from the start. 

Here comes Stefan. Let’s not forget, this man has already used a fake name to win over Fern. Quite effectively, too. I doubt he’ll think twice at adopting another personality. Can CeeCee find the real soul behind those piercing eyes?

He steps into the room and strides across the room to shake CeeCee’s hand.

Hmm, so it seems he’s going for the charming and polite gentleman approach. We can only hope CeeCee is not taken in. 

SP: Good afternoon, Madame CeeCee. (He scans the room and fixes his gaze upon CeeCee, looks her up and down, and smiles) You’ve done wonders with this room.

Could he be any more condescending?

CD: Hello, Stefan. Please, sit.

SP: (sniffs the air) That fragrance is heavenly. Reminds me of my mother.

Cedar wood? Really? 

CeeCee is stunned momentarily into silence. She didn’t see that coming.

CD:Talking of your mother, I understand you’ve chosen the crystal ball and wish to communicate with her?

He nods.

CD: How nice. How long since she passed? You must miss her.

SP: It’s been a while now, and … yes, I miss her a lot. I was her carer. It was just the two of us for years.

CD: What do you want to ask her?

SP: I need to know if she forgives me? I tried my best to care for her. She was not an easy person to live with.

OMG! Are those tears in his eyes?

SP: (blinks back the tears) I’m sorry, Mother.

CeeCee taps her heart, overcome by his apparent sincerity.

Oh no, this isn’t looking good for CeeCee; she’s falling under his spell.

CD: Why are you sorry? It wasn’t your fault, was it?

Stefan squirms, his right eyes twitches.

That’s more like it. He can’t hide from the truth.

SP: I’m sorry she had to die.

CD: (gasps) Had to die? What do you mean …?

SP: (sniffs) Let me finish, CeeCee.

Uh oh! Who’s in control now then?

SP: I’m sorry she had to die alone. I wasn’t there when she breathed her last. It broke my heart to learn I hadn’t been in time.

CD: (sighs, tilting her head to one side) I’m sure she knows that; if you were so close she would have appreciated you looking after her.

SP: I only ever wanted her approval. She wasn’t very forthcoming with such things. Did I fail her, as a son?

CD: Let me ask ..although I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.

CeeCee runs her fingers lightly over  the crystal ball. she hums softly … before snapping to attention.

CD: (blushing) oh, firstly …your mother’s name?

Oh dear, I think we’ve lost her.

SP: Elsa. I named my boat after her.

CD: Thank you (sighs again) Aww, how sweet. (She moans) Elsa, are you there? Elsa, your son is here.

SP: She’s not there is she? She hates me, doesn’t she?

CD: Now, now …it’ll be something or nothing. Don’t fret yourself. These sessions are not always easy. The spirit world is fraught with obstacles.

SP: Mother loved the spirit world …she was very fond of spirits (vodka, gin, aquavit, he mumbles so CeeCee cannot hear him)

CD: (smiles brightly) That’ll be why she’s not here then. She’ll have left you a sign herself. I bet you’ll find a memento soon, a déjà vu, a reminder of her and her feelings for you.

SP: Do you really think so? I hope I get out of here soon then. I have to make my peace with her.

CD: She’ll sense that, I know she will. Mothers know these things

SP: Thank you, Madame CeeCee, I feel much better. Of course, if I knew how the trial ended, if I knew I’d be free to visit her grave with flowers …I’d cope better.

CD: I can’t do that …well, I’m not supposed to. But, you strike me as such a nice man. I’m sure it won’t be an issue. Let me see …it’s blurry.

SP: Really?

He’s not convinced. Then again, nor am I.

CD: (stutters) I, I can see you in a small room. Bars on the door. But, wait …I see a white van. You’re a passenger, smiling, laughing.

SP: I am? Are you sure?

Even he doesn’t believe that.

CD: (indignant) I’m quite sure.

He leans across the table.

SP: Can I see?

CD: (wraps her arms around the ball) Oh no, no. Only those with the gift—

SP: (impatient) I think my time is up. Thank you. You’ve been most helpful.

He stands and approaches the door, where he pauses, turns and smiles. His gaze falls upon CeeCee once more, and his sad eyes seem to bewitch our psychic. She is lost for words.

SP: My mother would have loved this. It’s so sad she never made it. Goodbye, Madame CeeCee.

CD: (gulps) Um, yes, it is. Goodbye, then.

SP: Have a lovely day, and thanks again. I enjoyed talking to you.

Shutting the door behind him, he mutters ‘what a waste of time that was’.

CeeCee stares after him, both hands clasped over her heart. Moments pass. It’s embarrassing how long she sits there, transfixed. A knock on the door shatters her reverie.

EC: CeeCee, my men are waiting to bring in my couch. Are you going to be long?

It’s Dr Ed Case, the psychiatrist, who is the next member of the interview panel to take on the four characters.

CD: Just need to write up my notes, Ed.

That won’t take long, seeing as she never made any. I’m afraid CeeCee blew it, didn’t she? We can only hope Dr Ed is more effective. 

CeeCee’s Summary: What a lovely young man. Polite and charming. Very charming. Beautiful eyes. Rather elegant too. His mother would be so proud. Such a shame she wasn’t available. I can’t imagine him hurting a fly.

Please, CeeCee, tell me those are not the notes you’re going to give to Det. Dunnitt, are they? Please!

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Join me next time, when the characters are invited to share their innermost thoughts with Dr Ed.

 

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – CeeCee finds her feet

After a tough few days, having engaged in plenty of self-evaluation, CeeCee is ready to get back to work. Replenished by mindful meditation and yoga, she senses a turning point ahead. Gone are the theatrical costumes; today she wears a soft cream jumpsuit with a wide, tan leather belt that matches the scarf holding back her unruly red curls. This is not the CeeCee we know and love, but a business-like young woman with a point to make.

Let’s hope she hasn’t taken this transformation too far.

Whilst, CeeCee has modified her appearance, the room – although muted – still alludes to her earlier self. Back are the chiffon drapes (yellow rather than pink) and the incense sticks (this time emitting a musky scent to restore balance and order), along with soft-lighting giving the room an altogether sunnier feel.

She seems to have a plan in mind.

Nessa arrives, sniffing the air appreciatively. CeeCee gets up to greet her, as though recognising a kindred spirit, and embraces her visitor, who hugs her back.

NS: This room looks so inviting. I love what you’ve done with it.

CD: It was so dull. How Annie coped, I’ll never know. Please, sit.  You seem nervous.

NS: I am a little apprehensive.

CD: Why, you’re shaking like a leaf. Is everything alright?

NS: Not really, I’m worried for Stefan – he’s not guilty, of course, but even so, you hear stories of innocent people getting locked up all the time.

CeeCee scribbles something on a notepad. This is so not like her, but at least Det. Hugh Dunnitt won’t be able to criticise her again.

CD: You wanted a crystal ball reading, didn’t you?

NS (she nods) Yes, please. I’m anxious to know what my future holds. Well, I think I want to know. Oh, I’m not sure … I’m sorry, CeeCee

CD: Well, do you have a particular question in mind?

NS: Not really. You see, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve seen a clairvoyant in the past, at the end of the pier in Great Yarmouth, and she just gazed into the crystal ball and told me I’d meet a tall, dark and handsome man. (She chuckles) I reckon she was right, well, almost. Stefan is fair, you see, but oh so handsome and tall. two out of three isn’t bad.

Maybe the ‘dark’ aspect of Stefan doesn’t relate to his hair colour. Just saying! I do wonder what’s going through CeeCee’s mind right now, though.

NS: You’re not exactly what I envisaged either. Much more modern, and more … normal?

CeeCee laughs.

I think she took that as a compliment, don’t you?

CD: Hmm, I see. You probably need more time to think about your questions. Are you sure you don’t want to contact anyone from your past. ….someone no longer with us?

NS: No, there’s no one. Unless you know something I don’t. Mother was still alive last I heard, as for father ….whoever he may be.

CeeCee looks shocked, and hastily notes something down.

CD: I’ll take a quick look then, shall I? Can you flick the light switch off, please? (She lights the candles, and draws the candelabra closer)

Nessa jumps up, turns the lights off and takes her seat. The glow from the candles seems to put her at ease, and she exhales softly.

NS: Oh, dear. Is the ball cracked? Is that a bad omen?

CD: No, no, no, it’s fine.  These marks – cracks, as you say – are better for clairvoyance, especially in a natural quartz ball like this. The markings form physical images that help reveal the hidden psychic information within. Please, settle back down.

NS: Sorry, sorry (her voice trails off)

CeeCee rotates the ball with slow, steady movements. Her focus is intense. She mumbles, as though recognising a sign.

CD: Okay, I do see a child. A baby. But …

NS: What is it?

CD: You are looking for something, someone …it’s unclear ….

NS: (panic forces her to squeak out her question) Is Stefan there?

CD: Yes, I see him in your future.

NS: (claps her hands like a child) That’s marvellous …he’ll go free then, I knew he would. His father assured me.

CD: I didn’t say that, but I do see him with a baby and … another woman

NS: What? What does she look like? (She leans forward, looking into the ball herself, until CeeCee shoos her away)

CD: She’s maybe a little younger, but similar in looks.

NS: (sighs loudly) That will be his sister …they’re so alike. Oh CeeCee, this is wonderful. Thank you.

CD: Wait! I see more women. The dark-haired one looks familiar …

NS: Is it Raven? You met with her recently.

CD: (she nods) Yes, I do believe it’s her.

NS: Will I make up with her?

CD: I see you talking to her. A lot.

NS: Really? It’s all going to turn out well then …thank god we can put this behind us and move on happily. So relieved. It’s been hard being the outcast, and I’ve missed Raven so much. But to know Stefan is in my future ..and a child …I am beyond happy. CeeCee, I could kiss you.

CD: Hush now, all your noise has made me lose the connection. I think we’d best call it a day now. But, please, come back again. Maybe with some more specific questions. I’m sure there’s much more that I’ve missed.

NS: I’d love too. But, this is more than enough for now. I can’t tell you how happy you’ve made me. I may just dance all the way home.

CD: Can you turn the lights back on first, please. I wouldn’t want you to fall over.

NS: (laughing uncontrollably) Of course. That wouldn’t help matters at all, would it? And I am such a klutz.

As the lights come back on, CeeCee notices Nessa’s reddened cheeks, sparkling eyes  and a smile as wide as the horizon on a clear day in Great Yarmouth.

BRITANNIA PIER, GREAT YARMOUTH

CD: Take care, then. It’s been a delight to chat with you. I wish you all the very best for the future, and my offer for another reading is genuine.

NS: I’ll be back, CeeCee. You’ve given me hope. Something missing from my life these last few days. I just knew – deep down – it was all going to be fine. I can’t wait to see Stefan walk free. We’re going to be so happy.

CD: Yes, I’m sure you will be. I have to get on now, notes to write and all …

NS: Sorry, I can be a chatterbox, can’t I? Bye then. (She pulls open the door and seems to float out into the hallway)

CeeCee smiles. That went well. Now Hugh will see that her interviews are just as valid as the academics. She blows out the candles and begins her report.

Summary: Lovely girl, not a bad bone in her body. She has a gentle aura, natural, motherly, peaceful. A little scatty, gullible even, but well-meaning. She just wants a simple life, with a loving family and to be surrounded by friends. She deserves it too. She’ll make a great mother, wife and friend. I don’t understand how those other two could have blamed her … she only ever meant to help.

CeeCee’s final session is with Stefan. I wonder how that will go. Villain or hero? How will he come across? I hear he wants to contact his dearly-departed mother. That should make for an interesting encounter. 

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

blog tour · Casualty of Court · cosy · courtroom drama · fun · interviews · Uncategorized

Guess who’s in the hot seat this time?

In a change from the regular schedule (you know the one where I do all the talking!), today I have the privilege of sitting in the guest’s seat over at Gone Writing, an awesome blog run by friend, author and fellow Mysterian, Phyllis Entis.

Pop on over if you get the chance, it would be so good to see you there 🙂

The Gone Writing spotlight went dark for a couple of months, but it’s shining once again. And the writer standing center stage is Lynne Fellows, one of the charter members of Mystery Authors International. Fate determined the path for Lynne who, despite proud roots, bade Britain a fond farewell to follow her heart to Iberia, […]

via Presenting Lynne Fellows — Gone Writing

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – A pause in proceedings

Following complaints about CeeCee’s ability to provide relevant information on two of the characters in this series, Detective Hugh Dunnitt is forced to intervene. It is his decision alone that will determine if CeeCee remains on the interview panel.

He summons CeeCee to a meeting in Annie’s office.

I hope she covers up  – poor Hugh is not a young man.

While he waits, he throws out the incense sticks (shame, as his pipe smoke is much more unpleasant), pulls down the pink chiffon drapes and clears the desk of CeeCee’s knickknacks.

He sits in Annie’s recliner chair and leafs through his notebook – sighing and tutting. Inappropriate clothing, misplaced terms of endearment and a complete waste of time are just some of the claims made by Fern and Raven, neither young woman able to extract anything positive from their encounter with our flamboyant psychic.

Personally, I fear CeeCee has taken too personal an approach. Neither woman believed in her ability to contact the other world or see into the future. Did CeeCee try too hard to win them round, putting her pride before results?

Here she comes now. Let’s wish her good luck. I, for one, would love to see an interview with Nessa.

(You know, sometimes I forget who’s in charge here 😉 )

CeeCee knocks on the open door before entering.

Wait, that can’t be CeeCee! What have they done with CeeCee. Fetch the police!

Dressed in a sombre black dress, her red hair loose bar an Alice band, the fresh-faced woman bears little similarity to the flashy, flesh-showing female who graced this office only yesterday.

Hugh’s pipe falls from his lips. He stumbles to his feet, wiping the spilt ash off the desk and moves around the desk to shake her hand.

HD: CeeCee, please sit down.

CD: Thank you, Hugh (she giggles at the similar-sounding words)

At least she is smiling. I was expecting a different attitude, if I’m honest – more “all guns a-blazing” in fact. But this charm offensive might just work. Great job, CeeCee!

HD: I’m sure you know why I called this meeting?

CeeCee nods, still smiling as Hugh returns to his seat.

HD: I understand there was a little difficulty with previous interviewees, CeeCee? Care to tell me what happened?

CD: They were non-believers from the start. It makes my job impossible, Hugh. It’s like offering a bacon sandwich to a vegetarian. They may be tempted, but an underlying aversion stops them from partaking of the forbidden fruit.

HD: I see. There was nothing you could do?

CD: Nothing at all. I tried, I really did. They simply resisted my every move.  I’m a sensitive soul, Hugh, I feel things. Those women blocked me – whether they knew they were doing it, I don’t know.

HD: You do realise that your job on the panel meant you were supposed to seek out details about these women that will help me determine their personality and influence in this saga?

CD: I believe I did that. Their disinclination to participate in my readings shows they have strong opinions and do not sway easily – even when tempted. You might call them stubborn, judgemental, determined, focused – or just plain rude.

Hugh chortles. CeeCee has a point. Fern and Raven are renowned for their dogged determination, and can be quite brash in situations they deem frivolous or without significance.

HD: Indeed, your sessions have made that abundantly clear. Moving on, do you think you will be better equipped to deal with the remaining characters?

CeeCee leans back in her chair and crosses her legs.

CD: Oh, yes. The blonde one – Fern something-or-other – implied the next candidate is a real believer.

HD: And the defendant? How do you think you’ll cope with him?

CeeCee uncrosses her legs, leans forward and winks.

CD: He’s a man, darling. He’ll be putty in my hands. Just you wait and see.

Looks like the old CeeCee is still in there, behind that butter-wouldn’t-melt, “Sandra Dee” façade. 

HD: Very well. You can continue. But, take note, CeeCee, any more complaints and it’ll be my head on the block. I trust you to do your job, and to do it well. Don’t let me down.

CD: I know exactly what I’m doing. Have faith, Hugh. I won’t let you down. You have my word.

***

I’m so glad CeeCee has kept her place on the panel.  I reckon she has a few treats in store for us in the coming days.

Next time, the long-awaited encounter between CeeCee and Nessa asks the question – do birds of a feather really stick together?

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – Another doubter for CeeCee

CeeCee has invited us once more to her Inner Sanctum, hoping to have a better experience than the previous one she had with Fern. Still a little upset by the young woman’s abrupt and hurtful comments, she intends to pull out all the stops to impress Raven. She has chosen her outfit with this in mind (chiffon scarves aplenty, harem pants and a sparkly cropped top with a tad too much flesh on show, finished off with a sateen turban studded with an oversized, plastic gemstone)

Unfortunately, CeeCee doesn’t do ‘understated’ and is a founder member of the ‘more is more’ brigade! She has a job on her hands, trust me. Raven is unlikely to be swayed by CeeCee’s colourful and theatrical garb. Still, you can’t blame CeeCee for trying.

Here she comes now.  Brace yourself. Good Luck, CeeCee.

CD: Come in, come in. Take a seat. My, aren’t you a pretty thing?

(Raven shrugs and gives an awkward smile)

CD: So, welcome to my world. this is a place of safety, Raven. You’ll come to no harm here.  Today, you’ll be the sitter, and I will communicate your questions with the help of my Spirit Guide – Blanche. You have chosen to connect with those who have gone before, your father, I believe?

RH: That’s right. My dad’s name is Mark. Mark Hegarty.

(Raven’s eyes twinkle at the mention of his name)

CD: Do you have any concerns about the future that you feel he can help with?

RH: Oh, there are so many things I’d like to know. But, to be truthful, just knowing he’s there, watching over me …that’s enough, you know?

(CeeCee bows her head, validating the sentiment)

CD: I understand. But, hopefully, I can offer you much more than that. Now, what would you like to ask him? I can only ask him three questions – time constraints, you understand?

RH: Is he here already?

CD: Not yet, your question first, then Blanche will go and find him.

RH: Can you prove it’s him though? I mean, should I ask him something only he will know the answer to?

(CeeCee shudders, a little put out at being asked for proof)

CD: Trust me, it will be him. So, your first question then?

RH: Ask him what he thinks about my art course.

CD: That’s a strange question. Are you sure?

RH: I am. It’s the sort of thing we used to talk about all the time.

(CeeCee places her hands – palms down – on the table and rotates her upper body. Her eyes remain glassy and fixed. Then her head droops forward and she mumbles incoherently before adopting a rasping voice)

CD (via Blanche): He says you should go for it. Enjoy it.

(CeeCee pauses, lifts her gaze to Raven. Her stare is intense, lasting several seconds, before she breaks free to become ‘herself’ once more)

(Raven’s shoulder quake as she tries to stifle the laughter consuming her)

(A Hollywood smile fills CeeCee’s face)

Does she not realise how ridiculous she looks?

CD (in her own voice): Your next question?

(A wheeze escapes Raven’s lips and she coughs to cover the involuntary spasm induced by giggling)

RH: That voice? What was it?

CD: Not what, my child – who? That was Blanche, my spirit guide, as I mentioned.

RH: Well, she needs to stop smoking.  (Raven snorts and immediately shoves her hand to her mouth and bites the knuckle of her little finger) How can you swap voices so readily? Aren’t you supposed to be in the zone?

(CeeCee purses her lips)

CD:  I’ll have you know I have years of experience, my skills should not be doubted so. Your second question please.

RH: Okay, okay. Ask Dad if Mum will be alright?

CD: Oh no, no, no. I can’t ask him that. Health questions are strictly forbidden, unless … Was your father a doctor? (Her tone is harsh and accusatory)

(Raven shakes her head)

CD: I thought not. Another question?

RH: Can he tell me how the trial will end?

CD: So, he was a judge?

(Raven shakes her head again)

CD: Then I guess he cannot, although he may have some advice.

RH: Ask that then.

Raven sounds fed up, I think she’s losing interest and faith in CeeCee’s abilities. Can’t say I blame her. 

(CeeCee slips into her Blanche persona – although she’s not fooling anybody but herself)

CD (in Blanche’s throaty voice – less rasping than previously): It won’t end with the trial.

RH: What won’t end with the trial?

CD: There is more trouble to come. The trial is not the end of this matter.

RH: Okay, I think I understand. You aren’t really communicating with anyone. These answers are just vague attempts at creating drama where there is none. It’s a show, a piece of theatre. Ms Dedmann, I’ve had enough. You can end this charade now.

(CeeCee jolts upright and leans across the desk)

CD: I beg your pardon? You have the audacity to call me a fake!

RH: It was a nice thought, I wish it had been possible, but I simply don’t believe in this clap-trap. I appreciate your efforts, but really …the whole situation is farcical. I’ll be on my way.

(CeeCee is left open-mouthed as Raven gets up and walks away. Several minutes pass before she is able to complete her notes)

Summary: Such a sceptic. Not even willing to believe. The girl lulled me into thinking she’s a pleasant, good-natured soul, but …well, I’m not as gullible as she thinks. And, to think, she accused me of putting on a show. I think we all know who the actress was here today – and it wasn’t CeeCee Dedmann!

***

Oops! CeeCee didn’t take that very well, did she? Unfortunately, with both Raven and Fern finding fault with her abilities then it’s up to Detective Hugh Dunnitt to decide whether or not CeeCee is allowed to continue with her ‘interviews’.

I’ll catch up with him tomorrow.

I was so looking forward to a meeting between CeeCee and Nessa too.

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.