Jan 162015
 

Well friends I am back with Fiction Saturday volume 2!!!  This is a noir style piece that I did a while ago.  Looks like 6 episodes of this one!  Thanks for reading!

Most people call me Jack.  Jackson is just too long, unless it’s Jackson Malone.  That rolls off the tongue quite nicely.  That’s me.  Jackson Malone.  Private Eye.  And I am on a case.  The case is simple.  Murder.

The brother of the victim had come to me for justice.  The police wouldn’t help much.  Their case was open and shut.  One homeless derelict beats another to death over a blanket or some other trinket.  Happens all the time in the city.  Case closed.  Until Rob Moran came into my ramshackle office that Thursday.

“Mr. Moran.  It’s nice to meet you. I’m Jackson Malone.  How can I help you today?” I asked this to a short man in a cheap suit as he entered my office for his appointment.  “Fine.  Fine.” He nervously replied.  “I need to, well, kind of, hire a, um, well, a, um, detective.”   “Well you’ve come to the right place.” I assured him.  “Would you like some coffee or something?”  “Than, than, thanks.” He stammered.  “But do you have anything stronger?”

“Sure, “I said “But it’s only 10 in the morning.”  “That’s ok.” He blurted out.  “I just need it.”  I got the bottle of whiskey from my desk drawer, a glass from the shelf behind me, and poured a couple of ounces into it.  He drank greedily.  I tilted the bottle to offer more but he shook his head.  “Thanks.  I needed that.”  “Well Mr. Moran,” I started again, “What can I do for you?”   “Well, I need help.” He said.  “I want you to find out who killed my brother, Nelson Moran.”

“Woah.” I said,  “This case has been all over the news.  The police have already closed it.  I may not find anything.”   “That is alright.” He replied.  “I just want you to look and try.  I need to know what happened.”   “Fine.” I said, “I will do what I can.”  “Great.  I appreciate it.”  He said as he pushed a retainer check for $500 across the battered wood surface of my desk.  That was more money than I had seen for a good 2 or 3 months.  I took the case.

“I’ll start tomorrow.  Where did he live?”  “That’s the thing,” he started.  “He was kind of homeless.  I do know that he had talked about shacking up in a warehouse on 1st and 32nd but I heard that place burned down about a week ago.  I can’t be much more specific than that.  He wouldn’t come live with me.”  “Alright.”  I said.  “Tomorrow, I will go down there and see what I can dig up.”  “Please do I really want to find out what happened.  My psychiatrist says it is “Closure”  I hope it will help.”  “I hope so too.” I said.  We stood, shook hands, and he left me to my thoughts and the $500 retainer on my desk

The next day was almost dismal, the weather trying to decide if it was sunny or going to rain.  I was in good spirits though.  I had some cash and a job to do.  I actually got up early to begin.

Rob had told me that his brother was homeless, which didn’t help hardly at all, but I decided to check out the warehouse down on 32nd street.  I walked the dozen blocks to the place and stood in front, just looking for anything that may be helpful.

The warehouse had been condemned and boarded up after the fire but it looked like a good place to find homeless people who may know something in exchange for five bucks or so.  I threw my half -burned cigarette to the ground and crushed it out with my shoe, preparing myself for anything.  I walked towards the alley that ran beside the building, hoping that a side door had been jimmied open and allowed ingress to the building.  There was.

The smell of smoke and burned paper were still strong as I approached the warehouse even though the fire had been out for over 3 months according to Alan Rich, my editor friend at the Times.  He had told me that the warehouse was a storage facility for sensitive documents that the police were holding.  The theory was that the fire was a cover up.  Of course nothing could be proven so here sat the empty warehouse.

As I got to the entrance to the alleyway and ducked the yellow crime scene tape, the scents of feces and urine joined the smoke.  Rotting garbage made its appearance, further assaulting my nose as I entered.  The sun was high over head, if filtered by high clouds, and it was easy to see the stained concrete and the graffiti on the walls; as well as the door to the warehouse, jimmied open.  It was on my right about thirty yards ahead of me.

Join us next week for part 2 of Fiction Saturday!  Jackson Malone.

Thanks for reading!

-Justin

Jul 092014
 

Greetings to all of you riding the Blog Tour train!

Today I have yet another book review from my good friend Becca J. Campbell.  I still haven’t figured out how she can write all of these books and get them published, not to mention all of the promo she sets up, with those boys of hers.  I get run ragged with my 4 and I still have only half of a draft done of my book.  Anyway…..

Empath blog tour banner

Becca has a new book out called Empath.  She sent me an advance copy in exchange for the review and I was glad to do it.  I have to admit that I got into this book with a bit of apprehension because Becca told me that it was so different from her other ones, this one a bit of a romance.  Now, for me, I guess I am just a romantic because, the story didn’t seem like a romance.  Sure, there were elements of romantical ties but it didn’t read like a Harlequin romance so I didn’t notice.  The story itself is really good.  No, really good.  I venture to say that this is Becca’s best work to this point, and I have really liked her other books, especially Foreign Identity.

I got into this book quickly, empathizing with Jade and very curious about the other characters and their flaws.  Ethan was wonderfully dark and twisted, more like something I would write.  And the whole premise had elements of all of us in it.  Being uncomfortable, being able to tell other people’s moods, enjoying friends, desperation, and the fight to survive.  The settings were vibrant and real, and everything felt authentic, like places I would like to go.

There are always elements of the strange or supernatural in Becca’s stories, but these seemed the most likely to be real, and therefore a different story than Foreign Identity or Unmasked Alloy (which I am still waiting for more of that one), or even Gateway to Reality.  Notice I didn’t say better, they each had their own unique story, I just think that this one is my favorite.

I really enjoyed this book.  I look forward to reading anything that Becca puts out.  She likes to do series, so there is always more from these characters, and more to read.  Like I said, this is her best work yet, and, if I am going by the progression that I have seen since those first days in the Creative Copy Challenge(I know she was writing before that but that is where I met Becca), the next books will be even better.

Use these links and go get yourself a copy of this story.  You won’t be sorry, for either the story, or for getting to know Becca.

During the Empath Blog Tour (September 16th – October 20th), the first book in the Flawed series will be on sale for a discounted price of $0.99. Grab it for cheap while you can!

Amazon US | Amazon UK  | Amazon CA  | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

 This is the “official” blurb from the book:

Empath (Flawed Book One)

Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

9/16 – The Peasants Revolt – Review

9/17 – Refreshingly Riki – Review

9/18 – Now is Gone – Guest Post

9/19 – The Pen and Whisk – Review

9/20 – Catharsis of the Bogue – Review

9/21 – Simply Sensational Book Fanatics – Review

9/22 – The Bibliophile’s Corner – Review

9/23 – Kayla Curry – Guest Post/Review

9/24 – S.M. Boyce – Guest Post/Review

9/25 – The Eternal Scribe – Review

9/26 – Reader Girl Reviews a Teen Book – Review

9/27 – Reading the Alphabet – Review

9/28 – AimeeKay’s Reviews & Other Awesome Randomness – Review

9/29 – Cover Analysis – Review

9/30 – She Reads New Adult – Review

10/1 – V’s Reads – Review

10/2 – A Little Bit of R&R – Review

10/3 – OriginiquEquanimity – Interview

10/4 – Offbeat Vagabond – Review

10/5 – Lisa Is a Bookworm – Review

10/6 – Tynga’s Reviews – Review

10/7 – Dark Obsession Chronicles – Review

10/8 – BookRockGoddess – Review

10/9 – Booklvrs Haven – Guest Post

10/10 – Read for Your Future – Review

10/11– Cici’s Theories – Review

10/12 – Adventures of a Wandering Mind – Review

10/13 – Simply Sarah – Interview

10/14 – Dream Believe Write – Guest Post

10/15 – A Lady’s Manifesto – Review

10/16 – Paperback Daydreamer – Review

10/17 – A Novel Reality – Interview

10/18 – The Julia Grace Arts Blog – Interview

10/19 – Sydney Aaliyah – Review

10/20 – FU Only Knew – Review

Author BioIMG_9867 a lowres

Becca J. Campbell is the author of the New Adult Romantic Science Fiction novels Foreign Identity and Gateway to Reality, New Adult Romantic Paranormal Thriller Empath (The Flawed Series #1), and  Sub-Normal, a series of Science Fiction short stories.

An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. You can find her on her Author BlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon.

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Jul 092014
 

Empath eBook cover SM

**This is a special guest post by Becca Campbell.  My review will be coming in the near future.**

I’m very excited to announce the release of my latest New Adult novel Empath, the first book in the Flawed Series. Read on to find out more about this paranormal thriller and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end for an awesome prize package.

The Struggle of an Empath

Supernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

Empath eBook Now Available

Get your ebook copy now at any of these sites (paperback copies are not yet available, but coming soon!):

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble

Kobo | iTunes (coming soon!)

Prize Package Giveaway

To celebrate the release, I’m running a giveaway for two lucky winners.

Grande Prize:

A rare, autographed proof copy of the paperback

A 12″ X 18″ poster of the cover art

Empath notebook
Empath notebook

Empath collector’s button

Empath button prize copy

Second Prize:

An autographed paperback copy

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


IMG_9817 a lowresBecca J. Campbell is the author of the New Adult Romantic Science Fiction novels Foreign Identity and Gateway to Reality, and Sub-Normal, a series of short stories. An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. You can find her on her Author Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon

Jul 092014
 

**Hey folks this is a reprint of part 4 of The Man With the Hazy Suit that originally ran on June 12, 2010.  I have been few and far between regular posts this summer, and that is the same thing that has killed some of my favorite TV shows, like Alias.  So I am going to rerun the whole story and finish it strong!  Thanks for reading for the first time or rereading if you have been here before.  The Choose your own adventure aspect is not available anymore.**

Hello there! I hope you have had a great week and are ready to dive right in to another episode of The Man in the Hazy Suit.  Thanks for indulging me last week with the poem, it really is one of my favorite things I have ever written.  I will have to post some of the fun exercises we had in some old writing classes where we had to make a sentence with as many words as possible, without being a run on sentence.  I got pretty good at it and held the record in the class that year.

But that is not today!  Today we are back in the Haze….

Previously in the Man in the Hazy Suit:

Police detective Thompson was wrapping up a crime scene when he found a scrap of paper in the dead man’s posessions. The paper led him to the bus station and a locker that was filled with legal pads, all written by the deceased man.  Sergeant Thompson is currently reading the legal pads which are spelling out a strange narrative and a chronicle of a serial killers murders, that somehow the man writing the story knows before they happen, if only by moments.  So far our writer has witnessed 3 deaths with apparently more to come…

When we left our story last time:

I woke up with a start, sitting in my chair, sweating in my Bagel Hut uniform.  Luckily I had tonight off from the Taco Barn.  I was going to sit here and try to rest up.  These last few nights have been hard.

I got up to change my clothes and take a shower.  I smelled of bagels and fear sweat and slightly of gasoline, but that must have been my imagination.  Cleaned and refreshed I headed to the kitchen to make some dinner.  I flipped on the television as I walked past.  The commercial ended and of course the news came on.

The reporter started, “And in a sad story, local university student…” I dropped the pan I was getting out as Karen’s picture flashed on the screen.  “…was killed last night just off of campus.  She appears to have been beaten and then set on fire.  Police are investigating similarities between this murder and a few others that have been happening lately.  More on this story as we go to…”  I had seen her leave with the man in the hazy suit.  I could have stopped this one as well.  What was going on???

And today we join the story already in progress:

I sat down on the floor, dumbfounded.  My jaw hung limply open.  I had seen this girl before she was killed.  I didn’t know what to do.  Why was I seeing these people before their deaths?  I should be glad I didn’t see the later deaths themselves.

I spent the next few hours with the TV off.  I didn’t want to see any more of my dreams being reported to me.   I did mundane things during that time.  I cleaned up my apartment, I paid some bills, I ate some food and washed the dishes.  All very normal things.

When bedtime rolled around I changed into my most comfortable flannel pants and t-shirt and went to bed having not thought of a killing for at least 3 hours now.  Little did I know, that was about to change.

I was following the Man in the Hazy Suit again.  I felt pulled along behind him, never gaining, never losing his pace.  We were walking down one of the main streets in town again, not far from the place where he had killed the two girls and lit their car on fire.  He held the red plastic gas can in his left hand.  His right hand was concealed in the pocket of his hazy overcoat.

We walked past the police tape that marked where the burning car had been and continued.  We finally slowed in front of Jakes Discount Auto Parts.  There were two girls there, cell phones in hand arguing.  The first one was skinny with limp brown hair and a nose ring.  The second, a classic brunette with the most gorgeous green eyes I had ever seen.  I knew both of these girls.  January Dixon had the nose ring and Faith Harper was one I had asked out at least 20 times.

She was always nice when she turned me down though.  I kept trying even though I knew she would never go out with the tall skinny kid who worked two jobs.  It was nice to hope for something that positive.  I had even given her a Christmas present last year, an old fashioned phone from the 1940’s, one of the units with the earpiece separate from the mouthpiece.

I had spent hours dreaming of her lips talking into that phone, on the line to me and to the matching phone that I had on the counter in the kitchen.  I don’t know if she ever even took it out of the box when she got home.  She had opened the gift and thanked me for it when she could have thrown it in my face.

Now she was here being watched by the man in the Hazy Suit.  January Dixon was talking loudly and very animatedly to Faith.  She didn’t notice the Man or me for that matter.  She was almost yelling, “And I get this text message from Jakes auto parts that my part is in.  I have never ordered a part for my car!”  It was very strange.

The Man in the Hazy Suit watched the two girls with the same detached indifference that he showed on this street before.  He stood stock still, his head slightly cocked to the right, showing me an almost profile of his face.  His old fashioned fedora sat on his head, pulled lower over his eyes, as if he were in a strong wind and didn’t want it to fall off.

He turned a bit more to the right and winked at me.  I had a bad feeling he had chosen someone else that I would see on the news.  He grinned and began to walk down the street, leaving the girls behind.  I woke up in a panic.  I knew these girls and maybe I could stop what was going to happen.

I ran to my kitchen, barely noting the open front door and found the business cards for the two cops that had visited me a few days earlier.  I dialed the number on the card and asked for Patrolman Thompson.  I was going to prevent these murders.

Join us next week for more in the Saga of The Man in the Hazy Suit!

I am sorry to tell you that the choose your own adventure thing didn’t pan out like I was planning on so for now I am just following the story as it comes.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, please leave them in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

-Justin