Tag Archives: crime fiction

Interview with Temujin Hu, author of ‘The Rage’

Temujin Hu is a hard-working American living rather like a nomad. At 36 years of age, he’s moved about 36 times and at one time or another called “home” California, Texas, Colorado, or five other states as well as Germany, China, and Kuwait. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He served over four years in the US Navy in the 90’s and recently spent more than six years doing professional security in Los Angeles, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also ran a small family-owned internet business for a couple years. He’s a Christian who spends a lot of time in the Word, and his interests include mixed martial arts, international relations, and dogs. Hobbies include hiking and shooting guns, but mostly he loves being an American and wants everyone to believe they can climb mountains.

His latest book is the inspirational crime fiction, The Rage.

Visit Temujin on the web at http://www.temujinhu.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Temujin. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Rage, is all about?

Traumatic circumstances drive two men to drugs, crime and murder as they pursue redemption in all the wrong ways. Nicolas is a sedate businessman who transforms himself into a trained killer on the hunt for vengeance, while Roland builds his own gang of highly skilled criminals. Over a five year period, they almost cross paths repeatedly as they inch closer to their goals but begin to doubt their choices. Finally, a criminal racket tries to recruit Roland and kill off Nicolas, which drives them all together in a clash of errant objectives.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Roland is a very discouraged, bitter young man. He is so angry that he wants to take as much as he can from everyone, and consciously immerses himself in becoming a consummate criminal.

Nicolas had a comfortable life, but his family is taken, leaving him in a depression that becomes an obsession with revenge. As he transforms into a trained killer, he slips into the same world of crime as Roland.

Darlene is a beautiful woman and loyal servant of a mysterious criminal racket until her feelings interfere with business.

Vanessa knows Nicolas and Roland, and cares for them, but choosing law enforcement as a career forces her to chase them down like criminals.

Janie is just trying to get by when she crosses paths with both men, and things seem to get better until the racket uses her as bait.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

My characters are total fabrications, and that is a good thing as they both do terrible things. I am inspired by real people, but once I begin putting a plot together, I make no attempt to hold to a particular person or event or anything else that sparked the idea. The theme and goal of the book has to drive the plot for me, and the characters are tools that I use to tell the story.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I have a target theme in mind when I begin, and I outline extensively before writing, therefore the plot is not a mystery to me as I write. I did wait to decide exactly how to end The Rage until I got there, but the decision was obvious, for me at least. I had a message I wanted to tell and there was only one solid way to tell it. If I tried to discover my plot as I wrote, I would tell a story that went nowhere. My mind doesn’t work like that!

Q: Your book is set in unspecified cities in America and Mexico.  Can you tell us why you chose this?

I did not want to name the cities because I wanted the reader to make assumptions based on their experiences and stereotypes. For the same reason, I also never specify the ethnicity of any character. As part of the theme, I want the reader to imagine the characters as close to them as possible. By leaving a few details unspecified, the reader makes these decisions in their head and the story and theme (hopefully) become more real, more impactful.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Not really. There are times when it makes more sense for a character to be in a big city rather than a small town, but for the most part any city or town will do. As I mentioned previously, my goal was to bring the story as close to home for the reader as possible. Where ever the reader imagines this sort of crime occurring, that is where it will occur for them.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Nicolas is on the hunt for Red Ghost, the mysterious man who murdered his family. He’s at a motel making phone calls to detectives about possible Red Ghost crimes and searching the internet for any hint of where the murderer could be working. This scene shows how Nicolas is both a little crazed while being very disciplined. He is constantly exercising his body, training with weapons, and alert to his surroundings; meanwhile his demons torment him and drive him to extremes that slowly tear apart his mental health.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

This is Roland’s “casino dream” scene:

He lifted his head and found himself sitting at a wooden bench on a large ranch. It was beautiful with rolling hills nearby, and a little ways in front of him was a bright red barn built strong and pushing, forcing itself straight up into the sky. There was a cabin behind him with three levels, built of stone and mud and wood. It too was strong, but instead of giving the impression of driving directly upwards, it seemed to be layers stacked haphazardly, pushing out to the sides as it lumbered its way upward.

There were horses inside a wooden fence that seemed to go on forever, and some farm equipment that Roland didn’t have any idea how to use. There was a large tree with long branches spread out into a fantastic green sphere, providing him with shade from the sun that beat down perfect warmth and complemented the cool breeze magically. The sky was blue with a few clouds drifting by.

It was like heaven, if there was such a place. It was what Roland wanted heaven to be. Then he noticed the book on the bench table. He pushed it to see what it was, and it was a Bible.

That was about to spoil the experience for him when he had this feeling, a sensation like a gentle wind against his skin, and though he could not see it, he knew someone was descending from the clouds toward him. The man was wearing white robes and seemed to be flying on large, white wings, but at the same time he didn’t think there were any wings at all. It was as if there should be, and maybe there was, but he could not see them.

The descending man stepped onto the ground in front of him and Roland took a good look at him. He had an average build and height, but his frame was sturdy, and he stood with a confidence that made Roland envious. And his face, childlike in innocence yet strong and mature in character, was a revealing face with a telling smile and penetrating eyes, like that strange old woman he met outside the casino. Exactly like that woman, actually. Simply looking at this man was exhilarating, intimidating, comforting and empowering all at once. He wanted to bow in reverence to him because he had to be a higher being.

“I am.” The voice had a booming quality without actually being loud. It echoed but only inside Roland, inside his soul.

Roland’s heart froze, not in terror but in reverent fear. Suddenly his mind raced with all the terrible things he had done his whole life, and the more his mind raced, the more he wanted to collapse on the ground weeping.

He dropped to the ground before the man, throwing himself down headfirst, the weight of wickedness overburdening his whole being. But the man touched Roland’s shoulder and the weight vanished!

Roland looked up at him, and he was smiling.

“Get up, Roland. I have a message.”

Roland rose to his feet slowly, unable to take his eyes from the man’s face.

“W-what? What do you have to say to me?”

Roland felt not like a baby, all helpless and insecure and afraid, but rather like a child, vulnerable yet protected, as if a mighty father and mother stood nearby ready to defeat anything that may harm him. But how could he know what that felt like? He felt it then.

The man put a hand on his shoulder. He stood eye to eye with him, and the man looked at Roland with a smile on his face that made Roland…happy. Confident.

The man laid the fingers of his other hand on the Bible and said, “You have never been alone. We have been with you since you were born.”

Q: Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I get stuck sometimes, I suppose, but I always find it difficult to write while sitting still all day. When I get stuck, I move. While writing the book, I would hop from coffee shop to park to library and on. I would make 3-5 stops a day sometimes, trying to break up the scenery and keep me fresh and moving. When I am brainstorming, I am usually walking, sometimes with music playing but sometimes not, and that’s the same idea. I struggle being creative while sitting static.

Q: What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I would write the first chapter of the book I’m going to publish one chapter at a time on my blog, a satire of sorts based on my experience working security on one of those bases that doesn’t exist in Afghanistan. I’m anxious to get started but everything keeps getting in the way.

Q: Which already published book do you wish that you had written and why?

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. I am amazed at how he captures the heart and dreams of these men as they struggle through life, and how simple he keeps the story. I want to write like that.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors regarding getting their books out there?

There are many ways to get yourself out there, but as a first time author, most of them don’t seem to do much. If I were doing it over, I’d start with local marketing to start a fan base that you can easily meet face to face, and then build from there. Have a plan, give yourself plenty of time, and don’t expect things to happen overnight.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Temujin.  We wish you much success!

Thank you! I appreciate the time. Be blessed.

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Read-a-Chapter: Bombshell by Mike Faricy

Read a Chapter is *NEW* added feature at As the Pages Turn! Here you’ll be able to read the first chapters of books of all genres to see if you like them before you buy them. Today we are featuring the crime fiction, Bombshell by Mike Faricy. Enjoy!

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  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (August 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478395117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478395119

Dysfunctional, bumbling, crazy babe-magnet Dev Haskell, P.I., becomes the envy of every guy with a heartbeat when he’s hired to watch over a team of gorgeous English roller derby stars. Though he’d rather be standing guard in the shower room, he suddenly finds himself under arrest and found guilty before he’s even charged. He’s got an attorney who drinks too much, a beautiful woman with a bad attitude, a feisty team of females ready to kill him – and no answers. Bombshell is another fast paced, engrossing suspense thriller from Minnesota’s master of the bizarre, Mike Faricy.

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Chapter One

“I’ll have a pint of Summit and a Cosmopolitan,” I said, with all the thumping music in the place I had to lean halfway across the bar just to give my drink order.

The bartender nodded, maybe gave a slight sigh, I wasn’t sure.

“That Cosmo for you?” a woman next to me asked then yelled “Two Summits,” across to the bartender.

She stood about five three, brown hair, glasses, very nice figure. She had on really tight little shorts, black hose patterned to look like slinky nylons and a garter belt.

“I look like the Cosmo type?”

“Yeah, I knew it as soon as I saw you. You’re probably a big Sex in the City fan. I’m Justine,” she said and held out her hand.

“Dev.”

Her eyes bored into me as I held her hand. The music fired up again, so loud we had to speak into each other’s ear. We were in danger of getting body slammed by a half dozen twenty-something girls jumping up and down behind us. They were shaking their hair, waving their hands over their heads. Screaming “woo, woo,” as they twirled around.

“You come here often? You don’t really look the type,” she half shouted.

“Woo, woo,” the girls screamed, oblivious to all but themselves.

“I’ve managed to avoid this place thus far, not exactly my style. I knew I was in trouble as soon as I had to pay the cover charge at the door.”

She nodded toward the beer and the Cosmopolitan landing in front of me. I handed the bartender a couple of fives.

“Twelve-fifty,” he mouthed the words.

“Twelve?”

“Twelve-fifty,” he seemed to smile at the joke.

I gave him another five and shook my head.

“Apparently she’s got expensive tastes. Maybe you should think about finding a girl who likes beer.”

“Fortunately she has some good points, too,” I said into her ear.

“Don’t we all.” Then she gave me that stare again.

I raised my pint glass in a toast to Justine, knocked a couple of inches off the top and carefully picked up the Cosmopolitan.

“Be good,” I said.

“I have a lot more fun when I’m bad.”

“You’re telling me,” I said. Then thought it might be a wise idea to retreat to my table.

I delivered the Cosmopolitan to my date, Carol. She was nestled into a gang of girlfriends all talking about stars whose names I didn’t recognize. Each one held a different colored, overpriced drink in front of them. I reached over the shoulder of some long haired guy who had taken up residence on my stool and handed Carol her Cosmopolitan.

“Watch it, you’ll spill,” she snapped, then turned and shook her head at the guy on my stool. He smiled back at her, gave his head a shake to send his hair back over his shoulders, then used a finger to push misbehaving strands behind each ear.

“Dev, this is Nicholas, he’s from France,” Carol yelled over the noise.

I nodded and figured Nicholas was attracted to Carol by the same things that had attracted me.

“Dev, get Nicholas a drink, will you. What are you drinking?” Carol screamed then placed a hand on his wrist just as the music stopped.

“There is French beer, no?” Nicholas said, looking up at me hopefully.

“I don’t think so.” I said.

“No Caracole? No Saxo?” He sounded put out.

“No. Summit, Leinenkugel, Grain Belt and they got Guinness.

“Pity. French beer is the very best” Nicholas directed this toward Carol.

Carol smiled like she understood, like it was a fact everyone automatically knew, nodding as if she had a refrigerator full of French beer in her kitchen.

“Oh, I just love your accent,” she shrugged. “Maybe you’d like a Cosmopolitan?”

“I think I may try the Martini, yes?” he said, suggesting he’d never had one before.

“That sounds so cute.”

“A Martini?” I figured that would be at least six bucks.

“Yes, a vodka Martini, a double.” He sounded like he may have ordered one before.

“A double?” I asked.

“Where are the olives from?”

“The olives? A jar.” I was liking Nicholas less with every passing second.

“Dev, stop it. Just go and get Nicholas his Martini.” Carol glared, and then added “please,” as an after thought.

“And two olives,” Nicholas reminded.

Carol gave me a look that said, ‘Don’t even think of causing a scene,’ then turned back to focus on Nicholas.

“Double vodka Martini, your cheapest bar pour. I better have another Summit, too,” I said to the bartender.

“She’s onto Martini’s now?”

It was Justine, again. Actually, I was glad to see her.

“No, some jackass took my stool and somehow I end up buying him a drink, French guy.”

Justine looked over my shoulder and took a long sip from her beer. She moved to say something in my ear and brushed firmly against me.

“That guy with the long hair and the big ears?”

I hadn’t noticed the ears, but now that she mentioned it, “Yeah.”

“He’s chatting up the girl in the red?”

“Yeah, the one with the dreamy look on her face.”

“I’m guessing those aren’t her God given attributes.”

“You can tell that from across the room?”

“Hello, yes, God they’re fakes,” she said and shook her head.

“Yeah, they are, but that never really bothered me.”

“Ten bucks,” the bartender said, setting Nicholas’s Martini down in front of me.

I handed him a twenty. The look on my face must have given me away.

“Just isn’t shaping up to be your night, is it Cosmo?”

“Not exactly. Can you stay put for a minute while I deliver this to Pepe Le Pew over there?”

“Yeah, promise you won’t be long.”

“Not a problem, believe me.”

“Merci,” Nicholas said, quickly grabbing the drink out of my hand.

“Be careful, Dev, God you’ll spill again. Did he get any on you, Nicholas?” Carol said.

I could only hope, but didn’t wait for an answer and wandered back to Justine at the bar.

“So how long are they here?”

“Actually, she’s with me, so…”

“I got a beer says no way.”

“What?” I gave a shrug, then turned to look at Carol, she was laughing, stroking Nicholas’s arm. She saw me, raised her almost empty glass, signaling for another Cosmopolitan.

“Whoa, better get on that,” Justine said.

“Maybe not yet. You here alone?”

“More or less. She glanced over her shoulder toward a group of women dancing. One of the women wore a white veil and a sign around her neck that read ‘Child Bride’. She was twirling round and round in the center of the group. None of them seemed to be feeling any pain.

“So what do you do?”

“I’m a medical assistant by day. But at night, I’m a derby Bombshell, baby.” She cocked her hip, struck a pose and fluttered her eyes at me.

“Hunh?”

“Roller Derby, I skate with the Bombshells.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, it’s really fun don’t tell me you didn’t notice I was a Bombshell? What do you do?”

“You mean when I’m not getting drinks for jerks? I’m a PI.”

“PI?”

“Private Investigator.”

“You mean like a detective, like in the movies or CSI?”

“Yeah, exactly, only about a thousand times duller.”

“Do you carry a gun?”

“Sometimes.”

“Can I see it?”

“Fortunately I left it at home otherwise I would have blown my brains out about three minutes after coming into this place.”

“You know, do you have a card? We might have a need for your services.”

I dug a card out of my wallet, handed it to her.

“Devlin Haskell, Private Investigator,” she read.

“That’s me.”

“So you find people and stuff, solve mysteries and crimes?”

“Sometimes, like I said, it’s a lot more boring than the movies.”

“Think you’ll be able to find your date?”

“What?” I turned to look at two empty stools where Carol and Nicholas had been sitting. I couldn’t spot them out on the dance floor.

“You might be able to catch them if you hurry.”

“I got a better idea, I think I owe you a beer if I recall.”

“You do.”

Reprinted from Bombshell by Mike Faricy. © 2012 by CreateSpace

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Interview with Mystery Suspense Author Gale Laure

Gale Laure 2Gale Laure, a native Texan, is the international selling author of Evolution of a Sad Woman, a mystery, suspense, thriller and romance novel .   She resides in a small suburban town in the Houston area with her husband and family.  Laure’s hobbies include genealogical research, movies, creating stories for the children around her, involvement in her church and people watching. She is busy at work editing her second novel, The Bunkhouse, and writing the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman. It is entitled Alana – Evolution of a Woman.  As mysterious as her  book, Laure writes under a pseudonym.  Adamant about maintaining her privacy and the privacy of her family, she keeps her identity a mystery!

For more information about Gale Laure or her novel, Evolution of a Sad Woman,  visit www.galelaure.com or her blog  www.evolutionofasadwoman , do an Internet search or the following:

• www.twitter.com/wwwgalelaurecom

• www.authorsden.com/galelaure

www.facebook.com/Author.GaleLaure

• www.goodreads.com/galelaureauthor

• www.myspace.com/galelaure-author

Evolution of a Sad Woman

Thank you for this interview, Gale. Can you tell us what your latest book, Evolution of a Sad Woman, is all about?

Gale:  Evolution of a Sad Woman is a mystery, suspense, thriller and romance book.  It is about a beautiful, mysterious woman named Keziah – also known as Kizzy.  She is brutally murdered.  When five men who have all loved her are brought together to solve the crime there is pandemonium.  These men, strangers, must share their pasts with Kizzy to find clues to solve her murder.  Personalities get in the way on the adventure to resolve this murder.   They are taken on into episode of deceit, crime and cruelty. Be prepared for a surprise ending you will not see coming!

Evolution of a Sad Woman

Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure (click on cover to purchase)

Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

Gale:  This is my first debut novel.

How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

Gale:  No.  I never had writer’s block until I started writing the guest posts for my virtual blog book tour.   To overcome this,  I did not give up.  I kept thinking and praying.  Ideas popped into my head.

How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

Gale:  Some of my fans have been angry that one of my characters dies.  One fan said she cried when she read my novel and not because of the death.  Many of my fans cannot wait for my next book.  Some are waiting with anxiety for the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman.  The unexpected surprise ending has fascinated all my fans.

What is your daily writing routine?

Gale:  I try to work on the edit of my next novel due out in 2010, The Bunkhouse, daily.   I write on the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman entitled Alana – Evolution of a Woman at least once a week.  The times of day that I work on my writing varies.  It usually happens when I am alone in the house.  I write better in quiet.

When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Gale:  I go to a movie.  My husband and I have date night on Fridays.  This usually includes dinner out and a movie.  I also play with the children in my family.  Children relax me.  I read or take a nice, long, hot bath.

What book changed your life?

Gale:   I am a big Agatha Christie fan.  I suppose she is the one who influenced me to write mystery.  I love all of her novels.  I also liked Little Women by Louisa May Alcott as a child.  I liked it before I knew I wanted to be an author.  It is ironic it is about an author.

If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Gale:     The Mystery of a Complicated Woman

Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

Gale: . . . I am a very private person.  This is why I write under a pseudonym.  I want to keep it that way.

Thank you for this interview Gale.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Evolution of a Sad Woman!

Gale:   You are very welcome.  I enjoyed very minute.

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Book Excerpt: Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure

Evolution of a Sad WomanThe Saturday Night Murder -1996

Kizzy lies nude on her bed as she listens to the music. Briefly, her mind reviews the upsetting visitors of this day. She has tried her best to phone him. He never answered. Quickly, she erases the thoughts from her mind. She tries to relax her twitching body. The music is soft, soothing, the kind that would make you want to sleep. Yet, she cannot unwind enough to sleep. She is significantly nervous. The least small sound makes her jump.

Outside, she hears the clicking of light hot humid rain, not the soothing kind that cools the earth, as it beats upon the window glass. An occasional crack of lightning typical for a summer in Houston, Texas, startles her, jolting her nerves even more.

The pills will take effect at any time. She looks slowly around the room. As she takes the last sip of wine from the glass and rolls it around inside her mouth, she savors the taste, in retrospect to her first glass of wine . . . .

All these years later, she loves the pungent taste. She collects the clock from the floor and places it on the bedside table. The clock says ten forty-five p.m. While sighing, Kizzy welcomes the feeling of rest as it overwhelms her body. Filled with lightheadedness, nausea and weakness, she knows the pills are the reason for these feelings. Maybe she should not have taken so many. Yet she knows she needs the pills. She wants to fall sound asleep. She lies in the bed, barely able to see the ceiling from the dim lamplight beside her bed. Briefly, she observes the empty wine glass sitting on the bedside table, tasting the wine as she runs her tongue around the inside cheeks of her mouth. How she loves the pungent taste of wine.

When she lies on her back, tears run from her eyes, down to her ears and into the back of her hair. Yet she is not crying. She will not sob. Therefore, from where are these tears coming? Her nose is stuffy from the increased mucous caused by the tears. She tries to breathe through her nose, which is not possible. Gently, she parts her full lips to breathe and sucks in the air. She is not sad because she is finally in control.

Kizzy jumps as the CD player in the living room clicks off indicating the music is over. Only the sound of the rain pervades the air. As she looks around the room again, she listens to hear the silence. She is waiting for the pills to take effect, hoping they will establish unconsciousness. The pills are taking forever. Maybe the hot bubble bath will help. In the bathroom, she has the tub drawn and ready. Barely, she can sniff the vanilla candle as it perfumes the bathroom, the wonderful soothing smell overflowing into the bedroom through the open bathroom door. Briefly, the smell reminds her of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. She tries to take a deep breath of the scent, but cannot.

Suddenly, she hears the rattle of a doorknob turning, coming from the living room. Someone has entered her apartment through the locked door. As she musters the energy she has left, she stands beside the bed with terror filling her very being. Her legs are shaking. As she staggers and sways, she stiffens her legs, standing still. Her vision is becoming blurry. With overwhelming weakness, her paramount instinct is to call for help. Except for the intruder, she knows she is in the apartment alone. She wants to scream and talk this intruder out of doing this. Maybe she could stop this from happening. She tries, but she does not have the strength to call out. Her body is limp from the pills. Trepidation pervades her rapidly beating heart. Her heart flutters, making her even more lightheaded and dizzy. She tries to walk, to run, to move—something! She is frozen and cannot move. The telephone is in the living room. Kizzy has
always meant to have an extension phone installed in the bedroom. Whom would she call? Why is she thinking about this now? She cannot run to the phone in the living room. The intruder is in the living room. The pills have made her too weak. Besides, she knows the intruder will stop her before she can get to the telephone. She knows this intruder has come to kill her. She tries to speak, hoping to plead to stop this, but cannot utter a word. She looks toward the open bedroom door, her heart throbbing with the anticipation of the intruder’s entrance.

She can barely see him as he enters. She is afraid, really deep down afraid. Death has not seemed frightening, earlier, but now the actuality of death is terrifying to her. She tries to speak and cannot. She cannot form the words on her lips or in her throat. Clenched tightly shut, she cannot separate her teeth. The pills have left her defenseless. He towers over her. Kizzy’s green, emerald eyes stare upward, deeply, into his large, dark eyes. His eyes are cold, vacant. For a moment there is another sound. Kizzy moves her eyes focusing to look slightly around him. Behind him stands a woman. With her blurred vision, Kizzy cannot identify her. She does not seem familiar. Kizzy looks back in his eyes, trying to communicate with him through her eyes. He does not try to understand. Horror fills her eyes. He stares stolidly, looming over her, looking down in her eyes. She wants to run, but she knows she has nowhere to
run.

While he grabs her with one mighty arm, clenching her arm tightly beneath his large, gloved hand, he leans close to her, whispering, “I’m sorry.” In his large dark eyes, she can see the dread. With a deep grunt, he plunges the knife, with all his mighty force, deeply into her upper abdomen.

Desperately, Kizzy’s shaking hand clutches onto his gloved hand. Beneath their two hands, the knife pushes deeply into her flesh. She can feel the blade against her rib bone. By pushing toward him on his hand with her hand, she tries to inhibit the knife from plunging deeper. However, she is too weak to fight, and he is too strong for her to overcome. Beneath her hand, she can feel the handle of the knife under his hand. The pain is sharp, tearing, burning. Too late to stop death, a painful frown covers her face. She whimpers softly, but she cannot cry out or even speak. With tightly clenched teeth, she breathes rapidly from the desolation, sucking the air through her parted lips. Electricity from her silent suffering permeates the air, charging it with her pain. Looking deeper in her eyes, he twists the knife inside her, tearing and ripping her insides. The sharp pain travels straight through into her back. The misery intensifies, spreading throughout her back from her neck to her buttocks.

At first, she leans against him, using him to support her as she stands beside the bed. Her legs feel weaker. He stands against her strongly, not objecting, supporting her weight. Then, she collapses back upon the bed, lying on her back. She can barely see him in the dim lamplight. He stands over her holding the knife in his hand. Kizzy’s blood exudes from the knife onto the floor. Kizzy can feel the blood draining from her body. She can feel herself lying in her own blood. Through her stuffed nose, she can smell the strange freshness of her own blood. She feels colder.

Her eyes can barely see the ceiling above her bed through her truly blurred sight. She can feel the tears once again run from her eyes onto her cheeks and into her hair. Her breathing is shallow and rapid, as she fights to keep the breath inside her. She feels tired, weaker and weaker. She cannot move at all. He continues to stand over her, staring down at her. It becomes even harder to breathe, soon impossible. Gasping desperately for air as though to cheat death, she holds on to the last moment of life. She does not want to die. Kizzy wants to live. Her life starts flashing before her eyes.

Memories flood across her mind like the fast flicker of a movie projector. Briefly, she clears her mind of the memories. She clinches the sheets between her fingers and palms. Wetness from her own blood causes the sheets to stick to her hands. Opening her eyes widely, she tries to clear her blurred vision, grasping at the last sight of him—the last sight of her life. The killer does not move. He stares down at her, silently and shows limited remorse or emotion. Holding the knife in his gloved hand, it still drips with blood. He watches the increasing redness of the sheets and the wideness of her green eyes. Kizzy takes her last breath, a deep breath. With her green eyes wide open and her teeth still tightly clenched, she dies. Kizzy goes toward the light.

He lays the knife on the sheet beside her statuesque nude body. He grabs her body by the legs and pulls it off the bed onto the floor, face down. He stands over Kizzy, pausing briefly and admits that even in death, she is beautiful. Yes, she is so genuinely tantalizing. Enjoyably, he sucks in a deep breath of Kizzy’s fresh blood. He looks down at her drained body. He has forgotten about the woman standing quietly behind him. After opening the small pouch around his neck, he places the bloody knife inside.

From the pouch, he pulls out a large meat cleaver.

–Book Excerpt from Evolution of a Sad Woman by Gale Laure.  You can visit the author’s website at www.galelaure.com or purchase her book here.

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Interview with James Hayman, author of THE CUTTING

James Hayman

Crime Thriller Novelist James Hayman

Crime fiction novelist James Hayman is a former creative director for a New York advertising agency who now lives and writes on Peak’s Island, Maine. Jim was kind enough to answer a few questions about his debut crime novel, The Cutting (St. Martin’s Minotaur Books).

Thank you for this interview, James. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Cutting is all about?

First and foremost The Cutting is about a character named McCabe.  He’s an ex-NYPD homicide cop, a single father, who hoped moving to a place like  Portland Maine would allow him to build a new and safer life, both for himself and his teenage daughter. Little did he know what terrible violence awaited them on the cobblestoned streets of this small and charming city.

The Cutting

The Cutting

Yes. It’s my first novel.  I’m 90% finished with McCabe#2 now and that’s been a totally different experience.

How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

In some ways it was hard.  I don’t work from an outline and that makes the process more difficult bit, I think it lso frees yo to be more creative, to take unexpected turns.

As for writer’s block, I just let my characters lead me through it.  If characters are full, well-rounded and truly human, they’ll always let you know where the story should go next. Just listen and they’ll pull you through. any writer’s block you might experience.

How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

The people who read it love it!  I never expected the book to be so well-liked but reader after reader has said that it’s a great story they couldn’t put down. They love the characters, and they just can’t wait for McCabe #2 to appear on the shelves.

The Cutting also received a bunch of fabulous  write-ups from professional reviewers both in traditional newspapers and online.

What is your daily writing routine?

I usually get up about six or six-thirty, make a cup of coffee and start writing.  About ten or so I’ll put it aside and take a four or five mile walk.  Then I’ll eat lunch.  After lunch I try to write for anoth hour or two.  Sometimes it comes. Sometimes it doesn’t.

When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Have a couple of glasses of wine. Read. First, I read the news. Then maybe a novel.  Only good ones.  I no longer have the patience to finish books I have no respect for. And I no longer watch much television.  Books are better.

What book changed your life?

No one book has changed my life.  Many have influenced it. Most recently, Ian McKeown’s Atonement. I thought it was a great book that I think will last and still be read many years from now.

If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Dreamer.

Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

I’m a really good writer.  A really, really good writer.

Thank you for this interview, James  I wish you much success on your latest release, The Cutting!

You can visit James on the web at www.jameshaymanthrillers.com.

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