Tuesday, May 29, 2012
My latest novel in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery series, Death runs in the Family. Death Runs is my favorite so far, but this is probably because the latest is usually an author’s favorite! Lee, Lila, Richard and Tío – the whole Alvarez Family - are up to their eyeballs again in dead bodies here in the gorgeous Bay Area and beyond! Peril is everywhere. Even Tugger is catnapped! Take a gander at my book trailer if you don’t believe me: http://youtu.be/TJiessiOxAc
The wonderful author Pat Dale has read Death Runs in the Family and offers a totally unsolicited review! isn't that great when other writers take the time to write down their opinion of our work? I am so jazzed. Here it is:
"The third book in the Lee Alvarez Mystery series has recently been released by Muse It Up Publishing and I’ve just finished reading a delightful mystery romp. Author Heather Haven takes us through a series of infinitely detailed settings as this sometimes vulnerable but infinitely talented sleuth doggedly chases down a wisp of a girl/woman who had pulled one over on her. The plot thickens and the stakes grow higher; and deadlier. From a seemingly impish prank, the reader is drawn into high drama with deadly consequences, leading to a long distance chase that nets one of the most deceptive but ruthless villains I’ve read in a long while. Five star ratings are bandied about carelessly these days and that’s a shame. When you find an author who really knows how to write, and a story that keeps your eyes glued to the page, page after page, you know you’ve read five star material. Heather Haven is a gifted author and I can hardly wait to see what her protagonist, Lee Alvarez, gets into next. Kudos and a big, bold, ***** rating for DEATH RUNS IN THE FAMILY."
Writing as Pat Dale Check out his website. He is one talented author.
Back to Death Runs in the Family
Lee Alvarez’ ex-husband, Nick -- a man she divorced with joy in her heart and a gun in her hand – sprints back in her life only to disappear again. She’d love to leave it at that, but could he be responsible for the recent death of her cousin, who keeled over at the finish line of a half-marathon in front of hundreds of spectators? As PI for the family run business, Discretionary Inquiries, Lee follows the clues to Vegas, where she joins forces with Shoshone PI, Flint Tall Trees. Together they uncover a multi-million dollar betting syndicate, a tacky lounge lizard act, and a list of past but very dead runners, plus future ones to off. At the top of the ‘future’ list is the love of her life, Gurn Hanson. Hoping to force the culprits out in the open, Gurn and Lee’s brother, Richard, vow to run San Francisco’s famous Palace to Palace footrace in only a few days. Can Lee keep the two men she loves from hitting the finish line as dead as her cousin? With more at stake than she ever dreamed possible, Lee is in a battle against time to stop the Alvarez Family’s 12K race with death.
I Don’t Know Who’s the Bigger Idiot
Without much conversation, we jostled Nick out of the room and down the stairs. As a precaution, we used the back exit, Flint flinging boxes of DVDs every which way so fast, the clerk only managed one “hey” before we were out the door. The exit led to a narrow back alley filled with garbage, trash, and more small scurrying animals that should be calling the SPCA to complain about the conditions under which they’re forced to live.
While Flint went to bring the car to the side of the alley, I waited in the shadows next to Nick and pulled out the Glock. The irony of the situation hit me like a double charge on a credit card bill for shoes not only too tight to wear but last year’s style.
On the left, a disgusting dumpster; on the right, an even more disgusting ex-husband. And me stuck in the middle as usual—a reluctant PI if ever there was one.
Rather than inhaling the stench of fly-ridden garbage, I’d really rather be sniffing out dastardly doings of computer sabotage or thievery, in particular, long after said dastardly deeds have gone down. It’s my idea of a good job, especially when I get to zip off whenever I want and have a great lunch.
The part I like best—besides the food—is sitting at a highly polished, recently vacated mahogany desk in an air-conditioned office, sifting through the rubble of high-tech deceit and betrayal. I like gathering enough evidence to point a manicured fingernail at the culprit and shout j'accuse! Backlit by enough briefs, memos, emails, and other telltale papers, the culprit is mine. That is a real high.
This was a real low. But I had to think about Stephen. My cousin was dead, and Nick knew something about it. Hell, maybe he even had something to do with it. And, of course, there were the cats. If Nick was in any way responsible, I might do him in myself and save whatever goons there may be the trouble.
All these things were flitting through my mind when Nick—the stupid idiot—made a lunge for my gun, muttering he could take better care of himself than I could. Sometimes an ex-marine, like an ex-husband, needs to get over himself.
One of the first lessons you learn as a PI is to not to carry a gun if you’re going to let anybody take it away from you. All the years I’ve been carrying, ten to be exact, people have taken all sorts of things from me—including my virtue—but never my gun.
So when Nick came at me, my knee went up fast, strong, and accurate. Ex dropped to the ground in a fetal position. God only knows what else was lying there with him, but I left him on the dirt, anyway. He was busy moaning while I cocked the Glock and gave a 360-degree spin, prepared to do whatever was necessary to keep the jerk safe. At least, for the moment.
Fortunately, no one showed up except a passing rat or two, excluding the one I stood over. After what felt like a lifetime, I saw Flint’s headlights, although I’m sure it didn’t take him more than three minutes to get there. I helped Nick up. He limped to the car, and Flint, bless him, raised an eyebrow over Nick’s condition but didn’t say a word. What a guy.
For purchase at Museitup Bookstore
You can read the first chapter of Death Runs in the Family in its entirety at:
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Heather's blog at: http://tinyurl.com/4nensnp
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
At twenty-seven years old J.D. Brown is a youngster by my lights, but she already knows her stuff. She's written a dynamic novel, Dark Heirloom, a story about a vampire who isn't quite what she is supposed to be. It's a compelling urban fantasy. We'll go into Dark Heirloom later, but first let's get to know J.D. a little better, as she answers some of my questions:
1. What is your favorite book?
This changes often depending on what book I’m currently engrossed in. Right now I’m between books, but two of my favorites are First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
2. Who is your favorite writer?
It’s a tie between Anne Rice and Orson Scott Card.
3. If the answers to 1 & 2 are different, why?
Rice and Card are the classic literary geniuses of their time. I love their books and admire and respect all they’ve done in the industry. While I enjoy Clare and Jones’ books, they’re not quite at the same level as Rice and Card yet. They might be some day and that would be awesome.
4. How old were you when you were first published?
I was 26. It was almost a year ago.
5. What writing style do you most abhor?
I wouldn’t say that I hate any specific style - after all, my reading tastes are pretty wide. But there are some pet peeves that will make me stop reading a book. #1 is too much head hoping. I prefer books written in first person point of view because I know there won’t be any head hoping in them. #2 is a predictable plot line an/or stereotypical characters. #3 is too much telling or author narration. I prefer deep character point of view.
6. What is your favorite writing cliché?
I guess it would be vampires? Haha. That’s the thing about clichés, you tend to not like them since they‘re so overused. But I still love vampires.
7. What is your favorite word?
“Love”. It sounds pretty in every language, even when it’s spoken silently.
8. When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?)
I’m partial to my PC but got a new laptop and hope to try writing in Starbucks this summer. I usually write either very late at night or very early in the morning. It’s when I’m most creative.
9. What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?
Probably the same fear as anyone else; it’s crappy, not ready to be judged and torn apart by the editors, and I should have spent more time on it. Haha. But authors can only do some much.
10. In what era do you wish you’d been born?
Oh, I’m content with this era. I love my technology and my running hot/cold water and wouldn’t dare go back in time without it. If anything, I may go a little ways into the future just to see if we ever event a teleporter device.
11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I’m sure it’s things like “OMG” and “LOL” and “dude”. I end up cutting them out of my manuscript a lot.
12. Which talent would you most like to have?
That depends, do you mean a human talent or a supernatural talent? I really wish I was more musically inclined. I love music, but I can’t sing, dance, or play an instrument. As for a supernatural talent, it would be a tie between either being able to fly like Super Man or being able to turn invisible.
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting published is definitely tops.
14. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Am I allowed to vote for my own characters? I can’t help it, I love Ema from my book Dark Heirloom. She just cracks me up.
15. How would you like to die?
Hmm… Something painless but not instant. I would like to say my good-byes first and leave a proper will.
Blurb: “You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?
Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.
The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…
My reflection haunted me as I stood with my forehead pressed against the mirror in the bathroom. I couldn’t feel the glass. My brain told me it should’ve been cold and hard, but all my skin felt was pressure.
I looked like a zombie. My tan had disappeared, replaced by liquid white, my skin a numb rubbery latex. My teeth fanged like an animal’s. My eyes…
Two days ago, my eyes were bright brown. Now they were the darkest shade of black, like onyx beads. The irises blended into freakishly wide pupils. Little specks of scarlet glittered in tiny splashes around the irises. Shuddering, I stepped away from the mirror.
I couldn’t believe it. One thing was for sure; they weren’t human. Humans couldn’t fly or walk through walls. Humans couldn’t hear or smell things from miles away with precise accuracy. They couldn’t see distinct detail or vivid color in the dark of night.
Aliens, ghosts, monsters…it didn’t matter what name they chose. The fact remained the same; they were convinced I was one of them now.
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Author Bio: J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance.
J.D.’s books are available in e-book formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major e-book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to DarkHeirloom@gmail.com or visit her website at
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Thanks for visiting today! Below is the book trailer for Dark Heirloom. Check it out.