Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

 copyright 2011 Aaron Paul Lazar

While we celebrate and ring in the new year, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support here on Murder by 4 and everywhere we happen to run into each other.

I often tell folks that my favorite part of being an author is connecting with my readers. It's the truth. I love you guys. And I'm humbled that my stories seem to inspire, comfort, thrill, or entertain. Armchair traveling can be a great escape, and let's face it, we all need a break sometimes, right?

I take great pleasure in the fact that you relate to Gus LeGarde, to Siegfried Marggrander, to Camille, and now to Sam and Rachel Moore. And for the first time in a long time, I might actually have one book of each series to give you in 2011, plus a few more books in my NEW series.

Yep. Another one. I know it's nuts, but I couldn't help myself. Having that laid-off year off between "day jobs" gave me the chance to get reacquainted with the Adirondacks, and to fall in love all over again with the majesty and beauty of the region. It was just natural that a new series based on the Sacandaga River, in Hope, NY, would be born. There are already two books under contract and scheduled for release in 2011/2012 in the new series featuring Marcella and Quinn Hollister, antique dealers from Honeoye, NY, whose lives spin out of control when secrets from the past catch up with them.

Up Next

The next book on the docket is FIRESONG, the novel that brings Gus LeGarde back to East Goodland to face some of the most tangled and baffling mysteries of his life.

The cover is done and I'm working on the final polish. Fingers crossed that we'll have it out in print soon.

Honors for Healey's Cave

"To Aaron Paul Lazar for Healey’s Cave. A mystery has never made my Nobel list before but this one deserves the description “literary mystery.” It’s been called “lush,” “lyrical,” and “absorbing.” It is a fine example of how genre fiction can cross the line from entertaining to fine art."                                                                                      - Carolyn Howard Johnson


I don't enter many writing contests. I know, I know. I probably should. But all these extranneous things I do for promotion or awards take away from writing time, and it kills me. I need to write. I need time with the characters in my parallel universe(s). So I avoid the stuff other than pure writing more than I should.

This year, though, at some prodding from my publisher, I sent out HEALEY'S CAVE to a few places. It seems they liked it. ;o) The book made it to the top two finalists for the Allbooks Editor's Choice Awards Mystery category. The winner will be announced in January.

I'm pleased to say award-winning Carolyn Howard Johnson also seemed to like the book, and picked it for one of her top choices for her Back to Literature column 2010 on the site.

Thanks to Allbooks and Carolyn Howard Johnson for these honors.

Coming Soon - the second Moore Mystery

The next Moore Mystery has been titled. It's called TERROR COMES KNOCKING  and was named by a great friend and supporter of my books. Thanks to Don Harman, from Charlotte, North Carolina, for suggesting the title. TERROR COMES KNOCKING puts Sam and Rachel Moore through more heartstopping trials. The green marble is back, Billy hasn't gone off to visit the angels yet, and daughter Beth goes missing. It should be out in 2011, as long as I continue to make good progress on the final polish. You can read an excerpt from it soon. Stay tuned to the website devoted to Sam and Rachel, at

Introducing Tall Pines Mysteries

Two new mysteries are due in print in 2011/2012 - FOR THE BIRDS and ESSENTIALLY YOURS. These mysteries are set in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, and have just a touch of the paranormal entwined in the plots. They're full of humor, nature, terror, and I've been told they're a little bit sexy. For the first time in my life, I'm telling a story from a woman's POV! Hey, I figured it would make me a better writer.  And it's good to get inside a woman's mind once in a while. Or so my wife tells me.

Stay tuned for more about this new contemporary series. I think you'll like it!

Call for Beta Readers

Got time? Like to read? Have an eagle eye?

Does it drive you nuts when you spot an error in a finished book?

Me, too. But it's nearly impossible for me to catch all my own errors without the help of my Beta Readers. My brain just integrates the words into what they're supposed to say, and I miss mistakes all the time. Plus there are those little inconsistencies that drive me insane. Like when I left the duct tape on Billy Moore's mouth in one scene, and he started talking in the next. Or like the time I called Sam "Gus" in Healey's Cave. Gheesh.

I could use some help. I'm looking for the average reader who can breeze through my books in efile format, find the occasional typo or inconsistency, and get the manuscript back to me within a month or so. In return, you'll get your name in the acknowledgements and a free copy when it comes out.

Interested? Email me so we can see if you fit the profile!

New Q&A - Ask the Author!

Ever wonder where writers get their ideas? Where I came up with Siegfried? Why he's German? How I seemed to know a bit about Paris or Vienna? How my grandkids model the children for my series? How big my real gardens are?

Now you can find out! Just email me at Next issue, I'll pick a few questions to answer in this newsletter. Maybe it will be yours!

Since it's the season of giving...

I meant to make a special offer on books before the holiday season flew by. But I guess I had a pretty good excuse for not getting to it sooner - my eldest daughter just tied the knot with our new son-in-law, Geoffrey Hall on the night before Thanksgiving. That weekend, daughter Melanie accepted a proposal from new fiance' Jay Carbonneau, and shortly thereafter, Allison said yes to her honey, Jason Wolfanger. Life has been hopping!

So, in celebration of my three daughters finding their soulmates and agreeing to a lifetime together, I'd like to offer a book deal I've never done before.

BUY ONE BOOK, get the next FREE.

That goes for DOUBLE FORTE', UPSTAGED, TREMOLO, MAZURKA, AND HEALEY'S CAVE. This is a one time deal that I don't intend to repeat any time soon. So if you have Christmas money that's burning a hole in your pockets, or want to get started collected birthday gifts for family while the price is hot, email me and we'll get this done!

Happy New Year!

email: aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are you ready for some New Year?

As I began penning my post for today, the song that starts out Sunday night football started running through my head, and I thought, are you ready for a New Year? (same tune, different words)

And I am asking myself, am I?

2010 has been one of the most difficult, art-starved years I can remember, and many have heard me say, I will be happy to see the backside of it. The problem is, how to turn 2011 into the year it should be?

I figured since I was pondering the situation for this post, I would just go ahead and vocalize it too.

My list of goals for 2011 NOTE: *these are my goals not resolutions, as I no longer believe that resolving is enough to ensure action will occur-and it is now my intent to "outlive" my life by giving more and demanding less*

1. Get back in church.
2. Get back into the writing chair for pleasure, not profit.
3. Market myself, my writing, and my photography/videography business better to build relationships, not simply wealth.
4. Spend more time with family, making memories and developing traditions.
5. Mentor someone in some way.

If these seem open-ended, it is because they are. I recently was told that 2011 would hold a lot of serendipitous events for me, and I intend to leave all my options open.

What do you plan on doing in 2011? I hope it is worthy, joyful, and thoughtful. And above all else, some action that will help you be who you really want to be.

Joy and peace in the new year from me to you!

Kim Smith is the author of the Shannon Wallace Mysteries published by Red Rose Publishing, and the fantastic new YA fantasy, A Mirror in Time, from Moongypsy Press

Monday, December 27, 2010

Vote for Murder By 4

With the year quickly coming to a close, we here at Murder By 4 are looking forward to the new year and the opportunities it will bring, the new writers and readers we'll meet along the way, and the continued friendship with those of you who have kept Murder By 4 hopping since 2008. 

Thanks to our over 43,000 (wow!) visitors and numerous guests bloggers, Murder By 4 has been recognized two years in a row by Writer's Digest among 101 Best Website for Writers. May we have your vote again?  The deadline to submit a nomination for 2011 is January 1, 2011.

Simply e-mail your vote to: with “101 Best Websites” as the subject and Murder By 4 in the body of your e-mail. That's it!  

Best wishes for a safe, healthy, prosperous, and productive 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas y'all!

I wanted to have a really special thoughtful post today, since it is so close to Christmas, but honestly, I am too busy. This has been the busiest December on record at my job (and at my house!). This is a good thing, so please don't think I am complaining, for I really am not.

But the best I can summon is a link or two, and possibly write out a poem for you. (Ha. Like it?)

Go here to make superb paper snowflakes.

And, remember....

"tis more blessed to give than receive..."

Oh yeah and don't forget to VOTE FOR US! We would love to bestow another fabulous 101 Best Sites for Writers award emblems from Writer's Digest. Check the WD site for more info. I think the voting ends in January so you have a few days :)

We at Mb4 do all that we do FOR YOU! Writers helping writers. Consider it a year round present!

Merry Christmas Yall!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wherever the Yellow Brick Road Leads

© Marta Stephens 2010 all rights reserved

Several nights ago I couldn’t sleep. Instead, I turned on the television and watched the Wizard of Oz for the million and one time until one in the morning. Yes, yes, I know the songs and each scene by heart. I can even do the dance steps when I put my mind to it. Then again, who isn’t drawn to Dorothy and her band of misfit friends? All the Tin Woodsman wanted was a heart, the Scarecrow a brain, the Cowardly Lion some courage and Dorothy had her heart set on a one-way ticket home.

To recap, the four battle against the Wicked Witch of the West who wants nothing less than Dorothy’s powerful, magical shoes. The four eventually overcome the unbearable obstacles she shoves in front of them. They reach the Emerald City and the Wizard of Oz who they are convinced will grant their wishes and secure their happily ever after. To their dismay, however, the Wizard insists they prove their worth first by bringing him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West—a most unreasonable demand, if you ask me. In my cynical state of mind, the plot had an uncanny resemblance to the relationship between authors, agents and editors on the road to publication.

Days later, friend and fellow author, Susan Whitfield, invited me to read and comment on her blog post titled, “Making Decisions About Publishing and Promoting.” It’s a great article about her writing and publishing journey—I highly recommend you to read it. Now, I haven’t written a thing in months and have all but (kind of) given up on my writing. Still, I was intrigued with the title. Frankly, I don’t know if Susan wrote the piece with me in mind (ha) or if it’s really true that I’m not the only writer with publishing concerns—shocker! At any rate, it hit home. It didn’t make me want to rush over to my computer and start writing, but it started me thinking and sometimes a little spark is all it takes.

While I addressed Christmas cards, finished my shopping, wrapped the presents, cleaned house, and started my baking I continued to think about Susan’s journey and her to-the-point question, “How do you make decisions about publishing?”

My only excuse is that I blindly fell into it. I feel very fortunate to have been able to secure a small press to publish my first two novels, but things eventually changed and unexpected hiccups occurred. All seems to be fine now, but often it’s the very door we don’t want to close that opens a new one. At the time, I decided it would be wise to take on the "wait and see" approach before my next submission to that house and began to write my third novel. I got it in my head that I needed an agent. After numerous months and countless queries, the multitude of rejections shook my confidence. Yes, yes, a handful of agents did request to read additional chapters, but I haven’t heard back from them in months so they don’t really count, do they? This experience nearly stripped me of my self-confidence and worth. On the upside, like Dorothy and her skip down the yellow brick road, the many hurdles and long respite from creativity gave me a vast amount of time to re-evaluate my purpose as a writer. In other words, why do I write, who do I write for, and where do I really want to go with it?

I quickly found myself thinking about the blissful early days of my writing career when words poured from my brain, when stories formed out of the sheer passion to create, and I actually had the courage to believe I would succeed. To my amazement, success did come. Not in huge sales or movie contracts. Not in New York Times reviews or best seller status, but in the smiles on the faces of people I met--those who had read my novels. I also found it in the great reviews and reader comments. What could be more gratifying to an author than for someone to say they couldn’t put down their book and stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish reading it and then were sadden because they wanted the read to continue?

Okay so at the end of the movie, Dorothy convinces the Wizard to take her back to Kansas in his hot air balloon. Things go terribly wrong though and he leaves without her. Crushed and feeling doomed to live in the Emerald City forever, Dorothy begins to cry. Enter Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, who comes down in an orb to comfort Dorothy. Glinda reminds her that she always had the power to get back home and asks what she has learned on her journey to Oz. The answer, of course, is (come on all you Wizard of Oz lovers, read it out loud!), “Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!” At that point Dorothy clicks her heels three times and repeats, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” and is shot back to Kansas and into reality.

Okay, so I don’t have ruby red slippers. Even if I did, I doubt clicking my heels three times would get my manuscript published. Still, I realize now how far I’ve strayed away from the driving force of my enthusiastic beginning. The power to succeed was mine all along, but I got lost along the way and didn’t see it.

Christmas is four days away. It’s bitter cold today. There’s snow on the ground and several more inches will be here before the weekend. Over the next several days, our home will be filled with family and friends, laughter and more food and gooey sweet treats than we truly need. After that though, in the early hours while everyone, including the dogs are sound asleep, I’ll clear off my desk, nudged myself toward the keyboard, and start the magic again.

Best wishes to all my friends and readers for a warm and wonderful holiday!

About the author:

Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available in paperback and e-book format online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons/Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Books-a-Million. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 978-1-905202-886-7
Tradebook: $15.99
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
ISBN: 798-1-905202-72-0
Tradebook: $15.50
E-book: $9.00 from Smashwords
Personal site:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

The holiday season is in full insanity mode, and my brain is fried. So I thought I'd leave you with a recipe. You might have seen this kicking around the interwebs in various forms... this one's my favorite.

Do not attempt this recipe without adult supervision. :-)

Happy holidays!

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cake


 1 cup water
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1 cup sugar
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 cup brown sugar
 1 cup lemon juice
 4 large eggs
 1 cup nuts
 2 cups dried fruit
 1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Serves / Yields:

Preparation Instructions

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl; check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK; try another cup ...just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor... Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frosty Colors for You

It's the Sunday before Christmas, and I just realized that I hadn't done my post for MB4. That's how nuts it's been on my weekends since I started working again last June, and of course, with Christmas almost upon us, the job list has grown to ridiculous lengths.

I did get all the Christmas lights up this weekend, plus made a big soup, played endless games of Scrabble with my grandsons, and cleaned like a maniac. At least the kitchen and upstairs are sparkling now!

And oh, it's been cold. Oh so cold! But the wood stove has been doing its job and we're staying warm enough. 

Last week when I worked at home because of a huge snow storm, the sun actually peeked out behind the clouds for a few minutes, and I took a few shots of our frosty windows. Yes, we have such old windows that most folks shudder when they see them. But since we heat with wood, it doesn't really matter. It's actually good that they're leaky - they let the house breathe. ;o) Or so I tell myself.

So here are a few photos I took that afternoon - some I've dolled up a little with color. 

Merry Christmas and here's to a wonderful year of writing in 2011!

Merry Christmas, and remember to write like the wind!

Aaron Paul Lazar

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where I have been...

and where I am going...
by kim smith

Two years ago, almost to the very day, I was promoting my very first book. My good friends here on Mb4 were interviewing me and hosting me all over the blogosphere.

Today, I have accomplished a lot as I look back.

I have three full length novels out, one of them in print. I have many short stories and novellas out, one in print, and best of all, I have accumulated a bunch of fabulous new friends in cyberspace, and most of them read my work and like it!

But I am pondering what will be coming in the next two years.

I have one YA nearly done, and am debating on another romance. Maybe something summery and delicious. How about a "love boat"-esque story? Yeah, that's the ticket. I also am working on a romantic fantasy, woot!

I expect 2011 to be a great year. Things always need to be analyzed and plans made in December because gosh, Christmas comes and then it's the New Year all in our faces.

So, I am planning out a fabulous 2011 and I am really looking forward to it!

What is your 2011 looking like? What are you doing in the writing life?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stalking The Springboard For A Crime Novel

© Shelly Frome 2010 all rights reserved

Someone once told me that you don’t have the necessary ingredients of a good crime novel unless one of your basic assumptions is threatened or, at the very least, you have to come to terms with some facet of ongoing reality that’s really troubling you. The noted screenwriter and novelist William Goldman put it another way: “You write for revenge.”

Be that as it may, though it may have a lot to do with these pointers, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what sets me off. Take my antic, edgy Hollywood novel. While staying at the Avalon at the corner of Olympic and Beverly Drive doing research for my book on screenwriting, everyone behind the reception desk was quick to note they were really actors or would-be screenwriters; the waiters and waitresses told me they were actually undiscovered talent. In no time, a short walk up the street revealed a paunchy middle-aged man standing in front of Al’s outdoor news-stand yelling into his cell phone, “Listen to me, Harry! I’m telling you the me you think you know has breached the barricade. I’m gonna be taking a meeting, pitching a sure-fire idea for a vampire flick. I kid you not!” And this, as they say, is just for openers.

While all this was going on, despite the countless pipe dreams and illusions I encountered, there were signs that something approximating reality might be percolating beneath. At the park fronting the Santa Monica Pier, a shaggy-looking drifter in his early thirties was telling a well-tanned homeless man, “I tell you, you better watch out, you know? It’s going down tonight.” And though she was reluctant to talk about it, my sister, who has a home just off La Cienega and Orlando, had bars installed on her windows after someone hot-wired her car while it was parked in her driveway and drove away into the night. In addition, my mother’s house, about ten miles east, had been fitted with iron bars that were even more foreboding.

By then, imaginatively, the lines began to blur. While visiting a contact at an old vintage studio tucked away a few blocks south of Paramount , a police helicopter circled overhead while my wife and I were driven by a sound stage housing episodes of a low-grade TV cop show. Presently, our guide took us past weathered back lots—the façade of a western town, a crumbling moon walk, etc.--that seemed to be crying out to be brought back to life. Perhaps offering itself as an arena where tinsel and trouble could meet.

By then, something blowing in on the dry Santa Ana winds and a whimsical script doctor trying to shape a storyboard came into play. Call the writer Ben. As the tale opens, Ben is faced with turning his career around within the next few days or else. With this time-frame always in mind, Ben is willing to vie for any opportunity no matter how outlandish. This is definitely not just another day, all his assumptions of a dream that has to come true by the time he’s thirty have long since been shattered and he is unwittingly on a collision course with a great unknown. The title of the book also seemed to be self-generating: TINSELTOWN RIFF.

In contrast, the springboard for my currently released mystery THE TWINNING MURDERS is perhaps more accessible, the unfolding action more meaningful to a wider audience. But again, that’s not why I began developing the story. As it happens, I live in a quaint historic New England village. Recently an urban development corporation set up shop with a view toward clearing an expanse of meadow and upland that had been untouched for hundreds of years, a beautiful tract adjacent to our own property. The plan--turn it into a highly profitable 170-unit condo facility replete with recreation facilities. Moreover, only a few years beforehand, my wife and I were given a personal tour by an affable Southern lady through the west of England from Bath , to Devon and Cornwall . At almost the same time, we discovered we had a sister village in England when a coterie came to call as the beginnings of an exchange program. When the developers steamrolled their way through the local planning commission with scarcely any opposition, I found myself yet again at odds with the way of things. Taken into account the sister villages, an amiable woman who lives on the edge of the moors in Devon told me, “Dear, I think you’re conjuring up a twinning.”

As an incurable storyteller always asking myself what if?, soon enough an unwitting heroine began to appear in my imagination (a tour guide of course whose name suitably was Emily) along with an event that touched her deeply. In this case it was a surrogate father, environmentalist and head of the planning commission and the only obstacle in the way of the developers. As soon as he was dispatched by unseen hands and the powers that be kept dragging their heels, Emily was up against it on both sides of the pond. I allowed this character-driven as well as plot-driven venture to unfold because I had at least three vital ingredients: someone to care about, the ties that bind, and something vital at stake in the form of great wrongs that had to be put to rights.

Now I’m working on another tale, this one set in Mississippi driven by secret wrongs of the past and a failed journalist driven by inner and outer forces he doesn’t quite understand. Needless to say, without this troubling springboard, I have no compelling reason to go on. I don’t look for it, I don’t seek it out. From time to time, it just seems to be out there, waiting for me.

About the author:

Shelly Frome is a Professor Emeritus of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut. A former professional actor and theater director, his writing credits include a number of national and international articles on acting and theater, profiles of artists and notable figures in the arts, books on theater and film and mystery novels.

His books include The Art and Craft of Screenwriting, Tinseltown Riff, Lilac Moon, The Actors Studio, Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Playwriting: A Complete Guide to Creating Theater and his most recent, The Twinning Murders

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas on a Shoestring Budget

Here we are, just a few weeks from Christmas. I've just returned home from a five day business trip in freezing cold Kentucky and Virginia. Although I had envisioned balmy temps in the 40s, it wasn't so bad. I'm a cold-hearty Northerner, and my friends call me Nanuk of the North 'cause I walk outside no matter how frigid it is. The southern field mice actually decided it was too cold to live outdoors while I was there, however, and one of them greeted me in a hotel bathtub. Quite a sight! It was actually twenty degrees colder down south than it was in Rochester, New York on Tuesday. While it was a good trip from a business point of view, and I did finish the edits on my second Tall Pines mystery in the "down" time, I lost a whole week getting ready for Christmas.

The day after I arrived home, my wife's two brothers called to say they'd be arriving a day early for their four day visit. I love seeing them, and I'm glad they came early to avoid a storm that's been forecast, but I wasn't ready for them, either! I hadn't cleaned, shopped, or planned the menus. 

My son-in-law saved the day by doing the cleaning. Phew. So, off I went to Aldi's, Walmart, and Wegmans (I shop the cheapest place first, then move to my favorite more expensive store last for the real gourmet goodies. I LOVE Wegmans!) to buy stuff for my cooking adventures. 

One of the dishes I made was Sonia Martinez's Fricase de Pollo Estilo Cubano (Cuban Style Chicken Fricase - actually very easy - a one pot meal) with a side salad inspired by travels last week. I chopped cooked beets mixed with a balsamic glaze, set on a bed of finely chopped fennel. Mmm. A new favorite. And now as I write this, I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. Anyway, here's the main dish, and if you want a copy of the recipe, just let me know. Sonia shared this and others on Gather a few years ago (her mother's recipe!) and my family has enjoyed it often.

So while I've been virtually busy as a bumbling bee, I don't have any presents ready, no Christmas lights up, and haven't done Christmas cards for the zillionth year in a row. I did manage to buy a teensy little tree while shopping at Wegmans the other day - a small Austrian pine that we can plant next spring when it's warmer. It's still not decorated. Sigh.

My family decided that this year, since the economy's so bad and we're all pretty darned broke, we'd do handmade gifts all around. Actually, it was little Gordie's idea - he is such a sweetheart. Only seven, he realizes the importance of putting thought into gifts. We all jumped at the idea. Okay, I'll admit finding the time to do it is tough, but the benefits are huge.
So, in the spirit of Kim Smith's article on great gift ideas for writers, here are some ideas that writers and or other creative types might like to consider making for their loved ones. All you need is a printer, some paper, and plenty of ink!

A Family Recipe Book 
 We're creating custom books for each of our three daughters. Thankfully, I don't think they read my blogs, so hopefully they'll be surprised! 

I think everyone has the blogging blues, like Marta mentioned this week. In her article, she referenced always giving something back when you blog, so I thought I'd share this with you.

Here's what my wife and I are doing - we've collected up all of the family favorites, whether they be written on old frayed recipe cards or scraps of paper. We scanned them, including some from the girls' great grandmothers. My wife has written special notes to each child on some of the printouts, referring to memories she has about the traditions that went with the food. I've thankfully taken lots of pictures of our tables laden with goodies over the years, so I'm mixing and matching these with the recipes. 
The neat thing is you can write little stories or poems for each occasion, if you wish, using your creative side while creating an heirloom that your children will hopefully cherish and add to over the years. 

Here's a sample page. Some are just plain old black and white copies - they're not all this fancy. But it's the recipes that matter, right?
After printing out each recipe, I'm putting them in transparent sleeves and storing them in colorful binders with extra sleeves at the end so they can add to them over the years.

Here are a few more ideas for your creative spirits:

For my grandsons, I'm making special books as well. Julian is getting a "story of my life" picture book, where I'll use the same concept as above. Print out photos from his baby years and up, and write little stories beside them telling about our history together. 

Gordie is enamored with Spanish this year. So he's getting a "Spanish" book. I'll print out pictures of various objects with the English and Spanish words above and below. He's just barely reading English now (he's only 7) but he really loves this stuff, so he should be thrilled. 

Here are some more cool ideas:

Homemade Story Books

When you're sitting around with your kids or grandkids and making up stories (come on, I know you do!), type them up either on the fly or later in the day. Keep them in a file all year long, then at Christmas, print them out with some cool graphics or hand drawn designs. 

Special Letters

Buy some of that cool purplish blue construction paper and a silver flair pen. Write Christmas messages to each of your loved ones, mentioning a special event or memory you share. Tell them how much you love them and why you love them. They'll cherish this forever!


If you are totally broke - this one is a big hit with kids. At least in my house, where we have four kids to five adults. They're always clamoring for special "one-on-one" time with the adults. Hand print "coupons" where you pledge special time to cash in later - for example: "one half hour of playing in the snow," or "a special trip to the library, just you and me." Give each child a dozen or so coupons that they can cash in later. But remember - unless you're in the middle of dinner or driving them to school or something, don't refuse them if it's not convenient for you. You must drop everything and give the gift when they ask!
I think this is the best present of all, and it doesn't have to be just for children. You can set aside some special time for your honey - offer them a back rub or foot rub, a special winter picnic, or something that will warm their hearts. After all, the gift of your time is far more precious than spending a ton of money on STUFF. Who really needs more things, anyway? All of those material gifts go by the wayside in a year or two. Well, unless your giving expensive jewelry or something like that. (not my style, LOL) But a handmade gift that is laced with your love and special thoughts will be saved and treasured forever. 

So stop the frantic shopping, get out of those blasted malls, come home armed with a few crafty things, and sit before the fire with a cup of hot chocolate so you can create something beautiful for your loved ones!

A very merry Christmas and holiday wishes to all!

Aaron Paul Lazar

P.S. If you're not crafty and you just can't think of anything to make, and you want to contribute to my paper and ink fund, then buy your family wholesome, heart thumping mysteries. Books are great gifts! Here's the link to LeGarde Mysteries - just follow the left pane down the page and you'll see them all! If you want copies autographed, email me at aaron dot lazar at yahoo dot com and we'll get it done in time for Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Are You Getting the Psychology Right in Your Fiction?

© Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD 2010 all rights reserved

If you write novels, there’s a good chance you also know how important it is to do research. If you write thrillers, crime or suspense novels, or mysteries, you’re probably darn good at researching things like police procedure and forensic medicine. You know you need to do research, because you probably don’t work in those fields.

What you may not realize is how important it is to also research those psychological “facts” you may take for granted – because much of what we’ve learned from books, television, and the movies is inaccurate. Here are a couple of the biggest danger zones and how to avoid them.

The Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity Plea

Fictional police and detectives often worry or complain about characters they’ve hunted “getting off” thanks to a Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI) plea. The implication is always that NGRI is a common – and commonly successful – approach and, worse, that criminals who are declared NGRI either go home or head off to some resort-like institution.

In reality, NGRI is not a common plea, and even when it’s used, it’s successful less than 1 percent of the time. Partly because juries believe the same things so many writers do – that NGRI is a Get Out of Jail Free card – they’re loathe to allow it, sometimes even when the situation warrants it.

Many states use the M’Naghten Rule to determine NGRI. The M’Naghten Rule states that the defendant must know what he is doing and that it is wrong at the time he is doing it. Pretty basic. But someone who is in the throes of a psychotic state – that is, someone who is seeing, hearing, or believing things firmly based outside of reality – may not realize that what he’s doing is wrong. Is it still wrong? Absolutely. But did he understand that while he was committing the crime, if he understood what he was doing at all? If not, he should be declared NGRI.

Do realize that when defendants are declared NGRI, that declaration may only be temporary; in other words, the individual may be viewed as “restorable” with appropriate treatments, which may include time, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, therapy, and/or medication.

In the rare situation that a defendant is concluded to be “unrestorable,” he is probably looking at the rest of his life in a state institution that’s no more comfortable than prison.

The Ambiguously Insane (But Often Brilliant) Villain

Another common mistake writers make is to declare their villain “insane,” “crazy,” or “mentally ill” without any attempt to define exactly which disorder said villain has. Or worse, as in the film The Cell, they pick a diagnosis out of the air and then fail to show any real symptoms of that disorder.

Let’s look at the terms “insane,” “crazy,” and “mentally ill” one by one: “Insane” is a legal term, not a psychological term, so avoid it unless the psychologist in your story is a forensics expert who’s making a NGRI-type of declaration for the courts. “Crazy,” as you can imagine, is a colloquialism, so it has no clinical meaning. And “mentally ill” is rarely used; instead, it’s best to use a given disorder name.

So which diagnosis should your villain have?

Psychopathy is always a good bet, and psychopathy is probably the single best diagnostic predictor of future violence. Psychopaths flagrantly violate others’ rights without any remorse. They’re glib, superficial, grandiose liars who harm, mutilate, or murder others at a whim. They’re the Hannibal Lecters of the world, the Jokers, the Jigsaws. But – and this is crucial – they are completely sane. Psychopaths are rarely, if ever, psychotic.

Anyone who is actively intoxicated or addicted to a substance is also more likely to commit violence than the average person, partly because inhibitions are lowered. Interestingly, there are psychological diagnostic codes given to people who are intoxicated or addicted, so addiction is considered a psychological problem as well as a physical one.

Another possibility? Someone who really is psychotic, and –very important – is also suffering from threat/control override symptoms (TCOs). TCOs are a specific type of delusion (psychotic thought) in which the individual believes someone is trying to control his mind or otherwise hurt him. The difficult thing about psychosis is that it’s usually accompanied by other irrational behavior – it’s not smooth and cold and calculated the way psychopathy is. In other words, it’s hard for people who are psychotic not to get caught – people notice they’re acting strange.

There are certainly other disorders you can use – psychology’s “bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) contains over 300 – but choose one only when you’re going to be able to depict it consistently and accurately. Remember, modern readers are getting more savvy about psychological problems, and less tolerant of mistakes.

About the author
Need more information on psychology for your story? Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist, a writing coach, and the author of THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior. You can find out more about the book at Amazon or on the book’s website,, which includes the media kit and a detailed table of contents.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gifts for writers

Click on this list to go to the site where you can PRINT a copy as you prepare for the holiday!

Have you finished Christmas shopping yet? Have you even started? Me either! And for some reason getting me started on gift-purchasing is usually pretty hard. Once I get going, it’s usually hard to stop me! Ask my hubby. He always shakes his head at my generosity once you get me in the store!

Many of us have writers in our lives that need special thought for what to give them. Here is a small list for you, if you are like me, and need a nudge or two to get the ideas flowing. And by the way, all but two of these are $20.00 or less.

1. Moleskine notebooks 2. Fancy Pens
3. digital voice recorder
4. espresso machine
5. coffee mug
6. bed desk
7. writers market book
8. Photoshop class in a book
9. gift card

And one last "gift" from me to you....

Kim Smith book- now out in PRINT! A Will to Love

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blogging Blues

© Marta Stephens 2010 all rights reserved
I’ve been blogging since around 2005 and like all newbies, I sponged in every bit of information on writing I could get my hands on. Let's face it, blogs can contain fantastic writing, trigger wonderful writing ideas, and open our world with new thoughts to explore. Needless to say, a passion was released and although it was daunting to think that anyone in cyber space could read my posts, I quickly discovered the excitement of meeting and sharing with others from around the world who had similar interests.

Over the years, the readership to my blogs (especially here at Murder By 4) has graduately increased so I’m particularly watchful that the information posted has value and gives something back to the reader. I’ll admit that lately, I’ve not been as active on my blogs and other social networks as I like, (I have some really good excuses too!), but my thoughts on that is, if it's a struggle to post, don't. On the other hand, with so much available on the internet I’m rarely short on words to share.

I believe I’ve posted this piece on blogging before, but with the new year inching around the corner I think it’s worth repeating for those who are contemplating a new blog or thinking about revamping an old one. The following was published in an online newsletter  a year or two ago titled, Blogging No-nos.

Know what makes a meaningful blog. You don't want a blog just to have one. It needs a theme, purpose and take-away value. Who cares what you had for dinner? Do people really want to know what your children did lately, unless your blog is strictly a family communication tool? Sure your daughter's

Halloween costume is adorable, but is that snippet of writing worth other people's minutes in a day filled with many other stops and obligations, online and off?

In a way, a blog is a window to you. Some use it like a memoir. The truth is, a memoir is a hard work to sell. Unless you have a remarkable, uncanny ability to project your life in a way that takes away someone's breath, the bottom line is...who cares?

Know these common blogging mistakes:

1. Taking more than you give. Don't sell instead of filling your customers' needs. Even if you have a product to sell, make sure your readers leave with more than they paid for.

2. Not updating regularly. This lack of effort reflects on your respect for the readership. At least two times a week is decent.

3. Fast writing without much thought, just to make a post. You know what I'm talking about. No one knows better than the writer himself when his writing is lame, and he writes just to fill up space.

4. Copy-catting. Be unique, don't copy someone else's blog. You want to be known for you, not the shadow of someone else. If you're serious about your blog, also consider a different background that isn't a standard template offered to millions of other bloggers.

5. Don't write about a topic that isn't appealing to the masses. If a thousand people wouldn't be interested, don't blog about it. A good sign of this flaw is lack of comments.

6. Over writing. Keep it to the point. Try to keep blog posts under 300 words. From personal experience, I know that a long post won't be read. I usually stop around 100 words. I'll stop at 300 words if it's interesting. I'll read the entire post if it's short or if it's phenomenal. Few fall into the latter category . . . very few.

Always be on the lookout for a few good blogs. Reading blogs equates to reading the paper, if you take the time to find those of quality. Once you recognize what you like, note the strengths of the author's work - that magic that keeps bringing you back.


So, there you have it. If you plan to start a blog, consider the focus of your blog, your target audience, the tone, and it’s value to your reader. If you plan to blog every day, consider if you are up to the challenge--trust me, at times it is a challenge.

About the authorMarta Stephens writes mystery/suspense and the author of the Sam Harper Crime Mystery series.

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).

SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).

Her books are available in paperback, Kindle, and e-book format online at Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, Smashword, and Powells. For more information about Stephens and her writing, visit

"Life's too Uncertain, Eat your Dessert First"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Release Day To Me...

Today is the release day for my fourth House Phoenix book, Shades of Black. Fwee! (That was the sound of me throwing confetti. Release days, alas, are not the wild celebrations one might think - most of the time it's just the author sitting in front of the computer, going 'Yay' quietly so no one thinks they're crazy...)

Here's a blurb for this one:

The hunted must become the hunter.

For the past fifteen years, Randall Tyler has lived as Dell Ramone—glamorous transvestite, international smuggler, and leader of House Dionysus, the Queens branch of an organization for underground street fighting. Dell’s constant companion and bodyguard is Ania, whom she rescued from a vicious human slave trader in the process of putting him away for life—or so she thought.

Now the slaver, Loyal Sims, is out of prison and hungry for Dell’s blood. As Loyal tortures and slaughters his way through Dell’s loved ones, she is forced to become Randall once again, and take refuge with Angel—the organization’s newest House leader, and the only one Loyal doesn’t know.

But soon, even Randall isn’t safe any more. With Loyal and the NYPD scouring the city for Dell in any form, male or female, Randall is forced to turn the tables and hunt the hunter—because this time, if he doesn’t bring Loyal down first, everyone he cares for will die.

Warning: Contains violence, torture, and human slavery.

You can check out SHADES OF BLACK here, if you're so inclined.

In other thrilling news (I know, you're excited, right?), my second erotica novel in the Fae series is going to print. HEARTSONG will be available in classic book form some time in the next few months. I'll announce the release date for the print version when it's set.

Happy reading, y'all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Joy of Pure Fiction

© Kathryn Casey 2010 all rights reserved

When SINGULARITY, my first mystery, came out, I noticed a couple of distinct reactions from family and friends. Before reading it, they seemed delighted that I wasn’t hanging around courtrooms and prisons as much as in the past, during my more than two decades as a journalist, writing true crime books and covering real murder cases. “It’s good for you to not see such a depressing side of life,” my aunt said one day, patting my hand. “It’ll give you a more optimistic view of the world.”

I didn’t argue. First, my parents raised me to not contradict my elders. Second, it can get pretty intense covering real murder cases, sitting with the victims’ and defendants’ families, watching their reactions, listening to the evidence, often grisly, looking at disturbing crime scene photos, and then, later, interviewing the killers.

My family and friends relief, however, was short lived. When they’d actually read the book, some eyed me rather warily. “You know, Kathy,” a friend said over lunch in a crowded restaurant one afternoon. We were out celebrating the new novel, and we’d both sipped a bit of champagne. I was feeling rather effervescent when she said, “Some of the girls have been talking, and we’re wondering if we should be concerned with the ideas you have floating around in your mind.”

I put down my fork, looked at her eye-to-eye, thought briefly, and then said, “You know, you really shouldn’t bother. I’m pretty sure, I’m okay.”

“But those murder scenes in your book,” she said, growing ever more adamant. “They were, how should I put this, unusual. Do you often think about such things often?”

Again, I took my time, considering the scenes she’d referred to. My main character, Sarah Armstrong, is a Texas Ranger/profiler. She doesn’t get the run of the mill murders. Instead, she’s kind of like that TV doc House, the one they call on to weed through all the clues when they can’t crack a case. In that first book, the one my friends had just read, Sarah hunted a serial killer and the death scenes were indeed unusual, in fact, ritualistic might have been a better word.

“You know, I do think about such things,” I told my friend, who shook her head slightly at my confession. “But you don’t need to worry, because the beauty of fiction is that none of it’s real.”

As my aunt had hoped, the transition from fact to fiction has been invigorating. After all those years covering real cases, I do have rather strange things floating around in my head, and, for the first time, I’m letting them out to play, resulting in plenty of plots and characters to draw on.

For instance, in the second book in the series, Blood Lines, I wrote about a deadly cyber-stalker circling a pop star and an oil company exec found shot through the head with a farewell note beside her body. Was it suicide? I’m not telling, but I will say that both plot lines tied back to cases I’d heard about but never wrote about back in the early nineties. So their roots are real, even though they’re thoroughly fictionalized in the book.

So is it any surprise that in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike hitting my hometown, Houston, I wrote a book entitled THE KILLING STORM? The African symbols and the sugar cane plantation in the book? All modeled after real places and archeological finds within an hour of my house. The location where the book builds to a climax? You guessed it. Real.

Yet everything else materialized when I let my imagination take over, freed from worrying about sticking to the facts, able to mold the best plot, scene, and characters. What’s the most delightful thing about writing mysteries? For me, it’s that when it comes to the killer: pure fiction.

About the author:

Kathryn Casey is an award-winning, Houston-based novelist and journalist, the creator of the Sarah Armstrong mystery series and the author of five highly acclaimed true crime books. SINGULARITY, the first in the Armstrong series, debuted in June to rave reviews. It was a Deadly Pleasures magazine Best First Novel of 2008 selection, was included on Vanity Fair’s Hot Type page, won stars from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and the Tampa Tribune said: “Not since Patricia Cornwell’s POSTMORTEM has a crime author crafted such a stellar series debut. Kathryn Casey hits the right notes.”

The second in the series, BLOOD LINES (2009) was called a “strong sequel” by Publisher’s Weekly, and was included in a Reader’s Digest condensed books edition for fall 2010.

THE KILLING STORM, Katherine’s latest, has been chosen as a Mystery Book Club selection, and Publisher’s Weekly labels it “the best in the series so far.” Library Journal awarded the book a star, and Kirkus calls it “pulse-pounding.”

In addition, Ann Rule has called Casey, “one of the best in the true crime genre.” Her non-fiction books all published by HarperCollins include: A WARRANT TO KILL, (2000); SHE WANTED IT ALL (2005); DIE, MY LOVE (2007); A DESCENT INTO HELL (2008), EVIL BESIDE HER (2008), and SHATTERED (2010). Three were Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Club selections.

You can visit her website at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We finally did it!

Yesterday I gave my wife her birthday present early. It's a brandie new fancy dancy Kindle, including a nice leather cover that comes with a light. (don't forget, so far Kindles aren't back-lit)

I gave it to her early, ahem, because I had to fly out of town on business at the crack of dawn on a snowy Sunday. On her birthday. Yeah, I have some serious making up to do, but she's a good sport about it.

I'm sitting in the airport now, watching the flakes collect and hoping my flight won't be cancelled.

Anyway, between my wife and I we have my iPhone and my MacBook Pro. I talked to a few pubs about what's "kosher," regarding the use of eBook files. I want to do it right, and since they're so reasonable, if I have to buy two copies between us, I will.

Of course I know you can't send them on to your friends and relatives or pals at work, that's just wrong. But most pubs said if it's a husband and wife team with only one laptop and iPhone between them, that we could share our purchases.

Any thoughts on that? Does that sound okay to you?

You know, being a writer, I am super sensitive to protecting our rights, and our meager profits. And although many of my books have been available as eBooks for a while, I've never actually been a customer.

I downloaded the free Kindle application to my laptop last summer, and then purchased Keith Pyeatt's newest book, DARK KNOWLEDGE. I guess because I had so many print books threatening to topple off my nightstand, I kind of forgot it was there. But yesterday as my wife was playing with her Kindle and downloaded her first eBook (CROSSFIRE by Patterson), I decided to download the free app to my iPhone.  Once it was done (just took a few seconds), I found the book we'd just bought on the Kindle and Keith's book in the queue.

Neat, huh?

I also bought a few of Tami Hoag's books (my latest passion) and now they're all waiting for me on my phone and laptop.

Here's the cool thing, and I'm sure all of you who've been doing this for a while already know this. We can't always open our laptops on the plane, right? But if you put your iPhone in "airplane" mode, it doesn't do any nasty wireless stuff to interfere with the navigation system of the plane. So you can read from its little screen without worry.

At first I thought reading from an iPhone would be crazy - too little and weird. But last night I started Keith's book on it and whammo! I was hooked. It was really easy and not hard at all to read. Plus you can make the fonts bigger if you need to, which is good if you forget your glasses!

Very cool, even for this Johnny-come-lately. Heh.

So, I guess old dogs can learn new tricks. I'm trying to keep up with those puppies out there!

Have a safe and warm week, and I'll see you all when I get home later in the week!

Aaron Paul Lazar


LeGarde Mysteries

Double Forte'

Double Forte' is a chilling mystery set in the verdant landscape of Upstate New York's Genesee Valley. Packed with memorable characters, hair-raising chase scenes, and touching family moments, it's a solid page-turner.

Desolate over his wife's suicide four years earlier, small-town college professor Gus LeGarde faces bewildering emotions when he falls for Camille, the vivacious, dark-eyed daughter of his secretary. Yet troubling events in her past cause her to rebuff Gus's affections. Romance glimmers, however, as both become embroiled in an adventure when Gus discovers a mute child shackled to a bedpost in a secluded cabin.

The mystery turns deadly when the child's kidnapper escapes on a snowmobile that tumbles into the deep Letchworth Gorge. The villain's fate is questioned when Gus's little grandson disappears and threats arrive against Camille. And where is the business partner of Gus's philandering son-in-law? Does a murderer lurk in the dark, wintry woods?


Read Excerpt


In Upstaged, the second book in the LeGarde Mystery Series, Gus LeGarde is in for another wild ride as he faces a disturbed stage mother, a deviant predator, and a twisted saboteur who lurks backstage, terrorizing the drama club with deadly, psychotic games.

Who's playing bizarre pranks on Gus's fiancée, Camille? Gus suspects handsome Brazilian student, Armand, whose behavior is laced with sexual improprieties. His suspicion shifts as a jealous stage-mother goes berserk when her daughter isn't cast in the lead role. As the attacks escalate, even the school superintendent is questioned when it's learned that his shadowy past is sealed in an official file.

The action turns lethal as opening night approaches. A sniper fires shots. Camille's home is ransacked and her beloved dog is missing. The star performer takes a bone-shattering fall when the stage railing mysteriously falls apart. Was the set rigged? Will Gus prevent the villain from upstaging the show?

Read Excerpt

Tremolo: cry of the loon

Summer, 1964: Beatlemania hits the States, and the world mourns the loss of JFK. For eleven-year-old Gus LeGarde, the powerful events that rocked the nation serve as a backdrop for the most challenging summer of his life.

After Gus and his best friends capsize their boat at his grandparents’ lakeside camp, they witness a drunk chasing a girl through the foggy Maine woods. She’s scared. She’s hurt. And she disappears.

The camp is thrown into turmoil as the frantic search for Sharon begins. Reports of stolen relics arise, including a church bell cast by Paul Revere. When Gus and his friends stumble on a scepter that may be part of the spoils, they become targets for the evil lurking around the lake. Will they find Sharon before the villain does? And how can Gus–armed only with a big heart, a motorboat, and a nosy beagle–survive the menacing attacks on his life?


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When Siegfried receives a puzzling invitation to visit an ailing relative in Germany on the eve of Gus and Camille’s wedding, their honeymoon plans change. Siegfried – Gus’s socially challenged brother-in-law – can’t travel alone, so they gather the gentle giant under their wings and fly to Paris.

After luscious hours in the city of lights, a twist of fate propels them into a deadly web of neo-Nazis. A bloody brawl on the Champs Élysées thrusts Siegfried and Gus into the news, where a flawed report casts Siegfried as the Nazi leader’s murderer, sealing his death warrant.

While Siegfried recovers in a Parisian hospital, Nazi terrorists stalk Gus and Camille. Hunted and left for dead in the underground Parisian Catacombs among millions of Frenchmen’s bones, they barely escape. Siegfried is moved to safety at his aunt’s in Denkendorf, where he learns a shocking family secret about Chopin’s steamy past.

The calm is soon shattered, when the threesome is plunged into a cat-and-mouse game where the stakes are lethal and the future of Europe hangs in the balance.


Read Excerpt

Firesong (coming in 2011)







Moore Mysteries (AKA Green Marble Mysteries)

Healey's Cave - Book One in the Green Marble Mystery series

Sam Moore's little brother vanished fifty years ago. No body. No answers. What Sam has is a boatload of guilt, since he failed to accompany Billy on his final, fateful bike ride.

While digging in his garden, Sam discovers a green marble with a startling secret—it whisks him back to his childhood, connecting him to Billy. Thrust back and forth through time, Sam struggles to unlock the secret of his brother’s fate.

When the FBI investigates remains found nearby, Sam learns of a serial killer with a grisly fifty-year record. Sam’s certain it’s Billy’s killer. But what’s worse, his grandson fits the profile of the murdered boys. Will the killer return to Sam’s town to claim his final kill? Can Sam untangle the truth in time to save him?


Read Excerpt