Friday, October 31, 2014

Who's That Knocking?

copyright, 2014, Aaron Paul Lazar

Hello, MB4 fans and friends!

For Halloween, I thought I'd dig into the bowels of my articles to find something suitably spooktacular. ;o) (Can you say "reprint?" LOL.)

I thought I'd dust this piece off and share it with you today. Let me know if it gives you a chuckle or a thrill.

Who's That Knocking?

Living in an antique home has its problems, especially when you're not a handyman. My father taught me all sorts of wonderful things when he was alive, including an unbridled passion for the arts, gardening, nature, gourmet cooking, and the love of a good mystery. He didn't know much about mechanics, plumbing, electric, or woodworking. Though I've tried to learn over the years with self-help books and advice from friends, I remain singularly unhandy, perpetually bowing with an unholy need to the whims of the local plumber and electrician.

Take, for example, the twenty-six windows that are crumbling as we speak. The six-by-nine inch panes are coming loose from their wooden mullions with alarming frequency. Or the floorboards in the bedroom, a lovely old yellow pine, that poke up like teepees when it's hot and muggy. Yeah, they need to be treated with some kind of poly something-or-other, but for now, the moisture makes them swell. Consider the two wells that sometimes work in concert - except for the hundred times a year I have to run down to the cobwebbed cellar and reset the breakers or tap on the pump to make it work. The disadvantages are many.

But there are also great benefits, such as the three working fireplaces. Or the soil that surrounds the property, rich and black, untouched by bulldozers. It's not like the hard packed fill they put in the new housing tracts. I don't need to "amend" this soil. I just need to keep up with the produce and flowers.

Most intriguing of all, however, is the rich history.

Our house was built in 1811 by Dr. David Hunt. We just celebrated our 200th anniversary!

Okay, so compared to the homes in Europe, it's just an infant. But in terms of our country and its young age, it's amazing. Think about it. This house was built and lived in more than fifty years before the civil war!

Imagine the births, deaths, dramas, romances, and heartaches that occurred within these rooms. Did the inhabitants suffer from small pox? Starvation? Were they affluent? How many horses or cows did they own? And... how many ghosts linger in these plaster and lathe walls?

Let's examine the past 100 years. According to an elderly neighbor, over seven people have died on Hunts Corners. Traffic accidents. Maybe even horse and buggy accidents. Auto drivers not stopping for the all-way stop signs, or sliding on ice, or drunk drivers plowing right into the telephone pole. Sad to think about. Makes you wonder about their spirits. Did they ascend to Heaven? Or do a few guilty souls remain in the area, confused and wandering, seeking the path to redemption?

Recently, I began to ponder another death disclosed to me by a young neighbor friend. We began to correspond after he read a few of my books. He's a bright and entertaining young fellow who happens to be a voracious reader. We clicked. And we chat back and forth about books and life and sometimes... about the history of our area.

It seems Hunts Corners has a mystery all its own, stemming from the early 1900s. As the story goes, my young neighbor's great grandmother noticed something odd one day. While going about her daily duties, Mabel realized she hadn't seen the young girl who lived next door in a long time. Anna no longer attended school, and very rarely made an appearance outside the home. When she did, Mabel noticed a thickening in her middle, well-wrapped by heavy garments. She suspected the girl was with child. In that era, a pregnancy out of wedlock was unthinkable. Shameful. A sin. The family would endure public humiliation if news got out. So Anna was sequestered for nine long months as Mabel watched the child grow in her belly.

When the time came for the baby to be born, there was no activity in the house. No child was seen. No doctor arrived. All was quiet.

Speculation grew. Was the child stillborn? Or worse, was she murdered by a family cloaked in shame? Rumors were that the little baby was buried behind Anna's house.

Since then, there have been reports of children pointing behind the house, exclaiming about the "little girl in the weeds." The adults couldn't see her.

But I think I might have, last winter.

I rose early to photograph our Christmas lights. They were unusually festive last year, better than all past years. We'd added a few lighted deer for fun, and I was bound and determined to capture the beauty in the blackest of night. It was a clear, chill morning. Five A.M. Not a breeze stirred. Most households were fast asleep. Few cars passed by.

I brought my trusty Canon Powershot outdoors and took dozens of photos. Later, when I viewed them on my PC, I saw the ghost. There she was - looking straight at me with wide open eyes. Filmy, transparent, but with a clear face and body. Only two shots revealed her, although I took dozens that morning.

The photos are untouched, straight from the camera card. And yes, I know there's probably a scientific explanation. Maybe the light from the flash illuminated ice crystals in the air, causing a momentary illusion. But I'd like to ignore that for now and just consider it a visit from my friendly little ghost.

Last night I woke to a tapping sound. Usually it's Max, on his chair, scratching an itch and thumping up against the armrest. I rose to check, but he lay still, mouth open, breathing evenly.
Could it be my grandson knocking on the door? I looked. No one was there. All was quiet, no little boys or cats were hoping to gain entrance.

I went back to bed. The tapping resumed. Looking out the window, I noticed headlights flashing by, briefly illuminating the darkness. Was that a flash of white? A face? Or simply the reflection on wet streets?

The tapping resumed. Outside my window. On the second floor.

Was our little ghost back?

I probably should have waved to her. But I pulled down the shade and buried myself beneath the comforter. ;o)

Aaron Lazar

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

El Vengador, by Stephane Osborn

-->Hello, fans and friends of Murderby4!

Prolific writer Stephanie Osborn, who we've proudly featured here on MB4 in the past, has graciously offered us an excerpt of her new novella, El Vengador! Perfect for Halloween and just a taste to get you in a spooky mood. Check it out on Amazon!

Aaron Lazar

An Excerpt from El Vengador

by Stephanie Osborn

Deputy Sheriff Michael Kirtchner gets an "unknown disturbance" dispatch call to a remote house trailer in the swamp. There, he discovers an old woman and a dog, terrorized by a mysterious beast, which he takes to be a bear. But when he contacts Game Warden Jeff Stuart to come trap the animal, Stuart tells him to get out if he values his life - this is no ordinary animal. Is Kirtchner up against a Swamp Ape  a Florida version of Bigfoot - or something more...sinister?

Based on a true story.


“Ma’am?” he ventured. “Ma’am, could you please put down the shotgun?”
“What? Oh ― oh, yeah. Ah’m wavin’ it ever’where, ain’t Ah? Ah’m so sorry. Ah know better. Ah…it scared me, ya see, and Ah didn’…”
She put the shotgun aside, just inside the doorway. It was then that Kirtchner noticed she was weeping.
“Ma’am… are you okay?”
“NO! Ah’m not okay! Ah’m scared out of muh mind, officer! Why do ya think Ah called ya?” she exclaimed in a thick rural accent.
“Why are you crying?”
“’Cause Ah’m just so glad you came! Somethin’ attacked mah house, an’ Ah thought Ah was gonna die!”
“What was it?”
“Ah dunno. But it was big, an’ it was fast. An’ it stunk t’ high heaven!” Her voice, already pitched high from stress, cracked and became whiny halfway through this speech, and upon its completion, she began trembling. Kirtchner came to her, sat her on the steps, and worked on getting her calmed down.
“Shh, it’s okay. I’m here now. I’ve got my gun,” he patted his holster, “and you’re safe. What’s your name?”
“Elsie Moore,” she sniffled, glancing about in apprehension, studying the foliage past his squad car in considerable trepidation. “Uh, Missuz. Ah’m a widder-woman.”
“Do you prefer Mrs. Moore, or Miss Elsie?”
“Ah dunno as it matters. Don’t nobody ever come out here nohow.” She shrugged. “Call me Elsie, Ah reckon.”
“Fine, Elsie. So, someone attacked your mobile home?”
“NO! Weren’t no some one! It were a something!” she blurted.
“Shh. It’s okay. How long ago was this?”
She glanced at a battered old men’s wristwatch, then muttered, “’Bout an hour, hour-fifteen, afore you showed up, Ah reckon. Ah called right aft’r Ah shot at th’ thang. It musta run off inta th’ woods.”
“And what happened?”
“Ah be damned ‘f Ah know,” Elsie answered, running the last three words together. “There’ uz this turr’ble smell, wild animal smell ya know, like a skunk, onliest it ‘uz worse’n any skunk Ah ever heared tell of. Ah got plumb nauseous, an’ lost mah dinner inna trash can. Then there ‘uz a horrible ruckus right a’most up unner me ― unner th’ trailer, that is. Metal skreechin’ an’ bendin’ an’ somethin’ roarin’ an’ howlin’ fit to kill. Ah looked out th’ nearest winner, an’ there ‘uz a big ol’… thing… clawin’ at th’ back.”
“A thing? What did it look like?” Kirtchner wondered.
“Ah couldn’ tell ya,” Elsie tried to explain, “on ‘counta it ‘uz half up unner th’ trailer. Ah could only see its hind end.”
“…Which looked like?” Kirtchner prodded.
“Like a big ol’ furry butt,” Elsie retorted. “Long shaggy brown, or maybe black, fur, with some green.”
“Green?” Kirtchner straightened up, raising an eyebrow.
“Green,” Elsie reiterated, a hint of defiance in her tone now. “Like… you ever read ‘bout them jungle critters, them whadda they call ‘em… sloths?”
“Oh. Yeah, I think so.”
“Ah caught part of a show on th’ tee-vee,” she said. “Th’ sat’lite dish ain’t worth much, an’ Ah didn’ see all of it. But they showed ‘em, an’ th’ fur ‘uz kinda green, an’ ‘ey said it ‘uz ‘cause moss an’ algae an’ shit grew in it.” She nodded sagely. “It ‘uz like ‘at.”
“Oookay,” Kirtchner remarked, pulling out his tablet and swiping across its pad, taking notes. “Do you think you’re settled enough now to show me where it was?”
Mrs. Moore drew a deep breath, then popped to her feet as if launched. She reached inside the door of the trailer and retrieved her shotgun. It was a Winchester model 1897, he noted absently; a 16-gauge, to judge by the barrel length, and anything but new. It looked to need cleaning, too. He restrained a frisson of anxiety with an effort.
“Yeah,” she averred, “but we ain’t goin’ nowheres until you git yer shotgun, too. Ah knows as yew po-lice types carry ‘em, so yew jus’ go gitchers right now.”
“You don’t need that. And I have my pistol.” Kirtchner was less than thrilled with this development. If she gets antsy and shoots that thing, no telling what will happen, he thought. It doesn’t look like it’s been maintained in a couple of decades. I wonder when this husband of hers kicked it.
“’At little pop-gun? Agin the beast what attacked mah trailer?” She gestured at his holster. “Ah don’ think so.”
“It’s a forty-five,” Kirtchner pointed out. “It’ll handle the situation. Please put down your weapon.”
“Ah ain’t puttin’ it down, mister. Yew ain’t seen ‘at monster. Ah did. Now, yew git y’r shotgun, or Ah ain’t a-goin’ nowheres ‘ceptin’ inta th’ house, an’ lockin’ th’ door behind me. Yew kin take yer chances.” Elsie tilted her head up, setting her jaw, determined to stare him down.
So to placate the woman, he got his Mossberg, set up for 12 gauge, out of the cruiser. He made sure the magazine was fully loaded with magnum shells, and followed Elsie around to the back of her trailer.
* * *

The scene that greeted him when they got in the back yard looked like somebody had attacked the rear of her trailer using some kind of giant, multi-pronged steel fork. The heavy gauge aluminum siding was torn to hell and back, and it was peeled away in several places starting from the bottom of the trailer and curling up its side. There were great long gouges, some longer than 2 feet in length, which looked like nothing so much as giant claw marks torn into the aluminum siding of the trailer. Even the insulation had been pulled out in places. Some of the gouges had what was obviously fresh blood smeared along the edges.

-Stephanie Osborn

About the author: 
Few can claim the varied background of Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is "fluent" in several more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can Social Media Really Help to Promote your Book?

Three Questions That Can Change Your Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media

Beth Jusino
 I'm delighted to welcome Beth Jusino to MB4. Beth is the book marketing guru over at The Editorial Department. Her new book, The Author’s Guide to Marketing: Make a Plan That Attracts More Readers and Sells More Books (You May Even Enjoy It), is a must read for any author trying to promote a book in today's changing environment. Today she talks about Social Media and the writer. Can it really help to promote your book?


“I signed up for Twitter because everyone says I have to do it to market my book. But I hate it.”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. As a marketing consultant, I spend more time talking with writers about social media than any other channel. Too often, Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest has become nothing but a black hole of dread that seems to suck time away from their writing, without giving anything back.
It doesn’t have to be that way.

Social media works only when it’s social—when there’s a comfortable give-and-take between real people. Think of it like a very big cocktail party—if you hover silently in a corner and don’t talk to anyone, you probably won’t get much out of the experience. It’s a waste of time. And if you stand in the doorway and accost every person who passes you with a sales pitch, you’ll do more harm for your cause than good.
But if you walk into the room with a smile and the attitude that people here are worth engaging with, and if you’re prepared with a few conversation topics to break the ice, you might make a new friend or two. You might even enjoy yourself.

Changing your perspective on social media starts with asking three questions:

1.      Who do I WANT to meet?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the depth of the social media pools. There are millions of people here, usually talking about every conceivable silliness. So let go of the idea that you will talk to everyone—and get proactive about finding people who share your interests and passions.

That means your existing readers, of course, but also those people who should read your books.

Don’t wait for those people to find you; go looking for them. Start by identifying three or four general interests that you might share with your audience. For instance, if you write thrillers about a former rodeo cowboy who now solves crimes in Montana, search for people who are already talking about reading* thrillers, OR about rodeos, OR about Wyoming. These are your people. Follow them. Comment on what they share. Be friendly. (But don’t be pushy. Don’t try to sell anything to a stranger.)

* Look for readers rather than writers. I see a lot of authors who use social media to follow and chat with other authors—their coworkers, essentially—instead of their readers and fans.

2.      What can I offer?

No one remembers the wallflower at the cocktail party. For Twitter or Vine or whatever to work as a platform-building tool, you need to say something that others want to hear. Don’t approach social media asking “how can I sell more books?” Ask:
What can I do to help my audience right now?

Think about the way you engage acquaintances and readers in real life, and spin that into your online persona. What do people respond to? (Follow the links for Twitter examples)

·         Information. If your brand is based on knowledge (you’re an expert of some kind), share tips, facts, and links to relevant articles on your blog.

·         Humor. If there’s humor in your writing, bring it to your social presence. If we’ve learned anything from all of those cat videos on YouTube, it’s that people love to laugh.

·         Encouragement. Break through the noise of social media with a quote, a verse, a thought, or a wish that will brighten someone’s day.

·         Links. Become a curator of relevant, interesting content. If you write historical fiction, share photos and stories about the era. If your work has an environmental angle, link to the latest research. If you write romance, share happily-ever-after stories (or pictures of hot men, connecting both humor and links). 

·         News about yourself. Providing value also means sharing what’s happening with your books and your writing. Share links to interviews on other sites, sales, major milestones (did you finish a manuscript, or even a chapter?). This isn’t a channel for hard sales pitches or “buy my book” messages.

And remind yourself to engage. Social media isn’t a one-way communication channel. It won’t work if you broadcast what you have to say and then disappear. Treat social media as a conversation, and the people who are there as individuals who are worth your time and energy. Ask questions, and engage when people answer you. Follow and comment (or share, or like) what other people are posting. This is the chance for you to listen to your readers, and learn more about them—which in turn can help you write better books for them.

3.      What do I want to get?

There’s a lot more to Instagram or Tumblr than people selling books. Venture out and look around; social media might meet some of your needs, too.  

Whether it’s sustainable gardening or spiritual development, encouragement as a parent or research about the Tudors, it’s there. If you’re researching Yosemite National Park for your Work in Progress (or for the next family vacation), you can find people who are curating information about the park. Or if you need to know what the traffic is like at midnight in a particular Seattle neighborhood, there’s someone online who can tell you.

Piece by piece, social media will start to feel less like a chore and more like an extension of a conversation with people you know and care about—your readers.


About Beth Jusino:

Beth Jusino talks more about social media and all kinds of author marketing techniques in her new book The Author’s Guide to Marketing: Make a Plan That Attracts More Readers and Sells More Books (You May Even Enjoy It). A former literary agent, Beth is now a freelance consultant and the Director of Book and Author Marketing for The Editorial Department, guiding traditionally- and self-publishing authors through the modern maze of opportunities. She teaches a Guide to Getting Published class every quarter in Seattle. Visit her at or on Twitter @bethjusino

About Dora Machado
Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She is one only a few Hispanic women writing fantasy in the United States today. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories.

When she is not writing fiction, Dora also writes features for the award-winning blog Murder By Four and Savvy Authors, where writers help writers. She lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, visit her at , email her at, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.




Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Place at the Table, by Polly Iyer

Hello, MB4 fans and friends,

Polly Iyer published this piece over on the Blood-Red Pencil blog a little while ago, and she's graciously allowed us to repost it here for Murderby4 readers. I'm proud to have my cover for Betrayal: A Tall Pines Mystery, included in the collage, below!

Polly tackles some tough subjects that are in the forefront of many writers' minds. Please comment below and weigh in on the issues.

Aaron Lazar

There has been a lot of talk on one of my writers’ loops about the disrespect given to self-published and small-press authors. Are they good enough to be included in one of the big writers’ organizations? That organization just sent out a questionnaire to its members to ask for their opinions. I gave up my membership in that group a while back because, as a self-published author, they didn’t support me, so why should I support them with my hard-earned money?

If self-published authors are to be included in these organizations as “active” members, then by what criteria? Should we be accepted on the basis of how much money we’ve earned? And if that doesn’t guarantee acceptance, what does? How about the quality or quantity of our work? Who is to judge which writers are acceptable and which are not? What about rankings or reviews on sales outlets? Should that be a method of evaluation? By what calculus should we be judged?

I have two friends, one self-published and one published by a small press, who were bluntly rejected to guest on a writers’ blog because my friends weren’t “traditionally” published, which by the bloggers’ standards meant published by a major publisher. Both friends are avid readers, supporters, and blogging hosts, and both were embarrassed and hurt by the put-down. I understand bloggers want to draw in readers by hosting big name authors, but we all know the big guys. We want to learn about good writers we haven’t heard about. Not too long ago the same writers making these judgments were searching for publication acceptance themselves.

That’s not the only example of the caste system snobbery within the writing community. Self-published authors want an even playing field. A seat at the table, so to speak. The possibility of representation on the panels of major conferences. How that’s decided is up to the organizations who host these conferences, but how long can they pretend that so many good self-published and small-press authors don’t exist?

I recently attended a conference where I was barred to be on a panel. I witnessed first-time authors participate while I, who at the time had six well-received and highly ranked books, could not. I knew this before I went, so I accepted it.

But it’s wrong.

The insult is that “traditionally published” authors aren’t held to the same standards we are. I understand that bestselling authors bring more money to the publishers’ coffers. They’ve worked hard and earned their places. Many self-pubbed authors are also writing terrific books and making tons of money. They’ve been great advocates for the rest of us. We appreciate them and hope more of us join their ranks. But when will we have a seat on a panel at a big writers’ convention? When will we be considered “real” authors?

If I wrote the same books for a big publisher, would my books be any better? Some would argue that they would. They’d say I’d have first rate editing and outstanding covers. I admit that at the beginning of my writing career, I made mistakes, but I and others learned quickly what we needed to do. We hired editors and cover designers. Even books edited and published by The Big Five have glaring mistakes and typos. I’ve seen them, and so have you. As for covers, the books represented in the collage on this page are all self-published books. I think they look pretty darn good.

A friend went to a romance conference this past weekend in Atlanta, Moonlight and Magnolias, and told me that three of the eight category winners were self-published. Romance seems to be ahead of the curve. Three cheers to RWA. I may even renew my membership.

Are there some bad indie books? Yes, but we’re working harder and getting better collectively all the time. In all fairness, there are some less than great books in the traditionally published market too. I forecast that a self-published author will win a prestigious award in the near future, and more will follow. There have already been a few indie writers nominated. I hope I’m there to cheer their win.

Stay tuned.

Polly Iyer is the author of six novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and two books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games and Goddess of the Moon. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitte

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Questions for Jerry Hatchett

Best Selling Thriller Author
Dora Machado

Jerry Hatchett writes unputdownable thrillers. The bestselling author of Seven Unholy Days and The Pawnbroker, Jerry is one of only a handful of self-published authors who has managed to ride the publishing revolution's wave and stake a solid competitive claim in the thriller market. Some of his books have over four hundred Amazon reviews!

Jerry's mind is a lot like his characters, an eclectic product that combines southern charm with American grit, everyday man with high tech smarts.  In "real life," Jerry is also the inventor and patent holder of the 1990's phenomenon “EasyBraid,” a licensed private pilot, a self-described “gadget freak,” an “IPO chaser,” and a digital forensic specialist. With all of that background condensed and poured into his novels, it's no wonder his thrillers have claimed the readers' attention.

Welcome to MB4, Jerry. It's a pleasure to have you here today. Word is you've got a new thriller coming out, Unallocated Space. What is it all about?

It’s about a guy named Sam Flatt stumbling into a situation he couldn’t have imagined. He’s a digital forensic expert, a digital detective brought into to find out who’s electronically stealing money from SPACE, which is the biggest, glitziest, and most futuristic casino in history. Flatt is a man with a dark past he thought he had left behind, but this case may just drag him back into that darkness.

What do you think readers will like best about Unallocated Space?

If I’ve done my job, they’ll love everything about it!

What do you hope readers will say when they read the last line?

“I love this guy, Sam Flatt!”

What did this latest release teach you about writing, reading and yourself?

As with every book I write, it taught me that writing is a wonderful and difficult process that always presents lots of room for improvement. Reading continues to inspire me as a writer. Nothing excites me more than discovering a new author I love, and the publishing revolution has yielded several of those for me over the past couple years. I still have a lot of traditionally published authors I love, but now I’m also discovering indie authors who are loaded with talent and able to bring splendid entertainment to the market that’s free of the previous constraints. About myself? Hmmm. I continue to be reminded that I always underestimate how long writing a book will take! I think the main personal lesson I take away from the process, though, is that I’m very blessed to be able to tell stories that entertain people by allowing them to meet new people and visit new worlds that I get to create.

Jerry Hatchett grew up in the creatively fertile Mississippi Delta. His stories often draw from his eclectic background, providing a foundation for intriguing tales populated with everyday people who often find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. His business experience runs the gamut from pawnbroker to inventor to technologist to specialized expert in digital forensics.

Hatchett lists John Grisham, James Rollins, Nelson DeMille, and Ken Follett as major influences on his writing. “I want to entertain people by creating new worlds and people for them to love and hate, and I always try to write a story that you just can't put down, ” he says.
A lifelong fan of Ole Miss and SEC football, he awaits each fall with zeal. He’s also a movie fanatic, an avid reader, and with uncharacteristic immodesty claims to cook the world’s best ribeyes. He currently resides in The Woodlands, TX, a suburb of Houston.


PAWNBROKER    Would you give killers what they want to get them to leave you and your family alone? Gray Bolton might, if he knew what "it" was. Life as a Mississippi pawnbroker is good, with a beautiful family and a bright future. Then he kills an armed robber and trouble cascades upon Bolton from everywhere. They all appear to be after the same thing and they will all do anything to get it. Unfortunately, Bolton has no idea what that thing is; but its discovery will test him in ways he couldn't have imagined, and the stakes are simple: Everything.


SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS     Technology and insanity combine to create a very bad week for the United States and the world. In this unputdownable thriller from breakout author Jerry Hatchett, tech celebrity Matt Decker is on top of the world until his flagship creation, the system that runs the U.S. power grid, suffers a crippling cyber attack. Chaos follows as a ruthless maniac sets out to create his own version of Revelation's battle of Armageddon. And he's making it personal as he blames Decker for the escalating disasters that stretch from New York to Israel to the "sulfurous scarps of hell."  Seven Unholy Days, should come with a warning:  Don't start this one unless you're ready to be sucked into a story that never lets go!


Seven Unholy Days:  Kindle     Paperback     Audiobook
Pawnbroker:  Kindle     Paperback     Audiobook


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She is one only a few Hispanic women writing fantasy in the United States today. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories.

When she is not writing fiction, Dora also writes features for the award-winning blog Murder By Four and Savvy Authors, where writers help writers. She lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

 To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, visit her at , email her at, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.