Archive for January, 2013


Murder and Mayhem….. How could I not bring Marian Lanouette’s newest book in her hot Jake Carrington Mystery Series to my readers!



Check out the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP2r5W7zeTo


A botched missing person’s case.

A nervous mob boss.

Lt. Jake Carrington’s gut tells him Phil Lucci is being cagey—with good reason. Jake can see this case has been mishandled from the beginning. Sloppy police work? Or does Lucci’s hand reach as far as the WPD? It’s Jake’s job to find the answers.

Then Jake meets Kyra Russell, a woman with an unusual job—she runs the local crematory. Despite the heated attraction between them, Jake becomes more and more suspicious of Kyra. Her gambling problem has already cost her a marriage and custody of her son. More than that, she also happens to be friends with Phil Lucci. Kyra assures Jake that it’s just coincidence, but Jake’s experience and his instincts warn him not to believe in chance. Can Kyra be burning bodies for the mob? If she is, what will Jake do about it?

You can get a copy directly from the publisher….always a good deal… and pick up a copy of If I Fail, the book that started the Jake Carrington buzz.



With her head down, she sat at her machine, waiting on the supervisor to come back—to unlock the machine so she could play again. More than anything, she needed to win. A hand landed on her shoulder, startling her. Jerking away, Kyra turned to see who belonged to the hand. Crap, not the supervisor. Joe Dillion, not exactly the person I want to see right now.

“Hi, Kyra.”

“Hey, Joe.”

“How’s it going?” Her host sat down next to her.

“Not good,” she whined.

“I’m sorry to hear it. You know you have a payment due soon?”

Double crapola. “Yes, I know.”

“Why don’t you leave the machine for a while? Come have something to eat with me?”

What could he be up to, she wonder?


“Why? Kyra, let’s discuss your loan payment over dinner, explore your options.”

What options? There weren’t any. All week she racked her brain trying to find a solution to the mess. Though a quiet guy, Joe scared her. Deep inside, she understood he could destroy her. Not a person she’d want to cross.


“Kyra, please, no one’s going to touch your machine. Maybe a break will change your luck?”

“What the hell. I could eat,” Kyra hissed. Something had to change.

“How about a steak?”


They got up at the same time, bumping into each other. Joe sat back down, let Kyra get up first. He followed her as she headed to the Trenton Steak House. Joe grabbed her arm and pointed to the private elevator that went directly to the entrance to the Whale Room. She looked at him. He smiled.

“What’s up, Joe?”

“I think you need a real break Kyra, so we’ll head up.”

Curiosity got the better of her, but she figured she’d find out what he was up to in good time. Then the fear hit her. Maybe she shouldn’t leave the floor with him. She owed the casino seventy-five thousand dollars. Behind on her payments, she spent three grand tonight trying to win her next payment. Stupid—how could I be so stupid? I should’ve made a partial payment with the three grand instead of gambling tonight.. They wouldn’t beat up her up, would they? Tasting the bile as it violently pushed up from her stomach, scorching a path to her throat. Kyra couldn’t control the tears that flooded into her eyes when she started to choke.

“Are you all right, Kyra?”

“I don’t want to leave the public floor, Joe.” Kyra’s hands shook along with her entire body. Unable to control her voice as it cracked, her mind searching for an escape.

“I have a deal for you but I can’t discuss it in an open area. We’ll discuss it upstairs, over dinner.” He smiled.

Oh yeah, she thought, the farmer leading the cow to the slaughter. “What kind of deal?”

“We’ll discuss it upstairs,” he repeated firmly.

“You’re not going to break my legs or anything, are you?” she half-heartily joked.

“No such thing, Kyra. Relax.” Now’s the time too really worry, she thought. Just like the “trust me” phrase, it gave her the willies.

* * * *

Joe Dillon studied Kyra as they rode up in the elevator. To look at her, you’d never guess she’d lost control of her life. He liked her curves, her lips, and the wild, curly red hair. Shorter than he, she stood about five feet four inches—he didn’t like looking up at a woman. Too many women today were taller than he. He looked into her green, green eyes, his mind taking off in all directions. Not now, Joe. Kyra’s not worth the trouble. He knew she had a son—her divorce a by-product of gambling. The boss told him this morning she was losing custody of her son. What woman gambles to the point of losing her child? Joe thought about the deal he’d be offering her, dragging her down even further. He pushed the guilt from his mind. Not my fucking problem. Kyra did this to herself. If I ever caught Camile gambling, I’d break her legs. Joe saw what gambling did to families. Too much heartache for too little reward, he mused.

Joe thought of the deal he’d lay on the table for her—two choices—wondering which one she’d choose. Neither was pleasant. I’m only the messenger. That’s how he justified his work. Blinded by greed, these people put themselves in this position with their gambling addictions.

* * * *

She needed to remember the hosts were sharks. Their jobs were simple. They had to get you to put your money into the machines. They didn’t care where it came from, as long as you put it into the machine. Nor did they care if it destroyed your life. They got paid by their successes. Kyra guessed she was one of Joe’s successes because her life was in ruins.

“Okay.” Taking a deep breath as she stepped into the elevator, Kyra gave him a sideward glance as he pressed the button for thirty-six.

The elevator stopped and the doors glided open smoothly. Kyra had heard the rumors about this floor. Had always been curious to see it. The other gamblers in the private rooms talked about this floor, but you only got to go up here if you were invited, or if you were what they called a Whale. A Whale: a person who spent big bucks. Not thousands, but hundreds of thousands, even millions—the casinos catered to them. What they asked for, they got: wine, song, and women. The Whales mingled with the casino owners and the big-name entertainers who performed at the casinos. The owners were their hosts.

Kyra stepped off the elevator, taking in her surroundings with a keen eye. The Monet on the wall, the oriental carpets, fine bone china and lead crystal wine glasses on the tables. Big money, she thought. If she could only get a tiny bit of it, she could survive—straighten out her life.





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Author J. T. Seate currently has two new paranormal novellas with Muse It Up Publishing, https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=615&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=228&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

There is a special offer available this week – buy one, get one free.

This week’s featured tale, Connor House, follows the lives of two sisters living in the Washington DC area shortly after the Civil War. The death of one of their daughters is an unspeakable tragedy, but the loss does not necessarily mean the end, especially within Connor House.

Connor House(1)

Excerpt from Connor House:

Madeline hadn’t believed life’s prospects could be more dismal than during the war with the constant parade of soldiers and equipment going south, and a fraction of that number returning on foot or in wagons like broken dolls, with the Angel of Death along for the ride. Some were wounded, some diseased, their once shiny buttons tarnished and dirty with little left of the rebellion, only hollow victories and inconsolable regrets.

The entire Connor family had survived—until now. Madeline’s eldest had chosen to take her own life. This was not how things were supposed to be, but there was no power on earth that could rewrite history. Would that she could close her eyes and spin the world back before the war, to undo the tapestry woven fifteen years earlier, and give mankind another chance to embrace the concept of the words President Lincoln spoke during his second presidential inauguration, “With malice towards none, with charity toward all…” In this new reality, Madeline would have talked to her daughter each day and night, and yes, each morning when she awoke, to chase away any demon that might be festering within Mary’s mind.

Too late now. Oh God, too late.


The second novella is titled Something about Sara. It is a contemporary romance/thriller about paranormal love and hate. In this haunting yet intimate mystery, the protagonist relates his tale of a man trying desperately to hold onto something that could destroy his sanity, cost him his life and yes, even his soul. Passion, loss, the supernatural, murder and mayhem all form parts of the puzzle. It could be likened to a contemporary version of Robert Nathan’s 1939 bestselling novella, Portrait of Jennie. The bottom line: Something About Sara will appeal to those who like their imperfect romances mixed with the unknown.


J. T. has written everything from humor to romance to the macabre, and is especially keen on stories that transcend genre pigeonholing. “Although I enjoy writing in all genres, as well as non-fiction, it’s the romantically mysterious and the macabre that seem to influence the funny monkey in my brain the most. In addition to his novels and novellas, his short stories and memoirs appear in numerous magazines, newspapers, anthologies and webzines. His recent novels can be found at www.melange-books.com, See more on www.troyseateauthor.webs.com and on amazon.com.

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This week I am proud to introduce the Daughters of the Sea, a new novel by Julie Eberhart Painter, which will be released January 25.



Laura, descended from the Princess Kura, revisits her Tahitian heritage to seek her birth father, a              Polynesian navigator. Ian, an English journalist connected by heritage, falls in love with Laura. He’s by her side when dejá vu overtakes her and they are plunged into the past to the time of Captain Cook’s first landing on the islands, 243 years prior. Chased by the demons of her ancestor’s past, and fearing for her sanity, Laura and Ian work to find the answers to her quest.

You can now Pre-Order this release and save 20% from MuseItUp Publishing.  (This offer is available only in North America at present. If you wish to purchase this book outside of North America, please email the publisher directly.


Here is what Julie has to say about her new book….

What genre does your book fall under?

Paranormal, or more descriptively, parallel time travel romance

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The story and setting in Tahiti where most of it takes place is more Micheneresque than paranormal. James A. Michener, who wrote Tales of the South Pacific across the ravine from our house in Bucks County, PA, dealt with the history of aboriginal cultures–the first people–usually beginning from recorded time. This story is set in 1769 and 2012.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I am an adopted person, who looked for my beginnings and saw others do the same. My heroine, Laura, was raised to believe she was the usual mix that makes up Americans. When she finds she’s not, her whole world is about betrayal, despite the fact that it was not meant to hurt her, only to keep her safe.

What sparked the idea for the book?

I saw a TV program, Nomads of the Sea, about the original Tahitians whose navigators read the waves to find other lads. They were escaping overcrowding an tribal warfare in Tahiti. It occurred to me, what if an American girl discovered she was adopted an part Polynesian, she might be haunted by her ancestors. She would look for her progenitors, study their history and also want to know why her Tahitian father, the last navigator, would give her up to the American side of her family.

Who is your favorite character in this book?

I love Justin Adams, Captain Cook’s replacement cabin boy. He’s a stowaway, age 14 or 15. His devotion to his first and only love, the native girl Kura, and his quest to wrest her from the shark God Maui are admirable and poetic. His diary words run throughout the book. The contemporary lovers, Laura and Ian, and the ancient lovers’ lives are parallel, 243 years apart.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Halle Berry, with her long hair in place, would make a good twenty-five-year old Laura. A blond Hugh Jackman could play Ian. The younger couple would have to be new faces in Hollywood.

What was the easiest part to write?

The buildup of suspense in the sense with dancing; the description of the colors ad musical rhythms are haunting. It all meshes together to make for a suspenseful romance.

What was the hardest?

Not difficult, but demanding was the research to get the voice right in Justin’s 1769 diary. Also, in the first draft I had a hard time with the confrontation between Laura and her native father. I started out too respectful, and then I thought–dammit, I’d want to know, why wouldn’t she?

Did you draw from your own experience when you wrote this book?

Very much so. The adoption issue is always with me. Questions range from why did you leave me to who am I. When you know you’re adopted, you look at every face for a relative, an ethnicity, some identification with the world around you.

A place you’d traveled to, someone you know or met, your background?

All of the above. In 1978, my husband and I toured the South Pacific. The Thornbirds, by Kathleen McCullough had just come out, and we were sensitized to the poignancy of that story.

What else about your book might interest the reader?

More than the occult, I have a fascination with what the human mind can produce. There’s a great deal more to the brain than we realize. This book shows we are earthbound humans linked in mysterious ways to our spiritual and superstitious sides. Our tour guide on our first of many trips to places in Polynesia told us: “A man without superstition is a man without a soul.”

The brain is the earthly engine that navigates us. We have little control over the spiritual and the expression of time. Like Dr. Even Alexander, Proof of Heaven, I believe that science proves our spiritual nature, not disputes it.

Julie Eberhart Painter, a Pennsylvanian transplanted to Central Florida, worked with hospice for eighteen years, but finally gave it up, along with duplicate bridge, to write. Julie’s the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee, and the sequel, Medium Rare, http://www.champagnebooks.com. 

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[Here John Rosenman brings Rachel Ross, his character from The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes, to speak on her behalf.]

My name is Rachel Ross, and my life is good. I have a loving husband and a job that helps others and gives me satisfaction.

Then one day I notice a growth on my left breast. No, it isn’t cancer. I only wish it were. It is something far, far worse. A deadly, mysterious disease infinitely more horrible than cancer or leprosy. A disease so terrible that no one dares to speak its name or even mention it.

When my husband hears my diagnosis, he leaves me cold. All my friends shun me, and I am forced to wear a blood red symbol of my disease on my breast. I am the ultimate outcast, a lonely woman hungry for love that people fear and scorn. If I even try to speak to them, they will scream, throw rocks and run.

Then one day I start to change. And change. And change. What am I changing into? As the weeks pass, I think I am turning into some kind of a horrible monster. Or perhaps ultimately it will be something transcendent, beyond humanity’s wildest imagination. Either way I am terrified and miserable. Yet I cannot take the pill to end my life which the State eagerly offers me.


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Why I Wrote About Rachel’s Terrible Problem, and Why I Did It the Way I Did

 John B. Rosenman

Well, I guess there are at least three reasons:

1. The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes reflects an obsessive theme in my fiction: the theme of transformation. In this story, I take that theme or concept about as far as I can. I try to stretch readers’ minds to the breaking point and beyond. There are only a few stories I’ve written that rival this novelette when it comes to transformation, and one of them is More Stately Mansions, a cosmic, science-fiction novelette which is also published by MuseItUp Publishing.  Remember the song, “Across the Universe”? Well, I try to take us even further.

2. Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant,” which means like Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid’s Tale, I prefer to approach reality sideways, sometimes with a surreal twist.  To tell the “Truth,” I seldom have much taste for bare or fact-bound reality, feeling symbolic and fanciful storytelling is often richer and offers more possibilities.  It is also harder to define or pigeonhole.  So whether you define Blue as a Paranormal Fantasy as the publisher does or as Science-Fiction Horror, I hope it has the nightmare quality of society gone out of control into Orwellian or Neo-Nazi madness and persecution.  Think the way we’ve treated lepers, gays, blacks, and women (have you checked India lately) is bad?  Well, bring in a terrible, supremely mysterious disease, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.

3.  A third reason I wrote this tale is I really like and admire Rachel Ross and feel for her deeply.  Well, how could I not?  I created her problems.  Her husband divorces her and disappears.  Everybody shuns her and shouts insults.  She’s all alone in the world, treated a hundred times worse than if she had a virulent case of leprosy.  Yet they don’t even know what her disease IS or DOES or if she will somehow survive it.  How often do we fear and avoid out of pure ignorance those who are different from us in some way?  What will happen to Rachel Ross’s disease in the end?  What will she become?  Before she dies, could she possibly grow as a person?  Or will she be crushed by the cruel treatment of her former friends and by her unbearable loneliness?  Realistic fiction simply would not have enabled me to explore all these areas as effectively as the Paranormal/Fantasy/Science Fictional/approach I took.

I’ve written about loners before so it’s no surprise I was especially drawn to Rachel.  In the first place, she’s a woman, and women still are often second-class citizens.  Give Rachel a dreaded disease, and voila!, we have a supreme pariah who becomes an archetypal underdog.  It is Rachel against the State, pitted against impossible odds.  You can’t help but root for her all the way.

My Content Editor, Christine I. Speakman, suggested I write a sequel to this story.  If you happen to read Blue, which won 2011 Preditors & Editor’s Reader’s Poll Award in the SF/F Short Story category, please drop me a line and tell me what you think.


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It is with great pleasure that I welcome John Rosenman to Anasazi Dreams. He has a paranormal fantasy short story, The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes, that is irresistible. We’ll be hearing a bit more from him this week. We’ll find out his background, and, more importantly, how he came to write this book. But first here’s a taste of this new story.


The Blue of her Hair, the Gold of her Eyes

MuseItUp Publishing

Link: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php



Rachel’s mysterious disease causes everyone, including her husband, to fear and reject her.  Then her body starts to change in amazing ways.  What will she ultimately become, and can she survive and find a new sense of identity amid the terror of her transformation?


The next day Rachel went to the pond at noon and waited an hour. Marney didn’t show. The stares of others made her feel more alone than ever.

What would it have cost her to try to return Marney’s affections? She and Marney shared a bond uniting them against the whole world. As for Frank, though part of her hated and despised him, another part would take him back in a minute. Still another part, the largest of all, had grown away from him forever because of his betrayal and what she had endured.

She decided to visit Marney. On impulse, she entered one of the park’s gardens and picked a bunch of the white Narcissus Poeticus. Holding them, she headed for Main Street.

The address Marney had given her was forty blocks away, and since those with the disease were not permitted to use public transportation, she resigned herself to a long walk. Seeing a bus stop, she felt a surge of anger and a perverse temptation to break the law. Damn it, she was a citizen like anyone else. Didn’t she have a right to take the bus, too?

Rachel held the flowers over the emblem on her breast, intensely aware of the Government complex across the street–towering steel buildings that chewed the sky. What if State Police saw her and got suspicious? Did she really want to take such a foolish chance? If caught, she would be locked up for good.

No police appeared, though, and within minutes, a bus marked MAIN STREET arrived.

She waited until several people got on before getting in line. At the last moment, realizing the risk she was taking, she tried to pull back, only to have people force her onward so hard she was unable to drop money in the collection box. Continuing forward, she decided to stand, holding a pole with one hand, the Narcissi over the necklace with the other.

People continued to get on, and the bus became packed.

They were all around her now—smug, complacent, and indifferent to her suffering. Remembering all she had been through, Rachel knew the passengers would view her only with horrified disgust.

Looking at them, she felt a wave of rage and power flow through her, starting at her feet and rising until her whole body thrummed and resonated like nothing she had ever felt before. It was, in fact, like being reborn, and the quiet, submissive woman she had been all her life was passing away even as she stood there.

The bus started moving. Rachel drew a long, slow breath and lowered the flowers.

An old woman saw it first. Rachel saw her eyes bulge and her complexion turn the color of spoiled cheese. A shriveled hand trembled, pointing at her.


A hundred eyes swung to the woman. Next, they darted to Rachel. For a long, long moment they all stared at her.

Then came pandemonium.

Screams. Curses. Faces livid and distorted by fear. Rachel smiled, thrumming with power as people pushed and trampled each other and the bus driver braked frantically. As the vehicle slowed, hysterical passengers drove themselves against the front and back doors. They smashed them open, and their bodies spilled into the street. Laughing, Rachel turned to a black teenager with a boom box who looked like he was trying to climb the wall. “Hey, Dude,” she said, holding out her hand, “ya wanna touch me?”

Amid the melee, Rachel saw the driver rubberneck his head around and rise open-mouthed from his seat.

Clutching her flowers, she started toward him. While the bus was still half-filled, her progress was aided by everyone scrambling to get out of her way. One man smashed a window with his elbow and started to climb out.

Rachel reached the driver and raised her pendant so he could see it.

“Take me to 131st Street, Bud,” she said, “or I’ll drive this heap there myself.”

Five minutes later, the trembling driver stopped the bus. Rachel looked at the few passengers left huddled in back and started to get off. Smiling, she turned back.

“I’m sorry, it was so crowded when I boarded, I couldn’t pay. How much do I owe you?”

Glassy-eyed, the driver wet his lips. “G…Get off.”

“I insist.”

“N…N…Ninety cents.”

She rummaged in her purse, finding no coins. Shrugging, she extracted a dollar bill and dropped it in the box. Raising her hand, she blew the man a kiss.

“Keep the change,” she said. “The ride was worth it.”

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Since I’ve moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I’ve pondered changing the title of this blog. There is indeed a river in the city but it’s mostly dry. Trying to find a body of water to sit and contemplate by is a tricky task here.

Water is very precious in the high desert and even here in the more forested mountains. I’m thinking of some kind of catchment system for my new garden. It’s mainly sand here, as you can see by my yard.

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But I have plans for the garden in the spring.

My little casita has been a great haven for me. I’m hoping to really get into Ruins Legacy this month and hope to knock it out by February. I’ve got fans chomping at the bit for the last book in that series. Who knows, there might be a spinoff novel from that one. I don’t know yet.

So, I’m wondering whether I should change the name of this blog. I’d consider some feedback. (The photo at the top of the blog is of the Red River in North Dakota. Perhaps I need to change the title and the photo…. A project.)

So, what I’m proposing is a little contest. I’ll send a reader a copy of any of my books for the best new title for this blog. I’ll make the final decision Jan 31, 2013.

In the meantime, check out my books at https://museituppublishing.com/index.php  Just look for my name in the Author drop down menu on the left.  You can also read all about them at: http://janiefranz.fourfour.com/page:books.

Verses, the first book in The Lost Song Trilogy and book five in the Bowdancer Saga, is out at MuseItUp. Refrain, the second book in the trilogy will be out in April.


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