Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with ‘Verdict in the Desert’

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Enjoy Hispanic culture and a good read with “Verdict in the Desert.”

A rich alcoholic attorney defends a Mexican woman accused of murdering her white abusive husband and falls in love with the Latina interpreter in a prejudice Arizona town in 1959.

An exceptionally well written, complex and riveting novel from beginning to end, “Verdict in the Desert” reveals author Patricia Santos Marcantonio as an impressively gifted writer able to engage and consistently compel her reader’s attention from beginning to end.” Midwest Book Review

Published by Arte Público Press, in Houston, Texas, is the largest US publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors, part of the University of Houston.

Verdict in the Desert

‘What Makes a Good Scary Story’ presentation set at PNWA conference

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I will be presenting “What Makes a Good Scary Story?” at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Virtual Fall Conference, Sept. 18.

This fun and interactive workshop will provide tools so writers of horror and other scary tales can ramp up their stories. There will be discussions on what scares people psychologically and how those fears can be used in writing. Other topics include studying haunted settings and objects and why they are perfect (or not)for such stories. We will discuss the structure of frightening tales and how to use words and phrases that will add more emotion. Also, we will discuss spooky creatures from zombies to Hannibal Lector, and what makes them so fascinating and frightening. Empathized will be the use of originality to break the usual scare mold and avoid the pitfalls of bad scares. Participants will learn how to come up with creative creatures and villains, how to look outside of traditional settings to create something new, and learn a better understanding of what makes good scares so effective.

For more about this great five-day conference, check out their website at:

https://www.pnwa.org/page/ConferenceRegistation

Historical research presentation set for Willamette Conference

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I am honored to be presenting “Historical Research: Challenging, Daunting and Fun” on Sunday August 1st from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. (PT) at the Willamette Writers Online Conference 2021, July 29, 2021—August 1, 2021.

Conducting research for a book can be challenging, daunting, fun and scary or all of the above. In this interactive presentation, writers will learn how to conduct effective and efficient research, consider out-of-the-box places to research, and when they should stop researching and get to work writing. 

Willamette Writers always put on an excellent conference.

https://web.cvent.com/event/a70db577-3c3e-4e7f-85f0-c178f9000b10/summary

Enjoy excerpt from ‘Murderous Menace’– A Kindle special this month

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Enjoy this excerpt from “Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace” — an Amazon Kindle Deal for July. Get your copy for $2.99 thru 7/31.

Heiress and amateur detective Felicity Carrol makes a perilous journey to apprehend a notorious murderer who has terrorized England–and now continues his vicious killing spree across the pond.

 

Placer,
Montana

 

            Felicity and Helen stepped out of the stagecoach and the ground shook. Horses clomped dirt. Buildings tremored.

“My heavens,” exclaimed Helen who turned around and tried to get back in the coach.

“What an introduction,” said Felicity, who gently tugged on the back of Helen’s dress to stop her. “We’ve come all this way, Hellie. We can’t go back now.”

“Oh, yes, we can.”

Felicity straightened her velvet hat while their trunks were removed from the coach. At a café across from the station, a man leaned against the porch. A star glinted on his leather vest. A lawman of the West, how exciting just to see one. She noticed how he examined the face of every man in the vicinity. He was searching for someone, and from his severe gaze, she was glad it was not her.

Then the man’s focus landed on Felicity and Helen, and he ambled toward them as if he had more than time on his side.

“This is our lucky day, Helen. I wanted to meet the sheriff, and I believe here he comes.”

“I wouldn’t call that lucky,” Helen replied and pulled at her wrinkled dress. “He’s probably come to throw us out of town.”

“Don’t be so negative, Hellie.” Even if he threw them out, she’d come back, because she had a goal to achieve.

The sheriff walked straight, though perhaps a little too much so, as if he only followed a path he trusted. With his longish dark brown hair, he could have been a good-looking, young Allan Quartermain pursuing adventure in Africa rather than upholding the law in an unruly Montana town. Almost as if he had heard her thoughts, the man licked his fingers to tame a few unruly strands of hair behind his ears.

Pay attention, Felicity chided herself. You’re acting like a silly schoolgirl, not that you were ever were one. 

“Welcome to Placer,” the sheriff told Felicity. His voice sounded of an American sunset, rich and rough.

“This place is certainly a long way from New York.”

“Or anywhere.” Helen adjusted her hat. “My insides have never been so shaken around as in that contraption.” Her thumb pointed back at the stagecoach. “And what in blazes was that explosion all about then?”

            He noted his short shadow, took the watch out of a vest pocket, and smiled. “Wait one more minute, ma’am.”

            Helen mouthed “ma’am” to Felicity and they both tried not to laugh.

A whistle blew in the distance, and the whole town rattled. In the street, horses reared and whinnied. Dogs barked. Windows shook.

“Another earthquake!” Helen started to climb back into the stagecoach, and Felicity
again pulled at the back of her dress.

“No earthquake, Helen. A dynamite explosion. If I’m not mistaken, the sound originated from the west.”

            “You’re right, ma’am. It’s the noontime blasting at the mines.” The sheriff scratched his head.

From his face, Felicity could tell he was wondering how a woman knew about dynamite.

            “I suppose the blasting takes place during the day so as not to wake everyone,” she said.

            “That’s the general idea. You two sound British.”

            “Your powers of observation are keen. Are you the welcoming committee?” The corners of Felicity’s mouth quirked up with mischievousness. The sheriff replied with a smile he probably used to impress women.

“Sheriff Tom Pike at your service.” He tipped up his hat.

            “This is fortuitous. Exactly the person I wanted to meet,” Felicity said.

            “How lucky can a fella get?”

Brilliant. Another sarcastic man. Her mouth straightened with determination. “I’ve come to Placer to learn about the murder of Lily Rawlins.”

Pike lost his amiable exterior and instead became a wooden pillar.

She pointed at the star on his chest. “You are the sheriff aren’t you?”

            “Last I looked, ma’am.”

            “Enough ma’am. My name is Felicity Carrol, and this is Miss Helen Wilkins.”

            Pike shook their hands. “A pleasure. But what’s all this about Lily Rawlins? You a Pinkerton detective or something?”

            Helen laughed.

            “Heavens no. But what a delightful compliment.” Felicity’s eyes widened.

“When you came out of stagecoach, I told myself spring had arrived. Lovely and refreshing like the flowers on the mountainside,” Pike said.

“How poetic of you, Sheriff.”

“Then you opened your mouth.” Pike’s brow creased with irritation.

Even in America, I have this effect on men, Felicity thought. But she couldn’t worry about annoying this interesting fellow.

“Hundreds of people from all over the United States and other countries land in Placer to work in the mines and smelters or to seek their own golden vein in the ground. It’s my duty to find out who’s arrived in my town.”

“Not only poetic but efficient,” Felicity said.

“You two are among the most extraordinary I’ve ever seen.”

            “How kind of you. Wait, was that a compliment?” Felicity said.

“I’m not sure.”

“Now about Lily Rawlins.”

 “This is some sort of record, ma’am. You got into town a few minutes ago and have put me in a god awful mood.”

            “I suspect you woke up that way, Sheriff,” Felicity replied.

            “Why you asking about Big Lil? Her death isn’t exactly the nicest subject for a lady to discuss.” His tone turned harsh as if he hoped to scare her away.

            Felicity brushed dust from her skirt. “My dear sheriff, if you’re not a lady then how can you determine what is proper?”

 

‘Murderous Menace’ is Amazon July deal

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“Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace” is an Amazon Kindle Deal for July. Get your copy for $2.99 thru 7/31.

Heiress and amateur detective Felicity Carrol makes a perilous journey to apprehend a notorious murderer who has terrorized England–and now continues his vicious killing spree across the pond.

“This colorful, action-filled mystery presents a novel twist.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[An] entrancing sequel… “—Publishers Weekly

‘Perilous Pursuit’ is June Kindle deal

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Amazon has chosen “Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit” as a Kindle Monthly Deal priced at $1.99 until June 30. Enjoy the excerpt.

With the magnifying glass, she studied each of the bolts. Even set on a bed of red velvet, they were violent-looking things, some with barbs at the end. They showed rust and age, all except for the last bolt in the line. One end formed a square, and the tip came to a sharp point. The square appeared to match the dimensions of the hole in the hall upstairs. Dried blood streaked the body of the bolt and the velvet where it lay. Looking around to make sure no one watched, she picked up the bolt in her gloved hands for a closer examination in the sunlight coming from a large window overhead. Turning it around, there were red streaks on it, as if the killer had attempted to wipe off the blood. Although the stains were mere traces, the bolt felt hefty in her hand. It had been used to kill. Her mind hummed with questions, but she did have one answer.

She, Felicity Margaret Carrol, had found the murder weapon.

“[Felicity] is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones…Recommended to those looking for a female superhero out to right wrongs and defy convention to do so.”
Historical Novels Review

“A must read. It has it all, an intelligent heroine, a compelling plot and plenty of Victorian atmosphere to keep you entertained to the very last page.”
—Emily Brightwell, New York Times bestselling author of the Mrs. Jefferies mysterie

‘Murderous Menace’ is May Kindle deal

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Amazon has chosen “Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace” as a Kindle Monthly Deal. It will be priced at $2.99 thru May.”

This colorful, action-filled mystery presents a novel twist.”—Kirkus Reviews

Heiress and amateur detective Felicity Carrol makes a perilous journey to apprehend a notorious murderer who has terrorized England–and now continues his vicious killing spree across the pond.

Felicity Carrol would rather be doing just about anything other than attending balls or seeking a husband. What she really wants to do is continue her work using the latest forensic methods and her photographic memory to help London police bring murderers to justice, so when her friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Jackson Davies, weak from injury, discovers a murder in a wild mining town in Montana that echoes the terrible crimes in England, Felicity decides to go herself.

In Placer, Montana, her first obstacle is handsome lawman Thomas Pike, who uses his intuition as much as his Colt in keeping law and order in this unruly town. When the murderer strikes again, Felicity begins to suspect Davies is correct: Jack the Ripper has come to America. Felicity sets out to find the killer in a town chock full of secrets, shadows, and suspects, but as the body count rises, this intrepid sleuth faces her most dangerous adversary yet–and discovers that not all killers are as they seem.

Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit ebook on sale this month

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“Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit” is selected as an Amazon’s Kindle Monthly Deal for $1.99 through the month of April. 

When her mentor is brutally killed, the brilliant wealthy and eccentric Felicity Carrol investigates, but as the murders continue she finds the case could rock the kingdom, all amidst the heraldry of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebration.

“Marcantonio brings her characters to life through vivid storytelling [and] really does an excellent job of keeping her protagonist one step ahead of the reader.”
New York Journal of Books

“[Felicity] is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones.”
Historical Novels Review

Felicity Carrol eBook sale ends soon

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The eBook sale for the FELICITY CARROL mystery series ends Jan. 31.

Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit: Brilliant and eccentric heiress Felicity Carrol turns detective when her mentor is murdered but she uncovers a larger conspiracy. ($1.99)

Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace: Felicity Carrol travels to America to track down what could be England’s most infamous killer. ($2.99)

“Marcantonio brings her characters to life through vivid storytelling [and] really does an excellent job of keeping her protagonist one step ahead of the reader.”—New York Journal of Books