The gruesome discovery of a woman's corpse in the small tourist town of Point Jove, Missouri draws Sheriff Josh Wolfe, a widower who enjoys tinkering with his award winning hot rod, into the most perilous case of his career. Hounded by the townsfolk and media, Wolfe exhausts every conventional method for solving the crime. The investigation comes to a standstill. Then, four more residents disappear. Everyone is convinced Rhone County is harboring a serial kidnapper who chooses his victims by chance. Wolfe believes the people are not only related to one another but are somehow tied to the last surviving member of the county's namesake. Time is not only running out for Sheriff Wolfe but for his lover, dissatisfied wife of a homebuilder, held against her will at the Rhone family's abandoned sawmill where spilled gasoline awaits a lighted match.
Determined to protect the natural beauty of Eagle Rock Lake from homebuilders, while also protecting his lucrative meth lab and pot farm, Stan Barstow sets fire to newly built lakeview homes to scare away prospective buyers. To gain fortune and fame, he films the wanton destruction with the intention of making a docudrama to sell to Hollywood.
Kyle Barstow very much wants to relocate to Chicago, and become a part of a forensics task force as a crime scene photographer. He offers to make a recording of the burning buildings in order to hone his skills in film and digital photography. To finance the expensive move to Illinois, he becomes involved in Stan's drug business, without his knowledge or consent.
When one of the brothers is shot and killed, the other moves quickly to think up a new get-rich-quick scheme, unaware that someone knows his secrets.
ASHES OF VENGEANCE
After his brother is murdered, Kyle Barstow comes up with a new get-rich-quick scheme so he can leave Missouri forever. He starts by convincing Shelby Adair to help him extort one million dollars from her wealthy parents. The plan is simple. Make believe she's been buried alive. Send the first set of GPS coordinates and a ransom note to the Point Jove Sheriff's Department. Instead of risking capture from collecting the money, they would break into the Adair's safe that Shelby assured Kyle contained more than a million dollars. While the authorities are busy stumbling around in the dark searching for a kidnapped victim that does not exist, he and Shelby would quietly disappear.
Their plan begins to unravel when a severe thunderstorm rips through Rhone County causing major damage and confusion. The capped PVC pipe containing the final clue is swept away in rising floodwaters.
Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder. I’m not surprised.
Kidnapper’s brothers not charged with abduction of three women in Ohio. I’m not only surprised but also confused. They had to know what was going on.
Because of re-distributing my books through Draft2Digital the depressing sales rank numbers have disappeared. The slate has been wiped clean. I’m making sales.
I’m beginning to think all Smashwords and Apple care about are romance novels.
I put the three novels in my mystery series together as one book titled A HELLFIRE TRILOGY MYSTERY SET. Soon to be released for $5.99.
My work-in-progress is progressing.
I learned a new term: non-compete clauses. Apparently, if I’m ever offered a publishing contract containing this clause I need find the nearest exit and run like hell. I swear... The more I read about agents and publishers in 2013 the more grateful I am they never wanted to have anything to do with me.
After reading this article on David Gaughran’s blog, all I can say is I’m glad I am an indie author.
Publishing is a screwed up business. The often labyrinthine path to success makes it much easier for those with nefarious intentions to scam the unsuspecting. But it doesn’t help that so many organizations who claim to help writers, to respect them, to assist them along the path to publication are actually screwing them over.
Before the digital revolution made self-publishing viable on a wide scale, the dividing lines were easier to spot. Traditional publishers paid you if they wanted to buy the rights to your novel. Self-publishers were people who filled their garages with books and tried to hawk them at events. And vanity presses were the scammers, luring the unsuspecting with false promises and roundly condemned by self-publishers and traditional publishers alike.
Today it’s very different. The scammy vanity presses are owned by traditional publishers who are marketing them as the “easy” way to self-publish – when it’s nothing more than a horrifically expensive and terribly ineffective way to publish your work, guaranteed to kill your book’s chance of success stone dead, while emptying your bank account in the process.
How Can We Fight Back?
...means reaching out to inexperienced writers and trying to steer them away from these crooks. We need to get the message out that self-publishing is not the impossible task it’s painted as.
May is my first favorite month of the year (October being the second). I'm busy working on a new story, so I'm reposting this RVing adventure from the Archives:
Today's one of those lazy, hazy days where you might find yourself whistling Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou while walking barefoot in the sand. We attended an event simply called May Festival. Festivities included a sack race, three-legged race, pie-eating contest, decorated hat parade, cake walk, and beanbag toss. Music provided by a local country western band. Only thing missing was Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea. *grin* Just kiddin'.
We had a lot of fun. Until we toured the gardens there. The first thing I noticed was four dirty birdbaths; each filled to the brim with dark green water. The second thing I noticed was the mosquito on my arm. Then the one on my leg. Then the one on my other arm. Jeezelpete! They were the biggest frickin' skeeters I've ever seen. I managed to maintain a semblance of calm, cool, collectiveness until I was out of earshot of the crowd. Soon as I was, I... Never mind. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. We fast-peddled our Schwinns back to the RV hoping to outrun them.
I happened to look at the side of the road in time to see a baby tarantula emerging from under a pile of leaves. *shudder* It was the size of a quarter, shiny black legs partially covered with gray fur. And it was on the move. Tarantulas are carnivores, y'know. Our RV was directly in its path. It's bad mojo to kill creatures just for the sake of killing them. I steered around it, rushed home to shut all of the windows. I didn't just shut them I locked them, as well.
I'm sure it's still out there. Close by. Lurking in the shadow of a fallen leaf or limb. Just waiting for me to kick off my sneakers before I go walking in the sand. Will I hear his little toes scratch the canvas when he climbs inside one of my shoes? Will he just fly in on the wings of two big ol' hulkin' skeeters and bombard me with the carcasses of bugs, toads, and frogs? If I peer over my shoulder will I find him burrowing underground like the Graboid in the movie Tremors? Do I holler STAMPEDE? Send out a distress signal? Or kick back and enjoy a cocktail called The Blue Bayou, and let the spider go wherever it wants to find a new home?