Tag Archive: mystery


Gifting E-books…


This entry may seem to be a repeat but every year I get asked about how to gift e-books to someone. So here you all are and I hope everyone takes advantage since giving someone a tale they will love can be priceless sometimes…

Okay gang, the big day is drawing near and you still want to get a few more gifts but don’t know what to buy, or don’t want to go out into the stores which have already pulled down half of their displays and are lining up Spring stuff. What to do, what to do… how about giving someone a good book to read on their Kindle? It’s fast, easy, and you can have it delivered on Christmas Day and know it will arrive on time…


Didn’t know you could do this? Neither did I for the longest time. I only found out a couple of years ago when we released “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. I found myself rewarding some of our beta-readers with a free copy of the finished product in whatever form they wished (trade paperback, Kindle, PDF).  Most requested a signed trade paperback, but a couple asked for the Kindle version.

So I headed over to Amazon, got into my account, and pulled up “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  Once there I quickly found the “Give As A Gift” button and clicked it.  From there I was taken to another screen which asked me to sign into my Amazon account, which I did.  From there I was taken to a final screen

This screen asked only for the e-mail address of the recipient I was sending this book to AND what day I wanted it delivered.  It was the option of a delivery date that really caught my eye.  Now some of you might be thinking, “Duh, you never noticed this before?”  And the answer is “Obviously, I didn’t.  I rarely gave e-books as gifts to anyone before, even though I’m one of the authors.  Most of my readers buy the books for themselves and hardly anyone in my family owns a Nook or Kindle.”  So yes, this was  new to me and very exciting.

So now I have this huge new avenue for last minute holiday shopping before me, which I thought it important to share these options with all of you. Some of you may have known about all this, but for those (like me) who didn’t you now have more options when it comes to shopping for gifts.  I personally love the idea of having a book to place in someone’s ‘Cyber Stocking’.

So for anyone who didn’t know about this option, now you do.  And the best part is you can do that kind of shopping right now.  The e-book will not arrive before the date you set.

Of course, being an author I’m going to shamelessly promote our books by providing links below so you can visit our author pages on Amazon, where all our books are listed and you can choose whichever one(s) you’d like to gift to the readers in your life.

Here are the links for our Para-Earth Series:

US KINDLE USERS:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KT9C559?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

UK KINDLE USERS:

CANADA KINDLE USERS:

And for fans of Helen’s new “Forever Detective Series” which blends noir mystery and the supernatural here are the links to those books:

Thanks for tuning in and don’t be afraid to leave suggestions or ideas about gifting books that I overlooked in this post, in the comments section below.  Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Just in time for the Christmas season, a good old fashion ghost story is the theme of the Helen’s second solo book…

The year is 1947 and private investigator Rafael Jones has already learned the hard way that the supernatural is all too real. Having been turned into a vampire, albeit one who has no problems with holy objects, he’s trying to continue working as a detective. While back on the continent his Interpol love, Clara Thomas, is using her considerable “occult” contacts to find a way to help him.

In the meantime he has a new case to deal with. A friend has asked him to prove a mansion he’s inherited is NOT haunted. Unfortunately, it is and the ghost has reached out to Rafael for help and justice.

Can our hero find answers to a 20 year old cold case no one knew about? Can he find the Prohibition gangster who murdered the young flapper? And can our boy survive the fact that he’s not the only one who knows about supernatural beings and how to deal with them?

Find out in “Forever Haunted” available December 1st in Trade Paperback and Kindle:

 

 

*LINKS for Trade Paperback, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords coming soon*

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

Away With the Fairies

This is one of the Phryne Fisher novels, a mystery set in Australia. These deal not only with solving crimes– in this case, looking into the suspicious death of an eccentric writer of fairy stories– but also the social structures of the times they are set in. It’s 1928, and the aftermath of the Great War is still felt in everything from the growth of women’s career options to international politics. For Miss Fisher, the international politics has turned her personal life on end, because her Chinese boyfriend is in danger just trying to handle his family’s import business while China is in crisis. As for the mystery, most of the suspects living as neighbors to the deceased were also her co-workers through a women’s magazine. And what a women’s magazine it is! While there are columns on child-raising and fashion, the magazine is full of how-to information on building your own radio and fixing your car, as well as health and gardening advice.

The editor is a feminist and sees her magazine as a means of changing the world, by making it so that people see achievement as not merely for extraordinary women, but every woman. I found this an important take because in the history of feminism, there was a split after winning the vote between women who wanted to focus on opening opportunities for extraordinary women (what I think led to the idea of “white feminism” being about leadership and opportunity for women of the privileged classes) and women who wanted to focus on helping the most vulnerable women (immigrants, working class, etc.). By making a magazine that intended to lift up women regardless of background, giving them skills that would save money and show them as competent and capable, the editor was, in essence, trying for a middle ground that would move all women forward.

Phryne is sympathetic and joins in with the magazine, filling in for their fashion writer who is away. While Miss Fisher is wealthy now, her background was quite different and she has a refreshingly practical approach to get maximum wear and versatility with minimal outlay, with a bonus column on remaking vintage clothing into couture to get a special occasion look at thrift store pricing. While her work on the articles is mostly a way to gain access to the suspects and a minor part of a plot involving assassination attempts, pirates, and the search for a motive, it tells us about Phryne’s character– how she can turn a chance encounter with a friend into an opportunity to create a win-win scenario; how a cover ‘job’ is attended to with the diligence appropriate for someone seeking a career; and how her respect for Dot gives her even more insight into the needs of the everywoman than her own life experience can.

True to the concept expressed in the magazine, the writer uses the novel to give us not merely the extraordinary Miss Fisher, Bunty, and other seekers of adventure, but the quiet strength and leadership of the magazine editor and the matriarch of the Lin family, the single-mindedness of a passionate photographer who will spend hours to get the perfect shot and work for plates, and the wholesome determination of Dot, or a widowed mother, or prodigal niece who combine their labor with principle. There is something to admire in most of the women, and while there are a few who are more notable for folly in the end, there is hope (except in the case of the deceased) that they will learn from their mistakes and come out better and happier for it.

This is the first I have read of the Miss Fisher books, although I’ve enjoyed the TV series. As usual, books give so much more wealth of detail and the opportunity for greater depth. Kerry Greenwood takes the time to delve into history and social themes, grounding them in reality (piracy is organized crime, not merry mischief) and weaving them together from separate plot strands, as when she links post-trauma reaction to mutilation and betrayal in different circumstances. While the novels can be enjoyed on a superficial level of escape into a distant time with a flamboyant heroine pursuing justice, I think most readers will find satisfaction in the sense that they have learned a little, thought a little, and been given an opportunity to see ways to live well.


Cover Three Bags Full

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

     Mystery stories have to work hard to set themselves apart from the crowd. Some do it with an underlying nonfiction theme, such as mystery novels/recipe books. Special settings can be useful. Most of all, characters are a way to be distinctive and memorable. There’s an entire bookshelf in our house of mysteries with animal detectives.

Cats make up the majority of animal detectives, able to roam freely and unobtrusively. Three Bags Full takes a different, and possibly unique path. As the name suggests, the mystery is being worked on by… sheep.


It begins with the discovery of the death of their shepherd. Even they can tell it is not natural causes, because he has had a spade stuck in his body. Whether it is the cause of death or not, it is a definite sign of violence and took place in their pasture, at night, while they were in a barn. They are disturbed; it is very like and yet unlike a wolf attack. The sheep vow that, as he protected them and cared for them in life, they would see his killer brought to justice.


From early on, it is evident the sheep are unusual (and some of the most interesting subplots come from the secrets of the sheep themselves being revealed). Even so, they are terribly unsuited for the task ahead of them– to solve a murder, one must understand how human society functions, and they start out knowing so little about it that they draw conclusions like the priest’s name is God, because they heard him welcome people to the house of God. He seems to talk about himself a shocking amount. (I find their attempts to understand religion quite amusing.) They also have to understand those parts of their shepherd’s life that don’t involve them, and, indeed, we the readers are somewhat puzzled by the parts that do. He seems to have deliberately brought in sheep that might have been in danger elsewhere, won’t sell any of them, reads books to them, and wants to take them on a tour of Europe.

The best thing, for me, is that the write, Leonie Swann, puts so much empathy into working out the way sheep might think. They aren’t little humans in wool coats; they are nervous, social, forgetful (except for Mopple, the Memory Sheep, who acts as a sort of living notebook for the flock), and they can gather information through their sense of smell. They also have their own culture; human society may be a mystery to them, but they have their own aphorisms, superstitions, and generational knowledge. Within the flock, each sheep still has individual identity. Miss Maple is extremely clever, Othello is brave, Cloud is kindly, Zora has imagination, and there are many more special traits and sheep.

     I would recommend this even without having finished it yet. It is the kind of book where the experience of reading and thinking about it make the journey a joy, regardless of how the plot wraps up in the end.


Death Light Moon

REVIEW BY HELEN KRUMMENACKER

Death by the Light of the Moon by Joan Hess was something I picked up from a Friends of the Library sale, a paperback mystery marking itself as A Claire Malloy Mystery. I’d never heard of the series, but the description was interesting. An eccentric, rich elderly lady dies the evening of a party that was meant to reveal her heirs. The protagonist is there by virtue of being a daughter-in-law, and barely knows the family.

The basic plot is grounded in the “cozy” style of mystery– the murder takes place in a somewhat remote area, limiting the suspects mostly to the family, with a few hints about something more being afoot. The protagonist is not a professional detective, just someone with a knack for coming across trouble and ask questions. As the story goes on, it becomes a bit less cozy in both the genre and descriptive sense, as more bodies turn up and the protagonist becomes a target, giving a bit more of a thriller vibe at times.

I found this to be not only satisfying as a mystery. The author has a sense of humor and a way with words. The prose makes for a light, easy read, and yet there are digs, gentle in some cases, hard in others, at real ways in which worse aspects of human nature tend to surface, reminiscent of Jane Austen, or perhaps P.G. Wodehouse. From the self-absorbed digressions of a teen, to the small-town police who almost prioritize getting along over getting answers (but who do change their approach appropriately as events unfurl), to the sexism and racism causing real, secret problems for a family of Southern aristocrats, the foibles are observed with wit and honesty. The protagonist even has her own failings

It would have definitely been worth buying at full price, and I look forward to finding more of the series.


In spite of all the excitement of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” being released this October, I keep hearing people ask “Whatever happened to “The Door”?  Are you going to finish that storyline with Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra?”  Of course I’m pleased to tell you all the answer is a resounding YES!  I am working on it as we speak in fact.  In fact I’ve been working on it for quite a while… a really long while… like over two years…. (groan)
SMLXL

“What happened?” I hear you ask.  Well it’s quite simple.  I’ve spent the last 24 months with a serious case of too many ideas.  What does that look like you ask?  Here, let me show you.
SMXLL

I keep getting new scenes going that help move the story along but after a while these new ideas wind up derailing the main plot of the story and I have to pull them out again.  And when that happens I end up hitting the infamous “Writer’s Block” and find myself unable to move the story forward.  This has happened a number of times.  Of course, some people will suggest that you have an outline to follow and stick to it.  This is a great idea, but unfortunately in my case, a number of my characters wind up with ideas of their own that are often way better than what I had planned in my outline and things end up going in a completely different direction.  And quite often those new directions are way better than what I had originally had in mind.  So I mainly work with a ‘loose’ outline.  There are some scenes and ideas that I have nailed down for sure, and then areas where I’m still finding a direction to head in.
However, in the case of “The Door” I had a number of scenes that were so solid there was nothing that could make me budge from using them…  and I wound up hitting wall after wall.  I’d go as far as to introduce new characters such as my vampyre Nathan, who makes his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, at one point.  By adding him I created a bunch of new scenes that really helped the plot along, but also wound up sending the word count skyrocketing.  How did this happen?  By adding Nathan I had to introduce him to the audience, then the other characters, blah-blah-blah… too many words.  But by keeping certain scenes he inspired and giving those scenes to existing characters, I moved the story along much quicker and made those characters more interesting.
Furthermore, when I write a story keeps evolving.  I have a good idea where it begins and ends, but the in between stuff gets fuzzy sometimes.  As I mentioned earlier, my characters sometimes go off in better directions than what I had planned which leads to other problems.  Remember how I mentioned I had certain scenes planned for the story that I was going to use no matter what?  Well, some of those became stumbling blocks and it took me the longest time to come to terms with the fact that they no longer fit the story as it was developing and I had to edit them out…
SLXLM

For me this was hard, because I really fell in love with those planned scenes.  However, as I’ve told many other writers, those scenes will not go to waste.  Instead, I saved them in another file folder on my computer where they will one day see the light of day in another book, where they will fit in just perfectly.
So what shape is “The Door” in now?  Much trimmer and faster-paced than in its previous incarnations.  The story is tense, exciting, full of mystery, with a growing sense of menace that I hope will keep you all on the edge of your seats to the very end.  Certain friends you’ve met before are starting to have an air of menace about them, and will make you wonder if they can still be trusted.  While newer characters will keep you guessing about their allegiances until the very end.
At this point the story is sitting at 50,000 words, and will probably wind up at about 110,000 or less by the time I’m finished.  Many unanswered questions from the first two books “The Bridge” and “The Ship” will be answered.  Furthermore, the fallout from the battle scene with the police at the end of “The Bridge” will be playing a key part in this novel.  I hope to have a completed first draft before the end of the year.
Finally, I’m also working on two collaborations as well.  One is with my wife Helen who co-authored “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  The other is “The Pass” with one of my best friends from high school Richard Caminiti.   He and I hope to have a completed first draft by the end of this year or early next year.
I’m also hoping to have each of them do some blog entries here so you can find out their thoughts on writing and having to put up with me.
Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.

Ideas For Under Your Tree


****LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR THAT PARANORMAL/MYSTERY READER IN YOUR LIFE****

Psychics, ghosts, and beings that are/and are not from this world await you within the pages of these 5-star stories

Signed copies of books I and II in the “Para-Earth” series are just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination). These books are trade paperback sized and will look great on any bookshelf.

*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*

Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they’re to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).

You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:

allan.krummenacker@gmail.com

Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas.

44a50-xmas2bgift


*SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR KINDLE UNLIMITED SUBSCRIBERS*

You can now get “The Bridge”, book on in the Para-Earth Series for FREE through Amazon.  That’s right, you can enjoy this 4 and 5 star tale for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.  This paranormal/mystery will introduce you to ghosts, psychics, and a whole new vision of parallel realities unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

So why not check it out today and enjoy a really exciting summer read. Plus when you’re done you’ll find book 2 in the series, “The Ship”, is also available through Kindle Unlimited.

Just click on the link below to get started, and please help spread the word.  Thank you and happy reading…

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TXXNAMPAYHW47GCQ7C1


Happy New Year 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

If you’re reading this I’ll take it that you survived 2014 and are a glutton for punishment because you’re still reading what I have to say here.  Bless your hearts.

With that said, I’m going to try and start the year off on a good note here by posting the opening section of “The Door”, which will be the third book in my Para-Earth Series.  This time Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie are back together to face threats old and new.

The white-haired man known only as Z has returned, along with the fragment of the creature our heroes helped destroy in “The Bridge”.  For those who read book 2 “The Ship” we saw Z and his companion help protect Cassandra from the threat that arose from the deeps, but it wasn’t out of kindness.  He has plans of his own for her and now they’re about to bear fruit.

But the girl is guarded by her friends Alex and Veronica, as well as her lover Julie.  Plus of course there’s the ghostly Brandon who has watched over the girl since the day she was born.  However, Z has allies of his own.  Betrayal and danger await from the most unexpected quarters.

With all that said, allow me to post the first preliminary sketch for the cover, along with the opening sequence of “The Door”.  I hope you enjoy, but remember one thing, ‘You enter at your own risk…’

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THE DOOR

by

Allan Krummenacker

(Copyright 2015)

The door stood in a hillside near an open field.  Grass and weeds had long ago swallowed the stonework that surrounded it, leaving just the portal itself visible.   The dark wood looked strange and sinister.  In the grain one could almost see contorted faces crying out for release.

Few people came here, if ever.  But now tall figure appeared with a long cape of jet black approached.  He had long white hair and wore a black frock coat.  He strode up to the door and halted.  After studying the vegetation around the edges, his eyes fixed on the portal itself.  A smile slowly crept over his hawkish features as he turned away.

Strolling along the slope he continued to study the plants along the way.  The changes he’d noticed around the doorway were getting more prominent the further he moved away from the portal.  Eventually he reached one section where the flora had become almost sinister in appearance.  “Oh yes,” he whispered and listened closely to the silence that seemed to have settled in this area.

Suddenly, his cape began to billow and flap even though there was no wind.

The man stiffened and leapt some fifty feet straight up.  The folds of his cloak spreading like gigantic bat wings as he descended onto a thick branch of a neighboring tree.  Landing with the grace of an eagle, he bent his head and stared downwards.

Smoke-like hands had shot out of hillside itself, reaching and grasping at the space he’d just vacated.  With growing satisfaction he watched the ghostly appendages waved about in an almost pitiful manner, knowing their quarry had eluded them yet again.  Finally, they slowly sank back into the dried leaves that covered the ground, and disappeared from sight.

Stepping off the branch he landed nimbly and proceeded to move away just in case the offending appendages tried to make another attempt to accost him.  But nothing happened, much to his delight.

His cape fluttered briefly in the still air.

“Yes, they have become much weaker,” he murmured as if answering a question only he could hear.  “We’ll start keeping closer tabs on the girl.”

Once more the black fabric moved of its own accord as if in response.

“Yes, keeping watch over her would be difficult for us.  The son of Jerome has been watching her more closely than ever after that business on the other side of the continent.   But I have other allies who will keep us apprised of her movements,” he told his garment.  “They are already in position as a matter of fact.  Thanks to them I know Cassandra is in Connecticut right now, visiting the very friends who helped kill your parent.”

This time the ebony shroud did not move.

He was not surprised.  The being was primitive in many ways.  Loyalty to its progenitor was not part of the creature’s nature.  Then again, it wasn’t his either.  After all he did share a lineage with his intended target.  He’d even orchestrated her birth, but only to make sure the bloodline was as close and true to that of the original ‘key’.


****REVIEWS NEEDED ON SMASHWORDS****

I’m looking for honest reviews of my 2nd paranormal/mystery novel “The Ship” for my Smashwords site. Recently there’s been a lot of traffic over there but no sales. Part of the problem may be the fact that there’s been only one review done on the book at Smashwords.
Multiple reviews spurs more sales, so if anyone is interested in doing a review I’m willing to supply you with a free e-copy of the book from the Smashwords site.

For those not familiar with the story here’s the blurb from the back cover of the book:

Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet. She’s also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things. In fact, just two weeks ago, she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot, survived a horrific battle alongside their two friends Alex Hill and Veronica Ross. They faced a being from a parallel reality where evolution took a much different course than in this version of Earth.

As a result of that encounter the two of them have come to Santa Cruz to bury one of their own as well as to see if their knew relationship will work out.

While taking a surfing class Cassie finds herself under attack and barely escapes with her life. But this is only the beginning. Whatever attacked her left a mark on her leg and now she is experiencing terrifying visions and senses the approach of something hiding in the fog. A legendary ghost ship is coming for her. However this is no ordinary nightmare of the sea. This vessel is alive and wants to make her a part of it, literally…

*So let me know if you are interested and what e-book format you need (Nook, Mobi, Kindle, Sony, Apple, or even PDF)*

If you want to sample the book before committing yourself just click on the link below and click on the version you need where it says “First 20% Sample”…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/433111

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