Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Releases - February 2017

Midnight Ink's February titles are out now!


Now available from Midnight InkBarnes & NobleAmazonIndiebound and your local bookseller!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Guest Post: Adrian Magson - The Bid

Adrian Magson takes time to share his journey on finding Midnight Ink and the idea for the Cruxys Solutions Investigation series.


I blame my parents. Well, if you have to blame them for something, it’s better if it’s something positive – and in my case it was for setting me on a life of writing.
They encouraged me from an early age to read, and by the age of eight I was into Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour and Leslie (The Saint) Charteris, among many others. I stumbled a bit over Hank Janson and Mickey Spillane, but only because a lot of it went over my head. At first. But along the way it struck me that writing books must be a great way to make a living.
That was a tad naive, but you live and learn.
For many years while holding down a variety of day jobs, I wrote romantic fiction for women’s magazines. Lots of it. It paid, and was a great apprenticeship, but it was a long time before I sold my first crime/mystery novel. It was even longer before I could make the leap into full-time writing. But persistence paid off.
That first mystery novel, featuring a female reporter, Riley Gavin, was followed by 4 more in the series, followed by a spy series (feat. Harry Tate - also 5), then a French police series (feat. Insp Lucas Rocco – 4). It was after writing the first in a new spy series (feat. Marc Portman – 4 so far), that I went for a change of tack. I decided to go back to writing about a female lead character.
But what to write about?
While mulling over a number of possible storylines, I opened a gym locker one day and found a card inside with Adrian scribbled on it. It wasn’t for me, but it started a chain of thought: what if the card was addressed to a specific person… a woman… and …? That was it, I was off.
And this is where Midnight Ink came in.
The story, titled ‘The Locker’ - Jan 2016 – (and the word locker has more than one meaning in this story) starts out as a kidnap novel, when a little girl, Beth Hardman, goes missing from her London home along with her Polish nanny. But it soon turns into something far deeper and puzzling. Unusually, there’s no ransom demand; no predator horror facing her mother, Nancy; simply an instruction that Beth’s father, Michael, must be told, and to keep the police out of it.
Nancy remembers that her husband once told her that if anything bad were to happen, she was to call a special number. This leads to a private security company called Cruxys Solutions, which specialises in insuring people in dangerous occupations. She calls them and before long two investigators arrive: Ruth Gonzales, a former soldier and British cop, and Andy Vaslik, a former NY cop and Dept of Homeland Security agent. The first problem they face is that Nancy has no way of contacting Michael, an aid worker, and has no precise idea where he is other than somewhere in Africa or the Middle East. The second problem is that the investigators can find no trace of a Michael Hardman anywhere; no documentation, no footprint, nothing. Yet Nancy insists he exists, and is out there somewhere.
So who is this mystery man and why has his daughter been kidnapped?
To tell would be giving away too much. But it’s very clear that whoever or whatever Michael Hardman is, snatching his daughter has been carefully planned, and that if he does  come back, he’ll be walking into a trap.
‘The Bid’ (Jan 2017) – the second in the Gonzales & Vaslik series, involves another disappearance, this time of Richard Chadwick, an American drone expert. Also missing is a shipment of small drones high-jacked from the cargo hub at Memphis International Airport. But these drones are not weekend playthings; used by film studios and wildlife rangers among others, they are the latest in high-tech machines capable of carrying small loads… with terrifying possibilities.
Ruth and Andy follow a trail from London to New York, and across the central United States, slowly tracking the missing expert and the men who have kidnapped him, from vague clues left behind. All the while their progress is being monitored by the FBI and DHS, who suspect Chadwick, a former USAF intelligence officer, has become involved in a terror plot.
As they soon discover, time is not on their side.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adrian has had 21 books published, including a beginners guide for writers, writes regular book reviews and a monthly column for beginners in Writing Magazine (UK). For more information about him, see his website at: http://www.adrianmagson.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean, in the west of England, with his wife, Ann.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Guest Post: Tracy Weber - A Fatal Twist

Introducing Tracy Weber and her latest yoga-crime-solving mystery A Fatal Twist



Yoga can be Murder

I’m a lot like Kate, the yoga teacher/sleuth in my Downward Dog Mystery Series. I’m not a typical yoga teacher, even though I’ve owned my yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga, since 2001 and have personally trained almost 300 yoga teachers. I can’t put my foot behind my head or sit in full lotus pose. I recoil at anything even remotely woo woo. I’d much rather chug margaritas than sip mugs of chai. But I completely believe in yoga. The practice has transformed my life. Sharing it brings me great joy.

Most of my students just rolled their eyes when I decided to spend my spare time plotting murder. My husband simply muttered, “it figures.” Still, some people have been taken aback—even insulted—by my series. What kind of demented yoga teacher combines yoga—a practice designed to promote inner peace—with murder?

Lots of reasons.  But four of my favorites are below.

My light-hearted mysteries help me connect with a wonderful cadre of readers—most of whom have never done yoga.

Good fiction immerses readers in worlds they would never otherwise experience. I’ve been pleased—though not all that surprised—to learn that many of my biggest fans have never stepped foot inside a yoga studio. Most people think yoga is an exercise routine designed for Gumby-like women whose bodies look great squeezed inside see-through Spandex yoga pants. Not true!

Kate Davidson, my novel’s protagonist, is a yoga teacher. Kate and I aren’t the same person, but we share some of the same quirks. We’ll never grace the cover of Yoga Journal. We both suffer from laughably tight hamstrings, moderate body image issues, and we occasionally drink significantly more wine than we probably should.

Likewise, neither Kate nor I are likely to become the next Dalai Lama. I have a warped sense of humor and tease people more than they appreciate. I have to remind my students to laugh at my jokes. Kate has, shall we say, anger management issues, and she often lashes out impulsively, only to regret it later. Yet yoga has transformed both of our lives. If Kate and I can love yoga, anyone can love yoga—even mystery fans who have never considered trying it.

Who knows?  Maybe some of my readers will be inspired to give yoga a chance!

People are murdered in my work, but death isn’t the only theme.

Solving crime definitely takes center stage in my work, but my books ultimately explore life, love, and human imperfections. Real life isn’t always simple, and it’s rarely easy. Humans—even yoga teachers—make mistakes. We suffer traumas. If we’re lucky, we recover and grow. Yoga teacher Kate makes plenty of mistakes and she suffers from more than her fair share of neuroses, but she learns, she grows, and she tries to do better in the future. There has to be a valuable life lesson in there somewhere.

If my books were movies, they’d be rated PG-13—at most.

My books skirt the cozy mystery lines a little. I’ve been known to use the occasional non-F-bomb swear word. I write about serious issues, including homelessness, childhood abandonment, drug abuse, and alcoholism. In my first book, Kate gets, shall we say, friendly (off page, of course!) on a first date. Still, like most cozies, my work is light-hearted, often funny, and written to appeal to the faint of heart. My mother read all of the books in my series, and when she passed away last year, she still believed she’d raised a “nice girl.” 

Last but not least, I love it!

But if I’m honest, the real reason I write yoga mysteries is simple. I’m a huge mystery fan, my life-work is yoga, and I was absolutely, embarrassingly, head-over-heels crazy about German shepherd, Tasha, who inspired the series.  Her successor, Ana, has quickly dug her German shepherd puppy claws deep in my heart. I write about a yoga teacher who solves murders with a wacky German shepherd sidekick.

Yoga, dogs, and mystery. What could be more fun?

***

About Tracy’s newest, A Fatal Twist

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson’s life takes a chaotic turn once she agrees to not only be the doula for her pregnant best friend, but also play foster mother to two puppies. The chaos gets worse when Kate finds the dead body of a philandering fertility doctor and sees Rachel, one of her yoga students, fleeing the scene.

Kate is convinced her student is innocent, and she sets out to find the real killer before her testimony condemns Rachel to a life behind bars. But her hands are full with caring for three dogs, teaching yoga classes, and gaining an unexpected crime-solving partner. If she’s not careful, Kate’s next yoga pose may be a fatal one.

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series.  The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel.
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their crazy new German shepherd pup, Ana. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, trying to corral Ana, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house. 
For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/





Monday, January 9, 2017

New Releases - January 2017

Start out your New Year with Midnight Ink's January releases!


Now available from Midnight InkBarnes & NobleAmazonIndiebound and your local bookseller!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Guest Post: Gigi Pandian - The Elusive Elixir

It's time for some fun facts from Gigi Pandian!



  1. I once played the role of Wonder Woman in a play
  2. I got married wearing Converse sneakers.
  3. As a kid, I didn't have cats or dogs, but rabbits.
  4. I have an organic vegetable garden in my backyard, but my husband is the one with the green thumb. I only manage to write fiction about successful gardeners; If I look at a plant, it dies.
  5. I think The Goonies might be the greatest movie ever made. Or at the very least it's what inspired me to write my first screenplay.
  6. When I was in high school I wrote, starred in (along with my best friend), and directed the epic home movie The Goonies Go to Europe.
  7. I love the locked-room mystery genre that was most popular during the Golden Age of detective fiction, and all of my short stories are impossible crime stories. 
  8. Like Zoe Faust (the heroine of the Accidental Alchemist mysteries) I adore my Vitamix and use it at least twice a day.
  9. Like Dorian (the comic relief in the books) I'm an accidental vegan cook, and cook most of my meals from scratch.
  10. Unlike Zoe and Dorian, I'm not a 300-year-old alchemist, nor am I a living gargoyle who was once stone. Sorry to disappoint.
  11. I prefer rainy days to sunny ones.
  12. I was gobsmacked when the fabulous Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink wanted to publish the Accidental Alchemist mysteries. I love writing about a mischievous gargoyle chef, but I had no idea others would want to read about him as well. I'm still pinching myself that so many people do.
  13. In addition to the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, I write the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries. I think this means as a life choice I've chosen fun and coffee over sleep.
  14. My dad is from India. I've traveled there many times and I set one of my books there. The opening scene of Pirate Vishnu is based on a true story that happened to my father.
  15. I used to run a blog called Gargoyle Girl, posting gargoyle photographs I've taken on my travels. I gave it up in favor of writing novels, but the archives are still there: www.gargoylegirl.com


***

About the new book, The Elusive Elixir
Dorian Robert-Houdin, the three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle chef who fancies himself a modern-day Poirot, is slowly turning into stone, and it’s up to Zoe Faust to unravel the alchemical secrets that can save him. When they discover that a long-lost stone gargoyle with a connection to Dorian has reappeared in Europe, the stakes are even higher.
From Portland to Paris, Zoe searches for the hidden knowledge she needs, but a cold case that harkens back to 1942 throws her off course. With an ailing friend desperately trying to discover his own elixir of life and a new romantic interest offering the first chance at love she’s had in nearly a century, Zoe is torn between a dangerous form of alchemy and her desire for a safer life.
 Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. A cancer diagnosis in her 30s taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment. Gigi spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard garden. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards, and her most recent novel Michelangelo’s Ghost was recently named a “Best of 2016” cozy mystery by Suspense Magazine.

Visit her at gigipandian.com, connect with her on Facebook (facebook.com/GigiPandian) and Twitter (@GigiPandian) and sign up for her email newsletter (http://gigipandian.com/newsletter/). 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guest Post: Eve Seymour - Don't Tell Anyone

I would like to introduce Midnight Ink author Eve Seymour, who will be sharing thoughts on her latest title (written under the pseudonym Eleanor Gray) Don't Tell Anyone and her upcoming March title An Imperfect Past.


A Note from Eve Seymour

As I write, we are fast approaching Christmas, an occasion when, traditionally, families spend time with each other.  Without putting a downer on it, by January, divorce lawyers across the globe will be filling their appointment diaries with glee! 

It’s not exactly rocket science to fathom the reason why.  Couples who ‘rub along’ during the rest of the year, separated by work and, in many cases, child commitments often don’t fare so well when cooped up for the Christmas holidays.  Throw in the odd visiting relative, second time around spouses, stepchildren and half-siblings, occasionally too much booze, and, even in the most loving family unit, cracks appear, tensions exacerbate and old enmities surface.  In short, a toxic mix is there for the taking and with, sometimes, combustible results.  So where am I going with this?

My latest novels, ‘Don’t Tell Anyone’ under pseudonym Eleanor Gray, and ‘An Imperfect Past’, the sequel to ‘Beautiful Losers,’ revolve around family ties that sustain, but can also be dysfunctional.  Conflict is the name of the game in stories, and family units provide a rich seam for writers to mine.  Where else do passions run high and hatreds deep?   And I haven’t even started on secrets.

There is a saying:  ‘Write what you know’.  I’ve never been particularly sold on the idea because what most people ‘know’ is fairly commonplace.  When writing spy fiction, I did a lot of research and reading about what I patently didn’t know and then used my findings as a backdrop for unfolding drama.  However with my Kim Slade novels and ‘Don’t Tell...’ I confess I drew on my own family background.  Grace Neville in ‘Don’t Tell...’ loses her only daughter.  I have never lost a child, thank goodness, but, as a mother of five children, I could go some way to imagining what it must be like.  I was also able to use my own childhood experience of loss to feed into Grace’s grief.  In a similar vein, Kim Slade the clinical psychologist in ‘Beautiful Losers’ and ‘An Imperfect Past’ is consumed by the absence of a mom in her life and the secrets that unfold prior to her mother’s disappearance and, later, reappearance.   Despite my assertion ‘don’t write what you know’, I appear to have shot myself in the proverbial foot!

However you look at it, Kim and Grace’s stories are everyday tales with which many can empathize, the dramatic element only necessary for the purposes of fiction.  Whatever your story, I hope you and your family have a fabulous, healthy and peaceful 2017. 

 ***
Nearly lost in a fog of grief over the fatal stabbing of her daughter, art historian Grace Neville feels only sorrow as Jordan Dukes is found guilty of murder. Days after the sentencing, Grace receives a visit from Jordan’s father, who claims that his son is innocent and a grave miscarriage of justice has taken place. Jordan’s history of gang-related violence and the fact that he doesn’t have an alibi make his father’s plea hard to believe. But then why does somebody break into Grace’s home and go through her daughter’s belongings?

In Don’t Tell Anyone, Eleanor Gray explores the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and the secrets that drive Grace to seek the truth no matter what the cost.

Eleanor Gray/Eve Seymour (England) has written nine novels under several pseudonyms. She began writing after a successful career in public relations and raising five children. She has published articles in Devon Today magazine and had a number of her short stories broadcast on BBC Radio. Visit her at www.evseymour.co.uk

***
An Imperfect Past is available March 8, 2017

The past can be a foreign country and, for Kim Slade, a clinical psychologist specializing in young women with eating disorders, it's deadly, too.

No sooner than Kim returns to work after a mental breakdown, she's summoned to the deathbed of a former client, Mimi Vellender. Mimi's dying wish is that Kim finds her brother, Nicholas, who mysteriously disappeared five years ago.

Just as mysteriously, Kim's long-estranged mother, Monica, comes back into her life following the suspicious death of the judge she worked for as a live-in housekeeper. Is the sudden desire for a family reunion all it seems, or does Monica have something to hide?

Also, have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 9, 2016