Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book spotlight on Toxic Diamonds by @Liza0Connor

It's been a rough year for me and The Maze, with the loss of my dad in March and his youngest sister in May, but today I welcome back an author-friend whose novels always lift my spirits. I guarantee they will lift yours too!

Liza O'Connor's Toxic Diamonds blog tour, 7-28 July 2017

A Bullet proof vest made of silk.

In 1881, a faro dealer, Charlie Storms was shot twice by a cranky patron. Tombstone physician George E. Goodfellow discovered that one bullet was stopped by a silk handkerchief in Charlie’s breast pocket. As strange as it sounds, a silk handkerchief prevented that bullet from penetrating.

Now before you cry ‘bullocks’, keep in mind guns were far less powerful than now.

In 1887, Dr. Goodfellow wrote an article titled Impenetrability of Silk to Bullets[1] for the Southern California Practitioner documenting the first known instance of bulletproof fabric. He experimented with silk vests resembling medieval gambesons, which used 18 to 30 layers of silk fabric to protect the wearers from penetration.

A European, Kazimierz Żegleń used Goodfellow's findings to develop a bulletproof vest made of silk fabric at the end of the 19th century, which could stop the relatively slow rounds from black powder handguns. The vests cost $800 USD each and several gentleman of the Parliament bought and wore them.

Synopsis:

Determining whom to trust is getting very hard, indeed. This may be the most trying cases imaginable. Director Stone has gone missing and it appears Ministers of Parliament are involved. Xavier is arrested and placed in a jail meant to kill him, while Vic, disguised as a woman, attempts to locate the Minister of External Affairs and ask for his help.

Everyone is called in to assist: Jacko, his wife Alice, their son Pete, Samson the Crime Lord, David and Claire, Tubs and his wife Sara, the boys: Cannon and Ham, plus the bloodhound Arroo.

The Wasp who escaped punishment for her attempts to murder her bigamist husband’s first wife last year is back. Vic discovers love letters between Ben, their terrible secretary and the Wasp. Worse yet, he shared Xavier’s financial advice with the Wasp, making her and her husband very wealthy.

With Stone missing, and Barns and Meyers stretched to their limits, Vic decides it’s time to train more of the Scotland Yard officers in intuitive and deductive reasoning. While only half the class makes it through her two-day course, everyone is pleased with her results.

Be warned, Vic’s sister, Claire, is becoming more difficult than ever. Gregory thinks she is going mad.



Once Vic, Cannon, Casey, and Fagan left, Xavier rushed upstairs and returned five minutes later as an old man.
 
Tubs waited at the door. “I’ll stay in the shadows, but I’m going.”

“I need to check the place out anyway,” Jacko stated.

“Well, damn it all, I’ll go as well.” Samson declared. “Mason spent so little time in my company, he’s probably forgotten me entirely.”

Xavier studied him a moment. “Don’t count on it. Wait here,” he ordered, then hurried upstairs. When he returned, he handed Samson a thick silk vest.

“I am wearing a vest,” he replied.

“Is it bulletproof?” Xavier challenged.

“No. Are you saying this one is?”

“Yes. There was an incident in which an American doctor reported that a man’s silk vest stopped a bullet. He shared the matter with Connors who shared the matter with me. I, of course, asked David to see if he could create such a vest, and here it is.”

“Has it been tested?” Samson asked, doubtful that silk could stop a bullet.

“It has. In fact, several men in the parliament wear them now.”

Samson smiled. “Thank you for sharing this. I would be most willing to buy my own—”

“David handmakes them, and he is a bit busy at the moment, so just enjoy my vest.”

“That is very kind of you. Does this mean you are starting to like me?”

Xavier chuckled. “Not at all.”




Book 8
The Queen’s Diamonds have been stolen, Director Stone of Scotland Yard is missing, and there is a toxic gas that may kill hundreds of Londoners.
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Need to catch up?
Book 1
 The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.

Book 2
 Oops! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.

Book 2.5
 A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?

Book 3
 The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.

Book 4
The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.

Book 5
 Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.

Book 6
 Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.

Book 7
Vic is almost killed twice as she tries to prevent a CrimeLords’ War, stop a female Russian spy, and locate Xavier.

All Xavier & Vic books are Free with Amazon Unlimited


Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.

You have been warned.



FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LIZA O'CONNOR’S MANY BOOKS

Investigate these sites:

Liza's Blog and Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter





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— Follow Kim on Twitter
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… and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books.

Please enter often, and good luck!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Keeping cool with The Dawnflier of Author @KimHeadlee (June-July 2017) #MFRWOrg #ASMSG

Hello and welcome to the June-July edition of The Dawnflier!

Hot air balloons at early morning
Goreme, Turkey 2009-10-16
(c)2009 Cornfield Depositphotos ID 101246070
EDITORIAL USE ONLY
I extend a special welcome to everyone who signed up for my mailing list at the Robin Hood Springtime Festival of North Haven CT, Big Walker Lookout overlooking Wytheville VA, and Wytheville's annual Chautauqua Festival.

Subscribers receive special news and offers. If you are interested, you are welcome to sign up HERE. I send out no more than one newsletter a month.

I've chosen the picture of the hot-air balloons in honor of the Chautauqua Festival and to express a wish I'm sure we all feel from time to time: that we could just hop into a basket and rise above all our issues and concerns, even if only for a day. I'm still up to my eyeballs in the tasks required for settling my dad's estate, so a day aloft in a balloon sounds really appealing about now. :)

I plan to dive back into writing new material in September, so there's not much to report in that department. However, I do have several upcoming personal appearances:


  • 7–9 July: Vendor table in the Maryland Hallway at Shore Leave 39, Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD. Dealers room schedule TBA.
  • 14–16 July: ConGregate 4/DeepSouthCon 55, Radisson Hotel, High Point, NC: program participation TBA.
  • 28–30 July: US 21 Road Market, a 110-mile, multistate yard sale from Wytheville, VA to Harmony, NC. My booth is in the same spot as last year: outside the Lakes to Florida Grill, Rt. 21, Wytheville, VA.
  • 29 July: WyVACon; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, VA. I do plan to sell & sign my books at this event while my husband mans the yard-sale booth. And yes, he has already agreed to that duty. :D

Thank you for your interest in and support of my work!
Stories make us greater.


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To enter, click HERE.


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Good luck!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. George and my Dad (The Dawnflier, April/May 2017)

St. George and the Dragon
antique Russian Orthodox icon, tempura and gold leaf on wood,
photo (c)2017 by Kim Headlee.

It has been quiet on The Maze since my last posting on 3 March 2017. The reason is quite simple: my dad passed away five days later, and I have been mired in the legalities of probate and the emotional wasteland of grief.

I had planned to upload a springtime floral image to grace the April 2017 issue of The Dawnflier, which under normal circumstances I would have published on the first of the month. But as any adult child who has lost their last surviving parent knows, the business of settling the decedent's affairs is relentless and unforgiving. Struggling with grief makes the administrative chores that much more burdensome. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed, I remind myself to "just keep swimming." For me, who had spent 13 of my first 18 years on this earth in a competition pool, the advice is particularly apt.

As April 1st came and went, followed by most of its siblings, and still I couldn't bring myself to post on this blog, I thought I might wait until the end of the month and publish an April-May combination newsletter. Then it hit me that posting today would best honor my dad, who in fine Russian tradition celebrated the feast day of his namesake saint, George, even more so than his own birthday.

I cannot wish anyone a "Happy St. George's Day" because there is nothing happy about it for me today. I will, however, lift a glass to my dad. I miss him and love him more than I can possibly ever express.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March madness from The Dawnflier of @KimHeadlee (March 2017) #MFRWOrg #ASMSG

Shamrock Leaves (c)2013 by Razvodovska.
Depositphotos ID 29126289.

Top o'the... whatever time of day it is for you!

I want to extend special thanks for your finger-crossing last month when I reported that I had submitted my female-gladiator novel Liberty for consideration for a BookBub featured deal. All its stars aligned this time, and it has been selected for worldwide promotion March 4th! In preparation, I will be putting it on sale 3/3/17 for $0.99 USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, as well as 0.99 GBP and 0.99 EUR.

Don't miss your chance to snag a great deal on this poignant, thrilling story of love and intrigue in ancient Rome!

Afraid you'll forget? Follow me on BookBub to get the latest news about all my featured deals.

A FAVOR, if I may. I would like to get Amazon to price-match Liberty to 99 cents. It will help if you visit its product page (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQCXLUE) to report the 99-cent sale price already in effect at Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liberty-kim-iverson-headlee/1120850556?ean=2940149873050), iBooks (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/liberty/id947768951), Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=_VRiCAAAQBAJ), and Kobo (https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/liberty-38). Thanks so much!


Upcoming appearances:

Keep Calm and Breathe Deeply
when your favorite TV show gets preempted by a basketball game.


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I'm running a giveaway for an e-copy of Raging Sea: Enemies & Allies!
To enter, click HERE.

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***


All this month, you are invited to…

— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Follow Kim on Pinterest
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow

… and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books.

Please enter often, and good luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Irish recipe and spotlight on Dark Brew by @DianaLRubino!

St. Patrick's Day comes a wee bit early on The Maze with Dark Brew by Diana Rubino and an Irish recipe! In Diana's words:

Dark Brew is set on modern-day Cape Cod, when Kylah isn’t traveling back in time to 1324 Ireland. I have a home on the Cape, and spend as much time there as I can when the weather cooperates. The Cape Cod Irish Village is a restaurant/pub/hotel where my husband and I have been going for many years. We have a traditional Irish dinner there and dance up a storm to the live Irish music they always have. I mention the Irish Village in DARK BREW and their great Irish cuisine.

Traditional Irish fare has been a long-standing theme at the Irish Village where Chef Chris Lynch has headed the kitchen for the better part of 16 years. New American cuisine with a slant on old Irish staples is how Chef Lynch would characterize the menu at the Irish Village. Having spent many years honing his craft in kitchens all across the Northeast, Chris realized that most of the guests who come to the Cape and have frequented the Irish Village for decades in some cases want to feel at home and his team tries to match the daily specials to their memories of meals taken at the tables of their own families. Simple and plentiful is a formula that has kept many repeat customers coming back to the Village year after year.

Here’s a recipe from Chris for “Breadan Eireann.”

This recipe serves 4 people

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
4 ea. – 6oz Salmon Fillet
4 ea. – Jumbo Shrimp
12 oz. – medium sea scallops
4 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup sauteed onions & mushrooms, sliced thin
6 oz. dry sherry
8 oz. clarified butter

DIRECTIONS

In a baking dish or in individual casserole dishes arrange salmon, scallops & shrimp closely together.  Pipe mashed potatoes around salmon and seafood encircling all of the fish.  Pour 1 ½ oz. of sherry and 2 oz. of butter over the fish and potatoes.  Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until salmon flakes under the touch.  Remove and top with ¼ cup sautéed onions & mushrooms.  Return to oven for 2-3 minutes to finish browning the potatoes and to heat the onions & mushrooms.  Serve immediately.


Dark Brew
by Diana Rubino
Genre: Time Travel Romance

Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another—she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate—they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it. 



Excerpt:

Kylah shut Ted’s den door. She couldn’t bear to look at the spot where he gasped his last breath. His presence, an imposing force, lingered. So did his scent, a blend of tobacco, pine aftershave and manly sweat. Each reminder ripped into her heart like a knife. Especially now with the funeral looming ahead, the eulogies, the mournful organ hymns, the tolling bells . . .

These ceremonies should bring closure, but they’d only prolong the agony of her grief. She wanted to remember him alive for a while longer, wishing she could delay these morbid customs until the hurt subsided.

Throughout the house, his essence echoed his personality: the wine stain on the carpet, the heap of dirty shirts, shorts and socks piled up in the laundry room, the spattered stove, his fingerprints on the microwave. But she couldn’t bring herself to clean any of it up. Painful as these remnants were, they offered a strange comfort. He still lived here.

“I’ll find that murderer, Teddy,” she promised him over and over, wandering from room to empty room, traces of him lurking in every corner. “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure justice is served. Another past life regression isn’t enough anymore. I know what I have to do now. And I promise, it will never, ever happen again—in any future life.”

She inhaled deeply and breathed him in. “Go take a shower, Teddy.” She chuckled through her tears as the doorbell rang. She cringed, breaking out in cold sweat when she saw the black sedan at the curb.

“Not again.” No sense in hiding, so she let the detectives in.

“Mrs. McKinley, we need your permission to do a search and take some of your husband’s possessions from the house,” Nolan said.

“What for?” She met his steely stare. “I looked everywhere and found nothing.”

“Mrs. McKinley, the cupboard door was open, four jars of herbs are missing, and the autopsy showed he died of herb poisoning. Those herbs,” Nolan added for emphasis, as if it had slipped her feeble mind. “Foxglove, mandrake, hemlock—and an as-yet unidentified one,” he read from a notebook. “The M.E. determined it was a lethal dose.”

Sherlock Holmes got nothin’ on him, she thought.

“Where’s this cupboard, ma’am?” Egan spoke up.

“Right there.” She pointed, its door gaping exactly the way she’d found it that night. Nolan went over to it and peered inside.

“Ma’am, it would be better if you left the house for a half hour or so. Please leave a number where you can be reached,” Egan ordered.

Nolan glanced down the hall. “Where is your bedroom?”

What could they want in the bedroom? “It’s at the top of the stairs on the right. But we didn’t sleep together,” she offered, as if that would faze them. It didn’t.

After giving him her cell number, she got into her car and drove to the beach.

An hour later, she let herself back in and looked around. They’d taken the computer, her case of CDs, her thumb drive, her remaining herb jars, Ted’s notebooks, and left her alone with one horrible fact: This was now a homicide case and she was the prime suspect.

Buy links: Kindle US | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Wild Rose Press |


Contact Diana via Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

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Thank you so very much and have a blessed day.

***


All this month, you are invited to…

— Follow Kim on Twitter
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— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow

… and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books.

Please enter often, and good luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February fancies from The Dawnflier of author @KimHeadlee #MFRWOrg #ASMSG

Valentine's Day Marriage Proposal,
(c)2011 by Subbotina, Depositphotos ID 10605111.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I selected this photo because my then-boyfriend proposed to me on Valentine's Day more than three decades ago. Since I wanted a June wedding—which was the only "traditional" aspect to our ceremony—we set a date for the following year, and we have been together ever since. It's been quite the ride. :)


Book news:

  • I’m hoping to land a BookBub feature of Liberty within the next 30 days; please keep your fingers crossed. Would you like to know when my next big sale will be? Follow me on BookBub so you don't miss out!
  • In spite of the fact that I’m smack in the middle of tax season—and trying to get a new computer up to speed with the latest accounting and tax software (and thank heaven I found my data backups)—I’m making progress on Angusel’s story in  Raging Sea. Part 1 (Raging Sea: Reckonings) and part 2 (Raging Sea: Enemies and Allies) are now on sale.

Upcoming:

  • I will be signing and selling my books all weekend at Farpoint (Timonium, MD), February 17–19. The dealers will be set up in a public area, so you do not have to register for the convention to visit my table!
  • I am slated as an author-guest at MystiCon (Roanoke, VA), February 24–26. My program participation includes: reading from Raging Sea: Reckonings (9:30 p.m. Friday), signing my books (2 p.m. Saturday), and panels about honor in science fiction/fantasy (11 a.m. Sat.), film adaptations (3 p.m. Sat.), fuzzy logic (4 p.m. Sat.), creating a system in fiction (9 a.m. Sun.), and collaborations (2 p.m. Sun.).
  • March 4th I will present part one of my Business of Writing workshop at the Wytheville Public Library, 11 a.m – 1 p.m. I have been given permission to sell my books before and after the event, so I plan to be at the library during the full run of their operating hours that day, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. My presentation of part two is scheduled for March 18th.
Stay cozy; spring is coming!

***

I'm running a giveaway for an e-copy of my first novel, Dawnflight!
To enter, click HERE.

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Subscribe today
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*** Special announcement: I need your help! ***

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  1. Visit the Twitter website reporting page (https://support.twitter.com/forms/spam).
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Thank you so very much and have a blessed day.

***


All this month, you are invited to…

— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Follow Kim on Pinterest
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow

… and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books.

Please enter often, and good luck!