Viola Ryan - Author of Compelling Disturbing Paranormal Fiction

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring is in the Air bloghop

I love New England. Because of my husband's career in the US Coast Guard, we move a lot. We've lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately all our moves have been on the East Coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.

When I started The Mark of Abel, I was living in Delaware and missing New England something fierce. I decided to set the book there. At first, I set it during the fall. My husband remarked that all books set in New England happen during the fall. As I was writing, I realized I needed to move the book to right before Spring break.

In New England, spring means one thing--baseball. Even the heroine gets swept up in Red Sox fever.


Traffic on Storrow Drive was a nightmare. Janie laughed. Nightmares were precisely why she was caught in traffic hell. Unfortunately, she must travel through this to reach her salvation, something beautiful to erase the afterimages of her night terrors. She cursed that she needed to pass Fenway Park to get to the Museum of Fine Arts. A few more miles and she’d be cocooned in soothing blues of the Madonna. Each car inched along as if pulled by the one in front, all united by a common purpose proudly emblazoned on their bumpers. Go Red Sox. 
She’d never felt so alone. 
She didn’t even know the rules of the national pastime. Maybe she should change that. Then she could talk to strangers waiting in line. There was something about a green monster who ate balls. That would be interesting to paint. Then again, if she did, the monster would have blood dripping from his fangs. That wasn’t exactly kid-friendly. 
“How ’bout the Sox?” she said to her empty car. She sighed. 

The air was electric. She could come up with something special to paint here. There were rarely people in her paintings. Maybe that was her problem. She’d always felt removed from the people around her. The secret to healing her broken soul wasn’t communion with God, but communion with her fellow man. That’s what art gave her. She felt connected to the long dead artist. What she needed was to connect with the living. 
On the sidewalk to the left of her car, a small girl about three-years-old bounced on her father’s shoulders. Her hat was too large and fell over her eyes. With an iron grip on her father’s chin with one hand, she pushed it up. It fell again. Janie wiped away a tear. It had been decades since she had been her father’s Moonbeam. 
To her right, happy couples strode toward the stadium. Their joy was so palpable, she could feel it through the closed window. She rolled it down and fragments of conversation floated to her. None if it made sense, talks about winning a pennant or someone being sent down to the minors or a designated hitter, whatever that was. If she was going to become a fan, she needed to learn a new language. She wondered if tickets were available. With all these people, probably not.

Blurb/Backcover copy:

Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.

Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.

Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

Buy Links:

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=516&category_id=69&manufacturer_id=250&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mark-of-Abel-ebook/dp/B00B0FSH9A/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358130524&sr=8-4&keywords=The+Mark+of+abel

Trailer  Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UayqdSPMFMQ&feature=youtu.be

One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Mark of Abel and be entered into the hop's grand prize drawing for a pack of books from XOXO Publishing. You must include your email address to be eligible. 

Make sure you visit other stops on this hop for learn about more fabulous books and for more chances to win. There is a prize at every stop.

Also, I am currently involved in a uber-massive virtual book tour for The Mark of Abel. Feel free to join me at any of my stops. The  Grand  Prize for the tour is a $50 Amazon  Gift Card. Click on the graphic below and it will take you to the tour page. Thank you for stopping by.

Holy Hell Tour

Say Hi to My MuseItUp Sister, JQ Rose

Hi Viola. Thanks so much for trading blogs with me today. It’s fun to meet your readers and introduce my new mystery, Coda to Murder

Hello Readers. So happy you stopped in today.  Please leave a comment, ask questions, wave, or say hi because it will enter you into the drawing for prizes at the conclusion of the Coda to Murder book tour. I enjoy interacting with readers, and this topic of forgiveness can make for a lively discussion. Thank you.

Back of the cover-- Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.  

Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her. 

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

I was inspired to write this book when a friend told me she couldn’t forgive her ex-husband. They had gone through a mean, stressful divorce after he left her for another woman. She was a Christian woman trying to live a Christian life, but she just couldn’t seem to get over his betrayal. Deep inside she had to admit she could not forgive his actions.

Intellectually we know by not forgiving others, we’re really hurting ourselves. We carry a grudge within our hardened hearts. Instead of the horrible burden going away, we seem to feed it and make it grow into hatred that seethes throughout our pores and colors our world black with resentment.

Withholding forgiveness to someone who hurts us only gives us a false sense of power and control over that person. No one likes to have a hammer held over her head with comments like, “Remember when you did so and so?” Bitterness grows further damaging the relationship. 

It takes a strong, loving person to be the first to try and reach out and forgive and an equally loving person to accept forgiveness. When that happens, the heart soars. 

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It may take a long time to get a different perspective on the hurt and anguish, but in the end we can try and do the best we can to resolve a relationship and relieve heartache for both parties.

My main character, Pastor Christine Hobbs, preaches about God’s forgiveness in all things. Even if we don’t feel we are worthy of forgiveness, God’s love and grace is available. All we need to do is ask.

Christine tries to practice it in her own life, but just when she thinks she has come to terms with her husband’s cheating, lying, and eventual abandonment, she discovers she has not. No one said it is easy to forgive. In order to move on with our lives and gain peace within, forgiveness is the key.

This excerpt is from Coda to Murder when Christine receives a phone call from her ex which starts her stomach churning and her blood boiling.

“So how are you getting along there with your new church position?” His voice moderated. “You may not believe it, but I do think of you and wonder how you are.”

Her eyes teared up. He had no idea how much she missed him and hated him at the same time. 
“I’m fine. How’re you?”

“Well, as soon as I get this apartment cleaned up, I’ll be happy. What a job. I never knew moving would be so difficult.”

“You’re moving? Where are you going?” She bit her lip. She hated to sound as if she were the least bit interested in his life.

“Nadia and I found a house.” He delivered it like a hot poker through her heart.

He met Nadia while he was away on a lengthy sales trip. She shook her head to erase the dark thoughts in her mind.

“We decided it was such a good deal, we couldn’t pass it up. I’ll send you my new address. It’s a ranch in a subdivision near that greasy spoon cafe we liked to go to. Do you remember that place? Jake’s.” His remarks were so off-handed. 

“Oh, yeah.” Christine remembered Jake’s like it was yesterday. 

Jake’s was the place where she told Brad she was pregnant with their baby. She remembered the joy in his face and excitement they felt about beginning their family.

She squeezed her eyes closed, trying to blot out the memory of the night she lost her baby girl in the emergency room. She was all by herself because Brad was away on a business trip. He never understood her feeling of loss, so he tried to act like it never happened. The baby wasn’t real to him as she was to her. 

She realized she wasn’t listening to a word he’d spoken, so when Brad stopped talking she said, “Okay. Thanks. Gotta go. Just mail them to the church. Good-bye.” The lump in her throat prevented her from continuing the phone conversation. 

Still clutching the phone in her hand, the memories of that Saturday morning conversation over two years ago surfaced in her mind. She and Brad were sitting at the kitchen table. Christine looked forward to spending time with her husband. Having a weekend together was unusual.

“So what are your plans for this weekend? Do you want to take a drive or go to a movie?” she asked as she picked up the cereal box.
Setting his coffee mug on the kitchen table, he looked directly into her eyes.

“I won’t be here this weekend.”

She stopped pouring the sugary flakes of cereal into the bowl. “Oh, really?” She turned to face her beloved husband. “I thought we could do something fun this weekend. We have so little time together anymore.”

“I’m moving out today.” He sat motionless in the chair.

“What? What did you say?” She leaned in closer toward Brad, the cereal box clenched in her hand.

“I’m leaving. I’m moving in with a friend. I want out of this marriage.” He grabbed the cup of coffee and pulled it toward him.

She clutched her stomach to stop the churning inside. Was she dreaming? This couldn’t be real. She tried to read his face, but he kept his eyes on his coffee mug. 

She slammed the box of cereal down on the table and curled her hands into tight fists. With each sentence she spoke, her fists hit the table. “Wait a minute. Bradley, wait a minute. What’s happening? What are you saying?”

He glanced up furtively. Finally locking onto her eyes, he said, “I’m in love with another woman. It’s over for us.” He scooted back the kitchen chair, turned his back to her, and walked to their bedroom. She remembered sitting at the table, shell-shocked, silent, and helpless.

Blinking back to reality, Christine threw the cell phone on the end table and covered her face with her hands. A torrent of tears puddled in her palms. Christine heard heartbreaking cries then realized the sounds came from her, from the depths of her soul. The phone conversation stirred up all the memories and hurt she thought she had buried. Although she had tried, she realized now she hadn’t forgiven him, nor could she ever forget.

No man would ever again win her heart then crush it.

# # # #

Now available at MuseItUp Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/anax9x7
bn.com and major online booksellers.

BIO- After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by MuseItUp Publishing in 2011. Her latest mystery, Coda to Murder, was released in February. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4