• Tag Archives Suspense
  • Interview with Shirley McCann, author of The Scarry Inn

    551013_4106926478751_1468852437_nGood morning. Let’s start with a short bio so we can get to know more about you.

    I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother who likes to kill people on paper. I’ve had numerous short stories published over the years in various publications. I currently work part time in a brainless job, which sometimes allows me time to write.


    1   What kinds of things, if any, scare you? I know this is a strange fear, but I cringe when I hear an airplane fly overheard. It’s a real phobia, though. I’m also afraid of spiders and snakes. And MICE. I hate mice!

    1. What’s your fav smell? Fresh Brewed Tea. Nothing better.
    1. Ebook or Print? I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather read an ebook than print anymore. For one thing, it’s SO easy to see. Is it me, or is the printing in print books getting smaller?
    1. In your book, The Scarry Inn, a couple of the characters are Inn Owners. Have you ever held a position like that in your career?  If so, did anything weird happen?  Well, not an inn owner, but I did work at an apartment complex. Once when I was showing an apartment to a prospective tenant, I got some bad vibes from him. Instead of going inside and pointing out the amenities, I remained by the door and let him look around by himself. Just had a creepy feeling about him.
    1. Do you like to munch while you write? If so, what’s your favorite writing munchies?  Definitely popcorn. And any kind of chocolate.

    Give us a blurb about your book and tell us where we can find it: 

    Scarry Inn pic

    Convinced they are the victims of a sick practical joke, Heidi Bowman and her three friends are resigned to spending the night at The Scarry Inn, even though the atmosphere is anything but welcoming. Surely the owners, Dick and Thelma are simply trying to drum up business for their new motel by terrifying their guests.

    But when Kara is found brutally murdered, they realize the danger is real and they must find their way to safety before the secrets of the inn claim another victim. Making things even more difficult is the lack of cellphone service in the small town of Frighton, Arizona. With no clue as to who they can trust, the remaining threesome are now caught up in a fight for their lives.


    Amazon.com |B&N| Smashwords |KOBO |ARe |BOB | Scribd

  • Spotlight on The Martini Club 4 Series

    Downton Abbey Meets Sex in the City: 

    New releases from Amanda McCabe, Alicia Dean, Kathy L Wheeler, and Krysta Scott…The Martini Club 4 Series.  Four stand-alone, related novellas centered around a speakeasy based on a gathering place—the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma—where the four friends meet every Friday for martinis, conversation, and lots of laughs.

    MC4 New Banner

    Four young English women discover friendship, romance, and danger in 1920’s New York City…

    • Jessica:  An aristocratic reporter with a penchant for trouble, she encounters sexy, mysterious Frank Markov, owner of an elegant new speakeasy and a man with secrets she’s dying to uncover. ~ Rebellious – Book 1 
    • Eliza: She fled England in pursuit of a better life, but her illusions are shattered when she falls prey to a scoundrel who draws her into a life of prostitution. When she meets Vince Taggart, a former boxer in search of his missing friend, she finds hope and the promise of love. ~ Ruined – Book 2
    • Margaret: Her impulsive nature lands her face-to-face with gangsters and bootleggers. Even more disarming is her undeniable attraction to the enigmatic Harry Dempsey. ~ Reckless – Book 3
    • Charlotte: Her dreams of owning her own bakery crumble when blackmail and murder land at her feet. Is the dashing detective her ruin or her salvation? ~ Runaway – Book 4 

    Amazon Buy Link for Rebellious:  http://amzn.com/B00RKKP9VI 

    Excerpt: Jessica turned back to look at the building.  The windows stared down at them in blank darkness, and she could only hear the faint roar of traffic from Broadway, a woman’s shrill laughter, a cat howling from behind a trash can.

    “No, not from here,” she said.  But she saw the shallow flight of stone steps Meggie had told them to look for, leading down to a shadowy doorway.  “Come on!  We’ll be late.  Maybe Eliza is already waiting.”  Eliza had said she would meet them there after her shift at the factory, though they hadn’t seen her for a while.

    She tugged Charlotte down the steps after her and knocked three times on the door.  A tiny, grilled window set high above her head slid open.

    “The elephant’s eyebrows,” she said, repeating the passwords she’d been given.  Obviously, someone there had a weird sense of humor.

    The window slammed shut, and for several long seconds there was no sound except that distant hum of cars and the pounding of Jessica’s heart.  Had she done it wrong?  Had she come this close to finding a real story, to finding her shipboard Romeo again, only to be turned away?

    Amazon Buy Link for Ruined: http://amzn.com/B00RICLM2I 


    Lord Renwald bellowed, then fell to his knees, one hand on his head, blood seeping between his fingers. His mouth gaped like a fish, his eyes wide and agony-filled. He reached his free hand for her and nearly gripped her skirt, but she jumped back, out of his reach. He frowned as if perplexed, then thudded to the floor—still as a corpse.

    Eliza stood frozen for a moment. Her entire body trembled. Warm stickiness coated her fingers. She’d killed a man. Not just a man, but an Earl. Dear Heaven, she’d killed him. If they caught her, she’d be put to death. The realization jolted her from her trance. She dropped the vase and rushed to the door, flinging it open. She raced down the hallway, to the stairs that led to the lower floor. Nearly flying, she hurried down the steps, past the wide-eyed stares of the other housemaids, and opened the cubby. Just as Maud promised, the valise was inside. Eliza snatched it and rushed to the back door. Her heart ached that she hadn’t had a chance to tell Maud goodbye, to thank her. But she’d promised the woman she would run and never look back. She didn’t know where she would go, or how she would get there, but she knew she would never return.

    Amazon Buy Link for Reckless: http://amzn.com/B00RICW0G0

    Excerpt: Shadows loomed, and every so often a match struck, and the red-tipped glow of a cigarette illuminated a face. Meggie pulled a deep breath to steady her jumpy nerves. Adapted her mind into her stage persona mode.  Forced a casual stride. It occurred and surprised her in how comfortable the oxford-styled uppers were compared to the toe-choking heels she wore nightly. She shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her coat.

    The closer she grew to Club 501 the tighter her stomach knotted. She reached the block and crept around the building, nerves taut as the gory details relayed by Jess and Charli in her head like the film with Ramon Navarro she and Jess had seen, only the scene in her head appeared in vivid colors. The most dominant being red.

    Fingers clenched to stop their trembling, she hugged the side of the building. Nothing.

    She didn’t know whether to be relieved or furious after all of her and Georgie’s painstaking efforts.

    Just as she let out a dejected sigh, a truck rolled in with the lights cut. Meggie sank to the ground behind a row of bushes and watched. The overhead door to Club 501 raised and Butch hurried out, Harry following in his more deliberate gait. A hundred bats flew into motion deep within her abdomen. Could she do this? Eliza. Eliza needs help. 

    Amazon Buy Link for Runaway:  http://amzn.com/B00RIFHGPC

    Excerpt: “I-I have nothing to say to you.” She whirled and marched away from the expectations that had besieged her since the day she was born. Arranged marriages had been outdated since the early 1800s, even in England.

    Heart thumping, breathing shallow, Charli escaped. From him. From her previous life.

    Loud, firm steps thundered behind her. What had she expected? The man had followed her from London. Fury pressed through her veins. Well, that was his choice. She hadn’t asked him to look for her. But she couldn’t…wouldn’t go back to that life. She walked faster. Almost running, but strong fingers curled about her arm, jerking her to a stop.

    “Charlotte.” He gasped for air. “What the devil are you doing?”

    “Getting away from you.” Her hand flew to her mouth. Had those words just come out of her? Only six months in New York, and she’d gained gumption. From wherever the fortitude rose, she embraced it. Clung to it. Needed it. She yanked her arm from his grip, and before he could stop her, continued down the sidewalk. “Leave me alone.”

    “Why are you being so obstinate?” His voice echoed in the quiet of the night. Still, he trailed her. The familiar entrance to her flat lay only two blocks ahead. She pushed to close the distance—between Geoffrey and her old life—to reach her haven.

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  • Spotlight on Martini Club – The 1920’s series.

    Today on the blog, I’d like to present Alicia Dean and friends, sharing a fun new series:

    Before we dive into their stories, the four ladies want to share a fun fact:

    Amanda McCabe: Weirdly, since I love history, I am not much into my own genealogy, but a cousin is, and found out we are somehow related to Catherine the Great of Russia.  I found that fascinating (since I love 18th century history).  Who are some of your famous relatives??

    Alicia Dean: I am a huge, lifelong Elvis Presley fan, and I blog about him every Friday. Who is your celebrity crush?

    Kathy L Wheeler: I am a show hog. And a karaoke freak!

    Krysta Scott: I watch too much tv. At least that’s what my friends tell me. But there’s just so much that captures my attention. Some of my personal favorites include Vampire Diaries, Sherlock, Haven, and The Lottery (which got cancelled. Sigh!)

    Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

    A few years ago, myself and three of my writer friends—Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, and Krysta Scott—began meeting each Friday evening (unless something extremely important kept one of us away, and trust me, it had to be IMPORTANT) for Martinis and various other libations, at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma. In time, we came to dub our gathering the ‘Martini Club.’ We unwind, vent, chat about writing, laugh, and strengthen an already strong bond of friendship. It’s not only fun, it’s beneficial. As all writers know, no other friend besides a writer friend truly understands us. (We also have an honorary MC member, Cindy Sorenson. Although she is a writer, she declined to write one of the stories, but she has been invaluable as far as brainstorming and beta reading. So, what else could we do…we named a character after her in the series!) 

    During one of these gatherings, one of us, and I can’t remember who, made an offhand remark about writing stories centered around the Martini Club. The idea blossomed from there, and the ‘Martini Club 4’ series was born. We thought it would be fun to set our first MC4 stories in the 1920’s, but we intend to write more in other decades in the future. During the planning, plotting, and writing, we have had a few weekend retreats that were loads of fun, and some were even productive. J What a joy to do something that I love so much—writing—with a group of ladies that I love so much!

     mc4 5

    Left to Right: Krysta Scott, Amanda McCabe, Kathy L Wheeler, Alicia Dean 

    Without further ado, I’d like to present the four novellas in our Martini Club – The 1920’s series. 

    *** Release date is February 26, 2015 and the price at that time will be $2.99 each. If you pre-order, they are only 99 cents each! ***

    Please check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page:


    The entire series can be found at this link on Amazon here: 

    Martini Club – The 1920’s series.

    RebelliousCover2 (1) Rebellious: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s

    Amanda McCabe

    Blurb: Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster?

    Lady Jessica Hatton fled her high-society London debutante life for one of investigative journalism in New York—only to be relegated to the fashion pages. Searching for a juicy story leads her to Club 501, the city’s most glamorous speakeasy—and its handsome, mysterious owner, Frank Markov. But his past of war and revolution puts their hearts—and their lives—in danger…

    Excerpt:  I’m glad you’re going with me tonight, Jess,” Meggie said in the back of the taxi, as they sped through the nighttime city on their way back to Club 501.  She squeezed Jessica’s hand and gave a grin, but Jessica could see the shadow at the back of her friend’s eyes.  The grim news of the girl in the alleyway had even affected stout-hearted Meggie.

    Jessica smiled back.  She knew Meggie would never want anyone to see her fright.  Jessica didn’t want anyone to see her own.  “I have to get my handbag back, don’t I?”  And make sure no one read that notebook.

    “How did you lose it, anyway?” Meggie asked.  “You didn’t say.”

    “It must have fallen off my arm while I was dancing there,” Jessica answered lightly.  “Wickedly careless of me, I know.  At least there wasn’t much money in it.”

    The taxi let them off at the end of the alley, and Jessica and Meggie made their way down the walkway, talking and laughing loudly all the way.  Luckily, they weren’t the only ones there.  Even though it was relatively early in the evening, there was already a short line at the underground stairs, elegantly dressed couples and a group of tiddly young men in silk hats and expensive jackets.

    It seemed a murder wasn’t going to slow down business.  In fact, it increased it.

    Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICWBC8

    Contact info: http://ammandamccabe.com 

    Ruined_NEW CVR_LRG

    Ruined: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s

    Alicia Dean

    Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans…

    After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.

    Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he’s known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend.

    Excerpt: Oscar let out a belly laugh. “I recommend you pick out one of these pretty girls and have yourself a real good time. It’ll cost you, but trust me, worth every penny. Just pick one out. Your choice.”

    The whole idea sickened him, but he tried to appear interested and impressed. He scanned the room. His heart gave a little bump when he spotted Eliza from Club 501. He tilted his glass toward her. “What about that one?” He hoped his voice sounded more casual than he felt. The idea of spending a night of passion with a dame like her… Nah, he needed to waylay those kinds of thoughts. He wasn’t the type of Joe to buy a prostitute. And he was here for one reason only.

    Oscar followed the direction he’d pointed. “Oh yes, good choice. Eliza is a quite a prize. And quite a looker. She’s new, but she’s a sweet one.”

    An odd sense of protectiveness rose. At the club, he’d sensed something vulnerable and innocent. Even though he’d been told she was one of Oscar’s girls. She just didn’t seem the type. When their gazes met, he thought some kind of current—some kind of connection had passed between them. But apparently, she was just another hooker.

    Vince nodded. “I’ll take her.”

    Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICLM2I

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    RecklessReckless: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s

    Kathy L Wheeler

    Blurb: Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger…

    Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend.

    Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior.

    Excerpt: Jessie grabbed the paper and read. “A rising new star is on the horizon. Lady Margaret will make your heart weep with those husky, sultry tones of hers. Small appearances in the Broadway productions of The School of Scandal and Betty, Be Good, have not deterred this deliciously attractive young lady from singing gigs around Greater Manhattan. No. These bit-parts Lady Margaret is accruing seem to be serving her needs well. Mark my words, ladies and gents, you would do wise in catching this rising star—if you can.”

    “Let me see that.” Meggie’s breath caught and she snatched it back.

    “And that’s not all,” Jessie said smugly. “Paul Whiteman was at Club 501 last night with some new composer. Gershwin something or other.”

    “Paul Whiteman?” she squeaked.

    “Do you know of him?”

    “Know him? Know him! They refer to him as the King of Jazz. Dear God. He heard me? The man played at Aeolian Hall last year. I heard tell he’s receiving five thousand dollars for a single broadcast.” She felt faint and fanned herself with the paper. The one small broadcast with Bernie and Edison at WHN had netted her nothing. Of course, she hadn’t cared. She was on the radio. But now…she needed money, fast.

    Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RICW0G0

    Contact info: kathy@klwheeler.com

    Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |Pinterest 

    Runaway_CVR_LRGRunaway: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s

    Krysta Scott

    Blurb: Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed?

    After escaping an arranged marriage, Lady Charlotte Leighton lands on a new shore, determined to realize her dream of opening her own bakery. But her plans are shattered when her former fiancé follows her to New York. Now, she finds herself in a fight for her freedom.

    Haunted by a string of failures, Detective Felix Noble is determined to solve his latest case. But his efforts to find a murderer are jeopardized by a forbidden attraction to his number one suspect. While he’s certain Charlotte Leighton is keeping secrets, instinct tells him she’s not the murderess he first believed.

    Excerpt: Reality seeped in similar to a dissipating fog. She bit her lip and pulled away, but with his hold, could only manage two steps back. “I’m sorry, I-I’m not much of a dancer.”

    “Please.” he said.

    Her eyes darted to the table. The sumptuous desserts no longer held her enthralled. A rush of heat flooded her cheeks as he guided her perfectly through the steps. His stride was strong, his hand confident as it led her this way and that. She spun through the steps, never feeling off balance. “You dance very well, Detective.”

    “Surprised?” He arched an eyebrow.

    “A little.” She averted her gaze, aware her comment could be construed as an insult. It wasn’t her intent to offend him. Being this close to him was unnerving. Breaking the silence with words, any words, was better than acknowledging the heat radiating through her, or the way his intense blue gaze heightened her senses enveloping her in a gauzy nest of pleasure. Surprised to hear him laugh, she lifted her face to stare up at him. His eyes shone with merriment. He wasn’t offended at all.

    Amazon buy link: http://amzn.com/B00RIFHGPC