Duty of Care and The Caretakers

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Sydney Jamesson and her mystery/suspense novels Duty of Care and The Caretakers.

Author’s description

DUTY OF CARE:

 

On her death bed Emily Derbyshire’s mother made her promise to take good care of her little sister. Keeping her promise, twelve-year-old Emily did exactly that and became five-year-old Rita’s benefactor and bodyguard.

 

After eighteen years of sisterly devotion Emily receives some shocking news! Rita has committed suicide. When disturbing details start to surface, Emily puts her highflying career on hold to seek out those responsible. She hires an American private investigator Robert Blackmoor; a motorbike riding, no-frills, computer hacker who will use any means necessary to unearth the truth.

 

Not surprisingly, Robert uncovers secrets from Emily’s troubled childhood and chips away at the glossy veneer of deceit which masks the truth behind, not only Rita’s life, but Emily’s imperfect life too.

 

Together they assemble the pieces of a sinister puzzle, revealing a cruel and corrupt world of exploitation and murder: a Dark Web into which Rita has become entangled.

 

As dark forces encircling Emily tighten their grip, and with everything to lose, she must make a life and death decision that she may live to regret.

 

THE CARETAKERS:

 

Emily Parsons is a product of a difficult childhood: self-reliant, fiercely protective and willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. She has even slayed a monster, or two … or three in the name of poetic justice, and yet she is haunted by the image of a beautiful blond girl.

 

Sixteen-year-old Louise Travis has been abducted.

 

Louise’ fate rested in Emily’s hands, but she let her slip through her fingers like gold dust, only to be swept away by a malevolent band of brothers.

 

By once again enlisting the help of computer hacker, Robert Blackmoor, Emily must find Louise before she is lost forever in a Dark Web of heinous crimes, cruelty and corruption. The clock is ticking, and Emily’s investigation is drawing the wrong kind of attention, but she will not back down. She is duty bound to protect those she loves.

 

With skeletons from her past being unearthed, who can she turn to, and who can she trust with her own sinister secrets?


In this guest post, author Sydney Jamesson takes a tongue in cheek approach to writing psychological suspense and advises us “Don’t try this at home!”

Follow the Firework Code

Reading a psychological suspense novel is a bit like watching someone throw a firework onto a camp fire; at some point you know that sparks will fly but you can’t predict the size or the force with which they might strike you down.

All you can do is watch and wait!


Dear writer of psychological suspense,

Even though you might be tempted, at no point should you provide too much information too soon for your reader. Finding out what kinds of firework you have thrown into the fire is half the fun; giving too much away too soon will only ruin the experience of finding out for themselves.

It also follows that you shouldn’t foreshadow the explosion with suggestions of safety wear: a flack jacket, a visor … In doing to you’ll spoil their anticipation and have them running for cover before the touch paper catches alight.

What you should do, is provide your reader with distractions, throw in a red herring or two, clues as to the timing of the big bang, prepare them for the moment of revelation but be subtle, allow the firework to hiss and sizzle without actually blowing up in their face.

As for the psychological aspect of the story, you can expect the reader to ask, where did the fireworks come from, who threw them into the fire and what was their motivation for doing such a dangerous thing? And you need to have some really impressive answers slotted into your backstory or the plot just won’t ignite the imagination of the reader.

You can always fan the flames with an unhealthy dousing of obsession.  Psychological thrillers often contain powerful emotions like dread and fear, or elements of horror like trauma and shock. As the flames in begin to leap and dance before the reader’s eyes they will start to see the story taking shape, sparks will fly and spread like wildfire in their imagination…

Only when the heat is rising should you allow the firework to explode, to shower your reader with glowing pieces of a puzzle they hadn’t quite figured out.

As with any firework display you hope your reader will applaud and leave the smouldering mass that remains smiling with satisfaction—they should leave knowing they have been entertained!

A word of warning: playing with fireworks can be dangerous. Make sure you know what you’re handling and that your reader stands well back. You don’t want them to get their fingers burned … how then would they write a review?

About the Author

Sydney Jamesson is a USA Today bestselling author by night and an English teacher by day. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always written creatively; in her home is one enormous wastepaper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night. Her USA Today bestselling trilogy, THE STORY OF US sold worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone’s and Beth Parker’s epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, featuring Blue Genes, Blue Hearts and Blue Moon.

More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense. THE DARKEST CORNERS was her first venture into the new genre: a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together. The twists come think and fast and the ending is unforgettable!

In her latest novels, DUTY OF CARE and THE CARETAKERS – THE DUTY BOUND DUET -readers explore the seedier side of the Dark Web; witness abduction, human trafficking, and a devoted sister’s willingness to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. It’s a real page turner, filled with incidents which are heart-breaking and heart-stopping in equal measure!

Find the Author

Website:     https://www.sydneyjamesson.com/
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Jamesson-516585008400062/
Twitter:       https://twitter.com/SydneyJamesson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7074207.Sydney_Jamesson
Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/jamessonauthor/

Buy the Books

DUTY OF CARE:
AMAZON:  https://www.amazon.com/Duty-of-Care-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNGJVGF
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54443373-duty-of-care

THE CARETAKERS
AMAZON US:   https://www.amazon.com/The-Caretakers-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNKPLH5
AMAZON: UK   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CNKPLH5

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

GF

My Favorite Excerpt

Duty of Care  Chapter 8  May 1998

MAY CAME WITH A vengeance. Mid-month, there was an outbreak of whooping cough.

Like a wrathful ogre wielding a scythe, it struck down the young, the frail and faint-hearted. Aged five, Rita Derbyshire was incapable of escaping its relentless assault. Emily was quick to read the signs: a lack of appetite, flushed cheeks and a wracking cough that had her gasping for breath.

Despite the outbreak, an ineffectual night shift worker was reluctant to respond. He locked the office when Emily asked to use the phone to call for an ambulance and staggered to bed stinking of whisky and tobacco, claiming it was too late to drive anyone to the hospital.

Fearing Rita might die, Emily raised hell, had the O’Farrell twins rouse anyone who was not struck down with the illness to dress warmly, to put on gloves and meet her in the kitchen. When they were assembled, bleary eyed and shivering, she explained that if they did not work as a team that night, then some of them would die.

Remembering what she had read on the computer at school about the illness, she paired them up and handed one of them a bowl of steaming water. Their partner was to guide them slowly to one of the ailing girls. They were to hold the whooping girl over the bowl under a towel and encourage her to inhale the steam. Once the water had stopped steaming, then they had to do it all again. Having organised them, she returned to Rita and did the same for her. The caravan of bowl carriers continued through the night.

When the day shift worker, Cassie Hendricks, arrived at eight in the morning, she was horrified to see the kitchen in disarray and bowls of every shape and size scattered on corridors amid puddles of freezing water. She assumed they had been having a pyjama party or a midnight feast of some sort. It was not until Emily appeared wearing yesterday’s clothes carrying a pale faced little girl across her arms fighting for breath that she realised what had gone on.

Close to exhaustion, Emily cried out, “Cassie, Rita needs to go to hospital, right now!” Around her stood a group of ashen faced girls, some still clutching bowls. “You need to call a doctor because there are lots of sick kids here.”

Without saying a word, Cassie pulled her phone out of the back pocket of her jeans and made a couple of calls.

Fly Twice Backward

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author David S. McCracken and his alt-history sci-fi novel, Fly Twice Backward.

Author’s description

You wake back in early adolescence, adult memories intact, including ones that could make you very wealthy now. Your birth family is here, alive again, but your later families are gone, perhaps forever. What has happened, what should you do about coming problems like violence, ignorance, pollution, and global warming? You realize one key connects most, the fundamentalist strains of all the major religions, disdaining science, equality, and social welfare. You see that there are some things you can change, some you can’t, and one you don’t dare to.

Fellow idealists help you spend your growing fortune well–such as an artistic Zoroastrian prince in the Iranian oil industry, a rising officer in the Soviet army working to find a way to destroy his corrupt government, a Bahai woman struggling against Islamic brutality, a Peruvian leader working for a liberal future, and a snake-handling Christian minister, grappling with doubts, sexuality, and destiny. They are supported by an ally who develops essential psychic powers. The group faces familiar-looking corrupt politicians, religious leaders, and corporate czars, but there is an ancient force in the background, promoting greed, violence, hate, and fear.

This exciting, emotional, thoughtful, humorous, and even romantic sci-fi novel weaves progressivism, music, movies, and literature into a struggle spanning the globe. Vivid characters propel the action back up through an alternative history toward an uncertain destination. Experience the unique story and its novel telling.

About this Book

The premise of this book fascinates me, and I’m looking forward to reading all of it. I’d hoped to do so before this post, but frankly it’s daunting length (723 pages) put a kink in those plans. However, I’m going to make a few observations.

  1. I started the book and thoroughly enjoyed the beginning. The author does a credible job of describing an incredible event — a man of today waking up in the 1950’s to find himself the child he once was.
  2. McCracken tries a lot of ambitious things in this novel, and one is providing links to songs and other media intended to enhance his story. It’s a clever idea! I know because I tried it in 2012, in my first novel called x0 (and later renamed One of One)* and I thought it was brilliant at the time. The wave of the future. My own experience was that some readers loved it, some found it a real distraction, and most ignored it. Perhaps I chose my links poorly, but in the end it took far too much effort to maintain them and I ended up rewriting the book (and four others) removing links entirely. I wish author McCracken a better experience with this idea!
  3. I skimmed through much of the long middle of this book. It appears to be a complicated but basically well-written story with a lot of action. Subdivided into decades, I zipped through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.
  4. I also looked at some of the reviews, because I always do that, and I saw some heavy criticism for the author’s inclusion of his personal political views. There is no question he has done that, but so do many if not most science fiction authors. From Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged on through Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is  Harsh Mistress up to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s War, this genre has a long history of swaying hearts and minds, and not always in the direction I’d like to see them swayed. As a left-leaning independent* I thought the counter balance McCracken offers to this legacy was a refreshing change of pace.
  5. I skipped ahead and read the end. I hardly ever do that, but so often such ambitious novels struggle to tie everything together and I was curious. No, I won’t give anything away, but only say the end was a frantic, action filled sequence told from several points of view. It was fascinating to read and appeared to tie up several story lines nicely. I’ll have to read the whole thing, of course, to really know how well it does, but after my quick perusal, I’m looking forward to this.

*I wouldn’t normally talk about myself in a review, but lucky for me this isn’t really a review.

About the Author

David McCracken was born in Louisville, KY, in 1940. Raised mostly in Winchester, KY, he now lives in Northern Virginia, with his third and final wife. He has three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching.

He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he’ll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children’s science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning.

Find the Author

Official Author Site: https://flytwicebackward.blogspot.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55088067-fly-twice-backward

Buy the Book

Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z4KRLQZ/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Waiting for breakfast, reading the Sunday paper at the table, I realize Mom’s not heading for the kitchen: Oh, oh! It’s church day. Mass. Fasting. Acolyting! What’m I going to do about that?

“Mom, am I supposed to serve today?”

“Of course!”

“Well, I can’t. I have no idea how to do that anymore. I guess we need to call Padre and tell him I’m sick.”

“No, David, we’re not playing that game today!”

“Mom, I hate to say this now, but I have no choice. I don’t know how to serve, so I can’t do it, and, frankly, I’m not ever going to do it. I’m an agnostic, a Unitarian, actually.”

She’s slamming the pots I washed and put in the drainer last night as she puts them into the cabinet under the counter. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t know enough to be an agnostic.”

Fortunately, Dad has come in and heard this exchange.

“Nev, whether his story is true or not, or he knows enough or not, he has a right not to go. He was old enough to be confirmed, so he’s old enough to choose. I’ll serve in his place.”

“Lie about being sick, on Sunday?”

“Mom, it’s a temporizer. I can’t reveal to him why I’m not going to today, much less why I’ll never again do it, and I know you wouldn’t want me to be open about it. I might not even be here next Sunday.” I chuckle. “Maybe I’ll have fallen back to age four, with Dad off in the Navy!” What a sharp look I get!

“We need a few days to sort this out, Nev.”

This is what my new tour looks like!

Tomorrow I kick-off a month-long blog tour for 46. Ascending. I’ve found a new blog company, Silver Dagger Tours, to put this tour together and they gave me the html sent out to their tour hosts. Here’s what it’s going to look like! What do you think …



One
of One
46.
Ascending Book 1
by
S.R. Cronin
Genre:
SciFi Fantasy, Adventure


Celebrate
the superhero in us all in this unique exploration of the connections
we forge.

Somadina,
a young Nigerian telepath, faces a crisis. Since being forced into a
frightening marriage, her sister, Nwanyi, has disappeared into thin
air. Not even Somadina’s gift can help locate her sibling. Terrified
and desperate, she reaches out to fellow telepath, Lola–a Texas
scientist–for assistance.


Lola,
however, has been steadfastly ignoring the disturbing phenomenon in
her mind for decades, and has no intention of embracing it now–much
less for a total stranger. But once it becomes apparent Nwanyi is a
pawn in a dangerous political game, the stakes rise for everyone, and
Lola is forced to reconsider.


Can
these powerful women overlook their differences and use their unique
gifts to stop a fanatic willing to kill anyone to alter his nation’s
future?


**Only
.99 cents!!**
Goodreads
* Amazon



Shape
of Secrets
46.
Ascending Book 2

You
can’t outrun the past in this mystery adventure where things are not
always as they appear


Zane,
a young man with the ability to change his appearance, is starting
his first job at Penthes Pharmaceuticals. However, it’s not what he
expects. Soon he is drawn into a world of corporate secrets and
dangerous knowledge.


The
deceptions are only beginning. A sales trip to the South Pacific
leaves Zane dealing with an unsolved murder, an unsavory boot camp
manager, and new friends with abilities as surprising as his
own.


Can
he use his unique talents to unravel the mysteries he’s been
presented with? More importantly, can he find out who framed his
friend for murder before it’s too late?


Goodreads
* Amazon

 



Twists
of Time
46.
Ascending Book 3

Uncover
the startling truth before time runs out in this complex search for
an ancient treasure.


Alex
is a former basketball player who has always been able to bend time.
These days he teaches physics and parents three quirky children
alongside his unusual wife.


When
the administration at his high school wants to reignite its history
with organized hate groups and return to an era of white supremacy,
Alex can no longer remain the quiet bystander. He must stand up and
fight for what he believes is right.


Further
complications arise when Stan, an old high school rival, needs Alex’s
code-cracking skills. Just when Alex has his hands full at school,
he’s drawn into a treasure hunt. Stan and a handful of ex-grad
students lost an obsidian box years ago containing instructions to
find an important discovery. As they reconstruct what happened the
night the artifact went missing, they need Alex’s help to find the
last two hidden relics containing the remaining clues to the
treasure.


As
both of Alex’s situations grow more dire, it becomes clear he must
tap into the abilities he left behind. Can he manipulate time for the
people and causes he cares about most?


Goodreads
* Amazon

 



Layers
of Light
46.
Ascending Book 4


Celebrate
those who light a candle in the darkness in this compelling and
eye-opening tale.

Teddie
is into country music, her old pick-up truck and getting through high
school with as little drama as possible. Yet somehow her best friend,
Michelle, talks her into spending a semester in Darjeeling, India.
The thrilling adventure turns treacherous when a seedy underworld
threatens her friends.


As
she fights to understand a depravity she never dreamed existed, a
stranger makes her an unexpected offer. He’ll train her to find the
missing girls, but she will have to trust in abilities she barely
believes exist and summon more courage than she thinks she has. And
there will be no going back.


Given
the choice between this and abandoning her friends to their
horrifying fate, the decision is simple. She must rise to the
challenge.


But
how can she make such a commitment when she doesn’t understand what
it is she can do?


**Get
it FREE Oct 31st – Nov 4th!!**
Goodreads
* Amazon


Flickers
of Fortune
46.
Ascending Book 5


Cling
to the edge of your seat in this high-finance, high-stakes
adventure.


What do we do with knowledge of the future?
Clairvoyant Ariel has been doing her best to ignore it, finding the
whole thing a nuisance. But when she comes across people using
similar abilities to get extremely rich, her interest is piqued.


Then
she discovers a second collection of gifted people. They care about
ensuring the survival of the human race, but that doesn’t stop them
from being dangerous and crazy, too. Soon Ariel becomes the object in
a game of tug of war between the two groups, as they fight to have
her–and her particular talents–on their side.


She
can’t possibly help them both. Aligning with either could be a
terrible idea. But how can she stay out of it when so much is at
stake?


Goodreads
* Amazon


One
of Two
46.
Ascending Book 6


Join
an extraordinary family on a heart-pounding adventure as they face
mortal danger.

Telepathy
creates as many problems as it solves, as everyone in the secret
organization x0 would admit. Those problems become much worse when
budding psychic Lola discovers another group of telepaths associated
with a powerful media empire. This group is willing to destroy anyone
capable of challenging them.


Soon,
Lola’s family and friends are in danger. Fortunately, they are
gifted with astonishing abilities of their own. Yet, none of them
know how to fight. It will take every power they posses, and the
allegiance of a helpful warrior, to bring down the arrogant adepts
who do the bidding of a man hell-bent on promoting destruction.


Can
the talented people Lola cares about learn to trust each other and
work together in order to save the world?

Goodreads
* Amazon




Sherrie
Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction
novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing
a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven
Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes
it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by
developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s
made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s
lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a
waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a
hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a
husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just
fine, both despite how odd she is.


All
her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be
Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and
writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits
to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard,
just in case.


Website
* Website * Facebook
* Twitter * Amazon
* Goodreads

 

Follow
the tour
HERE
for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon