What Kind of Writer am I? by Robin Ray – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Robin Ray will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What kind of writer am I?

That’s an interesting question simply because I’m not sure what a writer is supposed to be like. Do some writers cloister themselves when they’re trying to get work done? I sure feel like doing that from time to time, especially when it seems people want your attention just at that moment you’ve decided to start writing. I know I’m definitely the kind of writer that hates distractions, and this is also to the point where I often prefer to write in abject silence. I’ve tried writing in the quiet and serenity of parks and lakes but, when my neck starts hurting from straining over my laptop, it’s then I realize I’d rather write with my laptop sitting on a desk or table. I’d say I’m a relatively disciplined writer in that I could sit at a desk for hours trying to get something right. It wouldn’t at all be unusual for me to sit from 7 PM to 6 AM trying to get something done. The research I often have to do necessitates that kind of discipline. In the past, I’ve had to take crash courses on Arkansas quartz mining, the Mossad in South America during the early 60’s, quantum physics and the possibilities of interdimensional travel, the history of shipwrecks in the Bermuda Triangle, the Mayan history of the Camazotz, Jain cosmology, the landscape of Bangladesh, and many others. Also, since I sometimes write stories where people speak languages other than English, I’ve had to study and write what someone would say who speaks German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, the Native American language of the Lummi people, and several others. As far as my writing style is concerned, I’m a plotter. I sketch my stories out from beginning to end and use illustrations if necessary. Sometimes, I even do blocking. In the scriptwriting world, blocking refers to writing out a serious of action in detail. For instance, in the novella “Stranded in Paradise,” I’ve had to physically “block” the movements of five people who were on the bridge of a cruise ship in order to get the sequence of events right. Hopefully, no one saw me standing in my room by myself kicking, chopping, and slashing the air like Jet Li. That would’ve been odd!

No one ever “re-dies” in Heaven; unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to singer Amy Winehouse. Her death, an unprecedented event in Heaven’s history, has thrown a once docile world into unfortunate chaos. Because of the new uneasy alliance between angels and citizens, a freshly-arrived detective in the rock & roll town has been tasked with investigating the prime suspects, the members of the 27 Club – Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. To make matters worse, a powerful angel from one of the upper levels of Heaven will soon arrive to make her ten-year inspection, a task that fills the other angels with dread since she has the power to banish anyone of them to the underworld. So, with time running out, the PI and his newly acquired sidekick, both aided by rock legends such as Eddie Cochran, Mama Cass, Kurt Cobain, Karen Carpenter and others, must quickly uncover the mystery that threatens not only to close Heaven’s doors forever, but promises to send a ripple effect through the entire universe that can rip it apart.

Enjoy the Excerpt

Plants of varying shapes and sizes sprouted everywhere, some just knee high, some as tall as mango trees. Rows of narrow pipes across the ceiling misted the foliage every minute. A few customers were sampling some of the edible flowers while others were reading manuals or informational tags about the unusual plants. Towards the back, the good PI spotted an employee who was busy pulling off the dead leaves from several botanical specimens. The clerk, he noticed, was very colorful with her psychedelic bamboo slippers, purplish pants, flowery blue and white tunic, rows of bangles on each wrist, several beaded chains around her neck, and a pink strip of cloth enmeshed in her long brown hair. As Gregory neared her, he could hear her humming along to the music playing over the virtual speakers high up in the corners of the center.

“Excuse me,” he introduced himself, “I was told Janis Joplin works back here.”

The employee turned and glanced at him. “You found her, babe.”

“Hi, Janis,” the PI introduced himself. “I’m Gregory Angelicus. And…”

“Oh, Lord,” she moaned, flinging the twigs in her hand down. “Another angel. What’d I do now?”

“Oh, no,” he stated quickly, “I’m not an angel. I just wanted to ask you a few questions.”

“About what?” she asked, eyeing the intruder with suspicion through her circular yellow sunglasses.

Gregory looked around momentarily. “Is there some place we can talk?”

“Sure,” she answered, crossing her arms. “You’re standing in it.”

About the Author: Robin Ray emigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad & Tobago at the ripe old age of 12. Already steeped in the rich culture and mysteries of his native land, it would only be a matter of time before he, too, became a musician and storyteller. After a short stint at Iowa State University, he became a nurse for practical purposes but never abandoned his musical and literary aspirations. Eventually, he did play guitar in several bands, committing himself to localized tours and album releases. Leaving the music world behind, he delved headfirst back into his second love – writing. To date, he has authored six screenplays, two novels, seven novellas, around fifty short stories and many poems. Thus far, he’s published six books – five fiction and one non-fiction, all available in paperback and e-book formats. His latest novel, Murder In Rock & Roll Heaven, can be purchased for only $0.99 at Amazon.

Website | Goodreads

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: A Recipe for Murder by Jo A. Hiestand


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

December bullies its way into the village in a swirl of snow and biting wind, threatening to cancel the annual St. Nicholas festival. But winter’s slap pales when a body is discovered in the candlelit church. Someone is not living up to the seasonal wish of ‘peace on earth, good will towards man.’

But the village harbors more than Christmas gifts, DS Brenna Taylor discovers as she and her colleagues from the Derbyshire Constabulary begin working the case. There is the feud between two rival authors; a wife’s open disdain of her husband and his secret comfort in the arms of another woman; the pent-up emotions of a vicar’s wife forced to conform to idealistic conceptions; the tacit threat of a troubled teenager and his delinquent girlfriend.

Brenna also discovers emotions she didn’t know she had when DS Mark Salt, her harassing macho cohort, makes overtures of genuine friendship. Now Brenna must not only examine her love for her boss, DCI Geoffrey Graham, but also consider the likelihood of its ever being returned.

As if sorting through the affairs of the heart and the tangle of motive and suspects in the case weren’t hard enough, a series of arsons threatens the very village itself. And Brenna wonders if they are looking for two felons or just one very disturbed individual.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: An Unwilling Suspect by Jo A. Hiestand


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McLaren’s fiancee tragically died one month ago. Trying to heal emotionally from her death, McLaren settles into a rented farmhouse in the woods near picturesque Lake Windermere, in Cumbria. But he’s barely had a chance to rest when Helen, the woman in the neighboring cottage, is killed…and is discovered near his front door. Because McLaren had spent much of the previous day with her, and his snowy footprints lead to and from her house, he becomes the prime murder suspect in what the police label a frustrated romantic advance. Motives for Helen’s murder are as chilling as the outdoor temperature. There’s the hands-on garage mechanic who’d like to put his hands all over her, the affluent fishing guide, and Helen’s former boyfriend who wanted to renew the relationship.

Can McLaren find the killer before the police jail him for murder?

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: A Staged Murder by Jo A. Hiestand


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Bonfire Night! The four hundred-year-old tradition of burning the straw effigy is beginning in Upper Kingsleigh, England. The torch extends… But it’s no mock figure at the end of the rope; it’s the body of a man, an American tourist. Brenna Taylor, Derbyshire C.I.D., is assigned to the case on a team of detectives under Detective-Chief Inspector Geoffrey Graham. It is the chance Brenna has been waiting for, and she is anxious to impress him. Most villagers suspect an outsider as the killer. But when the frost-covered body of a resident is discovered, apprehension shifts and suspects multiply. Among them are the American’s brother-in-law, still angry over his sister’s death; the husband, who fears his wife will desert him for the American; the inebriated, penniless uncle, who clings to his nephew’s fortune tighter than a cork in a wine bottle. Then Brenna becomes the target of a series of frightening pranks–the work of a harassing male colleague, or a deadly warning to leave the case? Her hunt is personal now.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Clementine’s Shadow by Peggy Rothschild


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In a scorched landscape of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds, Deputy Casey Lang hunts for a child snatched by a predator. As the temperature rises, three unlikely heroes emerge to help.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: An Eye for an Eye by Jocelyn Pedersen


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Rookie detective Izzy O’Donnell is on the trail of a serial killer who’s murdering victims and leaving behind body parts wrapped in Bible verses.

Izzy tracks him down with the help of her two partners—a very enigmatic Moreno and a rather grumpy Cal—her injured dad’s former partner.

Meanwhile, her wacky sidekick, Apple MacIntosh, totes her pet rabbit around in a baby sling, insisting he’s telepathic and can smell death on Izzy’s clothes.

Unnerved by unexplained dreams, Izzy forges forth to solve the case. A homeless man, a philandering televangelist and a mentally challenged gardener are among the suspects who distract Izzy from seeing the killer, who has been getting to know her all along.

Buy the book at Amazon or The Wild Rose Press.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Clementine’s Shadow by Peggy Rothschild


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

In a scorched landscape of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds, Deputy Casey Lang hunts for a child snatched by a predator. As the temperature rises, three unlikely heroes emerge to help.

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Not According to Flan by Karen C. Whalen


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Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the deaths of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man-a gourmet chef-enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends-or maybe even her old ones-might be a murderer?

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio


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When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn


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When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off. When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, he denies any connection. But when the violence escalates, he is forced to face the truth. His wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. The police can’t find any leads. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan are forced to examine their marriage and their values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by his own agenda.

What will it cost to survive?

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