Monday, September 22, 2014

Deciding to Play Cops and Robbers: Guest Blog and Giveaway Hollownton Homicide by Gretchen S. B.

            Hollownton Homicide is the first book in a series about homicide detective Anthony Hollownton. It is the first book I have written that needed to have a definite ending. I mean, what type of mystery would it be if the murders weren't solved in the end. That was hard for me, now that I have written books that can end wherever the ending seems to be. I think I would have set it aside and not finished it if it wasn't for the history of the book.

            Anthony Hollownton, or Tony as the character prefers to be called started out as a joke about ten years ago. I was chatting on the phone with a friend of mine and for some reason or another I started joking about how he should become a cop. We laughed and started to move on, but a scene started playing out in my head. For those of you who read the book this is the scene outside the first victim's house. I started describing the scene to my friend and when I finished he said something along the lines of 'and then'. I did not have an answer for him but wrote down the scene anyway.

            It gnawed at me for a while, I think because I knew this was going to be something much bigger than a joke with a friend. Over the next year or two I would write the first sixty pages. I am not sure when but at some point I decided that the other characters in this book would take after Tony. That is to say more than half the characters give a nod to someone I know in real life.  I found it an extra challenge to try to fit people in.

            Anyway after about a year or so I started writing romance and the like. Tony was put on the backburner while happier, lighter stories took his place. He waited semi-patiently for another three years until I picked his story back up again. I started where I had left off, dutifully give pages to my beta reader. But then a terrible thing happened. I reached the climax of the story and realized the rest of the book was going to be totally predictable. I was both bummed and disappointed. Tony deserved better. So instead Tony was set aside again until I figured out a way to fix his world.

            Then earlier this year I decided the only way to fix the problem was to start from the beginning and rewrite the book. It was daunting and procrastinator that I am, I put it off. When I finally sat down and began the rewrites the ideas were slow at first, then the plot began to reset itself. Setting different events in motion then the first time it was written. Then, finally ten years after his story began Tony Hollownton's first book got an ending.

            It took a lot to get this one out for public consumption. I hope you enjoy it.

Hollownton Homicide
Anthony Hollownton
Book 1
Gretchen S. B.

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery

ISBN: 978-1495499463

Number of pages: 258
Word Count: 82,628

Cover Artist: Talina Perkins

Book Description:

Homicide detective Anthony Hollownton thought he had seen it all until he and his partner, Rick Nelson, are called to a murder scene unlike any Tony has come across. There are no witnesses and none of the neighbors heard a thing.

Once Tony starts to investigate the facts of the case become stranger and stranger.

As the body count rises Tony is drawn into a world he did not know existed.

Starting with a visit from a dead woman from his past.

He must decide whether the paranormal truly exists or if these killing are some kind of delusional gang war.

Anthony swung up in bed. What had woken him? Had his alarm gone off? There was a ringing noise. He turned to his left and made a grab for the phone next to his bed.
“Anthony Hollownton.”
That was as polite as they were getting for the middle of the night. If they had a problem with that they could deal with it. He looked at his alarm clock, five am. That meant barely more than two hours of sleep. Why would someone call him at five am?
There was a pause on the other end.
“Hello.” He repeated. He felt himself freeze.
He could hear talking on the other end. He silently pleaded that it wasn’t the same woman from earlier. He was just frustrated enough to trace the call and chew her out. He heard a male voice come on to the other end and Anthony exhaled, forcing his muscles to relax one by one. He had to get sleep; he was jumping to ridiculous conclusions.
“Hey Tony, sorry to call so early man, but I gotta ask you a question.” It was his partner. The tone in the man’s voice sounded serious but genuinely upset about saying whatever it was he was about to say.
Tony felt himself tense again, what if something was wrong with Amanda or the baby?              “What is it Rick?” Tony tried to sound neutral.
When he heard his partner sigh he relaxed again feeling more tired than before.
“Look man, I don’t believe it but Amanda asked me to so I’m doing it.”
Tony screamed in his head. He wanted to get back to sleep. “Get to the point Nelson. I want to go back to bed.”
The use of the last name was usually reserved for when they were working. It showed Rick he meant business and told him to get to the point.
“As you know the land line is on Amanda’s side of the bed and she has picked up three phone calls since we went to bed she says it was a woman who laughs and hangs up. After the third time Amanda called *69 and the number is yours, your land line anyway. I wasn't sure at first since you don't really use it. But when I double checked in my cell, the numbers matched. I told her it was crazy, since you never have women over. I told her that outside of her and other cops you don’t even know any women, no offence, but she’s making me call anyway to make sure.”
Tony’s jaw dropped. Now he was wide-awake. He must have been silent too long because his partner’s voice came on with a worried tone.
“Hey Tony, you still there?”
Tony flicked on his bedroom light and scanned the room, empty. “Yeah man, I’m here, just shocked. I don’t have anyone here and I’ve been asleep. You know it could be some prank caller who knows how to reroute numbers or something.”
Tony debated telling his partner about the call at work but quickly dismissed it. With a wife and a four-month-old daughter Rick had enough on his plate.
“Yeah, I figured as much. I was just calling to make sure. Sorry for waking you up man. I hope you can get back to sleep.” 
Tony nodded. So did he. “Yeah, good night Rick.”
He heard his partner say something to his wife. “Good night Tony, See you tomorrow, I mean today.”
As he hung up the phone Tony looked about his room. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Against the wall at the foot of his bed was his 42' TV. To the left of the bed was the closet, which was still open from when he put away his work clothes, no one was in there. To the right of the TV was the door out into the rest of the apartment, still closed. Everything on the nightstand was still where he left it. Turning, he looked at the window above the bed, still locked. He turned back reaching into the top drawer of his nightstand and pulled out his gun and got out of bed. If there was anyone in his apartment he was going to find them.

About the Author:

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning (Except the Super Bowl!).

She graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy. She loves that Washington provides a large range of activities, from Shakespeare in the park to rodeos. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows via Netflix.

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Gretchen S. B. said...

Thank you for having me on your blog!

bn100 said...

Nice blurb

Gretchen S. B. said...


Jolanda LovestoRead said...

Sounds great! Thank you for the chance!