A writer’s done a good day’s work when the characters have gotten themselves into or out of some sort of convoluted situation, whether humorous, dangerous, nightmarish, or ridiculous. It’s what we do.
We create worlds of action, adventure, and danger. We plop our characters squarely in the middle of it and watch them squirm their way out of situations we’d love or hate to get ourselves into and out of but never will. And why not? We’re safe at our little keyboards; there aren’t any repercussions for us. Or are there? Because our most valuable tool, the one essential thing modern writers can’t function without—could be our Judas. Our betrayer. Think about it. Over the past years, how many trials have featured the defendant’s computer as one of the star witnesses?
Unless you’re a computer whiz yourself, you don’t know how to wipe your computer’s memory, now do you? I don’t mean clear out the recent browsing history - occasionally even I remember to do that. I mean clear the “innards” of your computer, where, the experts tell us, our entire online life is recorded. Forever. Unless you’ve got one of those wiping devices from the CIA, of course. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have a lot of those high tech luxuries on my shelf and I’m pretty sure they have folks who could backtrack it through the servers anyway.
What I do have is a browsing history guaranteed to send me away for life were I the suspect in an horrendous crime being prosecuted by any fairly competent District Attorney. And if somebody wanted to frame me—well, they’d just have a field day. In the course of building the backgrounds of my books, in creating that believability that grabs a reader and makes them believe the unbelievable, I’ve set myself up. Big-time. Especially if anything ever happens to my husband.
Even a cursory glance at my browser shows that I know how to obtain a marriage license 24/7 in Vegas, and where to go to use it. I know where prostitution’s legal in Nevada, and where it isn’t. And it isn’t legal in Las Vegas, who’d have thought?
I’ve got a general knowledge of Voodoo and its hierarchy of spirits, as well as Hoodoo (which isn’t the same thing, by the way). I’ve checked out the quality, weight, and street value of various controlled substances, and the styles and types of different handguns and the damages each can inflict.
I know the Temple of Isis at Pompeii (yes, Pompeii, not Egypt) was excavated in 1764. I know golems are creatures made of sand, from Jewish mythology, who carry out their makers’ bidding.
I mean, any prosecutor could convince a jury I offed my husband by means of a golem armed with a .357 Magnum and powered by astral projection, hid his body in a mausoleum, ran away to Vegas, opened a brothel, and founded a black magic coven.
Or maybe they’d say I ran away to Daytona Bike Week with an outlaw biker, and currently serve as second-in-command for a big sprawling drug cartel. Or—well, there’s just no end to it. If you’d like to see the results of all this web-crawling, hop on over to my web-blog, http://gailroughton.blogspot.com where you can view the final results of all this incriminating research. None of my books would have been possible without it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d better go make sure my husband took his vitamins. I do believe it might be in my best interests to keep him healthy.
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: September 21, 2014
Number of pages:192
Word Count: 63,858
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order. She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part. She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA. You just can’t get any steadier than that. Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett.
What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway?
Warlock and Witch? For real? Oh, yes! For real.
Her life as she knows it is over! Instead of organizing corporate documents and pleadings, she’s chasing bail jumpers and taking down serial killers. And investigating secret societies. Like Resurrection.
Not everyone can join, just the elite few who remember their past lives. Only the Seer knows if those memories are truth or fabrication. There’s just one problem. The new Seer is missing in action. War-N-Wit’s new assignment is a blast from the past! But whose past?
Available at Amazon
Excerpt Witch Resurrected
I came abruptly out of total black but not into full light. Candlelight, that was it. And firelight. I was upright and could pass as a duct-tape dispenser, my arms secured at wrist and elbow bend to the arms of a chair. For good measure, another swatch of duct-tape ran on top of and across my fingers, rendering them immobile too. From the curve of the arms and what I could see, I was in a straight-backed chair of the Empire style. And just in case that didn’t hold me, another few turns of duct tape ran under my breasts and around the back. My ankles were crossed and looped with the damn stuff, too. Well, standing up and taking the chair with me was out. At least for now. Taped as they were, I couldn’t stand flat and didn’t think I could balance on the sides of my feet.
I looked around the room. I knew I was in the Bull Street house. The Empire style chair itself was a dead give-away and so was the room. It was wallpapered in dark red that seemed almost black in the muted candle-fire glow. It had been almost five o’clock when I’d seen the newspaper. It had to be full dark by now though the heavy velvet drapes, also dark red and trimmed with gold edging, wouldn’t have let much light in in any event.
It was a bedroom. Against the far wall stood a heavy canopied bed matching the décor of the last century that dominated the whole house. There was an antique washbasin, complete with a water pitcher in Wedgewood blue and white. The knick-knacks on the fireplace mantel looked like somebody’d robbed the British Museum. Not to mention the andirons holding the burning logs looked to be the original cast iron ones placed there when it was built.
But the kicker was the man sitting in a matching chair across from me. He was dressed in a three piece suit, complete with watch fob and chain. He wasn’t stuck to his chair with duct-tape. I didn’t think he needed to be. He was a lot more immobile than me. He stared straight ahead, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t seeing anything. I’d never seen anybody in a catatonic state. Until now, that is.
“Hello, Mr. Hedgepath,” I said. “We haven’t met before, have we? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure you haven’t left this room in a while, have you?”
No response. And no surprise.
The door opened. It creaked. Surprising, really, in a house this recently restored and so well-maintained.
I wasn’t surprised to see Oliver Hedgepath walking in. Or at least, the Oliver Hedgepath we’d been seeing.
“Well,” he said. “Ariel Garrett. The new Seer of the Tear of Isis. You’ve led me a merry chase.”
I didn’t respond.
“Cat got your tongue? Oh, dear, where’s that caustic repartee I’ve come to know and hate? Can’t think of any new names to call me?”
“I know exactly what to call you. Dead man walkin’.” I deliberately spaced out my next sentence, punctuating each word. “My. Husband. Is. Going. To. Kill. You. You know that, don’t you? Whoever you are?”
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: October 17, 2014
Number of pages:194
Word Count: 58,274
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
Daytona Bike Week. Biker’s paradise. The perfect place for Chad and Ariel Garrett to take a few days off and relax with Chad’s buddy Spike and Ariel’s little sister Stacy.
But nothing ever goes as planned with that magical duo. Trouble just stalks them like a black cat. A missing agent riding with an outlaw biker gang, a call from Chad’s past, and War-N-Wit, Inc.’s riding again, with romance blooming in the midst of danger. From Daytona, the crew heads back to Vegas and another family wedding. Spike and Stacy are ready to say “I do!” In the Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas, of course. It’s become a family tradition.
But what’s supposed to happen in Vegas just refuses to stay in Vegas. And you’re not going to believe this side-trip!
Available at Amazon
Excerpt for MeanStreets
I frowned as I settled into the front seat of the SUV. So far everything had run smooth as silk. We were flying into Vegas from Jacksonville, Mom and Dad would arrive about the same time from Atlanta. But something was wrong. Something was missing. I did a mental run-down of the checklist. All luggage loaded? Check. All pending War-N-Wit, Inc. jobs done? Check. Pine Whisper Plantation’s caretaker par excellence Buddy McAfee all set to look after all the animals while we’re gone? Check. And for us, that just wasn’t normal. What was missing? Oh, yeah! Ringtone signaling incoming trouble—magic world, Chad’s past law enforcement affiliations, whichever. Sometimes both, but gotta have at least one. And there it was, coming in loud and clear from the dash. Check. The nerve-pinging tingle from the theme for The Twilight Zone.
“Knew it was too good to be true,” Chad said. “Answer it.”
“Yo, whut up?”
“You tell us, G.”
“You don’t have to sound so cautious, I don’t bite.”
“Much,” said Chad.
“I resent that. And besides, I was just calling to wish you a good trip. And send good wishes to your brother and sister. Glad Spike finally broke out of the closet. Been meaning to call and suggest you introduce him to us but I just haven’t had a chance. We can always use some more of the good ones, Spike and Stacy’d be welcome.”
“We’ll be sure to relay the message,” I said.
“Have a great time in Vegas, do the Strip right. Oh, and while you’re there—”
“I knew it.” Chad shook his head mournfully.
“Hey, it’s nothing! We just got wind one of the magic shows playing right now might be using some low-level magic to con some of the audience. Nothing big, just since you’re there anyway—”
“I hate magic shows. Remember?”
“That’s a hell of thing for the guy so many people call Magic Man to say.”
“G, you couldn’t pay me enough to go near a magic show.”
“Sorry to tell you this, but Mom loves magic shows. There’s three playing on the Strip right now. Stacy’s already told her about ‘em.”
“Should I groan now?”
“’Fraid so. She’s planning to hit every one of ‘em. Which one’s using the low-level magic con, G?”
“Magician by the name of Damien. So you’ll keep an eye open for us?”
“Sure,” I said. “No problem.”
About the Author:
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia whose Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She’s worked in a law office for close to forty years, during which time she’s raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She’s kept herself more or less sane by writing novels and tossing the completed manuscripts into her closet.
A cross-genre writer, she’s produced books ranging from humor to romance to thriller to horror and is never quite sure herself what to expect when she sits down at the keyboard. Now multi-published by Books We Love, Ltd., her credits include the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, The Color of Seven, Vanished, and Country Justice. Currently, she’s working on Black Turkey Walk, the second in the Country Justice series, as well as the Sisters of Prophecy series, co-written with Jude Pittman.
Another War-N-Wit plot always seems to be brewing on the back burner, too, whether she’s actually trying to brew one or not, and usually boils quicker when she’s trying not to brew one at all.
Amazon Page: http://amzn.com/e/B007JVZCKQ
Books We Love, Ltd. http://bookswelove.net/roughton.php