My contribution to the series is titled Blood and Breakfast. Check it out below. And be sure to check out my contest where you can win an Amazon gift card! Find details here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCUDvF4YrTa1YzADCvrQIWbK8Q6Ro7Gnb0yRxxl3Kg2Fkd-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link (Contest ends Dec 15, 2020)
Links to Evil by Rolynn Anderson
Till Death by Maureen Bonatch
Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean
Retribution by D.J. FitzSimons
Shattered Reflections by Tamrie Foxtail
A Deadly Game by Jannine Gallant
Dead to Rights by Margo Hoornstra
In the Still of the Night by Callie Hutton
Glimpse, the Dinner Guest by Stephen B. King
Scorned by Anna Kittrell
Vanity Kills by Dianne McCartney
Fatal Legacy by Krysta Scott
Azrael’s Chosen by Leah St. James
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Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
I was plotting my story and trying to figure out why a normal family man would suddenly snap and murder his family. I realized that hallucinations could cause people to do crazy things, so I researched what could make people hallucinate. I discovered that the plant, jimson weed, can cause serious hallucinations. I also wanted to incorporate some kind of an authentic local legend in my story, so I researched legends in various states and came across the Devil’s Footrock in Rhode Island. I was able to mesh the two–jimson weed and the Devil’s Footrock–to come up with how the husband/father in my story lost his mind and killed his family. It’s so much fun when ideas click and make a story come together. Here’s a photo of Devil’s Foot Rock:
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Alicia: My very favorite genre to write is suspense/mystery/thriller because that’s what I enjoy reading. Anything creepy, scary and dangerous gets my heart pumping. I love to create evil characters and set them loose. I also enjoy giving them their comeuppance. 😊
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Alicia: It’s not really a ‘who’ but a ‘what’. I’ve always loved to read and, for as long as I can remember, my own stories swirled around in my brain. I didn’t really ‘decide’ to become a writer, I had stories inside me that wanted to get out, so I had to become a writer.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Alicia: When I’m already working on a story, reading the previous chapters gets my creative juices flowing. Also, I have a ritual where I listen to rain videos on YouTube and that helps me get in the writing mode. When I’m first starting a story, my creative juices don’t flow. I just have to force it until I’m in the zone.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Alicia: Oh, yes. Two, really. Foghorn Leghorn and Bugs Bunny. Because they are hilarious and Bugs Bunny is so clever and mean.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Alicia: Without a doubt, Elvis Presley. I have adored him all my life and he was beautiful and talented and charismatic and kind. As for a living person, this will probably not be a popular answer, but President Trump. It would be amazing to meet the president of our country.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Alicia: Well…I guess the obvious answer is write. But I think you mean, free from writing as well. 😊 I would love to spend a day just visiting with my family. I lost a brother two years ago and I wish I’d spent more time with him.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Alicia: A police procedural, the first in a new series. The working title is “The Eye of a Red-Haired Woman.”
Determined to boost the sagging ratings of her internet radio show, “A Dark Place,” murder junkie Sasha Gillette checks into the Talley House Bed and Breakfast in North Kingston, Rhode Island. She and her co-host plan to broadcast an episode about the murders that took place there thirteen years earlier on a Friday the 13th, when a man butchered his entire family.
Not long after Sasha arrives, the other guests begin to disappear. Has a killer
from the past resurfaced or is there a copycat on the loose?
One of the lone survivors, Sasha finds herself trapped with a sadistic killer and, suddenly, murder isn’t as much fun as she thought.
“I’m going to look for her. It’s not okay that she’s been gone for hours when she said she’d be back in thirty minutes. Do you know where she was taking her walk?”
“I-in the woods.”
“Well, of course she was,” I muttered. “Agnes, do you have a flashlight I can borrow? And maybe something I can use for a weapon?”
Agnes nodded. “I’ll get you a flashlight. I have a hammer.”
Dorset rose as well. “I’ll go with you.” He cut his gaze to Bradley, but the dufus just sat there without volunteering to help. “Nothing, old chap? Not going to offer to come along?”
“I should stay here in case she comes back,” Bradley murmured but he didn’t look at them. Was he afraid…or feeling guilty?
I shivered when we stepped outside, drawing my hoodie tighter around my body. The nearly half full moon hovered in the cloudy sky behind the branches of a Tulip tree. Lightning flashed, illuminating the back yard. The icy air held the scent of rain. “We need to hurry,” I told Dorset. “It looks like it might storm.”
He nodded. “I’d say let’s split up to cover more ground, but with one flashlight and hammer, and with the odd happenings lately, maybe we should stick together.”
“Agreed.” My teeth chattered, though it wasn’t all that cold.
We walked along the wood line, shouting for Macy, shining the flashlight between the trees. Nothing. As if by mutual agreement, we entered the woods. I shuddered, not only concerned about a potential maniac, but also leery of whatever creatures might be scurrying around at my feet. I was a city girl and didn’t even own a pet. I was not okay with encountering an animal, of any kind.
We searched for another half hour with no sign of Macy. We were deep into the woods when the sky opened up and doused us with buckets of rain. Thunder rumbled and more lightning flashed. We gave up and hurried back to the house.
The others were waiting for us.
“Anything?” Bradley asked, his voice high-pitched with anxiety. He seemed much more concerned about Macy than he had been about his wife.
“Not a sign,” I said. “We need to call the police.”
“I did.” Agnes was seated in the forest green wing chair in the corner of the library. “They took the information but said she’s an adult and can leave any time she wants.” She rose. “We waited dinner for you. Let’s eat.”
A pall hung over the room as we ate in silence, the air thick with fear and confusion.
Afterward, I excused myself and headed upstairs, anxiety weighing on me. I had an overwhelming feeling that I wouldn’t sleep a wink. Nor would anyone else.
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