Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Love Songs Murders by Kelly Marshall - Review, Interview

Seattle homicide detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom dig working together. Their lively banter gets them through the daily dark side of their business. After all, dead bodies dominate their workload.

He's straight, she's gay. In politically liberal Seattle, that's not a problem until they both find the same woman irresistible. Suddenly their wonderful working relationship is intolerable.

At the center of their attention is radio announcer, Jasmine James. Beautiful and sultry, James has a sexual appetite big enough to satisfy both detectives. The two officers are not the only ones obsessed with the Love Songs host. A crazed fan kidnaps Jasmine James while four of her male listeners are discovered dead with a single bullet to their ear as her Love Songs program plays softly in the background. The pressure is on the Seattle cops to find the murderer and locate James before her air runs out.



GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a Print copy of The Love Songs Murders.  Giveaway ends January 31st 11:59PM Central Time.  This giveaway is open to US/CAN shipping only.








EXCERPT




Jasmine James opened the door wearing a sheer linen mini-dress and little else. She held a glass of red wine casually in her left hand. Nick smiled in shocked appreciation. He swallowed hard.  “Hello. I‘m Nick Winston.”‖ He flashed his badge.  “I understand you had a problem earlier this evening.”‖
            Jasmine brushed her hair back from her forehead.  “Come in, officer.”‖ She closed the door and motioned for Nick to follow her into the living room.  “I think it‘s just a sick listener. But I‘ve been getting these letters. Obsessed fan letters. And then this guy shows up as I‘m leaving the station this evening. It freaked me out. He screamed at me and pounded on my car window.”‖
            Nick watched the tall, sensuous woman glide into the living room. Her voice sounded soothing, erotic, like satin on skin. Now he realized who this gorgeous babe was. Jasmine James. The Love Songs Lady.
            He had seen her face plastered on the side of Metro buses. Dark, free-falling hair, electric eyes made deep blue by contact technology. He couldn‘t force his eyes away from the stunning figure in the revealing dress. Nick felt the heat rising in his groin. He tried desperately to keep his mind from descending into animal mode. He concentrated on a spot on the wall and said out loud, “Ah, er, that‘s Detective Winston.”‖ He regretted it as soon as he said it.  “Ah, Nick, will do just fine.”‖
            She smiled demurely. He knew this woman undoubtedly had been making men uncomfortable since she was a barely pubescent thirteen. “All right, Nick.”‖ Jasmine turned and gracefully sat down on the couch. Her breasts strained against the thin fabric and he found himself staring. Christ! Was his mouth open? He slammed it shut. She caught his look and smiled, this time seductively.
            Taking a notebook and pen out of his inner jacket pocket, he swallowed hard and prepared to take notes.  “What did this guy look like?”
            “It all happened so fast and I was frightened. I don‘t remember him being very tall or short.”‖
            “Average height?”‖
            “Yes. I‘d say that. He‘s fair. His hair, I don‘t know whether you‘d call it a dark blonde or light brown. But it‘s a washed out kind of color.‖
            Nick nervously clicked his pen.  “Do you recall what his car looked like?”
            “I really don‘t remember. The creep rushed towards me. That‘s all I recall seeing. The car could have been there, but I‘m drawing a blank. Sorry.”‖
            “Shock, fear, anger, any of those strong emotions can stymie memory. You might remember something later. Can I see those fan letters?”
            “Well, I don‘t have them here. They‘re at the station, of course. If you come by KLOV tomorrow evening, you can have them all. I certainly don‘t want them. Although, I have saved them for just this reason. I never know when one of my listeners is going to go sideways and be a real problem.”‖
            “Has this happened before?”
            “There are a lot of lonely people. They reach out to connect with me.”‖ Jasmine shrugged her pale shoulders.
            “Ever been hurt by one of those lonely people?”
            “No.”‖
            Nick didn‘t want to leave. Everything about Jasmine James intoxicated him. Her voice continued to relax every muscle in his body except one. Her perfume smelled subtle, sweet, inviting. Her dark hair draped over her breasts and the contrast with her white dress was impossible not to look at and appreciate. He kept glancing away. His ears felt as hot as his crotch.
            “I‘ll make it a point to come by tomorrow evening. Should I come before you go on the air?”‖
            “Sixish would be perfect, Detective.”‖ She smiled as she emphasized Detective.
            He grinned again.  “Remember, it‘s Nick, Miss James.”
            “My friends call me Jazz. Tomorrow, then?”
            He nodded agreement unable to trust his voice.
            She breathed a goodbye as she slowly closed the door on the still grinning detective.





MY REVIEW
4.5 Stars
Jasmine James is a well-know radio personality in Seattle who has attracted a creepy stalker.  Nick Winston meets Jasmine during the course of his investigation into a peculiar murder.  Nick is smitten by the breathy beauty and her non-too-subtle hints that she finds him attractive, as well. When Jasmine is abducted, Nick is tenacious in his efforts to locate and save her.  He and his partner, Pat Strom, pull-off an astonishing feat and manage to capture the stalker, but Jasmine’s where-abouts remains unknown.  Finally, though, their dogged investigation produces results.  But meanwhile, more men are dying; each with surprising similarities in circumstantial and forensic evidence.   Pressure mounts on Nick and Pat to solve the murders.  Then the unthinkable happens.

With enough twists to keep even the most experienced armchair sleuth guessing, this novel is an unusual and exciting foray into the seedy side of jealousy, revenge, and desire. I thought the character development throughout was outstanding. Even though the murderer’s identity becomes obvious to the reader about 75% into the book the story remained spellbinding to the very end.  Well-written, intense, and savvy; this mystery will not disappoint.   

Reviewed by Laurie-J




INTERVIEW


How did you start your writing career?

                I’ve always wanted to write from the first time I picked up a book. My first book was called Other Victims. It’s lost somewhere in the belly of my garage where it belongs. It was a cathartic experience to kill off an ex-husband. Oddly, enough that ex became a dear friend of mine before he passed away of natural causes. After taking a romance novel writing course at a local community college a few years ago, I started getting serious about my writing. Out of that class a group of us formed a critique group that is a nurturing support for my writing.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

                One of my favorite characters in The Love Songs Murders is Jasmine James. Pampered and promiscuous, Jasmine controls the people in her life with her good looks and exceptional voice talent. Through extreme adversity, she comes to grips with her sex addiction and her appalling self-centered behavior.

Tell us about your current release.

                The Love Songs Murders is a mystery involving two Seattle homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom.  One is straight, one is gay. They banter their way through investigations until a beautiful woman turns both of their heads. Suddenly their working relationship is strained, then broken. At the center of their attention is Jasmine James, host of The Love Songs Radio Show. The popular radio announcer is kidnapped by an obsessed fan. To complicate the case, several of Jasmine’s male listeners are being murdered. It’s the detectives’ job to find Jasmine before her air runs and find out who is killing Love Songs listeners. Another big question is answered as well. Who gets the girl?

Tell us about your next release.

                My next release is a sequel to The Love Songs Murders. The working title is The Innocent.  Seattle detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom are called in on the case of a murdered child. The five-year-old angelic girl is found strangled in a Seattle park. The detectives are suspicious of the mother’s boyfriend, a charismatic local preacher. But the child’s father is discovered to have some unsavory sexual charges in his past as well. The two cops sift through the clues to find the monster who took the life of the innocent child.

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

                My greatest inspiration was my high school English teacher, Larry Flanders. He was not only my English teacher, but our high school drama coach. He had such a passion for words that it stoked the literary fires in me. I recently had the distinct pleasure of reconnecting with him at a high school reunion. We have developed a lively correspondence and Mr. Flanders has invited me and my grandson to visit with him and his family in Michigan next summer. What a treat!

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?


                My writing critique group has nurtured and encouraged me. The five of us meet monthly and submit our efforts to each other for review. The ladies are all very literate, encouraging and insightful. I trust them implicitly. It’s like a free editing service to boot. In August we took a trip to the Washington coast and spent a few days soaking up sunshine, walking on the beach, working on our individual projects, and sipping on lavender margaritas. It was invigorating and fun.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

                I write when I have any spare minutes. My life is segmented in tiny blocks of time. I work for the Social Security Administration and am raising my grandson. He is active in Boy Scouts, school and church-related activities. It makes for a very busy life. So carving out time for writing is always a struggle. I write mostly in the early morning and on weekends. My house suffers, but I keep my eye on what’s important. Dawson, my grandson is first and my writing second.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

                The hardest part of writing my books is finding time to refine them. I spit out the original, but finding the precious hours to edit and strip away the yuk is a real challenge for me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Kelly Marshall spent thirty years as a radio announcer. One of her jobs was a love songs radio show called Lights Out. She now is devoting herself to her two great passions, raising her grandson, Dawson and writing. Kelly Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest and is working on her next novel about Seattle Homicide Detectives Pat Strom and Nick Winston.




Thanks for Looking!
Post a Comment