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Witch’s Dilemma: eBook Release WWU # 9-17

After five months of brisk sales of Witch’s Dilemma in Paperback, the time has come to release the eBook version. The eBook format will go on sale Friday March, 17 2017. You can preorder your copy now on Amazon to get a step ahead of the game. Price $5.99.

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©2017 Joseph Clay

Book Cover Design by: Rick Chappell ©2017 Rick Chappell

“The devils you know are angels of mercy compared to the hell you are about to encounter.”

World-renowned paranormal psychiatrist and practicing witch Doctor Valerie Bell and her husband, computer genius and strip club-owner Adam Bell, have an unusual marriage, but when Adam goes missing and a mutilated body is found in his car, Valerie begins to fear for her safety. At first she uses her powers of witchcraft and her position as a profiler for the Fort Worth Police Department to help with the investigation, but when she receives a threatening ransom note from a madman she turns to a private investigator for help.

Levi West, mysterious, sharp-witted and sexy, has come to Texas to help two women, Debra and Patricia, who are in the care of the non-profit organization Basham House. The women have endured a terrible supernatural ordeal in the Congolese jungle, and Levi takes them to Valerie for psychiatric therapy. During their first appointment Valerie tells them about her husband’s disappearance and begs Levi for help. But with so many skeletons hiding in Valerie’s closet, how can he be sure that he can trust her?

With the clock ticking, Valerie faces a dangerous dilemma: come up with the ransom money or execute a risky plan to save her career and her reputation. Whatever she chooses, she must act quickly. Although she keeps the details of her past firmly locked away, unfolding events threaten to drop the key right into the hands of the wrong people, and Valerie only has one week in which to assemble an unstoppable team before somebody unlocks the door. Can she convince Levi to help her in time, or will her sordid past end up splashed across the six o’clock news?

As the investigation continues, connections are made between Adam’s disappearance and a series of brutal killings, the Salem Stake murders, which took place six years previously. The killer was never found, and the bodies of the thirteen victims were all discovered alone, in rooms locked from the inside. So when a message from the returned Salem Stake is found in Adam’s car, alongside the unidentifiable body, the police begin to wonder how he could be connected to the unsolved crimes.

Witch’s Dilemma is a novel filled with twists, turns and plenty of questions to keep you guessing. Will the mystery of Adam’s disappearance ever be solved? Who is behind the Salem Stake murders and is it too late to bring them to justice? And is there more to the police investigation than meets the eye? As loyalties change and sexual attractions burn sudden and fierce, every character learns the price that must be paid when confronting a life-changing dilemma.

Dive into Witch’s Dilemma for an explosive adventure packed with witchcraft, sex, betrayal and bloodthirsty vengeance.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government LACN Investigations Rounding out the CastThe Bell Witch Haunting Some Things Can’t be Explained.

 

Book blurb written by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

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From the Desk of Joseph Clay – Author Weekly Writing Update #5-17

ripping-files

Hello again. This week I’m going to focus on the manuscript that should be heading across the big pond to the editor by the end of February or early March. I figure it’s about time Clare―my editor/proofreader and the owner of Human Voices Editorial Services―gets it back, since I had the first review from her in August of last year. I’ll start from the beginning.

The characters in Demons of the Jungle and Witch’s Dilemma came from the first manuscript I wrote, West on the East – Noon Judgement. I won’t spend a lot of time telling you about how that book or the manuscript review went. To read all about that, visit ‘Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing’.

Last year, while Witch’s Dilemma was going through editing, proofreading, formatting and all that goes into the final stages of getting a book published, I went back and dug out West on the East – Noon Judgement from the file cabinet. The process of dividing it up into several shorter stories began. From there, I placed the stories into two different series, with the first series called ‘The New Era’, and the first book in that series titled Rise from the Ruins.

[Note #1 to new authors, a rule to remember: never list in the back matter of your book the title of your next release, unless it is already written, edited and waiting to be published. Keep reading and you will find out why.]

Rise from the Ruins, just shy of 143,000 words, was completed and sent to Clare for a manuscript review on August 8, 2016. I figured since I had already written two books, I had this down pat, and I could possibly release Rise from the Ruins in mid-December in time for Christmas.

While the manuscript was being reviewed, I was writing the blogs and preparing the book release/signing party, with the help of The Marketing Mill, for Witch’s Dilemma, never giving Rise from the Ruins a second thought. Like I said, I’ve written two books, what could go wrong?

Later in August, the 23rd to be exact, Clare sent the manuscript review back (yes, she is fast and thorough). I opened the email thinking I would make the changes needed by the middle of September and get it back to her for editing and proofreading, and then to the publisher by November 1 for the December release.

This is the first paragraph from that manuscript review:

“I really enjoyed Rise from the Ruins. There’s a good mix of the supernatural and the real (eg: mental health issues, a very human story about a man trying to fill the shoes of the people who came before him). I also thought there were lots of humorous moments and witty dialogue, which balanced nicely with the darker material.

“Here are my suggestions.”

Sounds pretty good, right? Well, that’s about all the good there was in the four-page review. As a writer you know you are in trouble when there’s a Plot Graph Triangle on the first page, attached below.

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(During the edit of this blog, Clare informed me where the above chart came from. I ventured on over and read the post in its entirety. The blog is titled, ‘To plot, or not to plot – that is the question …’, written by Kate Forsyth.)

[Note #2 to new authors, a rule to remember: remember this graph; it comes in handy when writing and checking your plot structure. Plus, take a few minutes and go read Kate Forsyth’s post, after you finish reading this blog, of course.]

With Clare being the professional she is, in each section (Plot, Writing Style, Characters, Settings) she always started off with the good, and then proceeded to the bad and ugly. Below is another excerpt from her manuscript review that sums it all up.

“So, you are missing a Midpoint Reversal and satisfying Climax. Essentially you need a moment when all the mounting danger becomes inescapably real, and everything Levi holds dear (ie: the ranch and its people) are unquestionably in danger, when Levi could be about to lose everything. Then there needs to be a climactic scene in which Levi defeats the enemies who are pursuing him (ie: the people who are after Betsy’s will), or at least one of these enemies, who can then set him up to continue the hunt in the next book. I don’t know if you play video games, but it’s like defeating increasingly difficult ‘baddies’ on the way to the big boss – in a series, you need to defeat a baddie in each book to give the reader that all-important feeling of victory that keeps them hooked.

“I have some plot suggestions that could give you these important moments. Of course, these are only ideas and it is your book so you should tell the story you want to tell, but it might help you to see what I mean by showing you in the context of your story.”

There were more issues than the plot, so my first thought was to shred the whole project and begin writing something else altogether. Since I had less than two months before the release of Witch’s Dilemma, I still had blogs to write and post, a party to plan and a manuscript to get to the publishers for printing. I decided that I could shred Rise from the Ruins later and filed the review with the manuscript.

Well, Witch’s Dilemma was released late October, and then before I knew it the holiday season was upon us and a new year had been rung in.

Three days into the new year, I began planning out my year. I had a lot of short story ideas and a lot already penned, so I decided to put those into a book titled The Tales of Joe. Then there were the tales that dealt with the erotic genre. These scenes were in my head or had been pulled from manuscripts. I would build short stories around them, and that collection would be called The Erotic Tales of Joe. Then I pulled out the manuscript review of Rise from the Ruins, and it once again crossed my mind to rip it into shreds, toss it into the bottom of the file cabinet and swear rats chewed it up. However, I trust Clare with my literary life, so I focused on the good and not the bad and decided it could be fixed, with a lot of work. Via email, Clare and I began discussing the changes; most of her suggestions I agreed with, but there were a couple I didn’t.

[Note #3 to new authors, a rule to remember: it is ok to disagree with your editor/proofreader as long as it is done in a professional manner and with respect. Trust me, they have forgotten more than you will ever know. Have a good reason why you don’t want to do it their way―you may want to make sure your idea is better than the one they are suggesting, so think about it first before putting your foot down.]

I thought we needed to add time to the front of the story; Clare didn’t like that idea as the beginning was in good shape and set the story up the way it should be. She suggested that a prologue may be the answer. I didn’t want to use a prologue as that breaks rule number #2 in Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, plus my timeline was laid out so one was not needed, I thought.

I continued to write on the other two projects while I pondered a way to fix this mess called Rise from the Ruins. One day, during a break from the other two projects, I pulled down the two-inch red binder that is full of the notes, bios and history of the non-existent ranch in that story, and the family tree and the timeline through which this land came to belong to the family. Along with those notes I once again removed the bled-all-over West on the East – Noon Judgement manuscript and began reacquainting myself with the complete saga. Remember, I pulled this from the beginning of a huge manuscript written well over four years ago.

[Note #4 to new authors, a rule to remember: keep all your notes on your work and keep them organized. This holds true for any story idea you have, but especially for a series. An outline that you thought you wouldn’t need may be what you need now.]

Once that was done I thought back to any issues I had when writing Rise from the Ruins. One immediately jumped out at me: I had a hard time figuring out what scene should be used to end the first book. Choosing a wrong ending will make the middle and the beginning wrong also, or (as we see from the review excerpts from Clare) cause your editor to show you a plot graph. With all the research complete I saw the problems, and by the middle of January I had it figured out:

  • I had chosen the wrong ending point.
  • A main character had been left out of Rise from the Ruins; he is essential to the story as he is the lynchpin that gets everything going and sets the tone for the New Era series.
  • I was pulling from a manuscript, West on the East – Noon Judgement, that had started off wrong. I found in my notes that, for some reason, I had jumped in my timeline to the opening scene of Rise from the Ruins, not the true starting point of West on the East – Noon Judgement.
  • This meant I was essentially telling two stories in one book. One was boring as it was missing the element of urgency and suspense, and one wasn’t.

The fix: Clare was right. The beginning of Rise from the Ruins doesn’t need to be changed, but it’s not for this book. I was right in that I didn’t need a prologue, I needed a first book―which was already outlined in my notes but overlooked―that led up to the beginning of Rise from the Ruins, and that book needed to revolve around the main character that got all this started. The new title of the first book: Thunder Bear. The title for the second book, I think, will be… let’s just say I don’t have a clue and leave it at that.

[Note #5 to new authors, a rule to remember: learn from your mistakes, as a mistake repeated more than once is a choice and could become a habit. Yes, I have a title in mind, but the story is nowhere close to being ready to be published.]

I really don’t know if I’ll ever use Rise from the Ruins as a title, as the way it’s laid out now it doesn’t seem to fit anymore. [Note #6 to new authors: refer to Note #1.]

Till next week,

J.C.

 

Blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices Editorial Services.

 

Witch’s Dilemma: Some Things Can’t be Explained

Well, here we are – the last blog before the release of Witch’s Dilemma this Friday, October 21, 2016, with a big Halloween-themed party at Atomic Nashville, located here in East Nashville. I hope to see everyone there as I will be autographing books and answering questions.

My last blog covered the documented haunting of the Bell family in Adams, Tennessee. Whether you believe in witches, ghosts, spirits, the paranormal, or the supernatural, we all have to agree with Valerie in Witch’s Dilemma when she says, “some things just can’t be explained”.

Witch’s Dilemma contains four witches who all follow the Wiccan religion, its beliefs and rituals. These witches are all quite different from each other. One is bad and uses her craft for revenge; once that revenge is accomplished she ceases her evil and disappears. Then there’s the witch who also uses her power for evil, to intimidate and gain power, wealth, and prestige. She has no problem using her craft to teach people lessons and will destroy anyone who gets in her way. Then we have the good witch who uses her craft to do good, heal, and protect. The good witch is also faced with a dilemma, and must make a decision to protect those to whom she is indebted. The best way to describe the fourth witch is as a witch-in-training. After years of being lost, she is figuring out who she is and what she wants to do in life. The question is, will she thirst for power and be swayed to the evil side, or will she use her newfound gift to do good?

That covers the witches. Next we have a person with discerning spirits who can sense evil in others and can have visions triggered by smells. One character may or may not be a warlock; he doesn’t know and neither does anyone else, except for the spirit that protects him at all costs. This spirit can be ruthless one minute and help to save a life the next. When she taps into the energy of the maybe–maybe not warlock, her powers are unstoppable and she can’t be defeated.

Put all these characters and more in a book and there is bound to be trouble, feuds, attractions, and desires that must be quenched. In Witch’s Dilemma a particular Fort Worth detective feels the wrath of one of the bad witches on more than one occasion, a witch who also loves to please herself and others sexually through witchcraft. Another uses her craft to become a serial killer. These acts are just the tip of the iceberg, and with all the supernatural/paranormal activity filling the air, someone is going to die.

Witch’s Dilemma is a novel filled with twists, turns, and plenty of questions to keep you guessing. As loyalties change and sexual attractions burn sudden and fierce, every character learns the price that must be paid when confronting a life-changing dilemma.

Dive into Witch’s Dilemma for an explosive adventure packed with witchcraft, sex, betrayal, and bloodthirsty vengeance.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching Hour Book Teaser/Cover ReleaseValerie and AssociatesFort Worth Government LACN Investigations Rounding Out the CastThe Bell Witch Haunting.

Visit Joseph Clay’s Official Website and Bookstore

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

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 Hope to see everyone there!

Witch’s Dilemma: The Bell Witch Haunting

I decided way back in 2007 that if I ever wrote a book, which at that time I had no plans to do, I would tie it into the Bell Witch Haunting. Well, writing became my job several years later (to see how that happened, read ‘Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing’) and I had my chance to put this documented paranormal/supernatural encounter from Adams, Tennessee into a book.

Once the research began I was hooked and fascinated by the story. Several books have been written on the subject, so I came up with a different angle – what if the Bell Witch’s direct ascendants were alive today and still witches? As we get further into this blog, pay close attention to the names and you will see the bloodline for some of the characters in Witch’s Dilemma, which started to form when the feud began centuries ago. I’ll start at the beginning.

I moved to Tennessee from Georgia in 2000. However, it was not until 2007 that I learned about the Bell Witch. My youngest son had heard about it at school – yes, they teach about this haunting in school – in either his first year of middle school or his last of elementary. Anyhow, he wanted to know if we could go to where the haunting took place in Adams, Tennessee, located in Robertson County, which is a little northwest of Nashville in Davidson County. The drive up would take no more than an hour as it was only roughly 45 miles from Nashville but was located off the main thoroughfare. We decided to head up that weekend, if it was pretty; it was, and we did. This is where the research began.

adams-city-limits-sign

This is the sign that greeted us as we arrived in Adams, Tennessee. We knew we were in the right place, and began looking over our shoulders, just in case we were on the Bell Witch’s radar.

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The next thing that caught our attention was a historical marker that gave some detail about the Bell Witch, and talked about Andrew Jackson – the same Andrew Jackson who was a general and a president, and who I hold partially responsible for the Trail of Tears and the deaths of thousands of American Indians. (That’s right, folks – we were not here first, they were, and this was all theirs until we showed up.)

This marker sits by the road, in front of a rustic type of general store. They sell Bell Witch souvenirs along with other items: Cokes (for those up north, I mean pop or sodas of all kinds), snacks, and a variety of other things. We had enough provisions to last us for a while, so we headed out in search of the Bell Witch. We drove a piece and ran across the Bell family cemetery. I figured if you were going ghost hunting, this was the place to start.

grave-yard

We found no ghosts there, so we loaded back up and headed to the Bell Witch cave and property.

entrance-to-bell-property

Once there, I came to the conclusion that, whether this haunting was real or not, it was certainly a moneymaker. For a fee you can get tours of the cave and the house, either by candlelight at night or, if you are a little chicken (you know what), by day.

cave-entrance

This is the entrance to the Bell Witch cave. They have seasonal hours and restrictions, so check on the link I have posted below for that information.

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If you love to canoe or kayak, this is the place to do it; the Red River is right there and the scenery is beautiful.

port-royal-state-park

It’s time to wrap up the tour guide section of this post with these final thoughts. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you really should think about taking a trip to Adams. There is more to see than just the cave, house, and cemetery. There is the Red River, as mentioned above, and one of the best state parks I have been to. It’s not huge by any means, but it is quiet and peaceful. The park also contains part of the original Trail of Tears, which has been maintained. They have a nice picnic area, hiking trails, and you can fish the Red River, and most of all experience the silence – sometimes an eerie silence. Adams also holds plays and other events, especially in October. My recommendation, since I’m a biker, is to roll the throttle open and head that way then, when the leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and the ghosts are about.

The Legend of the Bell Witch: Summarized

  •  John Bell, a farmer from North Carolina, settled with his wife and children in northern Robertson County, Tennessee in 1804. Their farm consisted of 320 acres of rich farmland that lay along the Red River. They lived a quiet, peaceful life here for the first 13 years. The family grew and became somewhat prosperous.
  • In the late summer of 1817, some members of the family began seeing strange-looking animals around the property. Then late at night they started hearing knocking sounds on the doors and outer walls of the house. Later, sounds were heard in the house – sounds of a rat gnawing on the bedpost, chains being dragged through the house, stones being dropped on the wooden floors, and then gulping and choking sounds.
  • It was not long before people were coming from miles around to hear and witness this unseen force that was terrorizing the Bell home. Before long it had gained enough strength that it had a voice. When asked who and what it was, it gave different identities. It once stated that it was the witch of a neighbor woman named Kate Batts. This is what many people believed, and from then on this unseen force was called “Kate”, the “Bell’s Witch”.
  • It seemed that Kate had two main purposes in visiting the Bell home. The main one was to kill John Bell. For what reason, no one knows, because Kate never gave one. The second purpose was to stop John’s youngest daughter, Betsy, from marrying a certain neighbor boy named Joshua Gardner.
  • Over the next three years, Kate tormented members of the Bell family almost daily. John and his daughter Betsy were the ones who received the worst of the physical abuse. Betsy had her hair pulled; she was pinched, scratched, stuck with pins, and even beaten. John Bell began suffering from spells of swelling of the throat and often had the feeling that a stick was being stuck sideways into his throat. Then came the twitching and jerking of the facial muscles. Kate would blast him with curses and hideous threats during these spells. As time went on John Bell became weaker and weaker.
  • Kate Batts finally accomplished her mission for coming to the Bell farm. On December 20, 1820, John Bell died. It was believed that he was poisoned by Kate, and Kate took full credit for his death. Then in March of 1821, young Betsy broke off her engagement with Joshua Gardner.
  • The original John Bell family graveyard is on private property and is off-limits to the public. It is not being taken care of and has been vandalized. One story has it that John Bell’s original tombstone was stolen; three days later the boy who stole it died.

There we go. Some of the characters in Witch’s Dilemma are direct descendants of the people listed above. Who are they? And are the ones who are kin to the Bell Witch (Kate Batts) just as spiteful as she was? Do the two families know one another, and if so, do they know they are kin to these people from Adams, Tennessee? The main question is: is the feud still going on between the Batts and the Bells?

Next week will be the last blog of the series. As we can see, strange things happen when there is a witch around, so next week we will get into what paranormal/supernatural events take place in Witch’s Dilemma.

For more information on the Bell Witch and things to do in Adams, Tennessee, follow the links below:

http://www.adamstennessee.org/

http://bellwitchcave.com/ghost_hauntings/bell_witch_tours.htm

http://www.canoetheredriver.com/

http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/port-royal

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 Bell Witch Cave Falls -1909

bell-cabin

John Bell Cabin – 1909

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Betsy Bell  Monument in Cemetery.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourBook Teaser/Cover ReleaseValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government LACN Investigations Rounding Out the Cast – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma Characters: Rounding Out the Cast

Every book has characters that don’t appear enough in the story to be considered minor characters, but that are vital just the same. They help the Major, Supporting, or Minor characters in times of distress, or to get a point across, bring about a disagreement, find a dead body, or maybe furnish a key piece of evidence or a clue. The previous three blogs have covered the majority of these characters in Witch’s Dilemma, and this blog will cover the remaining ones in the book. The usual legend is not necessary as all the characters below fall into the (HM) – Mentioned Characters category.

Rachel – high school friend of Valerie.

Diane – high school friend of Valerie.

Carla – high school friend of Valerie.

Peggy – high school nemesis of Valerie, and girlfriend of Danny Woodson.

Doctor Mike Jackson – Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Texas.

Ann Jackson – wife of Doctor Mike Jackson.

Lisa Simms – wife of Jerry Simms.

Mister Donaldson – elevator operator at the Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, retired and working to supplement his Social Security income.

Robin – waitress at Bob’s Steak and Chop House located in the Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, divorced mom with two kids.

Rick Tess – self-employed private investigator, ex-military, suffers from PTSD. Has Rick taken a case pro bono for an old girlfriend to find dirt on her ex and maybe rekindle the old flame they had for each other while serving in the army?

Stephanie Mandala, aka Hot Lips Hanna – news reporter, exotic dancer at the Masqueraded Stallion.

Betsy West – Levi West’s grandmother, deceased since 2000. Betsy could be a Minor character or even a Supporting character, since she is a spirit and appears out of nowhere, sometimes with a vengeance. She has one job and she does it well: protecting her grandson. Betsy will also fight for the underdog and has no patience for people who won’t listen.

TH Dakota – owner of East Dakota L.L.C. TH is a ruthless businessman who runs his L.L.C. with an iron fist. He is known to show up, state his business to protect his company’s interests, and, once that is done, he is gone in a blink of an eye.

Doctor Helen Clarè Destone – psychiatrist for East Dakota L.L.C., medium to the spirits, specializes in helping those who have been affected by paranormal activity. Clarè is the busiest person at the ranch, handling the four non-profits that fall under the Navarro Foundation, along with the ranch. She is need of an assistant or another psychiatrist to help with the workload.

Doctor Rene Sapp – Chief Medical Director for East Dakota L.L.C.

Charlotte Green – Nurse Practitioner for East Dakota L.L.C.

George Steel – lawyer for East Dakota L.L.C., judge for the Noon Court, brother of Doctor Rene Sapp. George is a busy man as he was hired by the ranch at the beginning of the massive rebuild, which took almost two years to complete. Both George and Carven are on the Board of Directors of East Dakota L.L.C.; it runs smoothly so TH hardly ever shows up.

Elena Young – Public Relations Director for East Dakota L.L.C., Levi’s best friend.

That rounds up all the characters! We are on the downhill side of the blogs before the book releases on October 21, 2016. The next two blogs will cover a documented haunting in Adams, Tennessee and the supernatural/paranormal acts that take place in this book.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourBook Teaser/Cover ReleaseValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government LACN Investigations – The Bell Witch Haunting – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

 

Witch’s Dilemma Characters: LACN Investigations

Lakota and Cherokee Nation Investigations, known as LACN Investigations, is owned by Carven Smith, Iris Clark, Beverly Clark and Levi West. The main office is located in Dahlonega, Georgia, in the East Dakota corporate office building. Will Valerie be able to hire this firm in time to get her out of the mess she is in, or will they turn their backs on her like everyone else has?

The following legend will let you know the role played by each character: (LR) – Lead Character; (MR) – Major Character; (SR) – Supporting Character; (MI) – Minor Character; and (HM) – Mentioned Character.

Levi West (MR), aka Bro, Cowboy, Big Evil, Crazy Ass White Boy, Batman – Special Investigator for LACN Investigations, business owner and/or partner of several businesses, philanthropist. Levi came to Texas with one mission, to protect the two young ladies who are in the care of Navarro Foundation, but will his decision put them in harm’s way? Levi has many business ventures that require a lot of his time. Given this and his unique mindset, Levi prefers only to investigate cases for LACN Investigations that utilize that mindset and his idea of justice. The new case that he has been asked to take on doesn’t fall into that category. Will his business partners and two sidekicks convince him to take the case? Levi also has several mental disorders; if he does agree to take on the job, will his client be bothered that he may be a true psychopath, as Doctor Sapp suspects? Can the client keep him in check, or is he really the one she needs to worry about?

Beverly Clark (MI), aka Bev, Sis, Commander, Vigilante with a Badge, Lady Sherlock, Little Evil, Crazy Ass White Woman – Lead Investigator for LACN Investigations, leader of an elite investigation team for a top-secret government agency. Beverly was the Chief Investigator of the Salem Stake slayings. Beverly is a master of disguise; her favorite persona is ‘Commander’, and when handling any investigation for work or the LACN, she stays in that persona until the case is solved or she returns home. Beverly has a stake in the job that Levi has been offered – can she convince the man who is like a brother to her to take on the case? Did she make a mistake in the past and has it come back to haunt her, or will she tie up the loose ends as she always has before?

Simon White (MI) – Investigator for LACN Investigations, pilot, logistics and electronics expert for LACN Investigations, Chief of Security for East Dakota L.L.C., pilot for East Dakota and Levi’s Life Flight company. When Beverly is on a case, Simon is close by, as the two are tight and Simon is smitten by her charm and looks.

Carven Smith (MI), aka Big C, Carv – Lead Investigator for LACN Investigations, Chief Operating Officer of East Dakota L.L.C., Chairman of the Board of Directors for East Dakota L.L.C., business owner and/or partner of several businesses. Carven is the go-to man for everything and is the rock pillar that holds everything up. Carven’s main job, however, concerns Levi; keeping him on his destined path is a job that is full of challenges.

Debra Wright (SR), aka Debs, and Patricia Mitchell (SR), aka Trish, are in care of the Basham House for Troubled Teens, a division of the Navarro Foundation. They were placed in their care after being rescued from an Alaskan avalanche, following a mysterious escape from the Congolese jungle. Navarro has enlisted Levi to take the young women back to Texas to get their lives back on track. The foundation has hired Drew Beck to make sure the women are not railroaded into a charge for a murder that they witnessed while they were actors in a Texas play. Along with the attorney, the foundation has also purchased the services of the best head doctor in Texas, Valerie Bell, to help them deal with their strange ordeal in the jungle. Will Levi, the lawyer and the doctor be able to help the two, or will they go to jail for murder? Even if they are cleared, what will happen to them? Can Levi keep them safe or is danger around the corner as they embark on a new adventure?

Next week we will wrap up the characters with the remaining (HM) Mentioned Characters. Then in the following weeks we will dive into the supernatural.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourBook Teaser/Cover ReleaseValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government – Rounding out the Cast – The Bell Witch Haunting – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

 Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma: Book Teaser/Cover Release

Before we get into the characters, I thought it would be nice to release the cover design and the book blurb, found on the back of the book or the inside jacket. This will help you put a face to one of the characters and give an idea of how they fit into the story.

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 ©2016 Joseph Clay

Book Cover Design by: Rick Chappell ©2016 Rick Chappell

 “The devils you know are angels of mercy compared to the hell you are about to encounter.”

World-renowned paranormal psychiatrist and practicing witch Doctor Valerie Bell and her husband, computer genius and strip club-owner Adam Bell, have an unusual marriage, but when Adam goes missing and a mutilated body is found in his car, Valerie begins to fear for her safety. At first she uses her powers of witchcraft and her position as a profiler for the Fort Worth Police Department to help with the investigation, but when she receives a threatening ransom note from a madman she turns to a private investigator for help.

Levi West, mysterious, sharp-witted and sexy, has come to Texas to help two women, Debra and Patricia, who are in the care of the non-profit organization Basham House. The women have endured a terrible supernatural ordeal in the Congolese jungle, and Levi takes them to Valerie for psychiatric therapy. During their first appointment Valerie tells them about her husband’s disappearance and begs Levi for help. But with so many skeletons hiding in Valerie’s closet, how can he be sure that he can trust her?

With the clock ticking, Valerie faces a dangerous dilemma: come up with the ransom money or execute a risky plan to save her career and her reputation. Whatever she chooses, she must act quickly. Although she keeps the details of her past firmly locked away, unfolding events threaten to drop the key right into the hands of the wrong people, and Valerie only has one week in which to assemble an unstoppable team before somebody unlocks the door. Can she convince Levi to help her in time, or will her sordid past end up splashed across the six o’clock news?

As the investigation continues, connections are made between Adam’s disappearance and a series of brutal killings, the Salem Stake murders, which took place six years previously. The killer was never found, and the bodies of the thirteen victims were all discovered alone, in rooms locked from the inside. So when a message from the returned Salem Stake is found in Adam’s car, alongside the unidentifiable body, the police begin to wonder how he could be connected to the unsolved crimes.

Witch’s Dilemma is a novel filled with twists, turns and plenty of questions to keep you guessing. Will the mystery of Adam’s disappearance ever be solved? Who is behind the Salem Stake murders and is it too late to bring them to justice? And is there more to the police investigation than meets the eye? As loyalties change and sexual attractions burn sudden and fierce, every character learns the price that must be paid when confronting a life-changing dilemma.

Dive into Witch’s Dilemma for an explosive adventure packed with witchcraft, sex, betrayal and bloodthirsty vengeance.

Intrigued yet? Next week, since Monday is Labor Day and a lot of us will be on our last vacation of the summer, I will not make a post. The next post, which will dive into the characters, will be Monday September 12, 2016. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

The other blogs in the Witch’s Dilemma series: Texas Witching HourValerie and Associates Fort Worth Government – LACN Investigations – Rounding out the Cast – The Bell Witch Haunting – Some Things Can’t be Explained.

Book blurb written by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Witch’s Dilemma and blog edited by Clare Diston @ Human Voices.

Wednesday Writing Update #1

Hello fans, thank everyone for supporting an unknown Independent Author. I know it’s past the middle of the year, but with so many projects going on I thought a weekly update was necessary, hence the reason it’s number 1.

My goal this year is to release four books, one of those will be a second edition, of the first book I released back in May of 2014, Demons of the Jungle. You can read why I decided to write a second edition in my blog, When is a second edition needed?

Demons of the Jungle second edition was released in Feb, 2016, so that’s one down. Demons of the Jungle is on sale at Amazon in paperback and eBook. You can order an autographed paperback edition from my website.  To read all about the creation and other information on  Demons of the Jungle just look under the Category ‘Demons of the Jungle’ on the left hand side. Demons of the Jungle Price: $5.99 for paperback $2.99 eBook, Demons of the Jungle is also available for NOOK and other readers.

My second release this year, Witch’s Dilemma, a Levi West novel and part of the LACN Investigations Series, is at this time in my WIP file. The manuscript review is complete, the corrections made , the first round of edits has also been completed along with the final proofread from the editor.  Witch’s Dilemma is now ready for the last in-house proofread, which is in progress. The cover art is complete, the inside illustrations are in the process and scheduled for completion 8-26-2016. Once they are complete I will place them in the manuscript, and send it to my formatter. The blogs leading up to the release of Witch’s Dilemma will begin posting here on 8-5-2016 and will continue for eight weeks. The book is scheduled for release 10-21-2016. The teaser has already been written; Witch’s Dilemma Teaser. A book release party is scheduled for 10-21-2016 at Atomic Nashville, this is an event you don’t want to miss so mark your calendars.

The third book,  I hope to release, Rise from the Ruins, this book is also in the WIP file. The manuscript is in its first draft,  80% complete and  scheduled at the editors by 8-1-2016.  Rise from the Ruins is also a Levi West Novel in the New Era Series, a paranormal thriller. Rise from the Ruins, starts Levi’s adventure when he turns 18, and inherits the billion dollar fortune his family has left him. Between his personal demons and mental disorders, plus the paranormal activity at the ranch and the fact that part of his job is to defeat them, he is not real sure he can take over or even wants to. Will a visit from his deceased grandmother and mom change his mind. Will a trip to the Garden of Sun, an uncharted and unheard of place on the ranch do the trick? Will he continue to fall for his best friend Elena, or will her being in the will cause problems? Will he be able to handle the two people he despises, Charlotte and Tiffany? Tentative release date for this book is 11-25-2016.

The fourth book titled A Princess and a Rebel, this book is also in the WIP file, the manuscript is in its first draft and only 30-40 percent complete.  A Princess and A Rebel is a twisted love story between an author and his publicist who is fighting for his attention while his divorce is still haunting him. This will be my first attempt of writing erotic, however the sex is part of the story, not the story which has a strong plot and a surprise ending.  The manuscript has not been scheduled yet for a review with the editor. The two above books that have not been released, I’m sure will make it to market this year. This one I’m not to sure about, but going to give it my beat shot.

Until next Wednesday keep reading and enjoying life, we only live once.

To keep updated on these and more works follow Joe on Facebook  or Twitter, the links or to the left. You can also sign up for his newsletter, which is published twice a month, over on his official Author Joseph Clay, or you can follow this blog.

To see how Joseph got started in writing read Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing

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Human Voices | Clare Diston

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