Tag Archives: thriller

Changes

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Like my life, this website is undergoing some changes. Please be patient. Meanwhile, as an apology to my readers, I am offering a free ecopy of Attack on Freedom, a political thriller with a touch of romance. It’s simple to claim your free ebook: go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/707335  Follow instructions and be sure to enter the coupon code PN52B when you are prompted to enter the code.

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Meanwhile, amid my political work I #amwriting the last of the Vampire War trilogy–The Final Battle (or Girl Rescues Mom, Inherits Vampires). This has been a fun and challenging project for me both in terms of the graphic sexuality (I don’t usually write graphic sex) as well as the subject matter–vampires. Quite divergent from mysteries and literary fiction.

Talking about mysteries: Twisted Minds, A Special Crimes Team novel, will be out later this summer.

Twisted Minds Summer 2017

I believe it makes us better when we challenge ourselves to do something different.

A list of places where you can find me:

https://www.facebook.com/AyaWalksfarAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/ayawalksfar

https://www.facebook.com/groups/440389712959710/  (Together Women Can Group open to public) (information, petitions, articles dealing with women’s rights)

https://www.twitter.com/BooksRDoorways  (a place for all things bookish with links to great reads, etc.)

https://www.twitter.com/2getherwomencan  (companion to above group)

 

 

 

 

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Research Meet Reality

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In Attack on Freedom, which began to take shape in 2013, I explored the possibility of the United States experiencing a military coup. Looking at the Presidential Succession Act which governs who becomes president if the current office holder resigns, dies, or is removed from office—impeached, it became clear that the United States under the current system was indeed at risk for a military coup. It could occur by assassination of key people and/or by a declaration of a “State of Emergency” by the president thus thrusting the United States under military control. It was on this premise that I wrote the thriller, Attack on Freedom.

One of the lesser-known facts about the United States government is that the president can declare a “State of Emergency” (#MartialLaw) nationally in the event of war or large scale terrorist attacks or locally as in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. President George W. Bush Expanded Martial Law Authority on September 29, 2006, when he signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).The law expanded the president’s authority to declare Martial Law under revisions of the Insurrection Act and gave the president the power to take charge of National Guard troops without state governor authorization.

In 2017, the NDAA remains in force with a provision that allows the military to detain United States citizens without cause and without due process for an indefinite period of time. This type of power was exercised against Japanese-Americans in 1943 when the Supreme Court upheld a race specific curfew. In 1944 the Court justified the random internment—imprisonment—of more than 110,000 Japanese-American citizens with the subsequent forced loss of their homes and businesses for which they were never monetarily compensated.

During Trump’s first couple of weeks in office, he threatened the city of Chicago with Martial Law for nothing more than Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago calling him out. “You didn’t get elected to debate crowd size at your inaugural. You got elected to make sure people have a job, that the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their children’s education. It wasn’t about your crowd size. It was about their lives and their jobs.” (NOTE: Trump claimed that Chicago was experiencing violent “carnage”. Looking up FBI Statistics as well as several independent city violence ratings, Chicago did not make the list of Top 25 most violent cities.)

However, with such whimsy by the president, a city, a state, or the entire country could be declared in a “State of Emergency” (under Martial Law) which would replace civilian authority with military authority.

What would occur is this:
–The suspension of the #Constitution, probably starting with the First Amendment. The #FirstAmendment guarantees the citizens of the United States the right to worship as they choose, the right to peacefully protest, the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
–Confiscation of #firearms
–Suspension of Habeas corpus: imprisonment without due process and without a trial
–Travel restrictions, including road closures and perhaps even quarantine zones
–Mandatory curfews and Mandatory identification
–Automatic search and seizures without a warrant

Martial law has been used in the United States during political protests, labor strikes, and any other unrest deemed a “State of Emergency” by either state or national government. Currently, we have seen some of these indicators with Trump’s Muslim Ban and detainment of lawful citizens of the United States on the soil of the United States (ie: travel restrictions for a specific segment of society), suspension of Habeas Corpus during protests when protesters were detained without access to attorneys.

One of my beta readers told me that this book disturbed her because the scenario “could so easily occur”. Attack on Freedom is eerily echoing many events happening in our country at the present time. As the Americans in my novel discover, freedom isn’t free and everyone has to be united and must take action to secure freedom for all of us. If one person is not free, then no one is free.

Get your copy of Attack on Freedom NOW! https://www.amazon.com/Attack-Freedom-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B01N5WU1LE

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One True Thing

In every one of my novels–whether they are mysteries, fantasy, literary, or young adult—I draw upon reality. This may be in the form of location, items in a scene, laws, or investigative procedure.

In Attack on Freedom, my upcoming thriller, some of the reality that I inject into the story utilizes history and historic objects. One such object is the presidential desk known as the Resolute Desk that is currently in the Oval Office. This double pedestal, partner’s desk was commissioned by Queen Victoria and made from the oak timbers of the HMS Resolute, an Arctic exploration ship that was rescued by an American ship. After getting the ship safely to dock, it was returned to England as a gesture of goodwill and friendship during a time of tension between England and America.

After being returned, the British ship remained in service for an additional 23 years at which time it was decommissioned and salvaged. Queen Victoria commissioned William Evenden at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, England to use the best oak timbers from the ship to design and build what would become known as the Resolute Desk. In 1880, Queen Victoria sent the desk to President Rutherford B. Hayes as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries. The original design did not include the front panel. President Franklin Roosevelt had the front hinged panel designed as a way to hide his leg braces from view. Roosevelt did not live to see the panel installed. It was installed in 1945 under the direction of President Truman, who liked the eagle motif.

The Presidential Seal on the front panel shows the eagle with its head turned to the left toward the arrows of war. This positioning of the eagle’s head toward the 13 arrows is only found on three of the ninety-seven Presidential Seals in the White House. President Truman re-designed the Presidential Seal to have the eagle’s head turned to the right toward the olive branch that has 13 leaves. The now-official seal is the one designed by President Truman.

February 4, 1961, Jackie Kennedy discovered the Resolute Desk in the broadcast room of the White House. She had it brought to the Oval Office for the first time to honor President John F. Kennedy’s love of the sea and love of naval history.

After President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, President Johnson had a larger, plainer desk built for his use to accommodate his size. At that time, he allowed the Resolute Desk to go on a traveling exhibition with Kennedy’s Presidential Library. After the exhibition ended, the desk was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution. This was the only time the Resolute Desk was removed from the White House.

President Jimmy Carter brought the Resolute Desk back to the Oval Office in 1977. He used it from 1977 through 1981. Not every president wanted to use the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The presidents who did use the desk in the Oval Office were: President Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1989; President Bill Clinton 1993 through 2001; President George W. #Bush from 2001 through 2009. President Barack #Obama has used the Resolute Desk since arriving in the White House in 2009.

President Obama found himself in the middle of controversy when he was photographed with his feet up on the Resolute Desk while having a discussion. Some people railed that he was disrespectful and immature. What they seemed to forget, or perhaps never knew, was that President George W. Bush also propped his feet up on the Resolute Desk while having various discussions. President John F. Kennedy’s children often played beneath the Resolute Desk, opening the front panel as if they hid inside a fort.

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It is interesting to note that President Bush has his feet propped up and pointing to the right while President Obama has his feet propped up and pointed to the left. I wonder if it is due to President Obama being left-handed and President Bush being right-handed?

What these men recognized was very simple: Though a beautiful piece of furniture with historic significance, the Resolute Desk still remains a piece of furniture. It was built to be used; not to be honored. Showing respect during our interactions with other people, with animals, and with our environment is much more important than worrying about someone putting their feet up on a desk during a hard day at the office.

If you aren’t already signed up for my blog and newsletter, do so now and don’t miss any interesting content! (blog and newsletter has two separate sign ups. both sign ups are on the right sidebar. My blog is open to the public; my newsletter features content not available on my blog)
To purchase my books go to: https://www.amazon.com/Aya-Walksfar/e/B00CMVAKKK
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#Halloween Month! A Month of Scary!

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#October is #Halloween Month, All-Hallows Month! I will celebrate by making it A Month Of Scary!

October 1: I will discuss the meaning of Halloween on my blog and post Chapter 1 of Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire War. In addition, this will be one of the FEW times that my email friends will receive more than one notification per week from me. On October 1, I will send the first two chapters of my upcoming thriller–Attack!

October 8: Five Books that scared me. On this day, I will share five books that truly disturbed me. Not all horror is paranormal.

Oct 15: Five Scary Things that Made Me Write. Many things motivate an author. On this day, I will share five of those occurrences.

Oct 22: Five Scary Things I Wrote About. Though I do not write horror books, there are several subjects that are tackled in my novels that are truly scary.

Oct 29: A Scary/Paranormal Short Story. Then, there are those incidents that no one can explain…. It’s not always wise to walk around alone, after dark!

Great October Reads:
Dead Men and Cats, a novella
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On October 1, 35 copies of Dead Men and Cats will be given away! Stay tuned to my BLOG for the latest on how to grab your #FREE #Ebook!

Looking forward to seeing you! Oooooooo!

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#Reviews: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

REVIEWS: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
Your opinion counts—especially with Independent Authors AKA #IndieAuthors—those of us who choose to write and to publish our own work. I read every review I receive, and I take them seriously. What the reader says matters to me.
What is even more important for the reader to understand is that reviews and word-of-mouth can make or break an Indie book. We swim, or drown, in an ocean of books. creeping fog on ocean
Between 600,000 and 1 million new books are published every year. With limited advertising budgets and no large house to create “buzz” for us, we have to depend on rankings, especially rankings on Amazon, to have our books placed far enough toward the top of the queue that readers who are randomly searching–say ‘mystery’–will happen upon our books. Two ways to get good rankings on Amazon is to either sell a lot of books every day and/or amass at least twenty-five 4 and 5 star reviews.
Unfortunately, Indie authors also face the terrible monsters of the deep. Beneath the choppy waters of the ocean of books lurk Review Trolls. Here is a rare photo of a Review Troll, note the wide open mouth getting ready to gobble up a Indie Author: Sea Monster Yawning
Review trolls are people who purchase a book, keep it a day or two and then return the book without reading it. That person can now post an Amazon VERIFIED purchase review. The reviews that trolls publish are always meant to wreck an author’s ratings. Like black hat hackers, review trolls are about unnecessary destruction. Their ratings, however, will pull down the ranking of the book that they attack unless that book has enough 4 and 5 star ratings to successfully counterbalance the trolls’ attacks.
With the challenges involved in getting very busy people to write and post reviews and fending off troll attacks, Indie authors face advertisers who won’t even consider their book for their publications and email blasts unless the book has at least ten 4 and 5 star reviews on AMAZON! They don’t count Barnes and Noble or Smashwords reviews. Everyone knows that advertising is one way to get your book in front of a larger audience. Classic chicken and egg situation. Advertising could result in more reviews, but you can’t advertise with the really good advertisers without ten reviews.
You see, a reader’s opinion really does matter, especially to an Indie author. The next time you finish a book, please consider zipping over to Amazon and quickly posting an honest review.
For me, and for many Indie authors who put in incredibly long hours, we thank you!
AMAZON REVIEW EXCERPTS FROM READERS:
STREET HARVEST (SPECIAL CRIMES TEAM, SECOND BOOK. ALL BOOKS IN THIS SERIES CAN BE READ OUT OF SEQUENCE) Pat Rummenie says:
Everyone with a social conscience who also loves a good mystery should read this well written book.
OLD WOMAN GONE (SPECIAL CRIMES TEAM, THIRD BOOK) Amazon Customer says:
The mixture of police procedures and Native American spiritualism are needed to solve the crime and rescue the two women. The author knows the setting well and uses it to enhance the story.
BACKLASH! (SPECIAL CRIMES TEAM, FOURTH BOOK) Coppercreek says:
I love crime novels, and this really hit the spot.
RUN OR DIE (STAND-ALONG MYSTERY/THRILLER) KtHack8 says:
I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a story about life and finding the will to overcome adversity.
RUN OR DIE (STAND-ALONE MYSTERY/THRILLER) Denise Gayl says:
Thought provoking about the injustices of bigotry and racism, and the ray of sunshine that there are people “out there” willing to accept, love, and help others even though their lifestyles are unlike their own. Well done.
HARD ROAD HOME (LITERARY, COMING-OF-AGE) pwindsinspirations says:
This story brought out emotions in me I had hidden away. I, too, was abused and afraid to tell anyone for fear of only making it worse for myself….. I liked how it took me from despair to triumph and the way the writer brought that about.
HARD ROAD HOME (LITERARY, COMING-OF-AGE) Denise Gayl says:
A very good read. As a mother of 2 girls, the subject matter is a bit difficult at times. But, in the end, it shows that young women pitted against adversity through no fault of their own can come back strong and live good lives. Is thought provoking and makes me realize there is much that needs to be done in this society to help young people thrive.
THIS is why I write! Thank you, Readers! YOU are my inspiration!
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SKETCH OF A MURDER, Special Crimes Team, is FREE. Run over and grab your copy! http://www.amazon.com/Sketch-Murder-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00KU6AIPQ

To view my other titles go to: http://www.amazon.com/Aya-Walksfar/e/B00CMVAKKK

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A GIFT TO MY READERS

FREE AND DISCOUNTED EBOOKS! THROUGH THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. DON’T MISS OUT! GREAT GIFTS!

SKETCH OF A MURDER
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Sketch-Murder-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook /dp/B00KU6AIPQ 4.7 star rating $0.99
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sketch-of-a-murder-aya-walksfar/1120343370 5 star rating $0.99
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/441938 5-star rating $0.99
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/sketch-of-a-murder-1 $0.99

STREET HARVEST
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Street-Harvest-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00KVREDIC 5 star rating FREE
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/street-harvest-aya-tsi-scuceblu-walksfar/1118849222 5-stars FREE
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/445873 FREE
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/street-harvest FREE

OLD WOMAN GONE
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Gone-Special-Crimes-Team-ebook/dp/B00OICBEV0 5 star rating $0.99
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/old-woman-gone-aya-walksfar/1121173795 $0.99
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/516479 $0.99
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/old-woman-gone $0.99

BACKLASH
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Backlash-Special-Crimes-Team-Book-ebook/dp/B00W7UJAWA 5 star rating $0.99

RUN OR DIE
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Run-Die-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B00KV8BK5A 4.7 star rating $0.99
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/run-or-die-aya-walksfar/1119913874 5 star $0.99
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/511441 $0.99
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/run-or-die-2 $0.99

DEAD MEN AND CATS, A NOVELLA
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Men-Cats-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B00NH0PI0C 5 star rating $0.99
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-men-and-cats-aya-walksfar/1114142759 $0.99
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/269625
5 star rating $0.99

ARTEMIS’ WARRIORS, BOOK 1, THE VAMPIRE WARS
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Warriors-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B0158NZ1L6 5 star rating $0.99

HARD ROAD HOME
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Road-Home-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B00TLCRUFQ 4.5 star rating $0.99
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hard-road-home-aya-walksfar/1121256838 $0.99
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/519473 5 star $0.99
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/hard-road-home $0.99

GOOD INTENTIONS
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Good-Intentions-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B00OLZYKPQ 4.7 star rating FREE
2. NOOK http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-intentions-aya-walksfar/1117075745 FREE
3. SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/445205 FREE
4. KOBO https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/good-intentions-19 FREE

BLACK WIND, YOUNG ADULT NOVELLA
1. AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/Black-Wind-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B01328771G 5 star rating $0.99

IF ANY OF THESE LINKS DO NOT FUNCTION OR IF THE PRICES AT ANY OF THESE RETAILERS ARE DIFFERENT, PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH RETAILER, LINK USED, PRICE, OR OTHER PROBLEM EXPERIENCED. YOU CAN REACH ME AT ayawalksfar@gmail.com Thanks! Have a GREAT READ!

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CATCH-UP TIME! AND PHOTOS!

IMG_3241 Summer has gone so fast! Can’t believe early #fall is here with yellow and red leaves drifting and swooping like tiny hang gliders to the ground. The final vacation of the summer began with an abrupt change of plans: instead of heading down Highway 101 where the rains were predicted for the entire week, we headed back over to eastern Washington, but to parts of it that we’d never visited.

WENATCHEE NIGHT

WENATCHEE NIGHT

Light and dark; hills and river

Light and dark; hills and river

BRIDGE TO VANTAGE, WA.

BRIDGE TO VANTAGE, WA.

PETRIFIED LOG  NATURE'S HISTORY BOOK

PETRIFIED LOG NATURE’S HISTORY BOOK

Ran into some brisk winds which made those hours a bit challenging for this novice rider, but the beauty of it all compensated for any breath-holding moments.

Last day of the ride, we headed out of Winthrop and ran into rain halfway up the mountain. At the summit, we got pelted with hail. On the way down the other side to Newhalem I learned that those signs announcing areas of ‘severe side winds’ told a tale I didn’t hear on past rides down the mountainside. The wind and increased rain decided to slap me around and give me a few new gray hairs! Got through the curves and the rain and home, soaked to the skin but safe and feeling proud that I’d met the challenge and actually survived! Biker Granny wins!

Soooo….. I don’t often go “down below” (what us locals call anything south and west of Oso) but weekend before last (September 26–Saturday) I attended the Gay Romance Pacific Northwest Meet-up at the Seattle Library downtown. You know, that big glass and steel one with multiple floors and books galore? IMG_3268  Sure was a lot different than the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I hung out as a kid! But the pigeons looked pretty much the same.

Pigeon checking out the "tourist" from Darrington

Pigeon checking out the “tourist” from Darrington

But, the library building hosted some weird visual effects.

Building caught in glass

Building caught in glass

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A serious note: At the conference/meet-up hosted by the Seattle Library and Old Growth Northwest I had the wonderful opportunity to meet some great lesbian authors and writers and publishers. I must say, though, that I came away feeling a bit like I danced between worlds–the straight world and the lesbian world–in my writing; never quite fitting in either one.

My books, as most of you know, feature strong, female protagonists–usually lesbian–but, the stories/plot lines are not centered on the protagonists being lesbian. My mysteries center around the crime and the solving of that crime with lots of twists along the way. My literary novels deal with real world issues that women, regardless of sexual orientation, must often face such as the impact of family secrets on young people, the abuse of children by the social system, violence against successful women, and in my vampire romance, though both women are lesbians their romantic conflicts arise from their different ‘cultures’ and the vampire war. (BIG SIGH) Not lesbian enough to fit into the lesbian niche and too lesbian to fit into the straight niche. I always have to be difficult and a rebel, I suppose!

For all of you who enjoy my ebooks, please note that the prices have been dropped to $2.99! I will be leaving the prices at that LOW set point until the new year. Now is a great time to stock up on #ebooks from Amazon! Don’t forget that voracious reader during the coming holidays! All of my ebooks can also be purchased as print books for those who like the feel of a ‘real book’. (PLEASE NOTE: Prices for print books are different than for ebooks)

I am still in the process of catching up on everything that got ahead of me this summer. Currently,  #amwriting a thriller with the working title Attack. Thrillers are a new genre for me. Mysteries involve a crime that has been committed, and the search for the perpetrator while thrillers tell you who is doing the crime and the book is about how that person is, or is not, stopped before committing/completing the crime or crime spree. Slightly different focus that calls for developing some new skills as an author. Love a challenge.

Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1 of the #Vampire Wars, released recently has been quite popular. This book marked my foray into #fantasy and the world of #supernatural creatures. Now, #amwriting the second book of the series which I have tentatively scheduled release for spring or summer of 2016.

For those of you waiting for Biker Granny’s Motorcycle Philosophy, I may have to re-schedule its release from fall-winter 2015 to early 2016. Biker Granny has to learn how to copyright a nonfiction book that combines text and photographs/illustrations. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Would LOVE to hear what you did this summer. New adventures, new skills, new discoveries! Leave a comment below.

If you don’t already follow the blog, be sure to sign up.  If you are signed up (through email) for the blog or the newsletter but have not been receiving BOTH please let me know! I am not tech-savvy so I may have messed up on combining the lists. Don’t miss getting the newsletter full of specials, image quotes, and other interesting stuff! Just drop me a line at ayawalksfar@gmail.com. If you would like to correspond, ask questions, comment at length about my work, I would love to hear from you. Be sure to drop me an email!

 

 

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