Shannon Muir's The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

Featuring mysteries and genres born out of the classic pulp era – interviews and more on mystery/suspense/romantic suspense/thriller/crime on Mon-Thurs and SF & Fantasy Fridays with author and Sisters in Crime member Shannon Muir, whose personal columns appear on weekends.

Month: February 2020 Page 2 of 3

BLOG TOUR – Death and Betrayal

Death and Betrayal by Seeley James Banner

Death and Betrayal

by Seeley James

on Tour February 17 – March 20, 2020

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BLOG TOUR – Dangerous Desires


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SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Scale of Justice” Part Two

SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Scales of Justice,” which will run over the next two days. This is Part Two.

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SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Scale of Justice” Part One

SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Scales of Justice,” which will run over the next two days. This is Part One.

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Welcome to BEYOND THE SHELF on


BEYOND THE SHELF is general commentary about the blog or the mystery and crime writing business by author and site administrator Shannon Muir that doesn’t fall in the scope of a regular column. These are special columns running at the end of the year. The topic today gives a little insight behind the main story contained in the new anthology ETERNAL ENCORE.

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The latest e-book featuring SHORTS FROM THE SHELF from SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF is here! Find out more now.

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BLOG TOUR – Buried in My Past


By Eva Mackenzie
Domestic Romantic Suspense

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After
surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to
care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by
terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother
disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found
wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one
person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the
surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more
she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

“Hello, my name is Taylor, and I’m a sex addict.” He looked around the room at a few familiar faces. He’d never told his story to them, but he always liked to introduce himself to the group. Of course, Taylor wasn’t his real name. And perhaps his burden was not exactly sex addiction, but it was in that vein.
“Hello, Taylor.” The group welcomed him.
He quickly took his seat and cast his eyes to the ground.
There was a big group tonight at Sex Addicts Anonymous. The dusty space occupied the third floor of the public library, rented to them every Tuesday night.
Marcie, or so she claimed to be, stood up and moved to the front of the group.
She always liked to share all the gory details of her sex addiction. Taylor secretly wondered if she was getting off telling the group about her promiscuity. Too willing, if you asked him.
He glanced around at the men and women captivated by Marcie’s passionate relapse. He imagined some were fathers and mothers. Some were possibly divorced or in open relationships. Heterosexuals, homosexuals, and anything in between. All looked like average people.
Marcie was maybe a four on a scale of one to ten, so he barely raised his head as she continued.
This was his fifteenth meeting, and every time he walked through those doors, he wondered what he was doing here. Of course, he had a problem, but he wasn’t interested in fixing it. Maybe problem wasn’t the proper classification.
Was his issue a lack of moral character? If so, who was the judge? Society? That was a joke. No one on this earth was free from lust.
All of these people were suffering. Not him. He lived the dream. But on most Tuesday nights he found the time to drive two and half hours to this meeting. He didn’t ask himself why—he knew why—and the anticipation offered a giddy sensation that nudged his crotch. He was a bastard, for sure;
There was no one in this room he was interested in. Hell, who wanted cheap thrills. He was looking for a ten.
He wasn’t a handsome man, although he wasn’t ugly either. Some might say his nose was a bit too sharp or his hair too thin. His features weren’t coveted, and he wasn’t charming or even funny. But he only had sex with women who were nines, at minimum; it was sort of a rule he had.
The group around him broke into applause as Marcie took her seat. She didn’t give him a come-hither glance. Her eyes were glued to the other man she sat next to. As he stood up to introduce himself, Marcie rested a friendly hand on his arm—encouragement. Right. 
He would be Marcie’s next relapse.
It was too easy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
Not him—he wanted a real lay.
He stood and removed a cigarette from his coat pocket and headed for the door, his movement swift. He had forgotten the time.
Once out on the street, he was greeted by a blast of hot air. The pavement had soaked up the sun and continued to heat the city at night. He lit his smoke and waited while keeping his eyes on the steady stream of people moving down the sidewalk. The working crowd hustled along in and out of Virginia’s metro station in Arlington.
A woman in her early thirties hustled past him. Her Clinique perfume teased his nose as he closed the space quietly. Her feet slid into two-inch heels revealing that sexy muscle on the sides of her calves. She wore a business suit fitting her well in all the right places. Her smooth, pale skin flashed in the intermittent streetlights. She was a ten.
He dropped his smoke, not missing a step as she chose her watering hole.
A pub for working adults and cliques. High-end place. He knew before she even went inside that she would take a seat at the bar.
She graciously held the door for him without a backward glance.
Inside he took a seat at a table with a full view of the restaurant; Virginia didn’t have bars—they had places that serve fried food to patrons consuming large amounts of alcohol. The place was packed, noise assaulting his senses. Just the way he liked it. Much of the same crowd was here last week. He watched Ten take her seat, order her drink, and immediately pull out her cell phone.
“What can I get you?” a waitress asked.
“Gin and tonic and a margarita for my girlfriend.” He patted the table beside him as he nodded to the bathroom. She scurried off without another word.
He watched as a large group of men entered the bar. One of them spotted Ten and boldly joined her.
“Fifteen seventy,” the waitress said as she placed the two drinks in front of him a few minutes later. Opening his wallet, he counted out eighteen dollars and handed the money to her. He imagined the police asking her a list of questions. “What did he look like? How tall was he? Did he have any tattoos?” She would remember none of these things, the tip not large enough or small enough to trigger any memories.
He sipped his drink and watched.
He knew his number ten would be stood up this evening. Her profile picture online, to his delight, was an accurate depiction. In the dim bar light, her skin was as creamy and flawless as he recalled. She scanned her phone once again, her mannerisms jerky. She was looking for a man that didn’t exist. At least he didn’t live in Arlington, Virginia.
Best to travel in groups. There are a lot of assholes out there, Julie.
He pulled a small bottle from his pocket. A clear liquid inside promised adventure as he poured it into his second drink. Number ten was still at the bar, an unhappy pout dressing her full lips. The bold admirer continued a conversation with her. Perfect.
He slunk to the bar and pulled up next to her, careful not to gain her attention yet as she faced away from him. Bodies pressed in all directions. Her margarita sat barely touched in front of her.
“Can I get another gin and tonic?” He held up his empty glass. He scanned faces quickly but discreetly.
Placing his margarita next to hers, he gently tapped her on the shoulder as the bartender turned for his refill.
“This is mine, right?” he asked, pointing to her drink. She looked dazed for a second as she glanced at the two glasses. She nodded absently as he took her drink and left his cocktail instead. After paying the bartender, he went back to his table.
He watched as she drank the whole glass. Shadows danced over his face as he looked at his watch; it had been twenty minutes. Almost time.
Her movements were becoming loose as she swayed gently on the stool. Her admirer smiled at her dolefully as she seemed to lose her inhibition. Her current company mouthed, “I’ll be right back,” and took off toward the restroom. Time to make his move.
“There you are!” he said as he approached her. She looked over at him, glassy warm brown eyes accompanying a silky smile. He didn’t have much time.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was a mess.” He put his arm around her and kissed her softly on the lips. She didn’t object.
“Let’s go, sweetheart.” He was already moving toward the door.
No, I don’t have a problem. He looked down at his new girl. None at all.

Interview with the Author

What Initially got you interested in writing? Back in middle school a friend and I would write about what we thought our lives would be like when we grew up. I had lots of friends and we lived in a big house. That kicked it off for me. Though I have had a day job since I was a teen, I have always had writing in the back of my mind.


What genres do you write in?  My current release is a domestic/romantic suspense. It’s one of my favorite genres to read as well. I have a psychological thriller releasing in August 2020.


What drew you to writing these specific genres? It’s what I enjoy reading. I can be immersed in a world for six months as I draft and revise. I love writing/reading stories that are emotional, sexy, intriguing and a little shocking.


How did you break into the field? I went to college for an unrelated career that I have been in since 2007. After deciding I really wanted to write I took another 7 years to finish my first book. I hired some great people to work with; cover designers, editors and formatters and decided to go the indie route. It’s been great so far.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? I want to make readers feel emotions. All different kinds; happy, sad, sexy, scared. I didn’t realize the power of emotion in my writing until later in my life. That is my main goal. I used to think the ultimate plot twist, or perfect characterization was my aim, but that left me scattered a bit. Now I ask myself if the scenes are causing people to emotionally connect with my characters and become invested.


What do you find most rewarding about writing? Reading a review or e-mail from a reader telling me how much they enjoyed my book. This is huge for me. If someone tells me they couldn’t put it down—that’s what I want.


What do you find most challenging about writing? Because I use intricate plots and several points of view, its hard work to make them all work together seamlessly. It requires a lot of editing and work after the story is initially written.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? Continue to study craft. Whether it’s plotting, characterization or revising, learn as much as you can. With that comes the added benefit of reading a lot of books in your genre and maybe other genres. Its invaluable to learn how great writers are doing it. Not copying but understanding all of the things that makes a story great by reading great stories.


What type of books do you enjoy reading? I like domestic/romantic suspense, thrillers, mystery, sci-fi, some YA titles and mild horror.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I am a marathoner. I usually train for one a year, but I’m taking this season off while I publish two books.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work? My website has my currently release and my upcoming psychological thriller details on it. I am also on Goodreads where I read and recommend a lot of books.  My Instagram handle


Thank you for hosting me. Eva



Author Bio

Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing
tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade.
Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.
She is a
wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is
spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or
reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are
Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.
Her latest book is BURIED IN MY PAST.


Website  →

Goodreads  →

Facebook  →

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BLOG TOUR – The Lyme Regis Murders

By Andrew Segal
Crime Thriller

Can innocence ever be an incentive to murder?

A quiet seaside town is thrown into turmoil. Tammy Pierre, London
based private investigator, accompanied by her sometime lover, Israeli
art dealer and martial-arts coach, Dov Jordan, has just been brought
close to tears by police photographs shown to her by an hysterical
Eleanor Goldcrest, at the home of three innocent toddlers whose brutally
murdered bodies have been found on the beach at Lyme Regis.

Wealthy financier, Eric Goldcrest, alarmed that his partner of three
years, together with the local police has him nailed as guilty of
murdering the children, now retains Tammy to prove his innocence and
find the real culprit. But has his involvement in all this been
In this investigation, with no apparant motive or forensic evidence,
Tammy’s skills will be tested to the limit. In a twist that muddies the
waters, Eric Goldcrest, laments that he’s simply never made it clear to
Tammy about his position in the family and his relationship with the
children, all of which have been assumed by the investigation.




Tammy was left in no doubt about what was happening when
the interior of the Porsche was lit up by a blaze of lights from a third
following vehicle reflected in her rear-view mirror.
Her pulse raced and a vein throbbed in her neck. The
flanking vehicles gently closed in on her, bumping the sides of the Porsche,
shunting it this way and that. Gila screamed. Caleb swore under his breath.
Tammy’s palms remained dry and she gripped the steering wheel firmly as the two
grey SUVs moved ahead of her so she could neither drive through them nor round
Something like bits of iron junk was thrown from the
windows of both leading cars. The Porsche crunching over the gritty debris,
lurched unsteadily, quickly regaining its poise. Caltrops, she thought.
Four-pronged, palm-sized steel teeth for bursting tyres. Problem: she’d have
thirty miles at best before the run flat tyres gave up on her. Far less if she
pushed the car hard, which was just what she was aiming to do.
The vehicle following moved closer till it touched the tail
of the Porsche, which seemed to literally stagger under the impact. Tammy could
no longer be certain they’d get away. She’d thought the emailed warnings had
been directed at herself. But the situation was more confused than she’d
reckoned. Things were becoming unpredictable.
Junction 10 led to the A3, which they’d aimed for, but
would now be too slow for them to outrun the SUVs. There was no time to
consider options. Gila was screaming hysterically and banging on her side
window as though trying to escape the vehicle. Caleb had pulled what looked
like a plastic gun from the inside of his bomber jacket.
“Put that bloody thing away,” barked Tammy, in the next
moment reaching forward for the switch to the rear fog lamps.
“What the fuck’s she thinks she’s doing now?” scowled
The flash of the rear reds looked like she was braking and
the following motor immediately hauled back, giving her a window to stamp on
the brakes, adding to the eruption of light at the tail-end of the Porsche and
allowing her to fall back herself, out of the clutches of the two big greys.
Now, dragging the wheel left and forced unwillingly onto
the exit slip, with the two SUVs running on her offside wing, she immediately
swung the wheel to the right again, swerving in front of the two big motors and
back onto the main body of the motorway, then she floored the throttle. The car
responded like a SpaceX rocket, roaring ahead of the three following motors,
leaving them stuttering in her wake as she approached 180 mph. Now her palms
ran wet. The tyres could go at any second, and with that, all control of the
Gila was still screaming, Caleb cursing, as Tammy said
softly, “We’re about six miles from Junction 9. There in two minutes. At say,
half our speed they’ll be there in four, that’s three miles behind us. I’m
guessing, or hoping, they’ll reckon we’ll use our greater speed to take us
further round the motorway. But we’ll come off at 9 anyway, then find the A244
to Oxshott.
“And this is us, now,” she said almost at once, and braked
hard. “Dov? Anything?”
“Nothing behind,” said Dov, with obvious relief, looking
over his shoulder. “You should maybe slow down a bit Tammy? The tyres are gone,
you know.”
“I know, Dov. Let’s try to get home first.”
“If you can,” he said quietly.
She was on the rims, sparks flying as the Porsche careered
along the last mile of the A244 to Oxshott village. If she stopped now they’d
not be able to move again, the car simply being carried forward at this stage
on its own momentum and a silent prayer. Tammy suddenly realised that the
wrought-iron gates to the cul-de-sac would need to be opened and that’s where
their journey would end. If they were still being chased, their pursuers would
be with them in no more than a couple of minutes.
As she swung the car left towards where the gates should
have been, her confidence now failing, she saw that the housekeeper had
thoughtfully left them open together with the up and over doors to the double
garage in the safe house, an eight-bedroom red brick mansion at the end of the
cul-de-sac. In the distance could be heard the growl of fast-moving motors.
Through the iron gates, the pair starting to close
automatically behind them, the sounds of the other cars came ever nearer.
They’d be just too late. Glaringly clear. Now, in the
double garage, the up and overs closing agonisingly slowly, the sound of the
other three SUVs screamed at them, then whispered past, just as the doors
clicked shut. Tammy breathed. “Home.”




Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?


I’ve always been an avid reader, so my occasional question to myself in the past was, can I myself write? Over twent-five years ago an idea had occured to me for a horror short story based on the relationship between a timid, ineffectual little man and his pet cat. Encouraged by my wife and daughter I wrote, Cat & Mouse. Not too difficult to see who took each part. Well received at home, I joined a writers’ group and read them the story, and was bowled over by the shocked response and the applause that ensued. More short stories followed, and I now have enough for four collections of horror stories. These stories all have a theme, so they’re not just horror for its own sake. Themes include, domestic violence, transsexualism, murder, bullying, courage in the face of impossible adversity, endurance, survival, autism, comic horror and satire, to mention but a few.


What genres do you write in?


I write in several genres. I’ve mentioned horror short stories above, But I have also written several children’s books, all in verse, for the very young. With alliterative titles like, Clarissa the Clown, Roberto the Robot, Majesty the Magician, Stephen the Statue, Papa the Puppetmaker and more, the object being to encourage children to like books and stories from a very early age. The rhymes should also assist with reading skills.


I also write thrillers. The Hamilton Conspiracy, a thriller based in Hamilton, Bermuda, London, New York, Paris and Mauritius, had excellent reviews when first produced by US publishers, and has recently been re-released by Clare Newton’s, Happy London Press. Also, now on release, The Lyme Regis Murders, a crime thriller based in the English seaside town of the same name, is my first foray into the world of crime fiction. A follow up with the same principal character, The Black Candle Killings, delving into murder with links to voodoo, is in the course of being read by a number of interested parties.


What drew you to writing these specific genres?


This is a harder one to answer. What drew me was, in each case, simply an idea occuring and the desire to see if it could be converted into a narrative. When I started getting positive responses to what I produced the natural desire was to see if what had been started could be replicated. And it has been.



How did you break into the field?


After publication of The Hamilton Conspiracy, I spent more time concentrating on my career, dealing with people and businesses facing major financial problems. This area alone has proved a fruitful source of material for my brand of fiction. After publication of The Hamilton, writing took something of a back seat, until 2017 when publishers in Ireland expressed a wish to promote a book of 10 of my horror short stories. Beads of Blood gained mainly five-star reviews on Amazon, and encouraged me to spend more time at the keyboard.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?


I think reading is meant to be a pleasurable activity. I’ve no pretensions to being a writer of modern Classics. If people gain a sense of satisfaction reading my stories, that’s as much as I can hope for. Five star reviews are worth working through the night to achieve.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


What writing does, as a creative exercise, is to allow one the luxury of producing something unique, something special. Ideally, one needs the praise of others as evidence that what you’ve produced, ‘works,’ and obviously not just for you. Looking at the finished article, the statue, the painting, the book, the short story, if it ‘works,’ gives the writer an indescribable buzz. You can’t begin to explain it. You need to do it to understand.


What do you find most challenging about writing?


Giving characters a real voice. Making them plausible. Engendering a desire in the reader to identify, sympathise and empathise with them, so that they are drawn to read on to learn of outcomes. The story is important, of course, but the characters populating it make the story.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?


Probably the only advice would be, if you want to do it enough, you will. Be prepared to be disappointed, rejected, laughed at, even mocked. But keep going. Comedy playwrite Noel Coward said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘There are thousands of talented people out there. Those that succeed do so simply by having staying power.’ There’s your answer. Keep plugging away.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?


I’ve pretty eclectic taste in my reading. With the Classics I like, among others, Dickens and Trollope. Modern authors of repute would include, Hemingway, Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ruth Rendell, Margaret Attwood. Dozens more. I like drama, comedy, thrillers, psychological crime. The multi-talented, Sybil Bedford, a journalist who reported on the Nuremberg Trials, an historian, gourmet and author wrote, A Legacy. It’s a stunning story of the entwining of a wealthy bourgeois family with that of a vastly different aristocratic one, in the years prior to the first World War when detailed against the backdrop of a newly unified Germany. Lots more on my, have read, or, to read list.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?


I like cooking, when I get the chance. When I departed my primary school for secondary education, all the class gave our main teacher, chocolates and flowers. I baked her a cake. Also, I’m sorry to say, I have to admit to a love of fast cars. I’m not pretending I could afford a Bugatti Veyron. But one lives in hope. Guns and weaponry are always a source of fascination, and serve to add authenticity to my stories.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?


You can connect through happylondonpress. com. Also, has some info available.


Author Bio

A contract killer changed my lifeThe encounter inspired me to become a Crime Thriller writer.

He was a contract killer, and he was in my car!

I’d been lost, looking for West Thurrock in Essex, and asked a little
old man in a shabby coat, on the opposite side of the road, the way. He
offered to show me if I gave him a lift, and whilst I make it a rule
never to give lifts to anyone I don’t know, I reasoned, he could hardly
be a contract killer, could he. Could he? Of course not.

As we drove he casually informed me that he’d, ‘Done it for the
Kray’s, mate.’ That would have been the notorious East London gangsters
he was referring to, known to kill, or have killed, without conscience.

Once I’d dropped him off and recovered my composure, I realised I was
looking at fodder for a short story. What then followed was a raft of
short stories, including, ‘I am a Gigolo,’ something I told my wife when
I first met her, and which almost ended our relationship before it had
begun. That title is now the heading for a book of short stories.

Jokingly, over lunch, I told a fellow professional I’d once been a
contract killer, and devised a story. He believed every word, and left
me at some pains to disabuse him. That title, I am a Contract Killer,
now heads a further collection of short stories.

Writer of scary short stories and full-length novels like The Lyme Regis Murders.

It’s been a fascinating journey… I hope you’ll want to share with me.


Weekly Blog:
AnchorFM Podcast:—Andrew-Segal–Part-1-e4homt/a-aibjav
Podcast Reading:

SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Doonah Cross Me” Part Five

SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Doonah Cross Me,” a prequel for the character of Doonah Cross who premiered on Wattpad last year that will run over the next several days. This is Part Five.

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SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Doonah Cross Me” Part Four

SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Doonah Cross Me,” a prequel for the character of Doonah Cross who premiered on Wattpad last year that will run over the next several days. This is Part Four.

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