I am thrilled to have been invited to participate in the “Death & Damages” box set anthology with a stable of talented bestselling authors like the one you are about to meet.
These amazing writers have graciously agreed to let my blog readers share in an exclusive interview AND get a sneak peek at the book they have contributed to the Death & Damages box set – 25 stories for 99 cents!
Today, Judith Lucci, author of “Beach Traffic”
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I’m so excited to be part of the Death and Damages anthology and meet another group of talented authors! As some of you may know, I write medical thrillers, crime thrillers and cozy mysteries. I also write romantic suspense. I love working with anthologies and boxed set because it allows me time to meet new people and find new readers! Hopefully, I’ll meet some of you!
One of the things I do is a writer is try to get social issues to the foreground. For instance, in my crime fiction set, Michaela McPherson Mysteries, I feature a police dog, a retired canine from the Richmond city police. His name is Angel and he is a central character in the Mic series. I feature Angel because I want my readers to know just how valuable these animals are, particularly to the police, the military and modern medicine. In my next medical thriller, book 7 of the Alexandra Destephano medical thriller series, I’ll have a medical dog who saves lives.
Tell us a little about the book you contributed to Death and Damages
My contribution to Death and Damages is a new book which may become a series. It’s titled Beach Traffic and, quite frankly, it’s focused on the numbers of men, women and children who are human trafficked out of the United States each year and sold into slavery, placed in harems, sold as sexual slaves and placed in toxic work environments. The book features FBI agent Jane Anders, and CIA agent Paul Servo, both longtime operatives and protectors of human rights. I like these characters quite a bit and if the book does well, I’ll turn it into another crime series.. The book is close to 70,000 words and excited about it’s release in Death and Damages this fall.
What’s your writing process?
I write generally every morning when my brain is as uncluttered as possible. Sometimes I write outside on my deckif it’s not too hot, sometimes in my living room and at other times in my office. I’m always joined by my four dogs who keep me company by snoring the morning away. My goal for each day is 3,000 words. Sometimes I do more, oftentimes I do less.
Do you do ever work with other authors?
I often collaborate with other authors. This summer I released a boxed set of cozy mysteries, Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes that benefited non-kill animal shelters. The authors donated all profits to the shelters. So far, we’ve sold over 16,000 books and remain a number one bestseller on Amazon six weeks after the book released. Summer Snoops allowed me a wonderful opportunity to meet new authors. I’m currently involved with a 21 Volume collection of new, never-published Romantic Suspense entitled Love Under Fire This set releases on Veterans Day and the profits for this set will go to the national charity Pets for Vets. The authors in Love Under Fire want to help veterans live better lives and want to save the lives of animals. This set is clearly a win-win. This book is available for purchase on all platforms.
What about daily goals?
As I said earlier, I write every morning. My goal is 3000 words a day. I have a group of beta readers who critique my work and give me honest, often brutal feedback. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.
Who do you use for covers?
My covers are designed by Margaret Daly of Margaret Daly Designs. Margaret just gets it when I tell her about what I want for cover. I’m so happy to have her. I work very hard on my blurb and tagline. I think those are critical to the success of any book. They have to be exciting and hook the reader into buying the book!
Any tips you want to pass along?
I thought I’d tell you a few things about me and what motivates me to write. Firstly, I love to read and for me reading after a hard day of writing is my payoff. I love thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. I’m currently reading Liliana Hart and Leslie Wolf and Mary Burton. I write very much like these three outstanding women, so I love to read their stories. I don’t have one favorite author, but rather a lot of favorite authors. I also love historical fiction and Jana Petken, an Indy author who lives in Spain is one of my favorites. For cozy mysteries, I love the work of Cindy Bell and Anna Celeste Burke. From a romance perspective, I enjoy Suzanne Jenkins, Tamara Ferguson and Fiona Quinn.
What are you up to when you aren’t writing?
My hobbies include my animals and my art. I’m a dedicated animal lover-ask anyone. I also love children. I can’t imagine sitting around my house without a dog or cat in my lap. My animals are with me when I write and when I paint. In short, they’re with me all the time.
I have several items on my bucket list. The first is to spend six months on the Spanish coast. I love spaying and I taught in Europe for many years. If I could figure out a truly safe way to get my animals to Spain, I’d be there. My dogs are older and are a short-nose breed, so I can’t fly them there. Maybe we’ll be able to find a ship.
I’m a registered nurse, college professor and former hospital administrator. Many of the scenes in my medical thrillers are true experiences that occurred over my 30 years of clinical practice. I’ve co-authored several medical surgical nursing textbooks, published numerous research articles and concept papers. I can assure you that making up stuff and writing the down is a lot more fun! I love to write fiction intermingled with my lifelong experiences in hospitals and kill people creatively using my knowledge of medications and medical equipment.
Wow, that’s a lot!
Any parting words?
Please buy Love Under Fire and help us give veterans and pets better lives. Also, you must buy Death and Damages because it’s an extraordinary group of authors who absolutely write great stuff! The link is below. Just think about it for only a dollar you can have about two dozen brand-new, never published novel to read all winter. It’s supposed to be a snowy season and you already have your blizzard reads (or your rain reads, depending on where you live).
Many thanks for having me on your blog, Dan.
You are very welcome!
* EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK *
Fall Beach Reunion Turns Deadly for Many
Graduate student Kat Benson was excited about seeing her college boyfriend, heartthrob Liam Cross, at their Tulane University reunion on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Kat’s childhood friend, Heidi is looking for great sex and a fantastic weekend hookup. Federal and local law enforcement officials are concerned about a vicious murder on the beach and the disappearance of five women.
The Egyptian and the short squatty American sat in cheap, woven aluminum chairs that overlooked the smooth waters of the Outer Banks Barrier Islands. The sun hung low in the horizon and a magnificent sunset was moments away. Neither man cared or even noticed.
Aapo el-Masri was a former Egyptian Seaman. He currently worked for one of the many members of the Saudi Royal family who enriched their coffers on the backs of women and children. Aapo picked up the hose of his hookah and inhaled deeply.
He smiled to himself. Life was good. He prided himself on being an independent contractor. He owned his yacht, hired his officers, and delivered his cargo on time. Aapo was currently worth millions of dollars and if things went his way, he’d make millions more before he retired in the United States in a few years. He loved the West and the American lifestyle. His goal was to live it, but in the meantime, he’d do whatever he had to do to get there
Aapo smiled as he eyed his one-hundred-and-fifty-foot-yacht moored in the water a hundred yards away. The ship was hidden in the shadows of the island and by trees a hundred yards away. It was his ship and he was proud of it. His dark eyes slid to one side as he surveyed the man next to him. He could hardly believe he’d agreed to work with such an illiterate beast. The man was vulgar, ill-mannered, rude and irritating. He was also ugly. He personified everything people around the world hated about Americans. Squatty was loud, bossy, arrogant, crude and basically stupid. Plus, he couldn’t even speak correct English. Aapo el-Masri’s language skills were a million times better than the American. Squatty was a gun for hire for organized crime and struck el-Masri as the kind of man who worked for the Mafia. Unfortunately, Aapo and Squatty needed each other – Aapo needed good-looking guys and drugs and Squatty wanted women. It was a relationship of convenience that worked.
The American talked non-stop, slurped his beer and belched as Aapo nodded his head slowly and sucked on his hooka tip. He watched his ship rise and fall in the wake of the quiet sea. She was a beauty and from this distance, he didn’t have to listen to the cries that assaulted his ears when he was on board. Of course, he really couldn’t ‘hear’ them since the ship had millions of dollars of sound-proofing materials. He also had a secret hidey hole beneath the lower deck where he stashed women who wouldn’t conform. If that didn’t work, he tossed them overboard into the dark, cold Atlantic. God forbid if he were ever boarded by the United States Coast Guard, one branch of the American service that turned his blood to ice. He’d had a close call just a few days ago.
“Are you listening to me? You, I’m talking to you, Raghead.” Squatty reached out and grabbed Aapo’s shoulder. “You, yes you, turban-top.” His voice was loud and whiny. Aapo hated the northeastern dialect of the United States and Squatty hailed from New York.
Aapo gritted his teeth but held his temper. His voice was quiet. “Of course, I am. What other choice do I have?” He shrugged his shoulders indifferently. It took every inch of Aapo el-Masri’s patience not to reach over and rip out the stupid man’s heart. His fingers twitched in anticipation as his brain lit up with warmth at the thought. He imagined the man’s life blood spilled on the sand.
“Okay then, repeat it then,” the short man whined. “You know you don’t know.”
Aapo rose. His height and build were impressive. He stood over six feet four inches. His body was rippled from exercise and hard work. He glared down at the American. “We are ready for tomorrow night. I expect to see you at the assigned places along the way and throughout the evening with handsome men and beautiful women you’ve been tasked to gather.”
Even though the sun was setting, Aapo saw the short man roll his eyes and shake his head as though the Egyptian was an imbecile.
Aapo el-Masri’s blood boiled but he continued. “I expect things to go perfectly. If they do, I will be back in two weeks and we will do this again. Do you understand?” Aapo knew his tone was cold and arrogant but he didn’t like the little weasel American.
The short man stood. His beady eyes glared as he looked up at the handsome Egyptian. “Things will go well, as planned. But I will not work with you again. You are stupid.”
Aapo looked down at the obnoxious little man. “It would be my pleasure to never see you again. I don’t want you or your kind to help us in this business. We have turned our work into a trillion dollar a year business. However, we will need each other. You’ll see.”
The American sneered at him. “You need me. You don’t have my contacts. You could never recruit people to help you.”
Aapo remained silent. He knew the weasel was right.
Squatty stood. “Remember, one woman is for me. I will take her to do as I please.”
“That is understood.” The Egyptian sneered at him, turned his head towards the sound of an engine. “How fortunate. Your transportation has arrived.”
The American nodded. “I will see you soon at the allotted place tomorrow evening. “Don’t screw up.” The threat was obvious. “Be sure there are no police around.”
The Egyptian chortled. “I assure you that if either of us makes a mistake we’ll both be history.” He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply as the squatty man walked towards the Jeep that waited for him.
He shook his head. What an unbearable, repugnant moron.
Aapo-el-Masri promised himself he’d never work with the man again. Even if he had to kill him himself.
The man waved the knife through the air like a child’s toy. It glistened in the moonlight. He murmured to himself. His speech was garbled, unclear. His victim, helpless and still, wondered if it was a ritual but mostly she was paralyzed with fright. Her eyes blazed with terror and shock. The knife gleamed and reflected in the moonlight. For a moment, she was mesmerized by the shiny instrument of terror.
The maniac jerked the knife downward. It sluiced through the air. He glared into her eyes as she felt pain sear through her body. Her mouth gaped open and her body flexed in protest. A soundless scream pierced the air. The woman’s lips parted, and her face contorted in agony but there was no sound.
The man looked at her, “Oh, did you feel that, my dear? Let me try another one. Your drug must be wearing off.”
He locked eyes with the young woman, her eyes gaping pools of agony as he slit her thigh with his knife. Then he held the weapon over her face and let the blood drip off on to her forehead and chest. Even paralyzed, she imagined the warmth of her blood on her face and as it rushed over her thighs.
The man moved his position and kneeled in the sand next to her shoulder. He whispered in her ear. “I don’t rape women. I don’t like to do that. I just like to hurt them.”
The woman’s eyes dilated with panic as she acknowledged her fate. She wished now she’d called her family earlier in the evening. Seconds later she was thankfully unconscious as the man went about his gory work.
About The Author
About Judith Lucci: Dr. Judith Lucci is a USA today and Wall Street Journal best selling author. She is the author of the award-winning Alexandra Distefano medical thriller series and the Michaela Michaela McPherson crime series. Last year she won a gold medal for best political thriller violent tent, book 3 in her medical series, and the case of Dr. dude book one in the Michaela McPherson series. She lives with her family in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She loves to connect with readers and writers.
I’d love to know each of you better. Please visit my website at www.JudithLucci.com and join my mailing list for free book. Also, if you follow me on book Bubba, I’ll send you a copy of my first medical thriller.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Lucci/e/B00AUVN0GK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Gang, please join me in thanking Judith for sharing these authorly insights with us.
Click HERE to order your copy of Death & Damages TODAY and read the rest of this great story when it is released in the Death & Damages boxed set!
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Danger lurks around every corner as these courageous cops, adventurous agents, and daring detectives hunt for the answers to stop the crimes by vicious killers.
But what if the damage is already done?
Inside these pages, you’ll find 25 adventures full of captivating conundrums, hair-raising homicides, and suspenseful secrets from today’s USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning authors.
Become a private investigator yourself when you inspect plots of deadly assassins, cold-blooded killers, and bone-chilling suspense inside the pages of DEATH AND DAMAGES, an enthralling mystery and thriller boxed set.
Fans of Lee Child, James Patterson, Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and John Grisham will devour these puzzling mysteries and gripping thrillers.
Including Stories From…
- New York Times bestselling author Patricia Loofbourrow
- USA Today bestselling author Pauline Creeden
- USA Today bestselling author John Ling
- Award-Winning author Alexa Padgett
- Siera London
- USA Today bestselling author Shereen Vedam
- Multi-Award-Winning author, Deborah Shlian
- USA Today bestselling author Kelly Hashway
- USA Today bestselling author JB Michaels
- Maggie Carpenter
- USA Today bestselling author Tiana Laveen
- Angela Sanders
- Award-Winning author Karen M. Bryson
- Aime Austin
- Lisa B. Thomas
- USA Today bestselling author Fiona Quinn
- Kerry J Donovan
- Jane Blythe
- Bestselling author Dan Alatorre
- USA Today bestselling authors Muffy Wilson and Dariel Raye
- Ja’Nese Dixon
- USA Today bestselling author Terry Keys
- Bill Hargenrader
- Wall Street Journal bestselling author Judith Lucci
- Award-Winning author Maria Grazia Swan