Ribbons of Death
by Edita A. Petrick
Edita will be awarding a Kindle copy of “Ribbons of Death” gifted from Amazon to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment for more chances to win here
When a horribly scarred man knocks on the door of Stella Hunter’s ramshackle cottage in upstate Montana, she lets him in. What’s there to lose? The book critics killed her chances to warn the world about myths and legends behind the myths and legends.
But once the man pushes a book smudged with bloody fingerprints across the table, Stella sees a glimmer of hope. She may yet repair her academic reputation. She may re-establish her credibility within the scientific community and she may vindicate her ‘peace-taker’ theory. She may also be murdered by anyone standing next to her if her theory is correct.
“A female mask.” He nodded.
“A man wearing a female mask. The Roman actors used them, the stage actors used them in Shakespearean times; so did Chinese performers. The old Egyptians wore masks not only for stage performances but to battle, or during exhibition combat in a palace.”
“So you’re saying that a female mask will protect you against the Peacetaker’s power?” He must have sounded more disbelieving than he meant to because she rose, braced her hands on her hips and glared at him.
“We’re dealing with a curse damning humanity for all eternity spun by a mythological demon. It produces a male child born during the night of the Blue Moon. When the child reaches adulthood, his power is activated with an amulet and as he walks amongst men, he devours peace, leaving them howling with murderous frenzy like primeval beasts. Which parts of what I’ve just said doesn’t sound rational enough to you such that you can’t believe the controller is a man wearing a female mask?”
“Well, what if it’s cloudy during that particular night of the Blue Moon and the actual moon can’t be seen? Would ancient folks have known then it was a night of the Blue Moon? I’m just trying to play the Devil’s Advocate.”
“An excellent point. We’ll gloss over it. Not because it poses challenge for me, but because we have, once again, a more important puzzle to baffle us,” she said with such candor that he raised both hands to show her he was capitulating.
Interview with the author:
1. How long have you been writing?
I’m sure most writers reply, “All my life,” and that’s pretty much true for me as well. There is writing and there is life. It’s hard to say which one interferes with which and for me life, work, family, taking care of elderly parents, etc. always came first. Then, as these responsibilities changed, my writing was allowed to come into focus. Twenty years ago, I ran into some very difficult times and to cope, I wrote 300,000-word science fiction opus. An editor-friend hugged me and advised to save it in a “MM” folder—mining material—and slowly portion it into ‘sane’ segments as years went by. The first of these segments is coming out as my first YA-science fiction novel on April 15th. That’s writing life.
2. How long have you been a published author?
My first novel, “The Cracked Shadow,” was published by Write Words, Inc. in 2006.
There’s a bit of a story with that one. The publisher’s daughter was just learning cover-design and she came up with a pretty frightening cover for me. It was a mess but I didn’t want to insult the publisher or her daughter so I said “Okay,” and have been suffering that cover ever since. Now, April 1st, the book rights are finally reverting to me and I am going to re-pub the novel, with a great new cover, and a bit of crack-editing that she book still needs. Nevertheless, over the years, I got great reviews on that book. Go figure.
3. What titles do you have available?
I have 5 backshelf-books out and I am in process of getting back ALL my rights to all of them. I’ve grown tired of having my titles sit on publisher’s site and the publisher doing absolutely no promo for them. However, when I spend my small budget and do promo and sales happen, I see 7% of the sold-price and that’s just starting to bother me more and more. I know it’s going to be a battle with at least two publishers but hey, I’ve already started it and I don’t give up.
I also have a new release mystery out, “Ribbons of Death,” that came out February 6, 2015 and the publisher enrolled it in KDP-Kindle Unlimited program. I’m very interested to see how that works. It’s a 90-day commitment. I’ve had my first two “free download” days and I’ve spent the first free day, tracking the book’s progress (only the publisher could see the download numbers because they are the ones who enrolled it – another factor that I don’t like). It rose from somewhere in 10,000 in free Kindle store for mystery and suspense, to # 28 by the time the day closed, so it had to have some decent number of downloads.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
“Ribbons of Death” is a mystery wrapped around ancient history. I guess it’s an influence of my early childhood readings of Agatha Christie. Plus I’ve always loved archeology and choosing an ‘academic’ as my character was somewhat natural, since I’ve spent years in academic institutions. As an engineer working in corporate environment, it was a requirement that I go back to university periodically to “keep current” in the field of technical and environmental development. I try not to waste my engineering and academic background, coupled with field work, and I use bits of every experience here and there in my stories.
5. Do you have any new titles coming soon?
So glad you asked that – Other than my February 6th release of “Ribbons,” I have a Young Adult novel, science fiction, “The Witches of Calamora,” coming out April 15th from the Wee Creek Press. It’s on pre-order now @ Amazon.com which is also a first for me since I’ve never done promo on pre-order books. And I have another suspense thriller with romantic elements coming out, The Heirloom, from Vinspire Publishing on May 31st or even sooner since my YA came out 15 days early – but the publisher did ask me if that was okay with me.
“The Heirloom” actually may be my ‘favorite-and-very-difficult’ book to write since I’ve never before ‘done’ a book written from villain’s pov; especially where the villain is a hitman. Mind you there are several povs in the book, most of them ‘good guys and girls,” so it’s not all one-sided. ‘The Heirloom’ also has paranormal elements, romance and a very quirky hitman. I sweated over writing that one and loved it at the same time.
6. What is your favourite genre and why?
I love writing mysteries, I love reading suspense and science fiction, and I love combining the mystery, science-fiction, fantasy and suspense to employ everything I enjoy reading. My first 5 novels had significant doses of romance in them, but unless the romance is ‘natural’ to the plot, I find it difficult to force it into the story.
7. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
The end, the end, the end—need I say more? When I type in that “The End,” I feel indescribable relief. Polishing and plugging plot-holes is just a necessary chore but typing that “The End” brings on ‘let’s celebrate’ mood.
8. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Grisham – he has a lot of characterization in his novels. He develops his characters efficiently and excellently. My second would be Clancy but it takes him 5 lbs of paper to get his characters across so I might lose my focus with him.
9. Where can readers find you on the web?
For now, I have a website http://www.editapetrick.biz and that ‘biz’ extension is because I lost a battle with one outfit that wanted enormous amounts of money from me to buy my domain – editapetrick.com. Battle lost but I’ll not give up. My fantastically talented web designer, Frauke Spanhut, will design a new website for me but not before I get back my editapetrick.com. That’s the main reason why I’m suffering with what I have now.
Feel free to include your latest release/promo, and any additional info you might like included! Thanks so much for being my guest.
I’m promoting my YA novel, “The Witches of Calamora,” on Amazon.com. And the publisher sent me a pdf of the novel for reviews – pleased with that.
I’m still promoting “Ribbons of Death” through the KDP program and have 3 more free-download days coming up: April 24, May 15 and May 31st. I finally have a pdf of this novel for reviews but only after repeated requests for it.
And the publisher of “The Heirloom” has just asked me for promotional materials to send to the bookstores in various areas, so Vinspire Publishing is actually doing some promo for me. But I haven’t set up my “promo campaign” for that one yet and don’t have a copy of anything to send out for reviews.
So it’s a mixed bag for the above releases and their publishers. I want to say something about reviews. It seems that these days it’s the single solitary factor for getting a paid-promo spot (heftily paid is the operant word here) from outfits that ‘matter’ as one of my author friends put it. I think Amazon has brainwashed the world about the importance of its reviews. I have emails from total strangers who write me how much they enjoyed the book but they don’t feel like writing reviews – or don’t have the time it takes to write one and I can’t fault them. I’m running here “on all thrusters” and finding my sleep time so short that something’s bound to give out. I won’t write back and ask for reviews. I don’t feel I have that right. It’s a privilege, really, for a reader to give a book review but Amazon has chosen this particular factor – a good-will gesture – as an evaluating tool for its books. To put it colloquially, it sucks. But I know the reason why Amazon has set this ‘bar’ for authors. The promo places ‘that matter’ as my friend put it, don’t want to do any more work than is necessary – don’t want to hire staff to do it – to “approve” any given submission by glancing through it to see if it meets their standards. They want “electronically visible” confirmation that the book meets their standards. No wonder jobs are disappearing faster than they are created.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
By profession, I’m an engineer and ten years ago, I left a corporate job to concentrate on writing. It was perhaps the scariest thing I’ve done. Of course, there were other considerations at the time, life, kids, economy and my mother who was battling cancer. I wrote as means of staying grounded because I had to hold it together. There was no one else to pitch in. There wasn’t a single moment that I didn’t have doubts about whether what I was doing was the right thing or not, but doubts come and go, while the need to write goes on forever. Since 2005 I’ve published 5 books and this year alone I have 6 new ones coming out. I live in Toronto with my family and our two pets – wheaten terriers. And whenever I’m tempted to look back, and start second-guessing my past decisions, I sit behind the computer and start another book. At least for me, that’s a cure-all.