16 June, 2016

#Spotlight :: The Deadly Caress by O.N.Stefan

About the Author:
I'm an author and reader from Australia. I love creating something from the world around me. My characters are from everywhere and nowhere.
I love reading mysteries, thrillers and fantasy but am known to read sci fi or anything else that catches my attention.
I uploaded my first mystery/thriller to kindle at the end of January 2014. It's set in California. Most of the characters in the book are American but the main character is Australian. The car accidents are from my memory banks as I grew up across from a bad intersection. Nearly every weekend vehicles ran off the road, overturned, (no seat belts then) ran over other people who had been flung from the car at impact and occasional fatalities.

Please let me know your thoughts if you do buy the book. 
I love to connect with my readers. Click on the button below to leave comments on my facebook page.

The seed for my thriller Sleep then My Princess was planted many years ago when I was nine-years-old. Our family went to visit friends. My parents were sitting at their friends' dining table after they had enjoyed a home cooked lunch and the discussion was about a woman who lived across the road from these friends. This woman was minding a pre-school age child from Monday to Friday. This child slept in the chicken shed at night summer and winter and was only cleaned up before her mother came to pick her up on Friday evening. I was shocked as were my parents. This seed grew into a story which is fiction and fact.

When I was holidaying in Arizona I came across a news report which had a startling similarity to that long remembered discussion between my parents and their friends and I knew I must write this story.

Tête-à-tête with the Author

Tell us about yourself and your books!
I have two thrillers published and currently, I'm writing a third, which is Book 2 in the Amanda Black series.  
I enjoy a good book and movies. I belong to a Tai Chi group and enjoy keeping fit. I go for long walks at least three times a week where I usually think over what I have written or what I'm going to write that day.

How long have you been writing, and how did you become involved in writing?
I’ve been writing for many years. I got involved when a friend asked me if I’d like to join a Saturday morning writing group to make up numbers. I was hooked from then on.

What are you working on at the moment?
My latest thriller Guns & Roses (or Guns, Roses & Coffins) is Book 2 in my Amanda Blake series. Book 1 is titled The Deadly Caress. I plan to release Guns & Roses (Guns, Roses & Coffins) later this year.

Did you have any goals with writing, and if so, how well do you feel you’ve achieved them? What do you hope to achieve in the future?
My goals are to get better and better writing stories that people enjoy. I hope to hit the best sellers lists worldwide. Although, I haven’t embarked on translations of my existing thrillers as yet.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It can take anywhere from six to ten months to complete a book. This includes many drafts and a couple rounds of editing and proofreading.

What are the hardest parts of being an author for you? 
I find editing the biggest challenge as being so close to a story makes it difficult to spot all the typing mistakes and holes.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?
I love making up stories and sharing them with others.

What books or authors have had the most influence on you as an author?
I enjoy such a variety of stories it’s hard to pick. I guess I would have to include Lee Child, Jodi Picoult, Sue Grafton, Terry Brooks, Patricia Cornwell, H.G. Wells, P.D. James, Stieg Larsson, Tim Winton, Alice Sebold and William Shakespeare. 

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 4

Stephani pulled on her black and purple edged spandex shorts and white T-shirt and then sat on the bed rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She padded to the closet and reached for her running shoes from the bottom shelf. She’d be damned if some stalker would stop her from running in broad daylight.

The phone rang on the bedside table. She let the answering machine kick in. The caller didn’t leave a message. Probably some telemarketer trying to sell something.

Through the slatted blinds of her first floor apartment window, she watched the sun’s rays push away the darkness. She slipped on her shoes and started tying the laces.

A thought that became a vision filled her head so fully that she stopped tying her shoes. The vision grew stronger with each intake of breath.

Dawn breaks. Sunlight penetrates the darkness inside through the uneven gaps in the wooden planks that make up the walls of the chicken coop. A rooster climbs onto the roof, and crows. Crows the new day into the wind, which whistles through the gaps so hard that the rows of hens fluff up their feathers as they sit on their nests.
Fear and bite of the wind keeps me here on my bed of straw. I pull a rough old blanket over my head and draw my legs up to my chin to try to keep warm and make myself smaller. The hens cluck and scratch about. Someone will be coming soon and I wish it would not be him.
Footsteps thump across the dusty earth and break through the farmyard noises. I close my eyes tight and hope he does not find me here in this darkest corner, and will go away.
The door creaks open, and he comes in.
I start to tremble and wish hard that my mommy were here.
He comes closer. I am scared, so scared I think I might wet myself.

Stephani blinked. The vision disappeared as suddenly as it started. She shivered with imaginary cold, bewildered that she had lost herself in this…this sort of hideous daydream.
She’d never, as far as she could recall, been on a chicken farm or stayed on any sort of farm. As a teenager, occasionally, this same image and other similar ones would enter her head, but this time the vision seemed so real.

Who was that ten-year-old boy that appeared to instill fear in the child?

Stephani finished tying her shoelaces as the phone rang again. She went into the kitchen to see if the caller would leave a message this time.
“I hope I haven’t woken you.”

She picked up. “Hi, Richard.”

“You’re up,” he said.

“I’m about to go for my morning jog.” She sandwiched the phone between her shoulder and her ear and finished tying a double knot.

“When did you start this?”

“Yesterday. But I sort of decided about two weeks ago.”

“Daily, huh?”

Running was a cop-out, but it gave her time to think about whether she had the courage to join a health club again. “I’m determined to go. I’m not going to stop doing normal things because some nut-case has sent me that poem and some photos. Besides, I’ll be running in a public place with lots of people around.”

“What photos?”

She told him.

“This is getting out of hand. What did the cops say?”

About the Book:

Amanda Blake, a freelance photographer, discovers she has been adopted and seeks out her natural mother. When it becomes evident that her mother has been murdered, Amanda sets out to discover her mother’s killer. Her quest takes her to Wollongong to find the man who she thinks holds the answer to the killer’s identity. While visiting this man, she has to run for her life as a hail of gunshots pockmark the walls and shatter the windows. Someone will stop at nothing until she is dead. If she thought things were bad enough, they are about to get much worse...

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