#GuestPost by Chris Karlsen, author of “A Venomous Love”

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen Banneron Tour April 1-30, 2020


by Chris Karlsen

Writing a series

I was recently asked my thoughts on writing a series. I like reading a series and writing a story with the idea that the main characters will come back. Depending on the type of series, they may or may not be the protagonist again but return in a supporting role.

Multiple stories with the same characters give me the opportunity to continue to develop their personalities. In A Venomous Love, the latest book in my Bloodstone series, I have my running protagonist, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone. He and his partner are investigating multiple murder-robbery cases where the suspect uses a poisonous snake as the weapon. Over the course of the series I’ve been able to show the men he works with and the differences in them. Rudyard has various occasions to respond to each in his own way. In creating a more detailed professional world I’m able to add interest and color to him as a character and the setting.

Over time with each story I’ve added more to his personal life. In Snifter of Death, book two, I introduced a romantic interest for him and I introduced his brother. Both have become popular with readers. Including the addition of his brother to the series was especially fun as the brothers are close, similar yet different. I knew when writing Will Bloodstone, Rudyard’s brother, that I’d give him more page time in a later book, which I have in A Venomous Love. If he remains as popular with readers in this new book as he was in the past, and as much as he is with my critique partners, I’ll seriously consider giving him a story where he’s the protagonist.

I’ve also brought back many of the regular friends and characters of Rudyard’s outside of the police world. How those characters view him and the people he chooses as friends tells the reader a lot about him. That is another luxury a series allows. Rudyard is a war veteran who fought in a horrendous battle and received the Victoria Cross for his actions. His good friend, Morris, is a veteran who now owns a pub that caters to non-commissioned military men. Both men have little respect for high ranking officers.

His romantic interest, Honeysuckle Flowers, has been a delight to create. She’s a music hall star in London and having been raised by theatre people has a propensity to spurn much of society’s views on women and how they should behave. She is as candid as a woman can be given the Victorian age restrictions. That candor lets me add a lot of humor into her dialogue and a lot of honest observations.

Unlike Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, I don’t use the same villains. Professor Moriarty is a brilliant foil for Holmes and makes for a wonderful series bad guy. I choose to write different villains as I prefer to give them a variety of weapons and motives.

In my historical romance series, Knights in Time, all the English knights were friends who fought in the Battle of Poitiers. I didn’t start the series with the idea in mind of giving each knight his own book. I’d just proceed to write a story with a chosen hero and let the characters reveal their personalities as I went along. As I wrote each story and the individual knights came on the scene, one of the friends would begin to stand out. I knew in the process of drawing out the scene, I had the protagonist/hero for the next book. That is another advantage to series writing.

I am currently working on a novella that will be book two in a World War Two romance series. Instead of connecting the stories through characters, I wanted to use setting and timeframe. In the first story, Moonlight Serenade, an American Marine is on leave for three days in Melbourne, Australia and falls in love with a big band singer. My work-in-progress is set in England during the blitz and is centered on a young woman who is part of a team that operates anti-aircraft systems and an RAF pilot. It is called The Ack-Ack Girl. I hope to have it released in December.

For me, for all the reasons in this article, I prefer writing and reading series stories. Some of my favorites are: The Saxon Tales by Bernard Cornwell, The Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long, and Hollywood Station by Joe Wambaugh.



A Venomous Love by Chris KarlsenThe killer whispered-“A pretty damsel…worth a pretty risk.”

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Suspense

Published by: Books to Go Now

Publication Date: February 28, 2020

Number of Pages: TBD

ISBN: 979-8600864139

Series: Bloodstone Series, #3

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Read an excerpt:

Puzzled, Ruddy asked, “You say the body is still in the chapel? Couldn’t the nurse bring an exam table to put him on and start treatment?” “She did. Young and I attempted to help but he suffered violent convulsions. Because the hospital is for children, they don’t have restraints. The head nurse instructed us to leave him back on the floor. She was afraid he’d fall off the table.” “Makes sense.” The timeframe of Underhill’s death didn’t make sense. At minimum it usually took an hour and more often, hours for the venom to kill. A horrible thought occurred to Ruddy. What if it was a different suspect with a different lethal snake? “But he died while you were still here?” “Yes. He convulsed brutally hard a few more times and an excessive amount of drool came out his mouth. Then he lost consciousness. A nurse put a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. He died as she was making him comfortable.” “Strange. This is abnormally fast even for cobra venom.” Flanders stepped up on Ruddy’s right. “What is it, constable?” “Shall I leave you to start my search?” Flanders asked. “Yes. Collect anything, and I mean anything, you find that looks out of the ordinary,” Archie told him. “This case is so unusual we can’t be sure what is important and what isn’t.” The nurse led them to the curtained-off bed. Honoria Underhill lay on her side softly sobbing. Her legs were curled up so she fit on the short bed meant for a child. The nurses had covered her with a blanket. When she saw Ruddy and Archie, she sat up and swung her legs down to the side of the bed. “Yes. We know this is traumatic for you but we need to ask you to repeat what happened with as much detail as you can recall,” Ruddy told her. “I understand.” Her shoulders trembled. She buried her fists in her skirt and kept her head down as she fought to control her emotions. Ruddy brought the conversation back to the crime. “Did the suspect say anything when he attacked?” “’A pretty little damsel, worth a pretty risk,’ he said as he rushed toward us. Then he leapt at me with the snake in hand inches from my face. Father pushed me out of the man’s reach and stepped between us. My father tried to knock the man’s hand away and swatted at the animal.” She dabbed at her nose again and then offered the handkerchief back to Archie who waved off the return. “It happened so fast,” Honoria continued. “In the time it took me to blink, the snake’s throat blew outward, like a fan opening.” She demonstrated the action with her hands. “A second later it lunged and struck.” *** Excerpt from A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen. Copyright 2020 by Chris Karlsen. Reproduced with permission from Chris Karlsen. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Chris Karlsen I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books. My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series, which is historical suspense with romantic elements. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs.

Catch Up With Chris Karlsen On: ChrisKarlsen.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


Enter Now:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Chris Karlsen. There will be Three (3) winners. One (1) winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen (eBook). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2020 and runs through May 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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#AudioTour “Raindrops On Roses” by Millenia Black

 Audiobook Blog Tour: Raindrops On Roses by Millenia Black

Author: Millenia Black

Narrator: Sharon Lacey

Length: 4 hours 23 minutes

Series: Favorite Things Trilogy, Book 1

Publisher: Millenia Black

Released: Dec. 10, 2015

Genre: Romance

What happens when the man you love falls in love with someone else?

Mayfair Island, Florida: Grief-stricken after the sudden loss of her beloved grandmother, who was an enduring but reclusive Hollywood icon, young Priscilla Bauer finds herself adrift and looking to find solace in the arms of her vast inheritance when she meets the kind and considerate corporate brand designer Michael Frost – a drop-dead gorgeous beacon of light in her all-too-dark night.

Falling hard and falling fast, Priscilla has no idea she’s stepped into dangerous territory…because someone else has already branded Michael Frost her very own – and she has no intention of ever letting him go.

Passions are high, but bitter vengeance gets even higher!

With Raindrops on Roses, the captivating Favorite Things novella trilogy takes flight!

Buy Links

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No one does family and relationship drama quite like bestselling author Millenia Black! Heralded as a double life and relationship expert, she’s been a featured guest on radio shows across the country, discussing the 7 Smoke Signals Your Man is Living a Double Life.

Millenia lives in Florida where she’s currently unmarried and has never dated anyone living a double life…

She thinks.

Praise for Millenia Black

“Intensely intriguing and deeply riveting, Black’s latest is a first-rate page-turner that will draw you in from the very beginning and never let go.” —Sheri Melnick, RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

“Ms. Black is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read many more of her books…”—Carol Ann Culbert Johnson, MyShelf.com

“Millenia Black is a mistress at neatly laying out each part of the story, like building an elaborate building that forms a fascinating whole. She clearly and succinctly draws verbal pictures of each character and their interrelationships with each other. It is masterful…” —Jeri Neal, The Romance Reader’s Connection

Narrator Bio

Formerly a radio deejay, television news producer, and national award winning teacher, Sharon Lacey is now an internationally touring comedian. She performs in comedy clubs all across North America and has been on two comedy tours to entertain U.S. troops in Kuwait and Iraq. Sharon has been to Africa four times, where she performs for Ugandan audiences in two of their tribal languages. She also brings desperately needed supplies to the children and elderly in Ugandan villages.

You’ve seen Sharon on the Disney Channel, ABC, Lifetime, and A&E. She is an alumnus of the San Francisco and Seattle Comedy Competitions, the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, NW Women’s Comedy Festival, finalist in Seattle’s Got Funny Competition, runner up in Portland’s Rose City Talent Contest, and a finalist in the A.M. Northwest Comedy Competition and the Shades of Laughs Urban Comedy Competition.



Guest Post

To Love a Love Triangle:
Sharpen Those Edges!
Millenia Black

When the idea for the Favorite Things Trilogy popped into my head, I honestly had no clue it would end up being about a dramatic love triangle. I’d just thought that an international chain of high-end boutique hotels bearing the names of “a few of my favorite things” was a pretty neat idea! And since Twilighty love triangles had long since saturated the literary landscape, it wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when I began fleshing out the plot.

When the three lead characters did finally come to the fore, it was clear to me that their staging would be different. How so? Well, for starters, the guy in the middle wouldn’t be torn between the two gals…that’s been done. And done. And done again. So I was inspired to explore the less worn angles—Millenia Black style!

Michael Frost

Not yet thirty, he’s already suffered significant losses in his life and isn’t quite aware that he never fully recovered. Michael lives with his high school sweetheart, who’d been there to help him through the worst of it—and with whom he’s no longer in love. But he doesn’t actually realize it until he meets…

Priscilla Bauer

The gorgeous granddaughter of a Hollywood legend, Priscilla was rescued from the clutches of an abusive mother, but loses her great savior and protector when her famous grandmother suddenly dies. When she meets and confusingly falls hard for Michael, she has no idea he’s in a ten-year-old relationship with…

Amber Holland

Who’s having none of it. After growing up with an unstable mother and no father to speak of, Amber’s had Michael securely fastened over her wounds since they were teens. Still completely in love with him, naturally she’s been expecting a ring, like, yesterday…So losing him to someone else is not. an. option.

Enter Emotional Depth

So then what happens when a guy decides he needs to break up with his live-in girlfriend of over ten years but he’s clueless about how to do it? Does he walk in after work one night and say, “Hey babe, I’m leaving you. Can you pass the remote?”

Or, when a high functioning co-dependent believes she’s safe and secure in her decade-old relationship, only to find out her guy has decided to leave her for Hollywood royalty…Does she take it on the chin and watch him pack?

And what do you do when you find out you’ve fallen in love with a guy who’s unavailable? Do you run for the hills? Or dig in your heels and get ready for battle?

How Sharp Does it Get?

I’ve found that most love triangles tend to be rather predictable. But if I’ve done my job well here, the Favorite Things Trilogy won’t only keep you guessing, it’ll have your jaw on the floor by the end!

And that’s just Book One.


RAINDROPS ON ROSES, Book One of the Favorite Things Trilogy is out now and available nationwide!


  • “This Night” — Black Lab


– One of Michael’s favorites that haunts Amber after the split.


  • “Tennis Court” — Lorde


– From Cilla’s playlist. She loves Lorde!


  • “Danny Boy” — Judy Garland


– Played at Hollywood legend Veronica Bauer’s funeral.


  • “Photograph” — Nickelback


– From Michael’s playlist.


  • “Only Sixteen” — Sam Cooke


– From Veronica Bauer’s playlist.


  • “Turned to Black” — Lisa Marie Presley


– From Amber’s playlist…for obvious reasons. 🙂


  • “These Arms of Mine” — Otis Redding


– From Veronica Bauer’s playlist.


  • “My Favorite Things” — Julie Andrews


– The beautiful titular inspiration!


Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

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#ReleaseBlitz “Forgiven (The Power of Three, #4)” by Leigh Lennon

Title: Forgiven (The Power of Three, #4)
Author: Leigh Lennon
Genre: MMF/ Erotic

Release Date: April 3, 2020
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.


My ex-husband kept a secret from me, when we were married. It was the worst betrayal. Now, after three years, of picking up my life, I’ve found a new man, one who had claimed my heart. He held the same secret, but in his honesty, I can move on with him, the only problem, I’ve never stopped loving my ex-husband.


I lied to my wife for years, never being true to myself. I still loved her, but without her trust, we couldn’t build a future together. It’s why she was my ex-wife, and my heart was broken when she began to fall for another man. A man I, too, find myself falling for, as I continued to love her from afar.


My life was a wreck until I pieced it back together little by little. When the captivating Clara entered my life, I fell and fell hard. A secret had damaged her. I won’t hurt her, but is that possible—when I was as attracted to her ex-husband as I was to her?

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Tweet: #ReleaseBlitz Forgiven (The Power of Three #3) By @4leighlennon is #Live #BuyNow @Amazon #KindleUnlimited https://ctt.ec/3UVFp+ #BAPpr #EroticRomance #MMF #LeighLennon

Leigh Lennon is a mother, veteran and a wife of a cancer survivor. Originally with a degree in education, she started writing as an outlet that has led to a deep passion. She lugs her computer with her as she crafts her next story. Her imaginary friends become real on her pages as she creates a world for them. She loves pretty nails, spikey hair and large earrings. Leigh can be found drinking coffee or wine, depending on the time of the day.

Catch up on the other books in the series!!

Available in Kindle Unlimited

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#Excerpt “Struggle Bus” by Josh Wood

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Parenting, Christian, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Lucid Books
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The Struggle Bus: The Van. The Myth. The Legend is designed to take you, dear reader, on a ride with the Wood family in the van that became an Internet sensation.
This one-of-a-kind literary adventure you are about to embark on is about more than a viral van. It’s about managing the wonderful chaos of a family of 11. It’s about parenting. It’s about marriage. It’s about success. It’s about failure. It’s about faith. It’s about fun. It’s about a van becoming a metaphor for life as it is given a fun-filled beatdown for the ages. As you roll along with the Wood family, you just might feel driven to:
•  connect a little more with the God who made you.
•  give yourself a little more grace when you fail.
•  smile and laugh a little more—both at the Wood family’s expense and your own.
Hop in, buckle up, hold your nose, laugh, and join the Wood family to explore one of life’s fundamental truths: the struggle is real.

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Have you ever searched for a used vehicle online? As you are aware, I have. It’s an exhausting process. After a couple hours of browsing, a number of common advertising phrases begin to annoy me—like irrationally annoy me, like beyond reason annoy me. On one level, I completely understand why car ad writers use certain catchphrases. On another level, though, I irrationally hate them. Here are the phrases along with my inner dialogue.

Ad Phrase: “The AC is cold as ice!”

Me: Have you ever touched ice?

Ad Phrase: “The transmission shifts like a dream!”

Me: Your dreams make me sad.

Ad phrase: “has potential”

Me: Great! That’s exactly what I’m looking for in a vehicle—something

that I can possibly, maybe, sorta, kinda, perhaps, someday drive—potentially.

Ad phrase: “mostly highway miles”

Me: Sure they are. Liar! I’m sure you use your car to drive exclusively

between cities whilst hopping onto your scooter every time you need to drive

within the city limits. You’re such a hipster.

When I decided to list our van for sale, I was determined to avoid all these phrases. Of course, avoiding half those phrases wasn’t going to be a problem, mainly because our transmission seemingly controlled our AC. And due to this issue, our AC—rather than being cold as ice—was cold enough to melt ice.


About the Author

Josh Wood is a native of Amarillo, Texas. He and his wife, Careese, are graduates of Texas A&M University (Gig ’em). Josh went on to obtain his MBA from Baylor University (Sic ’em). Newly wedded Josh and Careese made a number of definitive statements regarding their future, including the following classics: “We’ll never move back to Amarillo.” “We’ll have three or four kids. Those kids will never throw fits in Walmart.” “We’ll never home school our children.” “Home churches are weird.”

They live in Amarillo. They have nine kids. They home school. They are part of a home church. They’ve wiped numerous tears off the Walmart floor. Their hobbies include raising children and trying to avoid definitive statements about their future.
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#BookBlitz “Dancing With Langston” by Sharyn Skeeter


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coverLiterary Fiction

Date Published: November 2019

Publisher: Green Writers Press

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Carrie, a business manager who always wanted to be a dancer, has two commitments today. She made a promise to her late father to move Cousin Ella, a former Paris café dancer, from her condemned Harlem apartment to a safe place. She’s also committed to catch a flight to Seattle with her husband for his new job. But Cousin Ella resists leaving the apartment where she’s had salons with Langston Hughes. She also has a mysterious gift that she wants Carrie to earn. If she does, a revelation about Carrie’s father and his cousin Langston Hughes will change her life.

Dancing with Langston has been chosen as an Adult Multicultural Fiction finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

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Praise for Dancing with Langston:

 “Its details exquisite and its characters compelling, Dancing with Langston is a powerful novel about the rewards and the realities of following one’s dreams.” –5 stars, Foreword Clarion Review

 “Dancing with Langston is one of the most beautiful, brilliant debut novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in years. With a poet’s skill, and decades of historically important experience in publishing, Sharyn Skeeter has crafted a story that generously delivers black American history and culture, humor, a cast of vibrant, memorable characters, and a vivid portrait of one of the world’s most celebrated literary artists, Langston Hughes, who just happens to be her distant relative. But of even greater importance for this reader, her novel-—very original, very fresh, very dramatic—is a deeply moving story about the love of a daughter for a complex father she comes to fully know only after he is gone. It is about the importance of family—the ones we are born into and the ones we create and love during our journey through life. And about something we all have felt profoundly in our depths—the necessity and difficulty of following one’s dreams.” —Dr. Charles Johnson, Middle Passage



About the Author

Sharyn Skeeter is a writer, poet, editor, and educator. She was fiction/poetry/book review editor at Essence and editor in chief at Black Elegance magazine. She’s taught at Emerson College, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and Gateway and Three Rivers community colleges. She participated in panel discussions and readings at universities in India and Singapore. Sharyn Skeeter has published magazine articles. Her poetry and fiction are in journals and anthologies. She lives in Seattle where she’s a trustee at ACT Theatre.

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