A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Bedpost: Four of Clubs (Pulp Friction 2015: Altered States) by Parker Williams

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Devil's Bedpost coverDetective Ben Nelson’s not happy with the new world order.  He’s stubbornly refusing to believe in the supernatural beings that the world now knows to be real ever since a vampire burst into flames on a city street and a cop sat up in his coffin at his funeral. Now Ben has a chilling new case that frustrating them all and breaking their hearts. It involves seemingly unconnected people—men, women, children—who disappear from their beds and are later found beaten to death. When evidence leads to an offhand comment about voodoo, Ben refuses to admit that there might be something unreal about it all until his boss orders him to visit a seer named A. Middleton or hand the case over to the Odd Squad—the federal bureau charged with investigating supernatural crimes.

Artie Middleton lives alone in a huge house, able only to be physically close with his dog. Why? Because with one touch, Artie Middleton can see, feel, and relive the stories held by objects, and some of those stories are very bad indeed.  The last missing person’s case he assisted on left him bedridden, recovering from the same wounds as the victim. His power is one that few would envy.

When a disbelieving Ben arrives at his door, needing help to find a missing seven-year-old boy, Artie is torn. He fears what might happen if he agrees but knows the fate of the child if he doesn’t. Even more troubling for Artie is the detective’s effect on him. While Artie can’t allow skin-to-skin contact with a person for fear of what he might see, Ben makes him want to break all the rules he has in place to protect his sanity.

When the two begin working together, they find much more than they expected. And if they can’t stop the perpetrators, the body count will increase.

Parker Williams joins the Pulp Friction team this year and The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs #1),his tale of supernatural beings, love and mystery, folds itself seamlessly into the others, meshing a new world order that recognizes the existence of supernatural beings and their effect upon the city, its politics, and its people.

Just as it would occur in real life, there appears someone who stubbornly refuses to believe in the changes that have so rapidly occurred.  That’s NOPD Det. Ben Nelson.  He’s an overworked hard driving cop, short on sleep, and even shorter on tolerance and belief in magic and those that wield it.  And he’s in the midst of a case that heartbreaking and lacking in clues.  The one lead they available is the last one Ben wants to follow up on because it contains supernatural elements to it.  I absolutely believed in Ben Nelson from his first appearance.  Parker Williams has built so many believable layers to this man that he’ slides easily to mind and into our hearts.   And the case he’s working on tugs at our emotions, especially as it involves children being kidnapped, and tortured before being killed.

To offset the mundane, everyday and oh so human routine of the police force, the author gives us A. Middleton, also known as Artie to his friends.  A potter who turns out museum worthy art pieces, Artie is also a seer specializing in psychometry.  Artie can touch an object and immediately he is flooded with memories and scenes and emotions of those the object belonged to.  At once it becomes clear that such a talent is more curse than gift.  When those memories and events are horrific, involving physical damage that happened to the person the object belongs/belonged to, that same damaged is felt and physically manifests itself on Artie.  Definitely not the sort of thing someone would want to be able to do.  It has caused Artie to retreat from all physical contact with others.  The only touch he can tolerate is that of his dog.  What a lonely existence and yet, Parker Williams has developed Artie to such a realistic degree that Artie has found a way to have others in his life, no matter how restricted it might be.  You will fall deeply in love with Artie just as I did.

The case that ties these two men together is horrific, grounded as it is in the kidnapping of children and a few adults who vanished from their bedrooms without a trace.  The mystery of their disappearance combined with the fact that when their bodies are eventually found, the manner of their deaths add terror to the mixture.  The police work drudgery feels authentic and the suspense and buildup satisfyingly haunting and addictive.  And that ending…..

Yes, it’s a cliffhanger, something I have come to expect from the Pulp Friction serialized stories.  Be prepared to yell “noooooooo” at the end.  I did.  Along with a “argh”, and “hell no, he didn’t end it there”.  A few comments like that may have flown out of my mouth!  But I loved every word of this story even as Parker Williams twisted my heart and stomach into knots during the telling.

But don’t take my word for it.  Run out (or over to your computer or eReader) and get it right now.  You need to be ready for the next installment. I am.  And while you are at it, pick up the other two Round One stories already out.  This is going to be one wild ride, and I can’t wait for more.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I love these covers, perfect for branding the group of series and introducing the characters.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)       Amazon         Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published March 13th 2015
ASINB00UP4SBCA
edition languageEnglish

About Pulp Friction 2015
Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.
Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Need a New Addiction? Pulp Friction 2015 is Back and Supernaturally Great!

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Are you a lover of serial fiction?  Especially M/M serial fiction?  Are hot men and supernatural beings things that heat you  up and make you grab for a fan or three?  Does the name New Orleans make you shiver with anticipation and a little bit of trepidation? How about a combination of all those elements?  Did I hear a squee of joy?  Well, this year’s Pulp Friction – Altered States  2015 edition  of interconnected series is up and running and it contains all those things and more!

Unfamiliar with Pulp Friction? It’s four author, four series connected together by characters and events.  It’s full of drama, mystery, murder and high suspense mixed with hot men and lots of  romance!  It started in 2013 in Atlanta, moved to Flagstaff in 2014 and now in New Orleans.  And with every year it gets better and more surprising.  And this year a supernatural element is added, along with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, succubus and much, much more.

Contest:All authors have contributed towards a special giveaway – a eBook copy of each of the first stories in Round One!  To enter leave a comment with your email address, tell us about your favorite supernatural being and click on the Rafflecopter link below (I am so over letting Kirby pick out names, he takes forever and gets distracted by squirrels!):

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Now on to our interview…

Stopping by today to  give all my readers a little bit of insight are the wonderful authors that make up this year’s Pulp Friction gang – Laura Harner, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil and Parker Williams!

A Most Desired Pulp Friction Chat…..

Q. How do you see Pulp Friction?

(Havan) I love the series American Horror Story. I don’t just love it because of the scare factor (or gross-out factor or WTF factor or cheap thrills factor or Holy Shit they went THERE factor…I could go on and on, and this is only covering the horror genre of it so far lol) but it’s the writing and format of the series that works for me, also. I love that each season is all its own…sure they “tie” together in their own sort of way and doesn’t that have all the theorists going ga-ga lol – but each season is self-contained. The show reinvents itself every single season…using the same actors is irrelevant up to a point. The formula is the same.

That is how I see Pulp Friction. Sure the formula is the same:
• bad ass men who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to get what they want
• a localized place for the men to run to whenever they need back-up
• the bonds of love and family

But each year (season) we introduce new characters for you to enjoy, love, hate, lust after. So not only are our readers falling hard for the men we are giving them now – they are also wondering what could we possibly bring to the table to top this next year…it keeps all of us totally vested in Pulp Friction and makes it more than a mere read…it makes it an addiction…

(Lee) Pulp Friction, in my mind is a complex, tangle of men, emotion, and action. It’s romance with a side of mayhem, which may or may not consist of homicide.

(Will) I see it as a shift (no pun) on the theme. Everything you’ve loved about Pulp Friction is still there. The friendship, the sense of family, the falling in love. It’s just amped up and included the supernatural elements that make Altered States such a thrilling read.

(Laura) What I’ve always loved about the original idea for the Pulp Friction group was the ability to serialize stories, to have the old fashioned “tune-in-next-week” atmosphere without the intensive work it would require from one person. By sharing the experience with multiple authors, we get to provide a more complex set of stories, and create a community with our characters as well as with our readers.

And like Havan, I absolutely love that each season is self-contained—we pack up our bag of tricks and move to a new world.
What do you have planned for 2015?

(Havan) Pure and absolute chaos.

(Lee) That mayhem I mentioned above? It might just contain a touch of homicide this year. But I couldn’t really say for sure. I can promise romance… Ah love…

(Havan) Seriously – you’ve unleashed us into the paranormal realm where rules no longer apply…sit down, buckle up and get ready. You may want to hang that garlic around your neck and invest in some sterling silver…perhaps cross your legs too (Laurant says hello *winks*) – you never know who might be up for a midnight snack in our world.

(Will) As the new kid at the table, I’m bringing a psychic who gets mixed up in abduction cases being handled by a detective who may, or may not, be more than he seems. I hope that Ben and Artie can step into the world alongside these amazing authors I’m privileged to work with and stand with the others as well as on their own.

(Laura) My part of the 2015 year picks up where Free Falling Crimson left off, and although I don’t want to spoil anything, if you’ve read the first two books this season, you already know my character Jet is in mourning. Jet will be meeting up with an ancient vampire, Nico who has worked as an enforcer for the vampire council in Europe for hundreds of years. Nico is now in New Orleans to assist Homeland Security’s new Odd Squad. The two men might be hard as diamonds, but with a year to explore their pasts, we might find out that not everything is as it seems…

Q.Best moment of writing with the PF group?

(Havan) Besides the fact that I’m learning so much from my fellow authors…or that they are real good for my self-esteem…or that we are so much more than a “group,” just like the men we write about we are truly a family… Yeah, all of the above. On a side note: how cool is it to get the reader to root for the anti-hero? Season one we got you to approve of the bad guys, season two was all about encouraging a rag-tag collection of misfits and season three be prepared to cheer on the monsters. 🙂

(Lee) There’s a sheer thrill in seeing it all come together- in seeing everyone’s individual characters and storylines meld into a single, cohesive universe. Also… it’s really cool to know what happens as it unfolds. Each subsequent story inspires me in the creation of my next episode. It’s amazing.

(Will) I’ve been proofing for the group for the last two years, and I’m utterly astounded at the focus they have for their own characters as well as the ability to write the guys from each other’s stories. My best moment was when they said, “Hey, Will… we have an idea. What do you think about writing with us this year?”  *THUD*

(Havan) Will is totally and completely THUD worthy himself!

(Laura) Triple thud? LOL. There are so many “BEST” moments, I’m hard pressed to pick one. Lee already mentioned how watching it all comes together as the year progress is amazing. Creating a “Pulp Friction” season is a lot like making sausage—no one wants to know what goes into it, but we can tell you that it’s a lot of fun, along with the hard work. We work on very tight deadlines, and must be constantly aware of what’s happening in the other writer’s series.

I consider myself very fortunate because I get to spend time every day with my Pulp Friction family. Just like a family, we care for each other in ways others don’t necessarily see. We share far more than just our PF story ideas. Havan, Lee, Will, Tom, and I have a chat box open whenever we’re on our computers—which is pretty much all the time. They are usually the first people I talk to every day, and we end many evenings doing writing sprints together. Yes, our family dynamics have changed over the years. Tom Webb might not be writing with us in 2015, but he is still involved, still joins us to sprint and beta reads. And adding Will was a no-brainer because he’s been a behind-the-scenes part of our family since the beginning.

Uh oh…we’re all in trouble now. Laura gave out our deepest darkest secret–she spoke about the nakey chat box!

Okay…so it’s only a nakey chat box in our minds (ie my mind) but it is the glue that holds us together I swear. There is almost always someone available when one of us needs inspiration for our present WIP, sprints to ramp up our word count, or if we have edits we don’t quite get…but the chat box is not limited to our writing. Oh heck to the no… our relationship is not limited to our writing careers. We are family. Period. When anyone needs anything all they have to do is log on and BOOM, instant gratification…whether there is nakey-ness or not. *winks*

It’s that connection we have that keeps all avenues of communication open between us…it allows us to write in depth serials brilliantly…among so many other things.

We’re the best type of family…we don’t just love each other, we like each other too.

So what if I happen to be the only nakey one in the chat box…it’s not like I’ve turned my webcam on…yet *smirks*

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About Pulp Friction 2015
Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.
Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One (STRW reviews start next week):
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Not familiar with the Altered States series?  Check them all out here:

Books in the Altered States Series in the order they should be read:
Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States, #1)
Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2)
Free Falling Crimson (Altered States, #3)

 

Drawing Dead PF 2015 coverBlind Stud, King of Hearts cover PF2015

 

 

It’s Here! Pulp Friction 2015- Book #1 Jack of Spades, Drawing Dead by Lee Brazil

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Book one in Lee Brazil’s Jack of Spades Series, Drawing Dead,

is releasing today, Feb. 15th.

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Pulp Friction 2015: Altered states
Jack of Spades #1,Drawing Dead  By Lee Brazil

About the book:

Genre: m/m paranormal serial
WC 16000,Heat Rating: 3

About Jack of Spades #1,Drawing DeadPF1-DDead-400x600

The world hasn’t been the same since the preternaturals came out of the closet. Much to many people’s chagrin, strange beings of all kinds are making life tricky for the “normals.”

Physics professor Dr. Sabine Brusilov has been obsessed with ghost hunting since he was eight years old.. He’s gathered a wealth of knowledge, but can’t produce a shred of scientific proof.

One hundred and seventy-five years of death haven’t done riverboat gambler Barton Montoire a damn bit of good. He’s still rash, impulsive, and prone to fits of temper and bouts of melancholy.

You’d think that when fate brought the two of them together, Bart’s lonely spirit would be calmed, and Sabine would have the proof his heart desires.

In a world where mythical beings are real, love is still the most elusive… and treacherous myth of them all.

EXCERPT

“Mrs. Carew, I apologize. Tell me about the paranormal problem again?” Sabine brushed back over his shoulder the dark hair that his mischievous boyfriend had loosened. Normally he kept it in a ponytail, a queue, as Bart quaintly called it, because it tickled his face when loose. He always ended up pushing it back and getting smudges on his glasses in the process.

He frowned at Bart’s glimmer…the sort of ripple in the air that reminded him of the way heat looked rising off a highway in the dead of summer. Sneaky bastard.

“It’s my new upstairs neighbors, Dr. Brusilov. Before they even moved in they installed dark blinds on their windows and I never see anyone coming out during the day. Not even at the mailboxes. But all night long… The thumping and the bumping and the shrieking. I’m sure they’re vampires up there murdering innocents.”

Sabine tapped his pencil on the desk and watched Bart coalesce into something resembling a solid shape in front of his office door. “Being a vampire is not illegal, and you’d have to have proof of murder, Mrs. Carew.” He explained as patiently as he could.

Six years earlier he’d investigated a haunting at Mrs. Carew’s church…and had received bi-weekly phone calls about hauntings ever since.

“Well, couldn’t you come out and investigate it?”

“That’s not the sort of paranormal I investigate, Mrs. Carew. Here at Dead Men’s Tales we only investigate hauntings.” He glanced at his watch. Thursdays were generally light, but tonight happened to be poker night, and as luck would have it, it was his turn to play host to the gathering.

“You mean ghosts, like at the church, right?”
\
“Exactly, just ghosts.” His brows shot up and his lips twitched as Bart began an elaborate strip tease accompanied by high knee kicks and spins. The cancan had been popular with students when Bart was at university, nearly two hundred years earlier. It was Bart’s idea of risqué…and Sabine bit back his laugh.

“Those are real, too?”

“Yes,” he sighed, setting the pen down and rubbing his temple. “Ghosts, vampires, werewolves…you name it, I imagine it’s real.” The world had changed so much, people like Mrs. Carew who’d once been considered crackpots were thrown even more off balance. Learning that the world as you knew it was never really…well, the world as you knew it, had been devastating for some and inspirational for others.

The vampires had come out first…then the wolves.

Just Sabine’s luck that the supernatural beings he’d spent the last fifteen years trying to prove existed—scientifically and irrefutably—were still shy and in hiding. Except Bart. He glanced up at the semi-transparent and now fully nude ghost that had haunted him for the better part of the last decade. And Bart was just stubborn enough to refuse to share any relevant information with him.

“You know what, Mrs. Carew?” he straightened in his chair. “I’ll come by on my way home. Maybe if I just knock on the door and ask them to be a little quieter at night, it might help.”

“I’ll make cookies.” The elderly lady sounded delighted, and Sabine was glad he’d made the offer as he hung up the phone.

“You”—he narrowed a level glare at his boyfriend—“are incorrigible.”

Bart stopped his high knee kicks, put his hands on his hips, and stood, bits dangling, an indignant expression on his face though his dark eyes twinkled with mirth. “That is exactly what old Father Peter used to say.”

“The old sod was right! How could you distract me while Mrs. Carew was on the phone?”

Bart jiggled and thrust his hips, and his prick bobbed and twirled. “She’s a waste of time. The old bat’s crazy as a loon.”

“She’s lonely.” Sabine rose and went around to the front of his desk. Bart immediately flashed, then reappeared centimeters from Sabine, close enough that Sabine could feel him…a warm current of air that grew hotter as the passion that drew them together intensified. In his pocket, the gold watch grew warmer as well. “You remember what that’s like, don’t you?”

Bart bounced back, instantly reclothed in the dark jacket and trousers, the brocade vest and frilled shirt that he’d died in.

“Why do you have to keep bringing that up?”

“Because you’re remarkably intolerant of human needs for someone who…”

“Was alone at the bottom of the Mississippi for, what did you say? A hundred and seventy-five years? That’s right. It’s 2015 now, isn’t it? I hardly think the few paltry years your Mrs. Carew has been alone count for a pittance in a pisspot compared to that. I need your company. She can find her own.”

Sabine dug his hand into his jeans pocket and closed it into a fist around the gold pocket watch he’d found in Barton Montoire’s steamer trunk when he’d excavated it from the depths of the river more than a decade earlier. “I was going to take you with me, but given this attitude…” He pulled the watch from his pocket and set it on the desk.

“Don’t you…” Bart flashed again…appearing across the room, by the windows. A splinter of light disrupted his eyes… Sabine caught his breath.

Most of the time Bart was good-humored, fun, and a pleasure to have around. He was an educated man and an excellent companion. Other times…the handsome face could appear menacing, and this was one of those times.

“Don’t leave me here,” Bart repeated. This time he took the time to walk across the room to Sabine, and his body had solidified to the point where his boot heels actually made noise as they struck the tiled floor.

Sabine shook his head. “I’m sorry. I can’t trust you, not in this mood.”

He’d learned the hard way that Bart’s morality was highly questionable, whether that was because he was a gambler or a ghost was in dispute. Certainly, he’d been considered a criminal in his own day, and his death proved that integrity and honor were malleable concepts for him.

“I’m not going to do anything to your old lady.” Bart flickered, and he was so beyond control that in some reappearances, the gunshot wound that had torn apart his chest before he’d been thrown overboard from the Delta Queen was clearly visible, gory and dripping with blood.

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