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New Book Coming Soon!

I have a new suspenseful drama coming out March 31st called No Diving in the Shallow End. Available to pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Blurb: Betty’s running away from someone. Jimmy’s running away from dark events in his past. At the seedy Paradise Motel they’re staying at in Florida, everyone’s running away from something.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Jimmy McKeough didn’t sip on his bottle of beer. It was summer in Florida and you had to drink your beer fast or else it would get lukewarm quicker than an alligator death roll. A cold beer was all Jimmy had to enjoy in life. He took a few more mouthfuls of the imported beer and raked his fingers through his messy sandy blonde hair that could use a haircut, and looked out over the pool area of the cheap motel he was staying at.

He leaned his lanky body against one of the poles that supported the second floor section of the shabby U-shaped motel. It had about 50 rooms, most of which were vacant. The walls of the motel had once been white, the paint had stripped and it was in long need of a renovation. The doors to each room were turquoise to give it that Floridian feeling. A rectangular pool was placed in front of the U-shaped two-storey building, surrounded by a dry lawn with a scrawny metal fence enclosing it. There was a parking lot for the residents on the other side of the fence to his right where the U-shape opened up to the busy street.

Jimmy drank some more from his bottled beer and looked over at the white plastic furniture, that could use a cleaning, which were spread around the pool area. He would usually spend his evenings in one of the chairs, drinking his beer. Today was no exception. He was a creature of habit; he’d bring take away food with him after work which he ate in his room, after which he had a shower and a cold beer. Then he went outside to down a six-pack or two by the pool until it was time for bed.

He had taken a shower and his beer was half-empty so he went back inside and got another one from the small fridge and strode over to one of the white plastic chairs and sat down with a deep sigh, putting the cold beer underneath his chair in the shade. He’d longed for this moment all day. The sun was setting, grasping its long golden tentacles over the building as if it wasn’t ready to let go of today just yet.

Jimmy had stayed at plenty of motels during the last eight months, heck, he could probably write a guide book for cheap motels in the area. But he had lived at this place for two months now. It was all right; not too many junkies and hookers that caused problems. Not the cleanest place he’d stayed at but he was okay with it, it was cheap, and most of all he liked the fact that it was almost vacant. It had some regulars, like him, but most of them kept to themselves, and the ones that didn’t he got along with fine.

Speaking of which, Jimmy could hear the familiar sound of shuffling feet on the concrete behind him. He didn’t have to turn his head to see who it was; he knew it was Bert from the sound of his slippers. Bert was an old timer, a retired cop in his seventies whose wife had kicked him out due to his gambling habit. The guy liked to play the ponies, a little too much. He was the stubborn kind, the type that would never go to a retirement home – even though this was Florida and there were basically more retirement homes here than motels. The irony.

“Hey Jimmy,” the old man let out, somewhat short of breath from dragging his feet over the concrete from his room to the pool area. Bert was staying in room 4 on the ground floor, close to the entrance so he had easy access everywhere.

“Hey Bert,” Jimmy turned his head and greeted him with a crooked smile and watched Bert slowly take a seat in the chair next to him. “Shit, I’m fucking not twenty-five anymore,” Bert exhaled and chuckled after finally sitting down in the chair that creaked a bit, with a pack of canned beer on his lap.

“None of us are,” Jimmy agreed and drank from his beer. It was getting warm, so he emptied the bottle down his throat and put it on the ground.

“How was your day?” Bert said with a hoarse throat, the air made a whistling sound in his pipes when he breathed.

“Shit, as usual,” Jimmy said with a blank face. He hated his job, and talking about it made him feel as if he was still at work. But Bert always asked, out of politeness he guessed, it was part of their ritual. Bert chuckled again and opened one of his own cans.

“You want one?” Bert asked.

“Nah, thanks, I got one,” Jimmy said and reached for the new beer under his seat and opened it. The two of them drank their beers in silence for a while. Dark clouds were coming in above them and Jimmy enjoyed the breeze sweeping forgivingly over his tired face.

“Hurricane season’s comin’,” Bert muttered, glaring at the sky.

“Yup,” Jimmy said. He wouldn’t mind some rain.

After a while they were joined by Andy, the twenty-something junkie that had shacked up in room 22 for the last two weeks. He was wearing a dirty white sleeveless shirt and skinny jeans sagging on his behind. His tall, skinny posture reminded Jimmy of Goofy, all arms and legs.

“Hey guys,” Andy said and pulled up a chair next to Bert and Jimmy. He had a cigarette in the corner of his mouth and a bottle of Jack in his fist.

“Hey,” Jimmy said. He actually liked the kid. He was funny. Sadly he was hooked to smack. Jimmy didn’t think he’d live to see thirty. But there wasn’t anything he could do about it. People did whatever the fuck they wanted. And he was no savior, that’s for sure. He drank some more of his beer.

“Andy, I was just telling Jimmy here that I think a storm is coming,” Bert said looking up at the dark skies. Andy looked up at the grey clouds hovering around the evening sun.

“Oh, yeah?” Andy said. “Wouldn’t mind some rain,” he said and drank straight from the bottle, then rested it on his thigh. His foot started drumming against the concrete ground, a nervous tick he was unaware of doing.

“That’s what I thought too,” Jimmy said and lit another cigarette. He noticed a big, black Escalade pull up at the parking lot. Some woman getting out.

“Great minds think alike,” Andy said and laughed out loud. He sounded like a hyena when he laughed, Jimmy thought. The three of them turned their heads when they heard the clicking sound of high heels on the ground behind them. It was Dani, the black transvestite in room 44.

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,” Dani said and giggled as she approached them in fishnets and a red mini skirt. The three of them smirked. “Well, look at them clouds, do you think it’s gonna rain?” she said and sat down in an empty plastic chair next to Bert. She had a tumbler glass with something yellow in it, possibly a screwdriver, Jimmy guessed. Dani sucked on the straw with her red lips around it. She had done her makeup, all set for the night.

“That’s what we all think,” Andy said, exhaling smoke in the air.

“Oh, shoot, that’s not good for my business,” Dani complained and stroked a few strands of her wig back from her face. Yep, she was a working girl. Never brought her clients back to the motel, though. She was smart. Jimmy liked her.

The four of them were a motley crew, but they respected one another, stayed out of each other’s way, passed no judgments. They all had their reasons to stay at the shady motel.

“Just wear a raincoat, it might attract some loonies,” Andy suggested with another high-pitched laugh.

“You might be right,” Dani said, pursing her red lips.

The loud sound of a suitcase being rolled over the concrete grounds behind them made them all turn around and look. A new resident was approaching from the reception area. It was a curvy woman in tight, white jeans and wedges who was pulling a large suitcase behind her.  A colorful silk scarf hid her hair and dark sunglasses hid most of her face.

“Welcome to Paradise!” Andy yelled out to greet her. The others chuckled.

“Welcome to our lovely resort!” Dani shouted, holding her drink up.

“The last resort!” Andy added and gave out a giggling laughter, and the others joined in on it. 

The woman didn’t respond, and Jimmy watched as she stopped at the door next to his and fumbled with the keycard.

“You got yourself a new neighbor there,” Andy said and turned to Jimmy with a snicker. 

“I guess so,” Jimmy muttered. He didn’t like it. There were plenty of vacant rooms all over the building. “Just my luck,” he sighed and had another mouthful of beer. He hoped she wasn’t going to stay for more than one night.

***

Copyright © 2019 Victoria Wallin. All rights reserved.

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Do You Read One or Several Books at a Time?

Apparently, this is a thing in the book community, as I’ve witnessed discussions about it on social media. A lot of readers seem very devoted and dedicated to reading one single book at a time, almost as if they are cheating on the one book if they’d begin reading on something else.

Well, I’m not like that at all. I enjoy reading several books at a time, preferably in different genres. One evening I might read a chapter from a thriller, then a chapter from a non-fiction travel book or a book on Psychology, and then a chapter from a romantic comedy. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m a Gemini and I get bored easily, or simply enjoy variation.

‘But how do you remember what happened in all the books?’ people who read one book at a time usually ask. I compare it with watching TV. As soon as you watch a new episode from a series you watch regularly, you immediately remember what happened in the previous one. And even though I do love to binge watch TV series every now and then, it’s rather nice to watch episodes of several different shows in one evening, right? That’s exactly what it’s like to read more than one book at a time. So, if you’re a writer friend waiting for me to finish reading your book, don’t despair. It’s going to take a while, and it doesn’t mean I don’t like your book.

I’m the same way with my writing. I’ve realized I’m more productive when I write a little here and a little there. I’m a multi-genre writer – no surprise there – and I’m very excited about a few of my current works in progress. I’m writing on a domestic, suspenseful thriller that will hopefully have you gripped, and a funny, feel-good, big city story about three friends in NYC, and last but not least a story about two strangers who are running away from different things in their lives and reveal their true selves for each other.

Whether you prefer to read one book at a time, or several, the shared love for books is the same. Happy New Reading Year!

New Feelgood Novella Series!

As a huge animal lover this is somewhat of a dream project for me. Growing up my family had dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, fish, lizards, a horse, and a sheep (to keep the horse company). As an adult it’s hard to find the time and space for having a pet, especially if you live in a city or large town, and if I could I would be a regular Ace Ventura coming home to Noah’s Ark, but at the moment I have to settle for just a cat. Her name is Daisy and she follows me around where ever I go, if I leave the room she will trot after me.

If you’re lucky enough to have a pet in your life you know it really enriches your every day life in so many ways. But it also demands your time and effort in caring for another creature, in fact, it’s a huge responsibility, but it is totaly worth it because it is so rewarding. I wanted to write about that, the challenges, the good times, the looove, the struggles, etc. because I believe that animals change our lives for the better. So I created this little novella series called A Dog in the Manger where a young woman called Trish suddenly has to take care of a dog; to make room for it in her life and learn about the responsibilities in taking care of it. This opens up a few issues in her life; she needs to stand up to her boss at work who keeps demanding her to work late every week, and she needs to learn how to put someone else first and not be so self-involved. But it also lets in new friendships in her life, and a possible new love interest.

A funny note, in Sweden we have this expression called “the dog trick”, which refers to meeting new people – and perhaps someone to ask out on a date – when you’re out walking your dog. Some people even borrow their friend’s dog for this purpose beacuse people stop and talk and want to pet a cute puppy. For Trish she is swooning when she meets the hunky Nick with green eyes walking his Pit Bull, and he immediately recognises her need for help handling her new dog and offers it – which leads to more contact between them.

I hope  readers will love this series as much as I love writing it! I’ve decided to make the first part perma free, so readers can try it out and see if they want to read more. You can find it on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, B&N and Smashwords via the links below. Part two is out for pre-order and part three will be released in the fall. Please write a short review on the retailer’s site if you read it (or on Goodreads), it really helps me as an indie author reach new readers! Thank you in advance. Happy reading!

Blurb: Trish inherits a dog from her dead aunt and she doesn’t know anything about dogs, but she’ll be damned if she’s going to let her goody two shoes cousin Jules sweep in and save the day agin, like she always did. The decision of taking the dog on is going to change Trish’s life in many unexpected ways.

A new novella series that contains dogs, busy lifestyles and learning how to take control of your life, with a splash of romance and laugh-out-loud moments!

Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Review of The Woman Who Knew Everything

Extremely entertaining RomCom that touches the heart! 5 stars!

This lovely novel is set around three women and their relationships that are somewhat on the rocks, and even though some of the developments are truly heartbreaking, Debbie Viggiano still manages to write about it in such a humorous way that it made me laugh out loud many times. It’s got charm, it’s quick-witted and heartfelt at the same time, which makes it a thoroughly entertaining read. Viggiano’s writing skills, the ability to write about something dark and sad and make it very funny, reminds me of Marian Keyes – the master of writing about tragedies with a good portion of humour. Just brilliant!

I can’t wait to read another book by Debbie Viggiano!

Review of Greed (An Amber Monroe Crime Thriller)

A solid, exciting, police procedural thriller with a strong female MC! 4 stars!

I’m a huge lover of police procedural crime fiction, I feel it’s like reading a TV show, following the cops work in trying to find a killer. Here the point of view switches between the bad guys and the cops, which is a great way to create suspense, letting the reader know more than the cops. In Greed we move straight into the action of the bad guys, and it’s non stop action from there on, which I really liked.

I also liked that the MC was a female cop, a noobie trying to become a detective she wants to prove herself to her boss and her colleagues, and she sure does! Amber is smart, strong and confident and a great role model. There are more books about her, the Amber Monroe Crime Thriller series, so I guess I will have to read them to get to know her better.

The only down side of this book was the lack of background story of the MC and the other cops. I would have loved to have known more about Amber and her co-workers, especially her boss Jack who leads the investigation, we don’t get to know anything about him. There is also some lack of credability, having so many detectives working on ONE case.

All in all, a free action-packed cat and mouse thriller that I really recommend! Will certainly read more of this author.

Review of The Missing Ones

This contains everything I want in a police thriller! I’m so happy it’s a series! 5 stars!

The Missing Ones is a gripping and engaging thriller and Gibney weaves together an intricate web of characters and subplots to divulge in. Detective Lottie Parker, the MC, is struggling with a loss and raising her teenage kids, as well as some dark secrets from the past which surfaces, an all her flaws and her struggles really make her a loveable character. The banter with her colleague Boyd is also very entertaining to follow.

This thrilling novel never loses its grip on the reader. Gibney cleverly uses different lengths of the chapters and switches from present to past time to create a swift pace and keep the reader involved. I’ve already bought the next book in the series and cannot wait to start reading it!

Free Extract of New Noir!

Exclusive extract from the new noir The Case of the Missing Wife.

Copyright © 2018 Victoria Wallin

Available to pre-order from links below for just $0.99.

New York City, 1942. Martin Harrington is a derelict P.I. whose wife recently left him. He spends his days at the office drinking booze that he hides in a drawer in his desk and fondly argues with his secretary Lucy, on the days that he actually shows up.

Lucy and Martin were in the middle of bickering over some trivial nonsense when a new potential client showed up at the door, a middle-aged man with his hat in hand. He looked around, a bit confused, at the empty reception desk and heard voices in the room behind it and decided to follow the sound. He hesitantly entered the open door to the room behind the reception desk.

”Ehr, hello. I need your help. It’s about my wife,” the man said and nervously turned his hat in his hands in front of him. ”She’s missing,” he said and looked helplessly at Martin. Martin looked at the man with contempt behind his desk.

”Good for you,” Martin quipped.

”Excuse me?” the man said, confused, and glanced at Lucy who stood next to the desk.

”He didn’t mean that,” Lucy said quickly.

”It’s probably for the best,” Martin continued, and received a look of warning from Lucy.

”He has a weird sense of humor, please ignore him,” Lucy said between her teeth.

”Trust me, I’ve been there,” Martin went on.

”He thinks he’s being funny,” Lucy tried to explain.

”Eh, perhaps I should come back later?” the man suggested in total confusion.

”No,” Martin said.

”Yes,” Lucy said simultaneously. Lucy was boiling with anger and glared at Martin who lit a cigarette. The man looked at them both, not knowing what to do. ”Come with me, I can take your information at my desk over here,” Lucy suggested in an attempt of taking control of the situation and gestured towards the reception desk outside Martin’s office, which was starting to fill up with smoke from his cigarette.

”Oh, OK,” the man said with a sense of relief and followed her out of the office. Lucy closed the door behind them with force so that the tinted glass in the top part of the door rattled after giving Martin a murderous look. Martin replied with a crooked smile and put his feet up on his desk.

Lucy took a seat at her desk, brought out her notepad and a pen and gave the man what she hoped was a trusting and confiding smile.

”Tell me everything,” she said invitingly.

Martin studied the somewhat shiny shoes on his feet on his crossed ankles on the desk. They could use a shine again he noted. He might be a bit of a lush but he always tended to detail. The details were always important. That’s what he made a living out of. Regular people often missed the detail, that’s why they came to him for help.

He wasn’t worried about Lucy, he was sure she got the information he needed from the man, she always did. She was good with people. He was not. Right now he was grateful that she probably put together a new case for him out there. If he decided to take it. He wasn’t in the mood to be understanding and ask questions about a dame that had taken off. He didn’t feel like trying to find her either. If a broad had left you the best thing was to let her go, he had meant what he’d said. He took a deep inhale from his cigarette.

His own wife had left him two months ago. It hadn’t been the first time she’d got sick of his drinking and late hours at the office, or his modest income – though she’d never said anything about that out loud – and left him. This time she’d told him she was leaving for good, and he believed her. He wished he’d had more to offer her. But he wondered if anything was ever enough.

Martin had been lucky enough to inherit the office, which had previously been a hardware store, with the tiny apartment upstairs, from his father. He had had no aspirations of becoming a salesman, he had lived long and well off the money he’d got from selling his parents’ old house after his mother had passed away a few months after his father.

The P.I. job had been purely coincidental. An old classmate had contacted him and asked him for advice. Claire Bowman had wanted to find out if her husband Ben was having an affair, the two of them had been together since high school, the same school that Martin had gone to so he knew them both.    Martin had offered to take her husband out to dinner and see what he could find out and Claire had insisted on paying for it, desperate for information. Ben Bowman had not been as frank as Martin had hoped for, so he had decided to follow him around for a few days and thus he had found out that Ben was having an affair with the neighbor’s wife. Claire had been so grateful that she’d wanted to pay him more for his efforts, which he had turned down. A few days later her friend had contacted him with the same problem. That’s how it all got started.

The door with the black letters Harrington’ s Private Investigations written on the glass rattled again as Lucy opened it and walked towards him with determined steps. A vague smile lured at the corner of his mouth as he watched her approach him. Her strawberry blonde hair lay softly curled down to the shoulders of her burgundy knee-length dress which revealed a flattering hourglass figure. She handed him a note.

”Here’s your new case. You’re very welcome,” she spat out with a proud twitch of the neck. He took the note without looking at it.

”I guarantee you she left with his best friend,” Martin said, bored, and inhaled deeply on his cigarette. Lucy placed both hands on her hips.

”Sandra Covington, thirty-two years old, disappeared without a trace yesterday after she’d gone shopping, without bringing any of her clothes or other personal belongings,” Lucy told him.

“Maybe she bought everything new,” Martin suggested slowly and hit the cigarette on the rim of the ashtray so the ash fell off into it on his desk.

“Her husband Sam, who was here, is a bit of a gambler, and he thinks she’s been kidnapped by a gangster he owes money,” Lucy continued. Martin looked at her freckled face, perfect black eyeliner and red lips.

“Gangster?” he said amused.

“His word, not mine,” she said quickly and tilted her head at him. “Take the case, Martin, or you’ll end up as a shoe shiner,” she added and nodded towards his shoes on the desk.

“Let me take you out to dinner tonight,” Martin threw out in spontaneity, took his feet down from the desk and sat up properly on his chair.

”Nope, I have a date tonight,” Lucy said, pleased as punch.

”Cancel it. Come on, it’ll be fun,” Martin pleaded with her.

”Go on, get to work,” Lucy said and ignored the rest, turned her heal and walked out of his office. Martin watched her walk out and gave her legs an appreciative glance. She closed the door with a rattling noise. Lucy had worked for him for two years now, he didn’t know how she put up with him, but he knew that he would never make it without her. She was an accomplished secretary with a good head on her shoulders, and she was great with people, which he wasn’t. Martin had tried every type of work you could think of and he had either got fired or quit it himself, usually because of his lack of respect for people, mainly authorities. He had even applied to the Police Academy, but dropped out of that too after about a year. He just couldn’t cope with having to take orders from other people. People were idiots.

He sighed and looked at the note. Lucy was right, of course, he needed this assignment – the money, as well as having something to do. He read the names on the note, the husband’s and the wife’s. There was also an address and a phone number to the married couple, and a short description of the wife. And then a small note on the gangster,”Mickey the mauler”. He’d never heard of him.

Martin lit another cigarette with a matchbook he’d got in a bar and did some thinking. Why didn’t Sam Covington go to the cops if he’d thought his wife had been kidnapped? Something didn’t add up. And that sparked an interest with Martin. He slowly blew out smoke rings in the air and watched them dissolve. He was also curious about this gangster, Mickey the mauler. He would first of all have to find out if it was in fact a real person, or if the client tried to take him for a ride. If he’d learned anything in this business it was that everybody lied, all the time, about everything.

Pre-order it now and have it wirelessly delivered to you on June 3rd from:

Kobo: The Case of the Missing Wife

NOOK: The Case of the Missing Wife

Smashwords: The Case of the Missing Wife

Review of Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier

A wonderful, heartwarming beginning of a cute and sweet novella series! 4 stars!

If a book makes you smile and laugh, and brings tears to your eyes, it manages to touch your heart – and Valentine’s Day at the Café at the End of the Pier certainly did that to me. You really get the excitement of Jo embarking on a new adventure, leaving her home up country to drive down to her grandparents, and start a new life working at their café. The warm relationship between Jo’s grandparents is so sweet and described in all its cuteness, which I have to say got me a bit teary eyed. If I had got more background about Jo and maybe a new love interest the novella would have got a five star rating, I felt is was a bit lacking of information about Jo. I guess it will all be revealed in the next installments of the series.

This novella is the first of the serial and is free to download on Amazon. I like that, it makes you as a reader able to try it on, see if it fits you, and if you want to read the rest of the series. I know I will!

Review of Marked By the Wolf: Part 1

A fast-paced, action packed novella, with some flaws, that I really enjoyed! 3 stars!

This is the first part of a novella trilogy, and it is free on Amazon, a clever marketing trick to draw readers in to the story. I particularly like the novella format, I usually stay away from looong novels with pages and pages of dreary, detailed descriptions of things. I also am quite fond of the new trend of novella serials, it’s like reading a TV episode of a story. Offering the first part for free is a great thing for the reader to sort of “try it out” for fit. If you like the story and want to read more, you will have no problem buying the rest of the parts in the series.

Marked By the Wolf: Part 1 succeeds in filling my expectations story-wise. The pace is quick and exciting, the story is full of action and it feels just too short, as any good story should feel. However, there are some flaws that need mentioning. There are several misspellings and other grammatical errors, as well as the MC’s name being different in one line than in the rest of the story – honest mistakes by the author that can be easily fixed but which drags the overall rating down from 4 stars to 3. The notion of the MC being completely fearless leaving with a complete stranger that she senses is creepy, is not very realistic but rather foolish and makes it a bit hard to like or understand the MC. Having said that, I still buy it, because I compare it with victims in horror movies who go down into the basement even though we all know they’re going to get killed. You may not go down in the basement yourself, but hey, it’s just a story, right? This is a fantasy story after all, werewolves do not exist in real life either, so let’s just go with it and see what happens, was my thought on the matter. It drives the story forward.

I can really recommend this novella if you’re into werewolves, romance and action-packed stories. I will definately read the rest of the series myself.

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