It is Unanimous!

5star-shiny-hrIt is very exciting that my latest thriller DARK PURSUIT has been given 5-stars from  three reviewers at Readers’ Favorite. I wanted to share one of those reviews. Writing is definitely a journey with ups and downs, but the rewards outnumber the lows.  I appreciate all of the support of readership for my Emily Stone Series! Thank you!

***Reader appreciation! For ten days DARK PURSUIT is only 99cents!  Offer is good until Monday April 27th, and then it goes back to the regular price.*** 

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DarkPursuitReviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers’ Favorite (5-Stars)

Emily Stone, former police officer, is a vigilante detective who spends her time hunting down serial killers, particularly those that prey on children. Because of her exceptional profiling skills, she and her partner-lover Rick have closed more serial cases than many seasoned homicide detectives. Her prolific profiling skills and outstanding forensic techniques, along with deductive crime scene investigations, have set her up as major thorn in the side of many serial killers.

This story opens with a vehicle pursuit that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. At the end of the chase, Emily learns the true identity of the killer and almost loses her life in the process. The killer decides to let her live, at least for a while. In this book, Emily and Rick (a former detective), are hunting the Tick-Tock Killer, a serial killer who targets children. The killer is mocking the authorities by telling them where he will dump the next body. This creates a heightened sense of urgency for everyone concerned. Can Emily find and stop him before another child becomes a victim…

The fast-paced action and plot momentum keep the reader’s attention to the very end. Although this book is part of a series, there is an extensive back-story that fills the reader in on why and how Emily has chosen to pursue this career. The author has created a strong female protagonist that shows strengths and weaknesses. Her characterization is well developed and the plotting is superior as well. I recommend this book for anyone that enjoys great, well-written thrillers.

You can read all three reviews here at Readers’ Favorite.

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Take a sneak peek into the life of vigilante detective Emily Stone in a film short based on the award-winning series.  I would love to hear what you think of the kick-ass heroine!

 

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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Why Write about Serial Killers?

manwithmaskOne of the most common questions that I receive from readers is, “What made you want to write about serial killers?”

To answer that question, I must first answer the question of what made me study and obtain degrees in police forensics and criminology. I have a fascination with forensic science and how it is applied in order to solve a crime. Over the past ten years, there has been an incredible amount of scientific breakthroughs in DNA profiling and fingerprint identification to name a few. The other areas in forensic science must not be overlooked, such as voice analysis, impression evidence, and criminal profiling. All of these areas of forensic science are important tools for identifying and locating the “bad guy”.

A quote from Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer’s book Crime Science, Methods of Forensic Detection sums up the importance of forensics in my mind. It puts forensics in perspective.

All objects in the universe are unique. No two things that happen by chance ever happen in exactly the same way. No two things are ever constructed or manufactured in exactly the same way. No two things ever wear in exactly the same way. No two things ever break in exactly the same way.”

I have been fascinated with every aspect of forensics, well before the public ever heard of CSI and many other popular television shows, both fictional and true crime. There is so much more involved than what grazes the surface in the entertainment media. This is where my interest in criminology kicked into high gear. For those of you who do not know, criminology is defined as “the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior”. It really means the study of how a specific criminal commits their crime and why. It is the “why” that really captivates me and I want to know more.

The study of criminology also includes the serial killer phenomenon. I have spent time studying actual cases of serial crime and I have been involved in cold cases. Without a doubt, the serial killer theme makes a great background to any thriller or mystery novel. The key is to make the serial killer so incredibly creepy, unique, and extremely cunning that it is mesmerizing to the reader where they cannot put the book down.

I have incorporated into my Emily Stone Series many types of serial killers, each with their own skewed perspectives and motivations. It is a slow unraveling of their minds and killing habits that is similar to a ticking time bomb heading straight into hell.

To answer the question, “Why do I write about serial killers?” I write about serial killers because they really have not been defined in any one specific way. There are so many aspects that can be discovered inside their twisted minds and the possibilities are endless. The challenge and creativity is endless, just dive in and see what you can create.

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Research and Writing Tip:

If you want to write about a serial killer, whether it is the main nemesis or a small part of your story, make a detailed list as if you were a psychiatrist and the character is your patient. What would you observe about them? What does this person look like? What would they say to you? How would you respond? Get detailed. Be original. Write down your fictional conversation. Research specific abnormal psychology terms, such as anti-personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, socio versus psycho, attention deficit disorder, etc. ALWAYS when using the Internet as a research source verify information from at least three reputable sources/sites.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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BOOK VIRAL SPOTLIGHT for DARK PURSUIT #NewRelease #EmilyStone

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Author  Jennifer Chase – In The BookViral Spotlight

Dark Pursuit – An Emily Stone Novel

DarkPursuitSYNOPSIS:

From the International Award Winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES: 

Vigilante detective Emily Stone has covertly hunted down killers and closed more serial cases than most seasoned homicide cops combined. Her exceptional profiling skills and forensic techniques, along with deductive crime scene investigations, have made her a compelling force that cannot be beat. She has reached her ultimate breaking point and now must face her toughest opponent yet – her biggest fears.

With disturbing preciseness, the Tick-Tock Killer has taken his next child victim and promised to dump the body precisely four days later, mocking police and the community. Stone struggles to balance her inner demons and ghosts from the past, against the wits of a brutal and cunning serial killer in an all-out battle of psychological warfare. Can Stone save the next child in time?

 REVIEW from Book Viral:

Immediately addictive, the nail biting opening chapter from Dark Pursuit sets the tone for this uncompromising and compelling thriller from international award winning author Jennifer Chase. A high stakes read, it’s clever, fast paced and inventive, the action evolving in tightly focused scenes, played out against a gamut of decidedly harrowing settings. The plot is enthralling and always plausible with Chase only delving into the  detail when her narrative demands it, but what really makes this thriller so notable are her characters and Emily Stone makes for a powerful and highly memorable female lead. She lives in a world rendered in shades of grey, she’s flawed and heroic with moments of vulnerability and great resolve and this creates a real sense of place and purpose without falling back on trite genre tropes. With her dominant personality cleverly contrasted against Ricks they make a sublime pairing whilst Emily wrestles with her inner conflicts. In the vein of all great crime thrillers it’s both cleverly connived and thought provoking.

Undeniably harrowing at times, certainly entertaining, Dark Pursuit isn’t for the faint hearted, but fans of the Emily Stone series will lap it up. Sure to win a host of new followers for Jennifer Chase. It is highly recommended!

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Check out Book Viral

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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Can Being Barefoot Improve Your Writing?

bare_feet_in_grassYou know that exhausted and tired feeling after a long day of standing on your feet?  You come home and immediately kick your shoes off and peel off your tired old socks.  Ahhh, now that’s relief.  You even feel a little bit lighter and brighter in spirit – perhaps a spring in your step.  There’s nothing better than pressing your bare feet into a plush carpet or thick grass.

It’s been no secret that when I write my novels, I’m barefoot.  Why you ask?  The only answer I can convey is that I like it.  I feel more relaxed and ideas seem to flow easier.

Once something grabs hold of my curious mind, I can’t seem to let it go until I’m satisfied with the answer.  I began to think about the “barefoot syndrome” and here are a few things that I found out that I wanted to share.

There’s actually a society called Society for Barefoot Living founded 1994 with over 1,400 members from around the world.  Here’s a quote from their homepage, “Set your feet free and your mind will follow…”

According to an article written in the New York Magazine, we walk wrong and we’re hurting our feet by wearing shoes.  This immediately caught my attention and I probed a little bit further in this phenomenon to find out exactly why.

 “Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person,” wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management.

There are definite health benefits to going barefoot.  I was amazed to find out that my quirky writing habit actually has some scientific merit to it.  Think about all of the cultures and martial arts disciplines that involve being barefoot.

Kicking off your shoes can actually:

  • Keep your feet properly exercised, agile, and in shape.  Stronger feet help to make a stronger body.  Wearing shoes can actually make your feet lazy and potentially increase the risk of injury.
  • Fight varicose veins by improving circulation.
  • Relax the body and mind.  It changes the mindset that we associate when we’re wearing shoes.

I don’t know if I’m ready to toss all my shoes for the barefoot lifestyle, but I do know that when I’m writing I feel more relaxed and ready to take on any challenge with ease.

What do you think?  Are you going to go barefoot more often?

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Research and Writing Tip:

Situations involving feet are something that most writers rarely think about incorporating into a storyline. I can think of a few storylines where feet or shoes made a lasting impression. Take the movie DieHard for example, John McLean had to deal with being barefoot while fighting the bad guys in a high-rise building. Do a little research on feet ailments or the benefits of different kinds of shoes. Maybe a hitman character has plantar fasciitis, or a supporting character has difficulty finding a shoe in his/her size, or a love interest has an insatiable foot or shoe fetish. Do a little research – and have fun with feet. All of these little details give characters more depth.   

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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The Bystander Effect and What it Represents in Society Today

BarfightIn my Emily Stone Series, my protagonist is a woman who has made the decision to get involved when she knows a crime is being committed. Emily Stone uses her intelligence, her intuition, and a few helpful pieces of technology to track the most dangerous predators in our society. She does all of this work anonymously, and forwards the evidence and entire investigation for the local police department before moving onto her next case.

What about people who make the decision NOT to get involved? We have all read or heard about instances in which horrifying crimes were taking place and bystanders did nothing to stop the violence. There was an incident in which a teenage girl was gang raped for more than two hours outside of her high school homecoming dance in Richmond, California. More than two dozen people witnessed the attacks and did not bother to call the police. The media reports were everywhere—what is wrong with our young people today that they can be so callous and apathetic when a heinous crime is being committed in front of their very eyes? There have been many of these cases reported, including a famous New York case of Kitty Genovese.

The decision to not get involved when you see a crime taking place is known as the bystander effect, which is broken down in two major factors. It is a term developed within the field of social psychology and it refers to the hesitancy of a person to take action during an emergency situation when other people are present. Sometimes, we assume that another person will help, especially when the situation is chaotic. In other instances, the bystander effect can occur because we are waiting to see how other observers react and, as a result, no one acts at all. This behavior represents the need to act in a correct and socially acceptable way.

Doesn’t this really mean that we all should take responsibility? Everyone should have an idea of what should be done in case you are in need of assistance or if someone else needs our help. If you take the bystander effect in another perspective, wouldn’t it be the same if you see anything that is wrong, i.e. work related, school, politics, etc. that we should step up? Are we becoming a society of victims suffering from the bystander effect?

Do you know that you would act if you saw some being violently attacked?

Are there circumstances in which you would hesitate?

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Research and Writing Tip:

Think about a bystander effect situation that you have personally witnessed or have seen in the news. Dissect it and make a list of everything that happened. Use key descriptive words to describe the event. Make a list of things that you want to research further: such as psychology, crime stats, penal codes on specific crimes, etc. You will then be able to incorporate a portion of the bystander effect or the entirety into your novel.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Dark Pursuit Silent Partner  Screenwriting
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New Book Release: DARK PURSUIT, An Emily Stone Thriller #NewRelease #Crime

DarkPursuit***OFFICIAL BOOK RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT***

From the International Award Winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES comes a new serial killer crime novel: DARK PURSUIT

Synopsis:

Vigilante detective Emily Stone EmilyStone_Stills_009has covertly hunted down killers and closed more serial cases than most seasoned homicide cops combined.  Her exceptional profiling skills and forensic techniques, along with deductive crime scene investigations, have made her a compelling force that cannot be beat.

She has reached her ultimate breaking point and now must face her toughest opponent yet – her fears.EmilyStone_E

EmilyStone_Stills_008With preciseness, the Tick-Tock Killer has taken his next child victim and promised to dump the body exactly four days later, mocking police and the community. Stone struggles to balance her inner demons and ghosts from the past, against the wits of a brutal and cunning serial killer in an all-out battle of psychological warfare.

Can Stone save the next child in time? DARK PURSUIT is an action-packed cat and mouse game that will take you to dark places rarely explored.

Available NOW on AMAZON KINDLE:

US Amazon Kindle

UK Amazon Kindle

COMING SOON to PAPERBACK and ADDITIONAL E-READER FORMATS!

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You can tag along with Emily Stone and you won’t be disappointed:

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Writing in the Moment

A few years ago, I discovered the term “mindfulness” and incorporated it into my everyday life.  It has help me to combat my anxiety issues.  It basically means what it implies.  On one level it means paying attention to details of what’s going on around you at any given time, but on a much deeper level it brings your conscious awareness to a “moment-by-moment” basis.  It’s where you pay attention to what’s happening right now, but in a non-judgmental way and allowing things to be what they are to you.

Writing is a demanding, but absolutely a fulfilling profession.  I’ve found myself taking part in standard Yoga stretches to ground myself and begin my day.  I’ve recently taken it a step further by using the meditation technique to mindfulness to de-stress and balance my mind and body.  It’s been quite effective and I look forward to it several times a week.  I highly suggest checking out Mindful Yoga on a CD or DVD.

I wanted to take the “in the moment” or “mindfulness” into my writing.  I’ve finished my fifth Emily Stone Novel, where the term “thriller” is taken to new levels as she chases after serial killers and she sometimes gets too close to them, almost feeling their breath or touch.  By taking an experience along with emotion and observation, you can build a thrilling scene.

As I’ve briefly outlined my chapters and scenes, I’ve found myself creating the suspense and tension of the storyline.  I take a moment to view things from Emily Stone’s perspective of “in the moment” techniques.  It gets the writing juices flowing.

For example, she’s found a new clue that can track down the killer.  What does she do?  How will she move forward in a moment-by-moment way?  I break down the scene into action/reaction from beginning to end.  The beginning is when she finds the clue and the end is the result I want her to accomplish.  What are some of the observations, emotions, and details she can accomplish in this particular task?

Take this writing task a step further into your own day.  Write the “in the moment” observations of a typical day for you.  Create a scene when you run errands, watch your favorite movie, or take a lunch break with a friend.  Write everything down that you observe.  What are the moment-by-moment actions that happen?

I’ve found that by writing in the moment, you discover not only things about yourself but also about your characters in your stories.  The next time you feel that little procrastination bug nipping at you, pull back, and write in the moment.

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Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind Dead Burn Silent Partner  Screenwriting

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You can tag along with Emily Stone in a “live-action” novel short, you won’t be disappointed:

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