Tuesday 4 July 2017

#BlogTour Forbidden by F. Stone (@FeatherWrites) @partnersincr1me

Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by F. Stone Tour Banner

Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket

by F. Stone

on Tour June 19 - July 7, 2017


Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by F. Stone
Gunfire echoes within the walls of a Middle East police compound. Screams of terror are brutally silenced. Police captain Hashim Sharif captures one survivor. Soon Eliza MacKay will wish she had died with her companions.

The vile act of terrorism is covered-up. Sharif becomes the reluctant keeper of his city's bloody secret – and the witness, MacKay. His corrupt superiors have a gun rammed against his skull. Disloyalty to the mayor will be rewarded with being buried alive.

Whatever the cost, his government’s honor must be restored. Secretly, Sharif hunts forensic evidence. Who is responsible for the murder of fifteen American volunteers? And, why did MacKay lie about her identity? He can’t trust her. Her mental illness is going to get both of them killed.

When he receives orders to dispose of MacKay, his Muslim faith is tested. Murder an innocent in cold blood? He will suffer Allah's eternal wrath.

CIA Agent Hutchinson has the lying Sharif in his cross hairs. Sharif dodges the agent’s traps almost as easily as the hit man on his tail. When Sharif discovers the shocking truth, he loses all hope of survival.

What is worth dying for? Perhaps it’s not bringing a madman to justice. Could it be saving the life of a woman who kick-started his numb heart? On the knife edge of risk, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Romance, International Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 2016
Number of Pages: 363
ISBN: 0995150907 (ISBN13: 9780995150904)
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

An Author’s Confession

Yep, I’m breaking the mould. Often during book tours, authors report about the enormous effort it took to write their best seller. That’s the truth. It does take years of pounding at the keyboard, and working out tedious details, like when will Ramadan be in the year 2047.

Today, I’m sharing everything (most everything) I did wrong.

I should have known better. Forbidden is not my first novel so I’m aware of certain rules. God, how I hate rules.

First broken rule: I wrote about something I knew absolutely nothing about which included Islam, Middle East culture, prison, CIA, flying helicopters, and guns. Remedy? Study hard and research until my eyes go blind. Then interview people who are in the know. Finally, get my hands on an AK47 and pull that damn trigger.

Second broken rule: The male hero is a man that many readers may be unable to connect with, even would dislike simply because of his culture and religion. Remedy? Trust my writing skills are up to the challenge of seducing the reader to step into a world to where they’ve never been before. Give them something different. Give the reader an unprecedented adventure.

Third broken rule: I’m a panster. My writing instructor, Candas Jane Dorsey, would be appalled. Now, being a panster is not a crime and no literature standards squad is about to breach my door and take away my computer. And, in case you’re wondering what a panster is, and have visions of a breed of authors who write without their pants on, let me reassure you I have my pants on – almost always J.

Panster authors are those reckless, adrenalin junkies, and the write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writers. When we hear that phrase in our head – “What if … “ In seconds, the visions begin, the characters take shape, and before you’re aware of being morphed into another world, you’re on page fifteen of the first draft.

For a moment, just a brief hesitation, I’ll feel a nudge from my sensible side. A thought interrupts the flood of words, phrases, verbs, all formulating a plot that’s twisted and breathlessly exciting.
“You should write an outline.” The voice is hesitant but strong enough to distract Bart, my muse
Bart jumps up onto my shoulder. He’s the one driving the current scene and does not like a lot of things. One, my ego trying to take over the thrust of the storyline. Two, I’m allowed one glass of wine, not friggin two. Three, me nagging for a hint of the ending before ‘we’ reach the third quarter mark. And four, and worst of all, doing an outline. Forbidden! His sacred rule is, ”If an author is to be authentic, open to the extreme of visions, immersed into the pool of unlimited potentiality, the writer must be free from all constraints.” You can tell he’s been listening to Dr. Chopra.

Sounds wonderful, writing with such zeal and spontaneity?
My dear editor would disagree. Leigh Carter suffered through three rewrites of Forbidden. Most of the time, I needed to re-evaluate my understanding of my characters. In my mind they are real people and, even though I created them, I needed to honor who they are in each chapter and every scene. I couldn’t make them do or say something just because I thought it would be fun or more exciting. In the end, the characters, even as they mature / grow during the story, will behave and react in a logical and realistic manner. And moi, Feather Stone, needs to respect that.

Excerpt: Here is one of my favorite scenes in Forbidden. The setting is a luxury hotel room. Eliza MacKay had been waiting for Captain Sharif, hoping he would survive his battle with his enemies. She was doubtful. Sharif was out of ammunition, literally.

Captain Sharif survived. While returning to the hotel, he called her. There was no answer. He remembered she had a gun. She had a history of suicide attempts. When he last saw her, she appeared broken, without hope.

The forty minute taxi ride felt like an eternity. The hotel elevator tortured him until sweat poured down his back. “Eliza, Eliza, please be okay,” he muttered. His room card slipped into the slot. The lock released. Grasping the handle, he struggled to inhale. “Eliza,” he called out, “please answer me.” He turned the handle and pushed the door open an inch, then five. When he could finally view the foyer, all the vitality that kept him from falling apart vanished. He faltered, crashed into a closet door, and fell to his knees.
The sun’s rays, streaming into the sitting room, washed over her form. It cast a halo on her head, made her appear in shadow. She stood facing the door, arms raised and both hands grasping the gun, ready to squeeze the trigger. For a long while, she appeared more like a store mannequin, lifeless, unblinking.
 “Ha, Hashim - ,” she barely breathed his name. She blinked. Her arms fell to her side. The gun, still clutched in her hand, would fire if she twitched. She shuffled to his side as if in a daze.
 “Give me the gun, Miss MacKay,” his voice sounded raspy with fatigue. “It’s over now.”
 “Over?” She looked down at him.
“Over.” He carefully pried the gun from her hand and ejected the two bullets. “Well, mostly over. Still got Khalid on our tail. But - .”
“Hashim.” She half fell, half lowered herself. She lightly touched his shoulders and traced the contours of his arms and chest. “You’re not hurt?”
He could read her thoughts as the light returned to her eyes. She had feared someone was phoning to tell her he had been killed. The thought made her throw up. He smelt it on her breath.
In his mind, he told her how much he loved her. He said things he could never speak out loud. Like how the terrible accident that destroyed her family brought her to him. That he was sad he could never be good enough for her. That she had shown him what real courage looked like – without armor or weapons.

Read an excerpt:

An armored truck with a mounted machine gun roared up behind the two police motorcyclists. Something is terribly wrong. She ducked deeper behind the luggage and stared into the darkness. She desperately searched for a rational explanation. A cold knife pierced her core.
After speeding through intersections and red traffic lights, the vehicles came to a sudden halt. Gate hinges squealed in protest. The impulse to leap from the back of the truck fought with her intense need to remain hidden. If it were not for the armed vehicle at the rear, she would have jumped and disappeared into the night. In another moment, the opportunity vanished.
The vehicles lurched forward. Through the flap’s opening, she saw a massive iron gate. High walls extended on either side. The vehicles stopped.
The motorcyclists drove to either side of the truck. The armored vehicle surged forward, nearly crashing into the back of the supply truck (where Eliza is hiding). Eliza scrambled to put more of the luggage between her and the mounted gun. It bore down on her as if it had spied her. She gasped.
Eliza strained to hear a pleasant greeting, an apology for the change of plans, anything that would tell her heart to stop its thundering in her chest.
Someone shouted, “Ikhrog men al Araba,” then in English, "Get out of the bus!"
“Stay together,” Charlie called out. At first the volunteers sounded merely annoyed, but their mood rapidly deteriorated.
“Charlie, there’s a mounted automatic weapon on that truck. Something’s not right here.” The man’s alarm ricocheted through his companions. Quick footsteps reminded Eliza of nervous horses in a corral – wild-eyed, snorting and circling as they searched for an escape.
Charlie attempted to calm his group. "I’m sure this will all make sense. I'll see why there’s been a change. Who’s in charge here?” he called.
Scattered thoughts fed her fear. The unmistakable sound of large guns being maneuvered sucked the air from Eliza’s lungs. Near the supply truck, she heard the ping, ping of a cell phone, then the trembling voice of a woman crying, "Ralph, pick up the phone. Please. Oh God …." The woman screamed. With a blast of gunfire, her cries stopped. Bullets pierced the canvas and shattered a suitcase in front of Eliza.
Her body trembled violently. In minutes she would be killed. The luggage offered no protection. Terrified to make any sound, yet frantic to hide, she pressed her backpack to her chest. She gasped as if starved for oxygen. Tears ran down her cheeks as she heard the terrified people and Charlie beg for their lives. This is only one of my nightmares. I’ll wake up and everything will be fine.
The truck with the mounted machine gun swerved around the supply truck. Deafening sounds of machine gun blasts and screams tore through her chest. She plunged down among the luggage.
A man came into her view as he lunged toward the gate. A police officer ran after him and fired several shots into the man’s back. The American dropped, bloody and lifeless.
Suddenly, an armed man dashed to the rear of the supply truck and saw her. She gasped. Oh my God, he's going to kill me. I've got once chance. Get his gun. Her martial arts training kicked in. She lunged forward. As they grappled, both fell.
Falling on top of him Eliza punched his groin. He cried out in agony. She crab crawled on all fours toward his weapon several feet away. Too late she saw a boot aimed at her head.
She ducked for cover under the supply truck. Too late. The cop stomped on her head, ramming her forehead into the pavement hard. Her momentum pushed her under the truck’s back end.
Dazed, she checked to see if he followed her. He was struggling to free his boot, snared in her scarf. A gun’s muzzle appeared, aimed in her direction. Bullets ripped through her coat’s shoulder. Puffs of down feathers stuck to the sweat and blood on her face.
I’m hit. Get out. Run. Eliza kicked and crawled out from under the truck on the far side of the killers. The deafening gunfire and screams surrounded her. Her mind froze. She pressed her body into the truck’s solid frame.
More bullets smacked the ground near her. More vehicles arrived. Bright headlights blinded her. She turned away to shield her eyes. Desperate, she ran an erratic, aimless course. Silhouettes of shapes, helmets, guns and bloody bodies flashed in front of her. Keep running. Dodge. Find cover. She ran like a wild animal, blind to the teeth that would tear her apart.
When the thunder from the machine gun stopped she glanced back. The man at the machine gun tumbled head first off the truck. His companions continued to fire their weapons, but now toward the gate. More shots came from behind the blinding lights. The men ran toward the front of the supply truck. Riddled with bullets, their bodies twisted and fell.
Eliza gazed in bewilderment at the tall form appearing in the light. He raced forward past the open gate, his weapon raised in her direction. More men followed behind him. She ran, searching for cover.
He shouted, “Tawakaf and am, la tatharak Kiff.” Then in English, “Stop where you are. Don’t move! Stop.”
A short burst of gunfire. Bullets struck the ground a few yards in front of her. She skidded to a stop. Breathless, she turned toward the gunman. She could not make out his face below the dark helmet. He wore a police uniform like the killers had – black from head to toe. If not for his vehicle’s headlights, he would have been invisible. He raced toward her, his weapon held steadfast in her direction.
Excerpt from Forbidden: Better Wear Your Flak Jacket by F. Stone. Copyright © 2017 by F. Stone. Reproduced with permission from F. Stone. All rights reserved.

Book Trailer:

Author Bio:

F. Stone
On our cattle ranch in Alberta, when an animal was in distress or injured, I was put in charge of nursing it back to health. Never mind that I was just a kid and hated the sight of blood, but I had to muster up the courage to apply home remedies. My survival rate was pretty good. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that I would progress to nursing – humans. After one year into nurses training, I bolted. Bed pans and chronic diseases pushed me in different direction; a career of dealing with drug addicts, murder, suicide, fatalities, and biker gangs. In 1983 I graduated with honors as a paramedic and worked in the City of Edmonton’s Emergency Services.

For the next twenty years, I came face to face with scenes most people would rather not think about. I loved it. Having experienced life in the most deadly and gut wrenching events, and work alongside the police service, I gained the fodder for creating intense novels.

My creative DNA shocked me when I was driven to write a dystopian / paranormal / romance novel, The Guardian’s Wildchild. After taking several writing courses, I presented the manuscript to Omnific Publishing who published it in 2011. Just when I thought I could get my life back, another story took me prisoner – Forbidden. I couldn't believe there was this kind of story within me and desperate to be told. I resisted. It was futile.

Retired and focused on home life, I’m back to being a mom to four pets and one husband. We travel and taste the excitement of other cultures. In between adventures, I’ve dabbled in water color painting, photography, needle work, gardening – the list goes on. In my next life, I plan to explore the cosmos.

I’ve learned a few things in my seventy years. Thoughts are powerful. Intention is everything. Passion is the key to success.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

Tour Participants:

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  1. Ms. Stone may have broken some rules, however, a reader wouldn't know since this book was an exceptional read. I encourage readers to pick this one up...you won't be disappointed!

  2. Thank you for allowing me to introduce Forbidden to your followers. Blessings.