Omnimystery News is thrilled to welcome Victoria Roder as our guest blogger. Victoria is the author of Bolt Action (Champagne Books Trade Paperback, April 2010), a Leslie Bolt mystery.
Today, Victoria writes about stupid criminals in need of a career change. And she's also providing our readers with an opportunity to win a copy of her book. Visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Victoria Roder: Bolt Action" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (8104) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 09/29/2010.)
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Photo courtesy of
Some criminals would be better off with a day job. A Salem Oregon man reported to the police that someone had stolen some of his personal belongings. He listed that one of the missing items was an ounce of marijuana. A wanna-be-robber at Dunkin Donuts, intent on stealing the cash register, ran off with the adding machine instead.
An unsuspecting woman was standing on the street when a young man ripped her purse from her clutches. She then received a phone call from the man demanding a big reward for the return. She told him to wait at the pay phone he was at and she'd send someone over with the money. She sent the police. In addition to theft he was charged with extortion!
I must say my personal favorite criminal, that is probably making license plates for his career change, is the ex-con intent on robbing someone in New York's Riverside Park. He pulled a fake handgun on two armed police officers in uniform!
In my action thriller, Bolt Action Detective Leslie Bolt would not have patience for the likes of these criminals. She is a tough-talking, gun-hoarding, Harley-riding investigator. After a childhood of abuse suffered at the hands of her father, Leslie stashes a collection of pistols, revolvers, and even keeps a Browning A-Bolt Stalker Rifle in her broom closet. She is stand-offish and down-right rude and having to work a serial murder case with her handsome ex-lover, Detective Lance Kestler doesn't improve her disposition. The body count mounts and Detective Bolt must conquer her own past, as she races to capture the "State Quarter Killer" before her sister is the next victim. Secrets of the past, murder, deception, sexual tension, and the "State Quarter Killer", Bolt Action offers it all!
Check out the awesome kick-ass book trailer of Bolt Action, created by Goddess Fish Promotions, here: youtube.com/watch?v=EqcYL_G7h7s.
Here's an excerpt from Bolt Action:
Lying in the dark shadows of my bedroom, I awoke with a start at a slamming sound. Every hair on my arms crystallized as I grappled under the pillow for my Ruger Blackhawk .357 and flashlight. Baby, my cat, scared to near death, screeched and ran from the bed. My heart lurched in my chest. In the silence of the night, the sound of the Ruger cocking ricocheted off the walls.
In an attempt to become undetectable in the darkness, I inhaled the slowest breaths possible without passing out. Convinced someone observed, perhaps studied, my every movement, I summoned my courage with a prayer. I flipped the flashlight on and scanned my bedroom. For the third time this week, nothing, no one present.
To ease my mind, I proceeded through my duplex with stealth-like movements, as if I were responding to an armed intruder call. Keeping my wrists crossed with my Ruger in my right hand and the flashlight in my left, I crept from one room to another, turning on every light available. With my duplex lit up like a landing strip, I positioned the flashlight on my oak end table. Confident the twelve-and-a-half inch barrel of my .357 protected me, I jerked open every closet door, hoping someone waited inside to be shot. I believed an apprehended suspect might be my chance at sanity, putting to rest the repetitive noises and sensation of being watched.
With a predator-like approach toward the bathroom, I noticed the shower curtain stirring. My pulse throbbed in my esophagus, threatening to cut off my air supply. Creeping into my nineteen-fifties Pepto Bismol pink bathroom, with a trembling hand I grasped and jerked open the curtain. The sound of the rings scraping against the rod made a deafening screech.
Succumbing to mental exhaustion, I leaned my head against the bathroom door.
"Shit." In the silence, the sound of my own voice startled me. I couldn't keep going like this night after night.
A slamming noise vibrated between the duplexes. Sprinting to the kitchen, I set the flashlight on the counter and pressed my face against the kitchen window. I cupped my left hand around my eyes to peer into the driveway. I surveyed the driveway I shared with my neighbor Mark, but I couldn't detect his car.
If he's gone, where is the noise coming from?
I thought of one place I hadn't checked. The thought of entering the moldy, reeking storage area made my stomach contents curdle like cottage cheese. With my desire to find the source of the noises superseding my fear of dark, damp spaces, I tucked the Ruger in the waistband of my drawstring sleep pants.
Out of my collection of weapons that I have stashed around my apartment, I choose my Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle from behind the mop in the broom closet. I headed in the direction of the enclosed storage area. Flipping on the porch light in hopes of frightening an intruder, I exited my front door. As I reached the bottom of the wooden steps, I could detect an outline of a person in front of the shadowed storage area door. Male-at least six feet tall.
Cocking the rifle, I warned, "Stop. I have a rifle."
"Calm down, Bolt. It's just me." Lance Kestler ran his hand through his thick black hair as he stepped from the shadows into the glow of the porch light.
"Oh for crying out loud. What the hell are you doing here?" I released the trigger. "Did you just come out of my storage area?"
"No, I got out of my car and walked toward your door." Kestler placed his hands on his slim hips. "How come you never wear your hair down during the day?"
I ignored the question. "I heard a door close."
Kestler shrugged his broad, black Fieora-clothed shoulders, and wobbled on his feet. "Must'a heard my car door."
Headlights from a passing car shined toward me and I slid the rifle behind my back. "Whatever. It's like midnight— what the hell do you want?"
"Well, I remembered you don't sleep much at night so I assumed you'd still be up. Or maybe you just didn't sleep at night because I kept you up—or should I say you kept me up?" Kestler took a stumbling step forward.
I blew out a breath in frustration. How did I ever get involved with this guy in the first place? "Get off it, Kestler. You've been drinking. What do you want?"
"Aren't you gonna invite me in?" He winked in his typical cocky manner. "It's been a long time since I've had your firm body under mine."
I couldn't help but roll my eyes and shake my head. "Are you kidding me?"
"Look, I just want to apologize for how things have been going between us lately." Lance stumbled and dragged his hand across the side of the duplex to stabilize himself.
"Apologize?" The rifle dug into my hand as I tightened my grip on it. "You can't even talk in complete sentences. How come you only show up and want to talk after you've been drinking?"
Kestler advanced two steps toward me. "What's wrong with you? I'm trying to rekindle a civil relationship between us, and you show up acting like Annie Oakley the sharpshooter."
"You don't do apologies, or favors without an ulterior motive." I pointed the rifle towards him. "What the hell do you want? Why don't you just go home?"
"What? You're gonna shoot me?" Lance threw up his hands, pretending to surrender, and laughed.
His humor was lost on me. I wanted Kestler off my property and wanted him to know I meant business. Not that really would have shot him. Probably. "You've been drinking, and you're trespassing. I believed you were an intruder and I had to defend myself." I shrugged my shoulders. "Sounds convincing. I might be able to get someone to buy that."
My finger itched to pull the trigger. "Don't you remember my target scores where always better than yours?"
Lance winked at me. "That's because I was distracted by your cute ass."
I rolled my eyes. "You are an ass."
"I'm done with trying to be nice to you."
"When did you start?"
"Screw you." He turned to stomp back toward his car.
I lowered the rifle and called out, "Kestler, you've been drinking. Should I call you a cab?"
I heard him open his car door. As I walked backward up the three steps to the front door, it didn't take detective skills to realize he didn't have the ability nor the courtesy to answer me. Kestler was six feet tall—could he have consumed more then two drinks an hour? I ran back down the steps to offer him a ride.
"Kestler!" I pounded on the hood of the car. "Kestler, wait!"
He jammed the car in reverse, spun it around and squealed his tires on the usually quiet street. I watched him drive off and prayed he wouldn't hit someone on his way home. Retreating inside my apartment, I locked and dead- bolted the front door. I returned the A-Bolt rifle to its spot behind the mop in my closet, and headed for the phone to call in a tip about a drunk driver. If he was lucky, he'd be stopped by a friendly cop. If not—if he had to spend the night in the drunk tank—at least he wouldn't kill himself or anyone else. My infuriation with Lance Kestler made my hands jitter as if I had guzzled three pots of coffee.
Bolt Action is available as a trade paperback from Champagne Books or as a Kindle edition from Amazon.com.
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Born and raised in Wisconsin, Victoria currently resides in Spencer with her husband Ron and their pets. Bolt Action is her second novel. Visit her website at VictoriaRoder.com.
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About Bolt Action: With a Ruger Blackhawk .357 under her pillow, a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle in her broom closet, and a Saturday Night Special in her road-hog cookie jar, Detective Leslie Bolt's sarcastic attitude and inability to trust, alienates her from most people. Forced to work a serial murder case with her ex-lover, she begins a budding romance with the department's new medical examiner, but which man will she choose?
"The State Quarter Killer" is selecting victims that appear to have nothing in common except for the State Quarter placed under their lifeless bodies. When her sister goes missing the question rises, will Detective Bolt capture the serial killer before her sister is the next victim?
For a chance to win a copy of Bolt Action, courtesy of Victoria Roder, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Victoria Roder: Bolt Action" contest link, and enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (8104) in the entry form. (One entry per person; contest ends 09/29/2010.)