Today we are participating in the VACANT Blog Tour and CLUE inspired scavenger hunt. It is all part of celebrating the release of VACANT, the fourth book in Alex Hughes’ Mindspace Investigations series. At SGLS we’ve been an Alex fan for a long time. Alex is not only a fantastic author but she is also a cool, smart lady who is very kind.
So what do we have for you?
First, we have two ways you can be a winner.
Along with all of the tour stops, we are providing a clue to help you solve the CLUE style mystery scavenger hunt. As in the classic game, you solve the mystery by eliminating possible villans, locations, and weapons. The complete checklist,how to play info, and description of the grand prize are available on Alex’s website here: http://www.ahugheswriter.com/vacant-blog-tour-and-scavenger-hunt-starts-today.html The game runs through December 24th.
Exclusive to SGLS, we will be raffling off an audiobook copy of one Mindspace Investigations novel (winner’s choice) (US/CAN/UK). The raffle will be open until December 23rd. Click the link below then comment to enter.
Finally, we have an interview with Isabella Cherabino, a homicide detective in the Mindspace world. Followed by info on Vacant and Alex.
MINDSPACE Q & A
with Isabella Cherabino (Questions by Misa)
Why did you decide to become a homicide detective?
C: I had an internship in college. I’d signed up to work in the court office, and they didn’t have any openings. I ended up at the victim’s advocates instead. That was one of the hardest experiences of my life, when I was still new. It changed me. I realized on a deep level that the world needed people to stand up, to care. To fight for justice. There was this one case… well, it’s not a happy story. Let’s just say that nobody cared about the victim and what had happened except the cops. Literally, no one but the cops and the DA. And somebody needed to care. So I became a cop. And over time, the victims that spoke to me the most were those who’d had their lives taken. They’d had all their chances taken away. So in the end I applied for homicide.
What effect did the Tech Wars have you on personally? What are its lasting effects?
C: I’m not sure the Tech Wars have affected me personally, at least not directly. My grandmother was a teenager when they happened, and she’s almost eighty now. Of course, you have the restricted technology, the background checks to work on any computer, the Koshna Accords… I guess, it changes the job. You read about the old ways, how things used to be. You used to sit behind your desk at the station and get any information you wanted from a computer. Now you have to go out and ask people. Figure it out on your own from clues and detective work. But I think it’s been like that more than it hasn’t, in the history of policing. The government’s changed some, of course. We all have. You see parts of the city rebuilt. My grandmother met my grandfather in the aftermath, come to think of it, so maybe they’re why I’m here. I don’t know. You don’t think about old history that much on the job. You think about today, and a week ago.
What do you consider your greatest achievement, either within the force or outside it?
C: (thinks for a long time, then speaks slowly) Finding Peter’s killers was a big one. That one I bled for. And getting Adam settled and useful on the force was a big one too. We’ve closed a lot of cases together. It’s funny… all the perps I’ve thrown in jail over the years, what sticks with me is the ones who got away… (shakes head) You don’t spend a lot of time ruminating. You move on.
What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
C: My grandmother teaching me to cook a proper Italian Sunday dinner, with osso bucco and gnocchi and all the fixings. I must have been about eight. Or not. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen together. Food is love, or it was the way she makes it. That time my mother and my brothers were out doing something, and my dad was working. It was just me and Nana. That was a good memory, purely good.
What is your biggest fear? Who have you told about it? And who would you never tell?
C: I don’t think I know you well enough to justify that kind of question, thanks. You push and I’ll be forced to investigate you to find out why you need to know so badly.
How easily do you make friends? What trait(s) do you value most in them?
C: Friends? Well, it’s a hazard of the job. Once you see the worst of humanity on a regular basis, you can’t just trust people out of the gate anymore. You end up spending time mostly with other cops. Lately… well, I work too much to keep up a lot of friendships, I guess. I have former partners. I have people I rely on, and I have family. I appreciate people who keep their words. Honest people, I guess. People who get the job done and don’t mind giving up a little sleep to do it.
Who are your heroes in real life? Which living person do you most admire?
C: It sounds sappy, but one of my big heroes is my sensei. He’s doing something he loves and promoting a skill he loves and his philosophy, which is so much about control of self and respect for others. He lives what he believes, consistently, and no matter what else is going on he shows up to teach. I admire that. He sure doesn’t get paid much for it, but he still gives classes to the low-income kids for free. He’s… he’s a good guy, and he’s living right, and he’s in control of his emotions and his life. They don’t control him.
Is there anyone/thing you aspire to be?
C: I’d like to be better, to actually get the guys I go after more of the time. I’d like to see around walls, or into the past, something more useful than what Adam does. I’d like to be a good cop, and do good work that will survive me. I want to bring the justice the victims deserve, and give the families at least something.
What is your motto?
C: It seems awkward and presumptive to say out loud, but I like the Marine motto, always faithful. I also like “protect and serve,” but it doesn’t apply as much to Homicide. Perhaps the best though is simply, Justice. And: Keep the faith.
Nothing ruins a romantic evening like a brawl with lowlifes—especially when one of them later turns up dead and my date, Detective Isabella Cherabino, is the #1 suspect. My history with the Atlanta PD on both sides of the law makes me an unreliable witness, so while Cherabino is suspended, I’m paying my bills by taking an FBI gig.
I’ve been hired to play telepathic bodyguard for Tommy, the ten-year-old son of a superior court judge in Savannah presiding over the murder trial of a mob-connected mogul. After an attempt on the kid’s life, the Feds believe he’s been targeted by the businessman’s “associates.”
Turns out, Tommy’s a nascent telepath, so I’m trying to help him get a handle on his Ability. But it doesn’t take a mind reader to see that there’s something going on with this kid’s parents that’s stressing him out more than a death threat…
Mindscape Reading Order:
Rabbit Trick (.5)
Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily all at the same time! For all the latest news and free short stories, join Alex’s email list at http://bit.ly/AlexsList.