Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Blood of the Dragonfly (The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series #5) by Hawk MacKinney

Welcome to the virtual book tour for Blood of the Dragonfly by Hawk MacKinney. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Blood of the Dragonfly
Series: The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series #5
Author: Hawk MacKinney
Publication Date: February 16th 2021
Print Length: 231 pages
Genre: Mystery
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While dangling a fishing hook from his flat bottom skiff before dawn, former SEAL-turned-PI Craige Ingram spots grey-black smoke coiling above the treetops across the river in the direction of the Georgia bayous and Corpsewood Manor. Bayou or bogs, fire in the uncut cypress and pines bodes a sense that the river is no barrier to the fire that threatens his ancestral home, Moccasin Hollow. Neither are the bodies later found in the burned mansion of Corpsewood Manor. Craige wastes no time in helping his ex-SEAL buddy Lt. Graysen MacGerald who is now Head of Buckingham Homicide Investigations by unofficially investigating the bodies and an exquisite dragonfly brooch found in the mansion with a reputation for evil, hauntings, and mystery.

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EXCERPT:
Spinner and Craige dodged the potholes and bayou-puddled sorrowful drive that was already weeded-up with pieces of blackened 2x4s and tumbled rubble. Nestled among old cypress and giant hardwoods, the scorched ruins of a once-elegant time and place cast a brooding haunted ambiance. A lonesome tangle of police tape fluttered around one blackened trunk, while wads and scraps of yellow plastic flurried here and there among the blossom of mushrooms and cinders snagging on bushes and heat-brittle weeds among the char and ash clinging to seared limbs of dead shrubs. Except for half of one lonesome brick chimney, come next season, the surrounding marshes and scrubby undergrowth and vines would reclaim the scarred skeleton that once was Corpsewood and leave a burial mound of vines and voracious pitcher plants.

Spinner said, “I want to check that shallow ravine that follows along the north side of the drive. Looks like an overgrown gulley draining toward the river. Be an easy approach to the house without being seen.”

Craige said, “Dogs would've spotted them unless they’d been baited or poisoned.”

“Bogs won’t hold many tracks.” As the green underbrush swallowed Spinner, he called over his shoulder, “If they came in by river, I might get lucky in the mud along the riverbank for any trace of a boat being pulled up and beached.”

“Watch out for moccasins on those overhangs,” Craige called back to him. “If you come up on a weedy dry knoll of brush, sticks, and leaves above the water, leave it be. You don’t want to rile a mama gator guarding her nest. A twenty-footer may look cumbersome, but those big ones can move fast.” Craige stepped over chunks of tumbled cement and distorted rebar where a foundation had been an outside kitchen wall. One windowpane hung lopsided but intact in its section of wall that had collapsed outward into the soft dirt of what had been a flower garden. Sunshine peaked through to splash a glass pane angled among the ruins.

Beyond the foundation was a rose garden, trampled blossoms crinkled with burnt petals, broken stems buried amid tumbled bricks, crumbled mortar, and stinking charred timbers. Craige picked his way around the corner of the kitchen. He stopped at the front of the garage with its oily smudges, where the two autos had once parked. A few sooty cement blocks had tumbled from the corner of the garage. The wall had obviously been added as an afterthought. None of the square hollowed-out cement grabbed his attention until he noticed the broken end on one wasn’t smoked-seared or stained. The fire hadn’t touched it. The end had been broken off after the fire, but it wasn’t the inside hollow that grabbed him. It was the small wrapped yellowish-brown brick protruding from inside. CTU R&S ops had come across too many caches of potent hash oil and loose dry kief for him not to recognize it. He leaned down, touched nothing, saw the wrappings had been torn. The heady smell wrinkled his nose. Along one side of the package, he noticed a smattering of scattered pallid crystals. Neither the powder nor the brick with any ash or cinders; what he was seeing came after the fire. The brick looked as though it had been hurriedly pried open, an empty space inside where something had been removed. Someone had known where to look for whatever it was that was taken—someone not interested in the stash.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspaper, served in the US Navy for over 20 years, earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history, taught postgraduate courses in the United States and Jerusalem, authored professional articles and chordate embryology texts on fetal and adult anatomy, and is well known for his works of fiction. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. Both his CAIRNS OF SANCTUARIE science fiction series and the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY series have received worldwide recognition.

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GUEST POST:
- What is your best advice for someone who wants to become a published writer but is too afraid of negative feedback?

Negative feedback comes from outside the rainbows of one’s imagination. It’s an attitude, and often the slush pile of jealous opinion. Instead of taking a professional approach of hunkering down and perfecting their own craft, there are some who get a vicarious thrill of spotting a newbie’s uncertainty and fear and relish trying to pull them down to the point of not submitting anything. To blazes with that! We all get rejections—it’s part of the package. Feedback and/or editing can be constructive. I’ve gotten negative feeds…some of it right on target. BUT it was given in the spirit of how to better my craft. I listened. They were right, and my writing is better for the doing. I have also received negative feeds from people only wanting to be malicious because of some misplaced need to feel superior. Spare me such a horror. Words can hurt, but not if you don’t give words the power to hurt. Consider the source. Is that person accomplished as a published author? If not, use that person as a character in a setting of your next book and kill ‘em off. Tuck your head and your heart, and don’t quit writing. Listen to those who are in a position to know what they are talking about and ignore the troublemakers—they’ve always been around. Use negative feedback as a learning experience and enjoy plotting how to weave it into your next book. It’s a whole bunch fun!
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GIVEAWAY:
Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

92 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    Replies
    1. siehan – Hope you enjoy the read – thanx for stopping by - HmK

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  2. How long was the writing process?

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    1. Deborah DUMM – Depends on the genre; how often the draft(s)/edit(s) are left to age as dust-ware in my own slush pile; then return with a fresh outlook. Sometimes years. The writing process never stops.

      Hawk MacK

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  3. All the Ups & Downs - Thank you for hosting Blood of the Dragonfly, Book-5 in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series – it is much appreciated. Book-6 in the mystery series is in final edit as well as the working draft of the next sci-fi title in that series. An earlier prequel title, Moccasin Trace, is a historical romance, establishing the bloodline(s) of serial protagonist Craige Ingram in the Moccasin Hollow series.

    Hawk MacKinney
    www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  4. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  5. Good luck with the book, sounds great

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    1. Christina MOORE – Am enjoying the tour with a tale the writer thoroughly reveled in twisting nonfiction into fiction -

      Hawk MacK

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  6. Ann FANTOM – The graphic artist did a great job in catching the moldy marshland mood.

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  7. David HollingsworthMarch 23, 2021 at 11:34 AM

    The cover is really good!

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    1. David HOLLINGSWORTH – The graphics team did a good job bringing out the dingy surreal setting for mayhem run amok. Another example how covers can push a plot/story.

      Hawk MacK

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  8. The cover is eye catching. Best of luck with the book.

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  9. Christy R – A visual nonfiction hook that drives the twists & turns…glad U liked it -

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  10. congrats on the release,. this sounds interesting

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    1. Wendy HUTTON – Thank you on the congrats…the marketing team for Blood is a rare bunch…all professionals…constructively honest & upfront…it makes all of us feel good when a title reaches the retail level. It was a fun write romping from fiction to nonfiction & back again.

      Hawk MacKinney
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  11. Replies
    1. Zelda – Hope U enjoy the read as much as I did the write –

      HmK

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  12. Replies
    1. peg42- The audiobooks usually have the spoken inflections that add to the dialogue/setting/actions. Thanx for stopping by…

      Hawk MacK

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  13. I love mysteries! I like the cover, thanks for sharing!

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    1. susan1215 – It’s fun plotting the twists, double-twists in plots & perps while my reader(s) try to figure who does what to whom. Cover is great – thankU…

      HmK

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  14. This sounds like a very good book.

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    1. Sherry – Enjoy the read as much as this writer enjoyed the write…

      Hawk MacK

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  15. Replies
    1. Victoria ALEXANDER – You’re welcome to the sharing, & like the excerpt, the contents/presentation of this post reflects the skill(s) & experience of a team. Kudos to my Lit. Agent and the host(s) for organizing the layout(s).

      Hawk MacKinney
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  16. Replies
    1. Thomas GIBSON – Both compliment the tease and twists of the tale told – thanx for stopping by…

      HmK

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  17. Replies
    1. Calvin F – Hope U enjoy the read…there were more than a few ups & downs in the plot twists that kept it exciting for the writer…

      Hawk MacK

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  18. wow, sounds mysterious and intriguing!

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    1. molli – With the investigating constabularies’ permission(s), my poking around the charred death-arson scene turned into considerably beyond ‘mysterious and intriguing.’ Loved it!

      Hawk MacK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  19. Replies
    1. Deb PelletierC – With more twists than this author expected…feels good when a plot/scene/character(s) take off running.

      HmK

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  20. Replies
    1. Rajeeva Jayaratne – Thank U & thanx for stopping by…

      HmK

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  21. Jeffrey – Any tools in the writing toolkit, setting, plot, mayhem, crime scene, character, romance…any situation or combo thereof outside the box that intrigues/hooks my imagination. Ain’t it fun!

    Hawk MacK
    www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  22. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

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    1. DaneWeimMama – This writer enjoys having new (to me) readers and couldn’t agree with you more…the blogs/posts are great. Ditto the cover. Wish the kudos for the hooks/interest(s) they perk were due to me, BUT that belongs to my Lit. Agent, editors, and the host’s site. Our marketing team has accomplished way more than this author could have done alone.

      Hawk MacK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  23. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Diana HARDT – Thank U for stopping by - - hope U enjoy the read, since the write was a whole bunch fun - -

      HmK

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  24. I love a good mystery and I'm already excited about reading this

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    Replies
    1. katiescarlet – This writer relishes them and dealing with plot/character twist(s) that popup or change with runaway egos. Then hauling in the reins before a character takes charge. Enjoy the read…even more on thundery nights with popcorn & a significant other(s).

      Hawk MacK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  25. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. cic408 – The excerpt is good…my Lit agent did an outstanding trim-&-edit. Enjoy the sharing - -

      Hawk MacK

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  26. Looks like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Michelle – Hope enjoy the read. Putting the tale together was fun…fiction plus nonfiction all in the same stir -

      Hawk MacK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  27. This sounds like a great mystery read. Thanks for the chance.

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    1. Carol T. – You’re welcome to the chance. The mystery twist(s) & a whisper of the vudĂș – hope U enjoy the read, writing it was great fun -

      Hawk MacK

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  28. This mystery series is on my to read soon list.
    Love the covers!
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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    Replies
    1. Barbara MONTAG – The graphic gang did a great job with the cover, making it reflect the actual ruins of the arson site. You’re welcome to the share & hope U enjoy the quirky jerks & twists of the plot/characters. This writer luvs twisting the expected.

      Hawk MacKinney
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  29. I love the cover! The design and colors are great!

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    1. Jeanna MASSMAN – Photographers, painters, including cover designers, anyone that puts together color and presentation media have a talent this writer greatly appreciates & wish he had that ability. Painting with words is fun & a talent of its own, but nothing can touch an awesome moonlit landscape or a blazing evening cloud-muffled sunset.

      Hawk MacK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  30. I would like to read this book, I grew up near a swampy Gravel pit.

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    1. Cindy MERRILL – Overgrown gravel pits, old swampy quarries & quicksand bogs full of all the critters that lived on the river where we cousins spent our teenage years. To paraphrase Henry VIII’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, “Matters not, be ye horned or cleft.” On hot summer days watermelons were set bobbing in the cold creeks early before all us cousins headed to work in grandpa’s fields. Hot and sweaty, we striped skinny and plunged in the cold springs, we got sun-dried & skin-baked eatin’ icy cold watermelon. Ain’t nuthin’ what’s like growin’ up kuntry-style to give one the zest for savoring the real values of such a livin’.

      Hawk MacKinney
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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  31. Replies
    1. Barbara MONTAG – Nice seeing you still following ‘All the Ups & Downs’ host…you’re right. The graphic designers came up with a wowzer cover…I’ll see that it's passed on to the boss.

      Hawk MacK

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    2. I am an avid reader so I notice a lot of things.

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    3. -see your following comment(s) -

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  32. Having a nice sunny spring day in MN.

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  33. It's time for me to try a new author.
    I like some variety.

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    Replies
    1. Barbara MONTAG – Variety & noticing a lot of things in MN or anywhere can add unanticipated details to characters/settings/plots while having a muggy windblown day in good ole Dixie.

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  34. Replies
    1. Deborah DUMM – Thanx for following & U & your family have a safe day…

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  35. Enjoy your Sunday - hope it is a day of rest for you!

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    Replies
    1. Barbara MONTAG – …stripping/laying carpet, pouring cement, framing windows, i.e., hardly anything to do on this 1st day of the week…

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  36. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

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    Replies
    1. Laurie NUKAZA – The graphic cover designer did a great job…I hope U enjoy the read as much as I did twisting the plots…

      HmK
      www.hawkmackinneyauthor.com

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    2. Laurie NYKAZA - Please excuse my misspell of your name...

      Hawk MacK

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  37. Do you ever use real life experiences for your books?

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  38. Do you have certain times of the day to write or is it random?

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  39. This sounds like a book that many people would enjoy reading.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  40. sounds like a fun one

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  41. How do you get ideas for your writing?

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  42. This sounds like an interesting book. I also like the cover.

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