A Wicked Welcome to Janet Raye Stevens! **plus a giveaway**

by Julie, enjoying the new year in Somerville

I am delighted to welcome Janet Raye Stevens to the blog today! We’ve known each other for a number of years through Sisters in Crime New England and Crime Bake, and I’m thrilled that we can all help her celebrate her 2021 publishing debut(s)!


Playing Favorites

After many years of fits and starts, I published three books in 2021. They’re all wonderful books, and I know, like a doting mother, an author isn’t supposed to have a favorite among her book children, but since I’m with friends, I’ll confess—I like my most recently released book, A Moment After Dark, the best. An historical suspense with a paranormal twist, set in the week leading up to Pearl Harbor and the US entry into World War II, the story has spies and intrigue, a ruthless villain, a tough guy hero with a tender heart, and a resourceful heroine with the ability to see the future. The book was so much fun to write, how could I resist playing favorites?  

The book is also my favorite because it’s a mash-up of my life-long interests in both the paranormal and WWII history.

Blame it on my childhood. I grew up in a public housing project, populated for the most part by WWII veterans. Practically every dad, and some of the moms, had served in the war in some capacity. As a kid, I heard their stories and became steeped in the history of that singular moment in time. I also loved supernatural TV shows like The Twilight Zone and especially the spooky and soapy daytime drama, Dark Shadows (ABC, 1966-71). I’d run home from school every afternoon and plop myself in front of the TV, eager for the show to begin. How I loved the gothic settings, the suspense-filled plots, and the seaside town of Collinsport, Maine, populated by ghosts, werewolves, witches, and one compelling vampire, my first TV boyfriend, Barnabas Collins (played by the badly coiffed and unlikely sex symbol, Jonathan Frid).

When I began writing fiction years later, it made sense my childhood memories, my life-long interests in history and things that go bump in the night, and a little bit of Barnabas Collins would show up in my stories, particularly in the genre blending A Moment After Dark.

Readers: Did you have a favorite, never-miss show like Dark Shadows when you were a kid? Tell us all about it! I’ll send one commenter, chosen at random, a copy of A Moment After Dark

About A Moment After Dark:

She sees the future with a touch. A powerful gift in a time of war.

The enemy wants her. The Allies need her.

When Addie Brandt touches someone, she sees their future, and it’s rarely good. Mocked and teased her whole life, Addie hides from the world in her family’s funeral home. But when her second sight shows her a horrific vision of an attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval base, the gruesome images are too intense to ignore, and she tries to raise the alarm. Will anyone listen?

Federal agent Jack Dunstan needs a miracle. He’s still reeling from the betrayal that nearly decimated his team of agents with paranormal powers, a vengeful Nazi spy with a terrifying ability of his own is out to destroy him, and he knows it’s only a matter of time before America is drawn into war. Hearing rumors of Addie’s vision, he seeks her out, hoping she could be the miracle he’s looking for.

Addie’s not sure she trusts Jack Dunstan. He’s rude, cocky, and insists on calling her curse of second sight a “gift.” But if she wants to save lives and prevent a terrible disaster, she has to put aside her fears and embrace her ability. With the US on the brink of war and an enemy agent hunting her for her power, Addie must learn to trust Dunstan—and herself—to stop an attack that could change the course of history.

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Moment-After-Dark-Paranormal-Suspense-ebook/dp/B09MDQL14Z/ref

Other Booksellers: https://books2read.com/u/bOJBkN

Bio:

Meet award-winning author Janet Raye Stevens, mom, reader, tea-drinker (okay, tea guzzler), and weaver of adventurous, suspenseful, and stealthily romantic tales. A Derringer Award nominee and winner of RWA’s Golden Heart® and Daphne du Maurier awards, Janet lives in Massachusetts with her handsome better half and their equally impressive children.

Website: https://janetrayestevens.com/

47 Thoughts

  1. I was an avid TV watcher in my youth. Dark Shadows was also one of the shows I ran home to watch, as was The Edge of Night. I also enjoyed Family Affair.

    1. Hi Dru! I loved Family Affair too! I had such a crush on Jody and always wished Mr. French would come to our apartment and clean my room so I wouldn’t have to, lol!

  2. Congratulations, Janet, and welcome to the blog! I hadn’t thought about Dark Shadows in SO long. Best of luck with the new book, which sounds wonderful.

  3. Congratulations on your release, Janet! No need to enter me in the giveaway. I read the blurb and ordered before posting this comment. I wasn’t taking any chances of not having your book on my Kindle.

    I loved Dark Shadows, didn’t see it too often as I was in high school and after school activities interfered with getting home in time. I never missed Sea Hunt, The Avengers, or The Man from Uncle. All were evening shows and are the reasons I am 1) a scuba diver, and 2) a mystery writer!

    1. Thanks so much, Kait! I hope you enjoy the book. I remember watching The Avengers and thinking Emma Peel was soooo cool (and wore the best clothes!). And The Man from UNCLE…loved that show, especially Illya Kuryakin.

  4. I enjoyed watching soap operas after school and Dark Shadows was in the group. It was always interesting to see how Barnabus would emerge into a scene.

    1. Oh yes! I couldn’t wait to see Barnabas show up. I read that the show’s ratings weren’t great, but skyrocketed after they introduced his character, so they tried to cram him in every storyline after that!

  5. I also was a Dark Shadows devotee! Remember the severed hand in the box? Congratulations on your new books!

    1. Thanks, Kathy, and OMG–that severed hand was the most bonkers plotline ever, and I *loved* it! I remember someone was going to chop it up with an axe but it took days of cliffhanger endings with the axe about to fall before it actually happened. And then the hand became a ghost and floated around terrorizing people for dozens of episodes after that. Haha, I can’t believe I remember all that!

  6. “A Moment After Dark” sounds absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait to read it.

    We bound to be kindred spirits because you mentioned some of my all time favorites. Love stories in that era as I feel it gives me a glimpse into my parents and grandparents lives and the stories they told. Dark Shadows was a must during my junior high day. I’m sure the time slot of right after school was on purpose for their young teenage audience. I can remember when they replayed the shows a few decades later. I watched every one of them often with the thought of how technology and storytelling has changed over the years. Even maybe not as riveting as I remember it as a teen, if they showed them again, I’d be right there tuned in. The paranormal theme for me started even way before that. I can remember being clues to the TV watching Topper where home was still inhabited with its previous owners. The could be seen when they wanted to as well as heard by those we choose to be.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay and thanks for your comment! I’m sure the Dark Shadows strategy was to reel in the teens, and it worked well. I knew there was a Topper movie, but not a TV show–cool!

  7. Welcome, Janet! I don’t know if I ever ran home to watch any TV, but I did try not to miss an episode of “21 Jump Street.” Johnny Depp and those cheekbones!

    1. Thanks Liz! Never watched 21 Jump Street, but can appreciate the appeal of Johnny Depp and his sigh-worthy cheekbones!

  8. I have not thought about TV shows from my childhood for a long time, so thank you for this blog entry. My favorite show which I think came on in the late afternoon or early evening was Topper. Cosmo Topper was the only one who could see George and Marion Kirby who were ghosts and they were always trying to get him to do something he did not want to do. I also enjoyed Our Miss Brooks and My Little Margie. Both are comedy shows. Miss Brooks taught high school English and was an inspiration to me probably planting the seeds for my future major in college as an undergraduate student. Good luck with your book(s) Janet! A Moment After Dark sounds like a book I would enjoy.

    1. Thanks, Judy! Those are some great shows, especially Our Miss Brooks. Eve Arden is pretty amazing.

  9. I finished A Moment After Dark last week and loved it, Janet! Is it a standalone or will there be more? Fingers crossed the answer is more. I used to race home to watch Dark Shadows too.

    1. Thanks, Sherry! Glad you enjoyed it. I wrote the ending with a sequel in mind, and I’ve heard from a couple other readers they want more, so I guess I should probably get cracking on that next book, huh?

  10. When my kids were little (pre school) we all loved Dark Shadows. My youngest at the time (about 3) would hide behind the chair and say “tell me when Quenton changes.” They would not miss Dark Shadows. (And no, it did not give them nightmares.)

    1. Haha, Terry! Your kids obviously appreciated quality entertainment when they saw it! Thanks for posting.

  11. Welcome to the Wickeds, Janet. It is so great to have you here. A Moment After Dark sounds so intriguing. I, too, like the commenters above, was a major Man from Uncle fan. It may have been my first excursion into devoted TV fandom.

  12. Congratulations on your new book! I used to watch Dark Shadows and I really liked it. I also loved to watch Then Came Bronson , Bewitched and I loved watching The Nelsons and I loved watching Alred Hitchcock and Lost In Space, I could go on and on, I loved watching My Little Margie, The Untouchables, Bonanza and so many good other shows. Have a Great day and stay safe.

    1. Thanks, Alicia! You’ve listed a lot of great shows,, including one of my all-time favorites, Bewitched.

  13. I loved Dark Shadows but I loved Man from UNCLE more. I watched and still watch a lot of TV. Your book sounds interesting.

  14. Congratulations on your three new releases. They sound like books.I would really like to read. I was a big fan of ” Dark Shadows and loved that show.

  15. The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock were my favorites shows as a kid. I did watch Dark Shadows as well.

    1. Thanks for posting, Sherrie! I was a big fan of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits too. Well-written shows that make you think.

  16. Certainly Dark Shadows was of great interest to me. I even named my daughter Angelique. I know she was an evil person, but she was so beautiful and could act so sweet. Hmmmm. My daughter certainly isn’t evil, but she is beautiful and can ACT so sweet.

    I was also a big fan of The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock and Outer Limits. I was a big time TV watcher when I was young. Now I don’t even have TV service nor do I subscribe to any of the streaming channels. Just not interested anymore.

    However, I love to read and look forward to your latest output!

  17. I enjoyed watching the Hardy Boys Mysteries. I could not wait until they came on at 7:00p.m. on Sunday night. I was not much of a fan of Nancy Drew. I remember reading the entire Hardy Boy series one summer.

    1. Oh, the Hardy Boys! I haven’t thought of that show in forever. Nancy Drew was fun too, but the Hardy brothers were the draw for me. Thanks for posting!

  18. I remember watching that show! I have had a couple of must watch shows over the years: Knotts Landing, thirtysomething, and Psych to name a few!!!

    1. Psych was a must watch for me too! Loved the interplay between Gus and Shawn. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. As a British kid it was always Doctor Who. The Richard Greene Adventures of Robin Hood was a close second (“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen”).

    1. I remember that Robin Hood song! One of my local TV stations played the show when I was a kid and my sister and I loved it. Thanks for posting!

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