Amazon Kindle World Series is Out of This World

NYT Bestselling Author CJ Lyons​’ Kindle World’s popular Shadow Ops Series is now LIVE. Included is a trilogy I wrote for the Shadow Ops world. You know there’s going to be plenty of Cajun flavor in these, but each romantic suspense is filled with crazy-wild adventures as well.

Danger's Desire 1 finalShadow Ops: Danger’s Desire – (Book 1)

The last thing Krystal “Voodoo” Laveau wants is a partner from her past, especially a playboy like Hollywood. But when the safety of the United States is at stake, she’ll do what it takes to get the job done.

 

 

Danger's Heat 2 final

Shadow Ops: Danger’s Heat – (Book 2)

The Rougarou’s path of destruction has arrived in Chicago, and the clock is ticking for Hollywood and Voodoo to discover its identity. Hollywood’s own worst enemy is the fear of betrayal, but overcoming his past is the only way to clear the path for the future.

 

Danger's Desire 1 finalShadow Ops: Danger’s Passion – (Book 3)

Falling in love was never in Hollywood’s plans, but he learns the one person he can trust is the woman he almost loses. Can he save her in time to get everything he never knew he wanted?

 

 

Amazon Kindle World Series is Out of This World

B&W – What’s it good for? | Shannon Atkinson

Shannon Atkinson Photographer

Fortunate to live in south Louisiana’s Cajun Country, I’ve come to know many amazing people from every walk of life. A long time cycling friend and all-around Renaissance man, Shannon Atkinson is one of those people.

I was captivated by his photography during this year’s Mardi Gras. Growing up with the annual carnivals, I’d seen the sights and images over a lifetime. His eye-view and imagery exposed a side of the season I’d never known—or imagined.

My crime fiction episodes, A Cajun Murder Mystery Series are set in the deep South’s bayou land. Shannon’s art captures the raw, gritty genre of the classic noir mystery thrillers. It was a perfect match.

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A giant big bayou favor – go to Shannon’s Facebook and mash the LIKE button.

Scott: Shannon, thanks for your time. How about sharing a bit about yourself?

Shannon: I’m Shannon Atkinson, and a Louisiana based photographer focusing primarily on concert and street photography. I’ve photographed live promotional images for artists including Plain White T’s, Percy Sledge, Louis Prima Jr., and Marco Palos in addition to other international acts.

My work has been published in regional magazines and websites as well as Yahoo Sports. Although I continue to develop a diverse catalog, my true passion is street photography, “I have always gravitated to Environmental Portraiture. It is not uncommon for me to shoot other genres, but the streets are where I feel most at home with a camera in my hands.”

I’ve photographed throughout the United States as well as Central America. Currently, I’m working on a photographic series documenting the decline of Louisiana’s indigenous population and loss of culture. My work can be viewed at  www.shannonatkinsonphoto.com

Scott: Your passion is obvious in your art. What ignited your flame for photography?

Shannon: My dad was the family photographer when I was a kid.  He had this wonderful, shiny, 35mm that I used to secretly sneak out of the house and experiment with when he was away on business.

Eventually he gave in and allowed me to borrow it when I wanted.  I fell in love with the ability to take a subject and capture it in a way unique to my vision.  I’m still in love with this.

 

Scott: I love the black and white urban-scape photography featured on each A Cajun Murder Mystery Series’ cover art – what drove you to focus on that motif?

Shannon: Black and white resonates with me, it has soul.   I started in the days of film and spent a lot of time in the dark room working in B&W.  Removing color from the image allows me to focus on shadow and form which is what I’m very much drawn to.

I do shoot color, but the color has to be a major part of the reason I’m making the photograph in the first place.  As for the Street photography genre, I’ve always been an observer of people.  Human beings are bizarre and interesting creatures… especially when they have no idea they are being observed.

Some people give off a certain something that can’t be put into words.  I’m drawn to these people and interested in seeing how this translates into a photograph.  The same goes for certain places, they just have soul.

Scott: Kinda of cliché, but I’ll go for it. If you could photograph anyone from any period of time – who would it be? Why, and how would you set the shot?

Shannon: This is a tough one.  The tendency is to choose someone that would be a bit obvious.  I could pick JFK or Marilyn Monroe or maybe Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa.

The problem with these choices, although tremendous subjects, is that they are not that personal to me.  So if I have to choose a subject just for me, then it’s simple… I’d choose jazz great Miles Davis.  From the late 1950’s, the Kinda Blue era.

He had an ultra-cool vibe that I’d love to explore and capture.  I’m thinking in a dark jazz club with a cigarette and lots of backlit cigarette smoke.  Real harsh and grainy with lots of his coolness.

Scott: Miles Davis sounds a lot like you. You’re also an excellent musician and cyclist – what other acts of awesomeness do you regularly demonstrate? 

Shannon: I involuntarily wake up 1 minute before my alarm goes off… every day.  Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

Another chance to do yourself a favor – go to Shannon’s Facebook – mash the LIKE button. 

B&W – What’s it good for? | Shannon Atkinson

“PEOPLE I LOVE” Week – Day 5

Waverly

Mercy and Healing

This is the greatest love of all. The love God shows me. I have been obedient at times in my life and I have been downright rebellious in my life. God always loves me. Even when I walked away.

In 2006 my son was born. The delivery came fast and complicated.  After a rushed surgery, a beautiful screaming baby boy arrived. He was perfect, and yet there was a sense of “what if” amongst the hospital staff.

The next day, they arrived to share their suspicions that this gorgeous baby was blessed by Down syndrome.

GriefHaving zero experience with the syndrome; panic and grief gripped me. Health problems, heart defects, mental retardation, hypotonia, and on and on and on. The depth of despair was deep, and I had not known grief that intense since my mother passed away 7 years earlier.

I once heard it described as “grieving the dream.” My imagination carried away fears and worst case scenarios based on having no knowledge of Down syndrome.

I was a specially trained SWAT Operator, former undercover narcotics agent and a highly fit triathlete. Yet, he and I were helpless, as he lay in his crib sprawled out in a condition the nurses described as being “floppy.”

I could not pray. I did not pray. I would not pray. I was freakin pissed at God, and refused to go to Him.

That evening I called to check on test results for someone very dear to me. There were suspicions of vision impairment. I began sobbing in the hallway of the hospital as I shared the Down syndrome diagnosis.

Then I was asked the question still seared into my soul, “Can you cry some more?” How do you answer that? How does a person possess the capacity once drained of hope, to know more sorrow?

The diagnosis was retinitis pigmentosa. This dear sweet teenager, who I love wholly would lose their vision. Gradually or immediately, this cruel eye disease, RP had already taken away most of it.

DispairHave you ever ached so deeply in your core that speech escapes you? Have you ever wanted to surrender this life, but were too afraid to even think it? Have you ever wanted to shake your clinched fist at God, but were unable to move your hands from your silently screaming face?

I am trained and excel in crisis situations. I thrive being on the edge. Not like going fast on a bike downhill, but facing mortality while confronting armed criminals, or completing an undercover drug buy from a meth-fueled psychopath. That edge. Life’s edge.

That night, I was helpless, worthless and empty. I wanted to yell at God and tell Him how much I hated Him for what He did. I did not even have the will to move forward much less start a fight. But I was full of sorrow, hate, and defeated.

I uttered something incoherent about leaving. Trapped in a hospital special care unit, I had no idea where to go. I needed out. To escape. I was about to violently implode. I needed solitude.

Stepping onto the elevator, I saw an old lady standing alone in the deepest corner of that metal box. I knew the rage in my face would frighten her, so I held my head bowed and away. She said, “How are you son?”

I began to cry silently and though only about 5 feet tall, she reached up and pulled me onto her shoulder. Apologizing for the outpouring of grief, we began to talk. Then she said something about it being okay, and I was not that tough.

Thinking she referred to my work in law enforcement, I explained it was a part of my job to remain strong. She sweetly replied, “Your mother was strong. You don’t have to be.”

“You knew my mom?” fell out of my mouth. No. Her husband was in the hospital after falling during their 60th anniversary trip back to New Orleans where they first met. They were from up north she said.

I walked her through the large, vacant, open lobby. She spoke so comforting I had not realized I was laughing at her attempts to be funny. She introduced herself as “Waverly,” and as she spoke that name, her flat northern accent sounded familiarly like the southern drawl of my mother’s voice.

Angel_of_Mercy_StatueHave you ever smelled the sweet aroma of sound? Then I realized she had no husband in the hospital, nor was she staying in the adjoining hospitality rooms for families. She hugged me and said “I love you.”

Walking away, she disappeared into the empty hallway. As strong, as highly trained, as physically fit, and full of fury I was for a battle with God over such sorrow; He sent a fragile, sweet old lady to open my clinched fists.

God can take your questions, your anger, your shame and your sin. He showed mercy to me in that darkest moment, and healed my shattered spirit with the sweet embrace and voice of an angel named Waverly.

Mandisa’s “He is With You” is a great way to finish this week’s “People I Love”

Thank you for allowing me to share with you. May God bless and protect you, even when your greatest threat is to yourself.

Hurricane Katrina “Cry Out to Jesus”

The images were taken first hand as we responded to Hurricane Katrina. Third Day’s “Cry Out to Jesus” was the only song fitting to use.

My dear friend Rachelle Hitt Bilbo created this piece and shared a disk with me in 2005. I watched it once, then put it and the memories away.

It is a beautiful testimony to the compassion of law enforcement officers as we drove buses, gave water, comforted the old and young and helped bring a slice of peace to those suffering in the aftermath.

Hurricane Katrina “Cry Out to Jesus”

The images were taken first hand as we responded to Hurricane Katrina. Third Day’s “Cry Out to Jesus” was the only song fitting to use.

My dear friend Rachelle Hitt Bilbo created this piece and shared a disk with me in 2005. I watched it once, then put it and the memories away.

It is a beautiful testimony to the compassion of law enforcement officers as we drove buses, gave water, comforted the old and young and helped bring a slice of peace to those suffering in the aftermath.

The Head Shot; A Real-Life Mardi Gras Experience

LPSO Bike

The fascinating world of Lee Lofland’s GRAVEYARD SHIFT brings another exciting adventure behind the Blue Line. Chief Silverii’s real-life account of Mardi Gras operations, and delivering a precision “head shot” from the seat of a Police Bicycle has captured the attention of an international audience.   Lee Lofland is proud to share it with you.