ICE is free July 7-11

IceCover

I am humbled and amazed by how well my first novella has been received. With 70+ reviews between Amazon and Goodreads, it has been a great joy to know that most readers have enjoyed ICE. Is it perfect? No, but the vast majority of readers have said that they enjoyed the small-town feel, the suspense, and the sense of community.

ICE tells the story of one fateful November morning when the the fictional town of Minterville, Georgia, is brutalized by vicious thugs. Twenty women are kidnapped and set in a death trap that can quite literally be described as cold. Time is ticking away as the rest of the town scrambles to come up with a viable rescue plan.

Here are what some reviewers have said about ICE:

“This book is a crazy (in a good way) mixture of supernatural, thriller, and mystery.” Emily Woodmansee, who gave it 4 stars.

“The twist this story takes left me caring more about ICE and it’s characters than any book I read recently.” Barbara Chioffi, who gave it 5 stars.

“This was an enjoyable read and the story was good…This being a great beginning to a writing career, there are some things that I personally feel could have made this story far better.” Tom Fallwell, who rated it 3.5 stars.

“A fast paced entertainment that sets the scene frot an uncertain future.” Mmcqu2005, who rated it 5 stars.

“Very interesting storyline…unique writing style.” Amanshay, who rated it 4 stars.

“The plot was excellent, the descriptive a done in a way that made the author’s research excellent.” Amazon Pygmy Reviews, who rated it 5 stars.

“This had an excellent plot that kept m reading to the end but it could have been so much more…[the author] is talented and I would read more…just need more development.” Loki, who rated it three stars.

ICE is also the precursor to my upcoming C.I.N. Dystopian trilogy. If you are interested, check it out free until the 11th. Thank you for your support of indie authors.

https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/product-reviews/B00O1CCAU6/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_2?ie=UTF8&sortBy=recent&formatType=current_format&filterByStar=two_star&pageNumber=1

The only thing colder than the Ice Queen’s crime is her heart.

Manuela Escribano (The Ice Queen) is a smart, talented, well-educated woman, who chose to channel her talents into the manufacture and distribution of drugs.

She is also VERY slow to let go of a grudge. When something happens to her that she perceives as a betrayal, her fury is still burning decades later, and a small town is about to be the target of her long-nursed anger…

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420768036&sr=1-4&keywords=ice

Last day to get “Ice” free

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420224775&sr=1-9&keywords=ice

The people of Minterville, Georgia know that something is wrong in their once-idyllic community. The reclusive and mistrustful people of Minterville are uneasy about the presence of two suspicious families, the Quirogas and the de los Santos. Since their arrival six months prior, the people of Minterville have lost The Minter, a form of telepathic communication available only to them. Because The Minter cannot function in the presence of evil, the community concludes that the Quirogas and the de los Santos have sinister motives for settling into the community.
Mayor Tom Watson and Police Chief Andy Thompson have been trying desperately to figure out the reason for the families’ sudden entrance into Minterville. The reason becomes clears one Friday morning: they have been sent by Manuela Escribano (aka the “Ice Queen”), a powerful and vindictive drug lord, to collect an old drug debt. Unfortunately, it is too late; Escribano’s diabolical plan to ensure payment has already been set into motion. Time is of the essence; Tom, Chief Andy, and the rest of Minterville must act quickly before innocent people die and their beloved community is destroyed forever.

(Ice)-Manuela Escribano vs. Griselda Blanco

Manuela Escribano is a fictional drug dealer in my novella, Ice. I got the inspiration for her after watching a documentary about Griselda Blanco and other high-profile drug dealers. Blanco caught my attention because she was one of the most prolific female drug dealers, and she seemed to live two lives; one, a brutal, violent criminal, and the other, a loving, nurturing mother of three. Thus, the character of Manuela Escribano took shape (in the very early stages of Ice , the main villain was a Jigsaw-like character ironically named Emmanuel Bethel).

Although both my character and Blanco are immigrants who reside in Miami, Blanco is a native of Colombia and Escribano is from Nicaragua. Blanco had to endure extreme hardship in her childhood; whereas Escribano came from a privileged family. Escribano was well-educated, a teacher, and (unlike Blanco) did not use violence to get her way (until she partnered up with the sadistic Sebastian Quiroga). Blanco dealt mainly in cocaine, but Escribano made a name for herself by dealing in methamphetamine and “ice” (a stimulant drug similar to meth). A perceived betrayal by one of most trusted associates aroused Escribano’s everlasting fury, and Escribano is not one to let go of a grudge….

To read Ice: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1417274357&sr=1-4&keywords=ice

Ice Character Spotlight-DeWayne Burgess

Character: Dewayne Burgess

Age; 22

Occupation: paramedic, pre-med student

Family: Georgeanna (“Georgie”) and Nolan Burgess (parents), Kira Holmes (girlfriend)

Tenderhearted but quick-thinking DeWayne is about to face the toughest moment of his life. His skills as a paramedic will come in handy when he has to assist in a strange rescue.

To read Ice: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1417015458&sr=1-4&keywords=ice

Author Spotlight-Tristan Cruz

“You can’t cross the ocean by staring at the waves.”

The Space Between by Tristan Cruz is an original yet thrilling twist on the star-crossed lovers theme. The story follows lovers Jack and Maddy as they both come to terms with painful pasts and try to recreate a new life with each other. Told in first person with alternating points of view by Jack and Maddy, Tristan is an expert at drawing the readers into the characters’ pains and joys. And the playful, lighthearted, and often sarcastic banter between the characters dilutes the syrupy sweetness that you often find in romance novels.

When Maddy first spots Jack when he is working as a contractor at her home, she is certain that he is the same man who had saved her life nine years earlier. As the two fall deeper in love, Jack’s past catches up with him. The reader can feel Jack’s pain as he struggles with the dilemma of hiding forever with the woman he loves or seeking vengeance on those who have caused him so much harm. The sex scenes are sensual and erotic but not pornographic.

Cruz’ writing style is wordy (like John Steinbeck wordy), but his words are like poetry and music, which negates the excessive wordiness. The major themes that Cruz explores are loss and grief (each one of the major characters in the novel has lost someone they loved), letting go, and moving on. Other themes include police corruption, independence, justice, and cowardice vs. bravery.

Cruz’ work is  pure, raw emotion that will take the reader (in the author’s word word) “to places [you] have never been before.” He was right; very rarely have I felt so emotionally satisfied after reading a novel. Well done, Mr. Cruz. You definitely have a future in writing.

Oh, and by the way, Tristan Cruz is also extremely smoking hot :).

To read The Space Between: http://www.amazon.com/Space-Between-Tristan-Cruz-ebook/dp/B00KXM8IEK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416866916&sr=1-1&keywords=tristan+cruz

Ice character Spotlight-Sebastian Quiroga

Name: Sebastaian Quiroga

Age: late forties

Family: Mercedes de los Satos de Quiroga (wife), Cierra Quiroga (daughter), Natalia de los Santos (niece), and many other family members. A mother in Guatemala. Father is deceased.

Occupation: unemployed ex-Marine

Sebastian is pure ice down to the core of his soul. He cares about no one, loves no one, and seems to have no life goals other than to torture as many people as possible. For more than twenty years, he has held a “grudge” against someone whom he has never met and who creates the perfect pretext to satisfy a sick, sadistic fantasy. He has no qualms about murdering innocent people and ruining the lives of many. Will he get justice in the end?

To read Ice: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416760824&sr=1-2&keywords=ice

Minterville-an American Macondo

Minterville, Georgia is the idyllic setting for my novella, Ice. There is a crime rate of virtually zero, and the residents live in peace and tranquility (that is, until they are taken over by narco-terrorists).

Minterville is a fictitious town. In fact, I looked on online, and there is no town called Minterville in Georgia or any other state in the U.S. It most closely resembles Portal, Georgia in size, location, and population density. However, I modeled Minterville after Argyle, Texas, where I lived for a good bit of my childhood.

The main inspiration for Minterville comes from a housesitting adventure I had in 2009. It was July and the heat was excruciating. I was housesitting for a professor and his wife (in return for a place to stay while I was taking a summer class at Georgia Southern University). The house was located at the end of a mile-long driveway in the woods, which in turn was located at the end of a mile-long road. One of my tasks was to walk the dogs down this road. Standing at the end of the driveway one day, exhausted and delirious from the heat, I thought, “I bet if I didn’t know what was at the end of this driveway, I would go through it and find a magical village inhabited by elves.” (only partially joking here). That same summer, I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. That is when my plan for Minterville solidified. The fictitious town of Macondo, Colombia is home to a colorful cast of characters and strange happening, and they, too, are terrorized by foreign invaders. This the idea for Minterville, my American Macondo, was born.

To read Ice: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415558485&sr=1-2&keywords=ice

To read One Hundred Years of Solitude: http://books.google.com/books?id=pgPWOaOctq8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=one+hundred+years+of+solitude&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kcBfVO6ULcmYNo_9gYgE&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=one%20hundred%20years%20of%20solitude&f=false

Ice character Spotlight-Barbara Jenkins

Barbara Jenkins is a gardener. She is not from Minterville and one of the few people in town without access to The Minter. She has a habit if using vulgar language and talking too much…

Age; Around 40

Family: Eric Jenkins (husband), Robbie and Joseph Jenkins (sons)

Occupation: gardener

Why is she important to the story: i don’t want to create  spoiler here. Read chapter 12 and you will find out…

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415457242&sr=1-2&keywords=ice

Ice Character Spotlight-Carolyn Holcomb

Large-and-in-charge Carolyn Holcomb is one of the three first person narrators of Ice. Even under extreme duress, she still exhibits sound judgment and a cool head.

Age: between 45-50

Occupation: jewelry sales

Family: Mark (husband), three children, one daughter-in-law, one unborn grandchild

Hobbies: eating!

Why is she important in the story? She narrates one of the more graphic parts of the tale with as much objectivity as can be managed under her circumstances. She also discusses her own thoughts and feelings and what she has learned from her experience.

To read Ice: http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Jessica-Wren-ebook/dp/B00O1CCAU6/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415397978&sr=1-2&keywords=ice