Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Blood of the Dragonfly by Hawk MacKinney @GoddessFish

Blood of the Dragonfly

by Hawk MacKinney

GENRE: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense


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.


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.

Guest Post:


Creating an outline first and developing characters, for me, are not independent in my process of writing. Both are a necessary step in the initial creation of the tale I am constructing. An outline…yes…but only as a guide. An outline must be flexible. Like the manuscript, it is virtually useless if it’s written in stone. Chapters follow as the work expands, but the introductory chapter comes first, usually no more than a skeleton of the high points. Next comes the last chapter. All the chapters contribute changes/edits/deletions with the characters, but the last chapter keeps me as the writer focused on where I want to twist multiple plots while keeping my characters from taking over or going where I don’t necessarily want to go. If I don’t like how or where a rough draft develops, then something is muddled. I edit and edit aggressively, but I try not to over-edit. Once I have the draft completed, I put it on a virtual shelf and let it become dust-ware until I can look at it again with fresh eyes. During that time, I start editing another manuscript. I normally keep 1-3 manuscripts under development and work on all three…an outline comes in real handy at this point. Trusted editors and constructive feedback are a real help.

Hawk MacKinney

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Website ~ Goodreads

Buy Link:



$20 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Hawk MacKinney said...

The Avid Reader – 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

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great excerpt, I enjoyed reading it!

Sherry said...

I love the cover and the book sounds so good.

David Hollingsworth said...

This books definitely sounds like a just must read!

susan1215 said...

Sounds great, I like the cover and the excerpt.

Hawk MacKinney said...

Victoria ALEXANDER – Thanx for following this current tour AND all the previous ones -

Hawk MacK

Hawk MacKinney said...

Sherry – The graphic designers did a great job matching the cover to the tale told. Hope U enjoy the read…


Hawk MacKinney said...

Thomas GIBSON – Both excerpt & cover are products of a marketing team this writer highly respects…they are good!

Hawk MacK

Hawk MacKinney said...

David HOLLINGSWORTH – The excerpt & book cover are garnering reader-hooks on their own…hope U enjoy the read…


Hawk MacKinney said...

Susan1215 – You’re not the only one that’s stopped by & mentioned exactly that. Hope U get around to reading the tale told -


Debbi Wellenstein said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

Debbi Wellenstein said...

Have a great day everyone!

Hawk MacKinney said...

Debbi WELLENSTEIN – Excerpt is good. Will pass your kudo to the editors…good luck on the giveaway.


Debbi Wellenstein said...

Have a wonderful day.

Debbi Wellenstein said...

Good luck everyone!

Virgil Treadway said...

Sounds Awesome