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Fractured Lives Virtual Book Tour

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The Angela Hardwicke Mysteries Book 2

Sci-Fi Mystery

Date Published: Sept 2021

Publisher: Crazy 8 Press


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In the cosmic realm of Eternity, there’s only one private eye to hire
when your world gets turned inside out—Angela Hardwicke.


Darla Fyne, a college freshman and galaxy design savant, is suffering from
a nervous breakdown—or is she the victim of an urban legend known as
the Scarlet Raj?


As Hardwicke follows the intersecting worlds of art galleries, college
dorms, and a semi-secret clan that patches up tears in the Universe, her
investigation will either uncover a hoax gone wrong or a plot that could
shift the balance of power across the entire realm. If only she can fight
through her own paranoia to tell the difference.


In Russ Colchamiro’s new Sci-Fi mystery Fractured Lives, Angela
Hardwicke is confronted by a PI’s worst nightmare—dark secrets
from her past.

Fractured Lives tablet



Chapter 1


When you’re a private eye like me, working cases in Eternity—the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and maintenance of the Universe—you never know where the investigation will take you. On-realm… or off.

As a kid, ask me what I wanted to be, and it was nothing like what my life is now. Me, little Angela Hardwicke? A private eye? Yeah, right. Too afraid to speak up, too afraid to take action? I don’t recognize that little girl. I’m sure she wouldn’t recognize me either. Only… maybe that’s not even true. Nobody’s all one thing, all one way. 

Moment to moment we might be living any number of personalities and sometimes all at once. There’s the shy me, the loud me, the silly me, the naughty me. The forgiving me. The merciless me. Mother, daughter, lover, friend. Enemy. 

The private investigator who skulks through back alleys and seedy bars, the one who investigates android murders, shapeshifters, disfigured wormholes, alternate dimensions, and a miles-long helix of the Universe’s DNA.

We’re told that the Minders of the Universe—the beings who oversee the Cosmos—want us to accept that, as Eternitarians, we’re all just stardust in living form. That we are the Universe and the Universe is us and all the existential wank that comes with it.

Yet the multitude of forces of that very Universe and all of its imperfections condition us to deny our desperate, raging contradictions, our mystifying inconsistencies that can drive us stark raving mad if we let them. 

Who among us can claim with certitude that the person we reveal to others at any one moment in time and space is the unconditional and multi-layered person we actually are? 

Not me. 

Which is why, when Wanda Fyne knocked on my office door and told me she needed my help to find her eighteen-year-old daughter—Darla, a college freshman—I was skeptical, but kept an open mind. 

I’ve worked my share of runaway cases. Sometimes I find the kid, sometimes not. And in cases when the poor kid turns up dead, beaten… or worse… the parents almost wish they’d never had me look in the first place. 

Then again, who am I, of all people, to deny any parent their right to hope and dream for a joyful outcome, as unrealistic as it might be? Look what happened to me. My son Owen was lost to me… and then he came back. Maybe better than when he left. I’m telling you… it never happens that way. Never ever. Until it does.

“Mrs. Fyne, I don’t want to downplay your concern,” I say, and immediately spot her own inconsistencies. “A missing child can be scary business. Believe me, I know.”

Late thirties, early forties, Wanda Fyne is a lovely woman, light brown skin with golden undertones, cocaine-white teeth, and raised, glowing cheekbones. She met me here in her showcase outfit—white, satin blouse and beige knee-length skirt, peep toe ankle strap sandals, beautifully manicured nails with eggshell gloss—and her handbag is designer all the way.

But her pearl earrings are fake. Excellent fakes, but fakes nonetheless. And her bob haircut, which is quite flattering, is fresh, as if she had it done specifically for this meeting. 

Even though I spend countless hours mired in physical, emotional, psychological, and cosmological filth, it doesn’t mean I’m not a woman underneath it all. I appreciate wanting to look your best in front of a stranger

As a private eye I used to go all pinstripes, sharp angles, and fedora, but I’ve shifted my approach. Maybe it’s my renewed sense of motherhood, maybe it was just time, but now my standard gear is blue jeans, black sneakers, and arugula-colored utility jacket with inner mesh lining that’s stylish and flexible enough for my needs. 

And with all the changes in E-Town lately—standard combustion engine and electric cars slowly being converted into hover vehicles, a realm-wide Monorail coming online, new android models being introduced—it’s difficult not to focus on your appearance more than ever. It’s an element of your life you can control. 

If that’s the case with Wanda, then she’s gone to great lengths to advertise the kind of woman she wants me to think she is. Her way of communicating that she wants very much for me to take her seriously, that her daughter has legitimately run away, but fears I’ll reject those claims because Wanda’s been rejected before and can’t bear to be turned away again. 

“But at eighteen,” I say, “Darla’s legally an adult. So even if she’s missing, if her whereabouts are unknown to you, technically… she’s not a runaway. Have you filed a police report?”

Sitting knees together, hands folded atop her purse, Wanda Fyne’s mind is swirling. She has that look, as if she’s debating how much to share with me, and how she should do it, afraid to say the words out loud, but desperate for help.

To the side of us is a circular table with various files, receipts, maps, notepads, holomessages, and new VR goggles. Behind Wanda is the door to my second-floor office, my name stencilled in black letters on frosted glass: Angela Hardwicke, Private Investigations.

“I,” she finally says, her voice unsteady, “we… my husband and I, we’re… Darla’s been…”

Wanda’s holding her breath, her chest tight, to the point I’m afraid she might pass out. 

“When was the last time you saw her?” 

Through pursed lips, she exhales. Though her makeup is impeccable, no amount of blush can hide the weariness behind her eyes. “About three weeks ago.”

“Does she live at home?”

“No, I’m sorry. I should’ve said. She lives on campus.”

“Which one?”

“The Wrolen School of Celestial Design. She used to come home every week or so, but lately…”

Celestial design. Missing teen. Complicated from the start.

“I’m sorry if this comes across the wrong way, Mrs. Fyne, but if I got paid for every college kid—freshmen in particular—that didn’t call home on a regular basis, I could afford my own galaxy cruiser. Does she travel throughout the realm? College kids are big on road trips.”

Wanda reaches into her purse for a tissue. She dabs at the corner of her left eye. “No,” she says. “I don’t know. But her suitemate said she’s been on campus.”

“I’m sorry,” I say, confused. “I thought you said she was missing.”

“She is, Miss Hardwicke. In every way that matters. It’s just… you have no idea what it’s like. Darla, she was such a… and now she’s…”

When you’ve been halfway across the Cosmos and back, when you’ve seen the kinds of chaos and existential madness that can befall… someone… anyone… even an entire galaxy, ripping apart the fabric of time, space, and dimension, those experiences are imprinted on your soul. And yet deciphering the mechanics of the Universe is easy peasy lemon squeezy compared with the mystery of teenage girls. I know. I used to be one. 

“I don’t know what you’re asking me, Mrs. Fyne. If Darla’s at school, there’s no one to find.”

“It’s not a missing person,” she clarifies. Dusty sunlight filters through drawn window shades, crawling along the hardwood floor. “It’s a robbery. A theft. A desecration.”

“What theft?”

Wanda Fyne comports herself, her eyes cold and hardened and brimming with a pain. 

“Someone’s stolen a piece of Darla’s soul. And I need you to get it back.”

About the Author

Russ Colchamiro is author of the Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire the first
novel in his ongoing series featuring intergalactic private eye Angela
Hardwicke. Russ is also the author of the rollicking time travel/space
adventure, Crossline, the SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers:
The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, is editor of the
Sci-Fi mystery anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, and co-author of the
noir anthology Murder in Montague Falls.

Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of
the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Agents of the Abyss,
Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns,
Camelot 13, Footprints in the Stars, Devilish and Divine, Badass Moms, and
Brave New Girls.


Russ is a member of the Mystery Writers Association and Crazy 8 Press, and
hosts Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster podcast, where he interviews
best-selling and up-and-coming scifi, fantasy, crime, mystery, and horror

For more on and Russ’s books and his podcast, you can visit
www.russcolchamiro.com, and follow him on Facebook, as well as Twitter and
Instagram @AuthorDudeRuss.

He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, and black lab,

Contact Links


Facebook: Russ Colchamiro

Twitter: @AuthorDudeRuss


Instagram: @AuthorDudeRuss

Purchase Link






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Crackle & Fire Tour

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Sci-Fi, Mystery

Date Published: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Crazy 8 Press


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Angela Hardwicke isn’t just any private eye. She’s a PI from
Eternity, the cosmic realm responsible for the design, creation, and
maintenance of the Universe.

When accountant Gil Haberseau hires her to find an intern with stolen
corporate files, Hardwicke soon finds herself embroiled in a deadly case of
lies, intrigue, and murder, clashing with vengeful gangsters, MinderNot
rallies, and a madman who’s come a long way to get what he

In Russ Colchamiro’s thrilling Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire,
Angela Hardwicke learns once and for all that when it comes to being an
intergalactic private eye, there’s no telling what threats she may
face on-realm and off… including the demons that lurk deep within her

Bonus story included! The AI-themed Angela Hardwicke murder mystery,
“The Case of Jarlo’s Buried Treasure”


Crackle & Fire tablet


At first glance there’s nothing special about Wazon Road. Just another hipster club along another hipster side street along Cobblestone Alley. The usual multi-color strobe lights and flashing orbs are in sync with the electronic music. 

Yet there’s an energy here. An expectancy. Heads are bobbing. 

Maybe it’s the booze and sweat and even the sweet peppermint being pumped into the air. Or maybe it’s the drugs—I spot four dealers and five prostitutes I know—but I’ve been to enough of these events to know there’s something else going on. 

Normally I would’ve gone classic Hardwicke—pinstripe suit, fedora—but not tonight. My outfit needs to fit the occasion. 

Lucky for me I don’t give a comet’s gas what these club punks think, so I busted out my black leather pants, leather boots with buckle clasp, white T-shirt, maroon lipstick, and thin-cut leather jacket. It’s got enough pockets to conceal what I need, but flows easily with my movements. No gun, but I’ve got my taser if I need it.

And if Wazon Road is like every other hipster club, there will be enough action to keep even the most focused mind distracted.

Since it’s a private galaxy unveiling, there’s some deep pockets in attendance. Waylan Gir is sipping a martini by the bar. Sarna Ri’n is in the VIP section, no doubt surveying for another sucker to bilk, and Evelyn Aaer-Von-Maroo, in her royal blue crepe-knit trumpet dress with off-the-shoulder neckline, is making her way to management’s private box overlooking the club. 

She’s worth a second look. 

I hate being in nightclubs more than I hate eating P’linco mushrooms, but you pick up a ton of actionable intel there. When money’s in the room, leeches follow.

A confection of magenta, yellow, and emerald lasers crawl along the ceiling. The music intensifies as the speakers unleash a gorgeous alto voice, nearly operatic, the woman producing a wordless song, a rolling stream of escalating and de-escalating aahs. 

Nini hands me a cold beer. “Cheers.” She clinks it against her pomegranate cocktail. “You look hot tonight. Nice to see you out of uniform.” 

She’s one to talk. Whistler was right. Damn.

Nini’s rocking a silver cowl sequined dress with an open back and split side. It dangles from her small, black body. If she wants a friend tonight, she’s getting one. She works long shifts in the ER covered in every fluid that can come out of a person’s body, but when she’s off duty, she’s glam all the way. 

 “I’m looking for Strident Eyes,” I say. “I bet there’s someone in the management box, but I can’t get up there.”

Nini raises her eyebrows, hands me her drink. She lets her hands fall along her hips, shuffles her dress, and puckers her ruby-painted lips. She’s even got my motor running. She winks at me. 

“I saw Evie von M up there. I’ll give it whirl.”

Eighty or so guests undulate on the dance floor. Magenta lights flow over them. I stop a barback as he loads a black tub of discarded drink glasses, soggy napkins, chewed-up straws, and an empty prophylactic pill bottle. 

“Strident Eyes,” I say. “You seen?”

He broods, as if I’m overlooking the obvious. I slip him a few credits. The barback gestures with his head. “Over there. By the tables.”

“I see ’em.”

He pulls away into a streak of light, revealing a MinderNot tattoo on his forearm. 

“Nice ink. How goes the rebellion?”

“It’s not a rebellion,” he huffs indignantly “It’s a statement. The Minders need to unfuck E-Town before E-Town fucks us. If they don’t, we know once and for all there are no Minders. It’s the great big lie. Total con job.”

“One person’s lie is another person’s mantra. Sometimes the reverse. And usually… both at the same time.”

“Be ignorant if you want. But this town is fucked up. Way more than usual. If the Minders are really running the place… then run it. If not, we gotta tear this muthafucka down and start doing shit our own way. Fuck the Minders. They’re already fucking us.”

Ah, youth. So much angst and nowhere to stick it. They’re still too young to accept that responsibility isn’t a dirty word, but rather one of the most critical elements of self-worth. Yet they’re old enough to have learned that life is a helluva lot harder than they ever thought it would be. So they pick a new boogieman and call it a cause. 

The MinderNots are pushing back against the forces of the Universe, convinced anything they can say, think, feel, or do will change the fabric of Existence. 

That the MinderNots can exert control.

Who knows? Maybe they can. Wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve seen.

But this guy’s right about one thing. The Minders do need to get their shit together. 

I’m about to make my way over to the Strident Eyes table when the club goes dark. There’s a collective murmur, then silence. 

Normally I’d switch on my plasma sensor contact lenses that enable me to see and identify various particles floating in the air. Another one of Bernice’s little toys. But I forgot to put them in. I also forgot the scout orbs they synch to. They’re damn useful when doing recon. Roll them on the floor and they give a ground-up view of any room. Always nice to know what you’re walking into.

I reach for my leather jacket. With a press on the zipper, the teeth doubling as a fluorescent green glowstick—thanks again, Bernice. 

A hiss of steam emerges from the center of the room, pushing everyone back. Outlined in purple fluorescent light, a square reveals itself on the floor. Ten feet away, another purple outline. 

With an electrum hum, white panes alight within the purple-outlined squares. Platforms rise. 

Standing atop the squares, one each, are a man and a woman. 

Bindu and Barkley. The galaxy designers.


About the Author

Russ Colchamiro is also the author of the rollicking sci-fi adventure,
Crossline, the zany sci-fi/fantasy backpacking series Finders Keepers,
Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, editor of the sci-fi-themed mystery
anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, and co-author and co-editor of Murder
in Montague Falls, a noir-inspired collection of novellas.

Russ is also the creator and host of Russ’s Rockin’
Rollercoaster podcast, where he has interviewed several NY Times and USA
Today best-selling sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery authors. Russ has also
contributed short stories to more than a dozen sci-fi and fantasy

He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

For more on Russ and Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster, visit
www.russcolchamiro.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AuthorDudeRuss,
‘like’ his Facebook author page
www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor, and watch his podcast on YouTube at


Contact Links



Twitter: @authorduderuss



Instagram: @authorduderuss


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