What Drives the Serial Killer

Lynn-Steven Johanson
Lynn-Steven Johanson Author Interview

Havana Brown follows detective Erickson on a bloody case to find a serial killer preying on women in Chicago. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Since this was a prequel to my novel Rose’s Thorn, there were only a few references to the backstory in that novel: Joe’s prior relationship with Destiny, his nervous breakdown, and the serial killer. So, when I decided to write a prequel, I had to construct the story around those things. But the story itself came strictly out of my imagination.

What were some new dimensions of detective Erickson’s character that you wanted to explore in this book?

Joe won’t let go of a case and will do whatever it takes including working himself into the ground to solve it. A paradox exists in that he decides to make a life change and begin taking good care of his physical health while at the same time ignoring his psychological health. And he begins a romance with a woman who is an intellectual and physical match for him. She will be a recurring character in subsequent mysteries. In addition, I wanted to explore his relationship with his father, since it was only touched upon in Rose’s Thorn.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Oddly enough, I don’t think of themes in my writing. I focus on characters and telling the story but not so much on theme. Now that I think about it, I guess I would say that obsession is the main theme. Joe’s fixation with catching the serial killer leads to his self-destructive behaviors. And obsession is what drives the serial killer to continue murdering young women.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I recently finished the first draft of the third installment in the Joe Erickson Mystery series. It should be published by Level Best Books next spring.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In this prequel to Rose’s Thorn, Detective Joe Erickson discovers a clever and vile serial killer preying on women in Chicago. Only a few cat hairs provide clues to the perpetrator of six mutilation murders. Joe’s razor-sharp intuition and unorthodox methods ultimately lead him on a trail fraught with twists, turns, and close calls. But pushing himself day and night begins taking its toll, and his obsession with apprehending the killer will be his undoing.

Delilah & Samson Adventures World – Book Trailer

This fictional story following the adventures of Delilah and her dog companion Samson, their adventures start out when Delilah is a child till the time she is in her teenage years. With heroic elements, Delilah is a voice and force to be reckoned with when it comes to saving the lives of innocent animals. Before each story, there is a short introduction about different animals,, teaching children basic facts and providing entertainment as well.

About the Author:
Miz Marta was born in Puerto Rico. She comes from a large family and has always had the desire to write and become an author. She is happily married to her husband Jaime and resides in Orlando, Florida.

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These Ghosts Need His Help

Randy Overbeck
Randy Overbeck Author Interview

Scarlet at Crystal River follows a man trying to lead a normal life but sees things others can’t image and he’s drawn into an enigmatic mystery only he has the ability to solve. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

When I visited this stretch along the Gulf Coast, I was fascinated with the beauty of the area—emerald and crystal blue waters, forests and swamps, and incredible wildlife like the manatees. As I traveled the region, I was also distressed by the conditions I witnessed of the migrant workers, many of them immigrants, who worked the fields of produce nearby, in central Florida. So I decided to use the contrast of the two images as a foundation for my story.

Darrell has an interesting ability that seems grounded while still being other-worldly. How did you balance his ability so it seemed as believable as possible?

Darrell comes to realize that his ability as a sensitive is no more incredible, or even unbelievable, than another’s innate talent as an artist or one’s endowed athletic ability. Though he’s not totally comfortable with his ability to communicate with those on the other side—this path has led to danger and even tragedy before—he realizes he possesses this sense because these ghosts need his help. His personality, as a teacher and a coach, will not let him turn his back on those in need, especially children.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Although the novels in the Haunted Shore Mysteries are captivating whodunits with a touch of the paranormal and plenty of romance, I’m also aiming for my writing to illuminate some important issues. In SCARLET, I address the touchy—and widely misunderstood—situation of illegal migrant workers and their role in our culture. Hopefully, readers will get a little insight into this complex situation through the characters and circumstances in my fiction. Things are not always as they seem.

When and where will this book be available?

The publisher has set a launch date for SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER for September 13. The novel will soon be available in both print and e-versions for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-million and Apple books as well as great bookstores everywhere.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. But his carefully laid plans go sideways when they discover a hidden painting of two young Latino children, which turns out to be haunted. Is Darrell willing to derail their entire honeymoon in this perfect, quiet corner of the world to unravel the mystery of the children’s deaths?

The Classroom of Life

The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity by [Anthony J. Cedolini]

The Classroom of Life is an illuminating and informative self help book that delivers sagely advice coupled with candid and grounded life lessons. The profound lessons conveyed within Anthony Cedolini’s book will appeal to young adult readers, or anyone that finds themselves facing the many obstacles that life throws at them. I found this book to be intellectually invigorating because it is filled with wisdom, not only from the author, but also from venerated people throughout time. Their wise quotes are delivered in bite sizes and with context so that young adults will be able to understand and apply those quotes and information to their own lives, which I think is vital for young people. Telling people what they should and shouldn’t do only serves as an abstract lesson, Anthony Cedolini is able to deliver thoughtful and practical advice that is actionable. What I appreciated most about this motivational guide is that the information is delivered colloquially with understanding and care, making everything very easy to take in and understand. This could have easily been a dry discourse on life, but Anthony Cedolini’s writing instead shares meaningful life lessons in an engaging and satisfying way.

This is an educational book that is bursting with poignant and stirring anecdotes and filled with wonderfully detailed observations on life. Anthony Cedolini translates his life experiences into conversational yet captivating prose. The Classroom of Life is written with a precision and depth of understanding that is often lacking in other self helps books. Readers are given personal glimpses into Anthony Cedolini life that serve to deliver various and thoughtful lessons. We’re given useful tips that readers will be able to implement in their own life; for example, creating a family creed. The Classroom of Life is an inspirational and deeply thoughtful book that has the potential to change your life for the better.

Pages: 413 | ASIN:‎ B095FRPD9L

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Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past by [S M Rush]

Blast from the Past starts with Kieran O’ Neill, who is on a break from his fast-paced military life when he receives a call about Sophie Tyson, a name he had not heard in ten years. We’re then taken ten years into their past, when Kieran was still an eighteen-year-old boy who had just joined the army and we get to see how he met Sophie Tyson, who by that time had already divorced her abusive husband, Simon. This riveting military romance novel follows their emotionally-charged journey of love, loss, and survival.

The story explores many important themes such as violence and domestic abuse, but what I liked most about this story was how those things are intermingled with contemporary issues that soldiers face like PTSD and their experiences in Afghanistan. The story adds a lot of depth to its characters while weaving a complex portrait of military life that goes beyond the strategy, shooting, and death we often think of when reading action novels. Don’t get me wrong, the novel has plenty of action, but I appreciated the subtle but thoughtful commentary on the human condition found within this story.

The plot is well constructed and is easily engaging right from the prologue. With a fluid style of writing I was easily engrossed in the story. This is a character focused story, leaving the background and scenery up to the readers imagination, which is helpful in keeping focused on the emotional aspect of the novel.

This is a unique story for me because it plays with being an action novel and a romance novel. The blending of the two, along with the engaging characters, ensures readers will be thoroughly entertained with the story. The alluring relationship between Kieran and Sophie is what kept me coming back to this novel again and again.

Blast from the Past is an engaging story that explores a haunted past and a heartfelt relationship in unique ways. The military theme of the novel will certainly appeal to anyone looking for an action oriented romance story with captivating characters.

Pages: 328 | ASIN: B08L5D2WQF

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Scorn of Secrets

Scorn of Secrets by [B. Truly]

Madison is a regular teenager, albeit a bit shy and introverted, living with her sister and parents. That is, until her father is murdered after being unable to pay his crippling gambling debt.

Madison’s mother moves on quickly by getting an older man with two sons to marry her. They move in with them and soon Madison is starting a new school. Despite her social awkwardness, Madison befriends one of her two step brothers, Justin, and starts adjusting to her new school.

Everything is going well for Madison until one dark night she is struck by tragedy and becomes the victim of sexual assault. After that Madison is brought down by the secrets she carries and the knowledge that no one would believe her if she confessed. She embarks on a self-healing journey and, with the help of Justin, tries to cope with her new reality and the experiences she has been forced to live through.

This book is both a tragic love story and a emotional tale of survival. It will fill you with angst, anxiety, frustration, and finally- love. Reader beware, this is not an easy read. There are many emotions and situations within that can be triggering for certain people, especially victims of sexual assault, but the story always feels authentic and never offensive.

The characters are deep and realistic characters that are emotive and easy to understand. Madison is the character who goes through the biggest evolution throughout this thought-provoking story. Madison is a complex character right from the start and was someone who I consistently rooted for. On top of her introversion and shy demeanor she had to deal with the feelings that surfaced after being the victim of unspeakable acts one dark tragic night.

The plot is enthralling and the pace is good overall, but I felt that the introduction was a bit slow. The story ends on a cliffhanger, which leaves the option open for a sequel.

Scorn of Secrets is an emotionally charged young adult novel that follows an intriguing young woman through an emotional rollercoaster of events that leaves her forever changed.

Pages: 331 | ASIN: B091BR68YG

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The Rules of a Little Boss: A book of self-love

The Rules of a Little Boss: A book of self-love (Big Boss Series) by [Haelee Moone, Arsalan Khalid, Dedrick Moone]

The Rules of a Little Boss helps readers accept who they are and provides the tools needed to be self-confident and stand up to bully’s and peer pressure. This vivid children’s book shows kids in various situations that they normally face in school and in life. The book shares positive messages about being who you are and never being ashamed of it.

I really loved the diverse cast of characters in this book and how the story shows that that is why we’re all special. The lessons in the book range from building self-confidence, to being nice, to avoiding drugs. All the lessons are delivered with colorful graphic art and emotive characters that will certainly keep the attention of any children reading along.

Every page of the book shares a new message about self-love and being kind and gives readers simple but powerful messages that will help motivate them to implement these ideas in their own life. As the introduction to the book states “you have to be willing to do the work”. This book serves as a fantastic guide for children to follow, and is a great book for parents and teachers to use as talking points about self-esteem.

The Rules of a Little Boss shares important messages that can improve children’s lives for years to come. This is a beautifully written children’s picture book that deals with a variety of personal and social issues in an easy-to-understand manner and truly embraces the values of diversity and inclusion.

Pages: 25 | ASIN: B097193LWG

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Strife and Deadly Peril on the Open Trail

Author Interview
Henry Helbog Author Interview

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed follows a retired US Marshall who sets out to fulfill a dying man’s wish to protect his wife and daughter against a deadly gunslinger. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My intention was to depict, as much as possible, an authentic version of the Old West as opposed to an idealized, romanticised, aseptic version. The three main characters, who really don’t like each other or have much in common, have no choice but to try to make the best of it when they’re unexpectedly thrown together. Riding in a wagon together for hundreds of miles and being exposed to various dangers ultimately brings out both the worst and best in them.

Flint is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I wanted to create a character who would frequently find himself in perilous and challenging situations. A lawman was the obvious choice, but then I thought a better idea would be to make him an ex-lawman who worked as a sort of Old West private investigator and hired gun. This way, I thought, there would be a wider range of future plot possibilities for my character than if he were just a marshal.

Although Flint is a mostly good man who abides by the law and is guided by his own personal code of ethics and fair play, there is more to him than that. Financial gain is also a strong motivating factor for him. Would he, for instance, have agreed to help the wife and daughter if there wasn’t the added incentive of receiving a share of the profit from the gems? Whether he would or wouldn’t can’t be said with any degree of certainty. However, when he does commit to helping them, he does so wholeheartedly and even at great personal risk to himself, thus showing that there is an element of self-sacrifice in his nature.

By the way, I didn’t actually think consciously about my main character’s attributes when writing this book, so being prompted to examine the finer points of his nature has been an interesting exercise for me.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, devotion, jealousy, rivalry, pettiness, selfishness and greed are among the themes explored.

The novel also explores the harmful consequences that can arise when a child is kept in the dark about its true origin.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The second Flint book, Blood Feud, is out now. It’s about two bitter rival families locked in an endless private war. As a result of thirty years of raids and ambushes, their numbers are depleted and both sides seem headed for eventual extinction. Flint is hired to protect the remaining members of one of the families but is inexorably drawn into the conflict. I anticipate the third book in the series, Vengeance, to be out by early August. Assuming my publisher has no objections, I think I might write perhaps six books in all before moving on to a new series.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

United States Marshal A. A. Flint, retired, comes across a dying man in a lonely mountain cabin. Shot through the stomach, he has only minutes to live. 

In that interval of time, he entrusts Flint with the task of helping his wife and daughter to find a hidden pouch of gemstones thought to be of incalculable worth. Above all, he is charged with protecting them against the death-dealing man in black: a gunfighter who’s been trailing the fast-fading cabin dweller all the way from California to Wyoming and who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the gemstones. 

But first comes perhaps the hardest part of all: Flint must break the news of the cabin dweller’s death to his wife and daughter — and reveal to them that he himself was his killer.
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