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Not a Solution For Crime

Joe Clark Author Interview

Demented follows a woman who’s trying to live a normal life after being assaulted, but finds that one of the attackers is her coworker which sets in motion a series of events that spiral out of control. What inspired the setup to this crime novel?

I felt a need to address what I see as misconceptions about the value of sending people to prison and a novel is the best way I know to do that. Demented allowed me to dramatize the difference between justice for the less wealthy (Troy) and the very wealthy (Adan and Beau). I was able to talk about the fact that simply sending people to prison is not a solution for crime. I was able to raise the issue of treatment of those who have completed their sentences and sincerely want a second chance to be good citizens.

What scene in the book was the most emotionally impactful for you to write?

There are many scenes that I consider powerful and it is hard to pick one that tops all the rest. But the scene where Cindy comes to Troy’s apartment to confront him. They struggle to work past their issues but don’t quite make it.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

First was resolving Troy’s post prison life. Does he build a new future of does obsess over revenge? And why? Depicting Cindy as events unfold. She doesn’t come off as a sympathetic character. She is resilient, proud and strong. She stumbles and she doesn’t get everything right but she never stops fighting. I think she does as well as any of us would in her circumstances. Talking about prison and the justice system without being preachy. Bringing down Adan Jackson without resorting to cheap tricks.

Do you have plans to write more stories featuring Private Investigator Nickey Arnold?

I am excited about Nickey. I have a story in mind and I have done some research but it’s in line behind my current project – a Civil War Saga based on my Great Grandfather’s years in the Union army.

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It had been a gang rape. As bad as that was, it was not the turning point. Her life turned around when Cindy Smith put it behind her and started over. She got her degree and a good job. She married a great guy. Then she discovered that one of the rapists was a coworker.
When Adan Jackson begins harassing her, Cindy tries to protect her secret past by ignoring him. When he escalates, she turns to Private Investigator Nickey Arnold for help.
The PI quickly finds herself caught up in unfinished business from the past. When she confronts Adan, things spin out of control. Troy Mondale, who served time for the rape, is dragged back into the mess. Adan descends into madness. His increasingly violent behavior forces Police Sergeant Jack Edwards to step in and put an end to the nightmare.
Demented is a story of crime, punishment and getting away with it. The insanity of our legal system is exposed. The sanity of our society is brought into question by this unforgettable tale.

From The Horror Films

Ann Greyson Author Interview

Birdwatcher follows a family that is searching for answers when they’re daughter is murdered, but find that death is only half of the story. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Rest assured this novel wasn’t inspired from an actual murder in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, or anywhere else, for that matter. Rather, inspiration for the entire story came from other sources, such as my own imagination. And maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this, but some of it was drawn from the horror films I grew up watching from my era, or those slasher films that my parents had watched in their youth. (Bonus points if you can guess which films)

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the mystery before writing or did it develop organically while writing?

The mystery, plot points and connections between setting and characters, I would say were both planned and unplanned, so much so that a significant portion of the Birdwatcher story evolved organically through the course of writing the novel.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

In Chapter 45 of Birdwatcher, Millie Dozier, the cabin cleaning lady, encounters the ghost of Abigail Wincoff. Writing Millie’s reactions to the supernatural was fun for me and meant to provide comic relief to this otherwise dark story.

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

While I’m planning to write a sequel to Birdwatcher to come out in June 2024, the novel I’m currently working on, Cowgirls & Indians, is utterly different. This historical fiction novel centered on a Cherokee woman named Sequoia is set to release in May 2023 and will have a touch of spaghetti western humor. Additionally, this literary work may be by far the most challenging for me.

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While vacationing in a log cabin in the idyllic Pocono Mountains in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Gillian and Lance Wincoff’s 12-year-old daughter, Abby, vanishes while birdwatching in the woods. Pressure mounts for Sheriff Andy Kirkman and his Deputies, Billy Shipley and Missy Sparks, of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office as they scramble to find the missing Abigail Wincoff. The disturbing reality comes to the detective who inherits the case that Abby has to be the victim of a serial killer. In this shivering ghost story about the afterlife and the loss of childhood innocence, murder is only part of the story.

Crystal Blue Murder – Book Trailer

METH, MURDER, AND EXPLOSIONS OF THE HEART

In the heart of tranquil Brandywine Valley, Detective Parrott confronts a meth lab explosion, a dismembered corpse, and an intricate trail of secrets that shake up many lives — including his own. When celebrity hostess Claire Whitman’s renovated barn explodes into flames, Parrott delves into the backgrounds and relationships of all who are affected. Tension from Parrott’s personal life crosses over into the case, and soon secrets, deceptions, and crimes create an even bigger explosion. Third in the Detective Parrott Mystery Series, Crystal Blue Murder explores the complexities of life in a privileged world where many of America’s wealthiest people have their own struggles to bear.

Threatened By Narco Thugs

Ana Manwaring Author Interview

Nothing Comes After Z follows an investigator who rescues a trafficked girl only to realize that the cartel that paid for her wants her back at all costs. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I drove to Mexico in July of 1991 in my /v/w bus with my German Shepherd mix. At dusk on a lonely stretch of the PanAmerican Highway, I was threatened by narco thugs brandishing weapons (pointed at me) as the cabin of the bus filled with the odor of ripening marijuana. During my stay in Mexico, I read Desperados and learned about the cartels and their many activities.

JadeAnne Stone is a strong and intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

JadeAnne, a rescued orphan brought to the US during the Vietnam Babylift, was adopted into a white, upper-middle class family and raised in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco. She didn’t fit in to her society and needed to get away to look at her life. When she arrives in Mexico she’s pretty ignorant and has to toughen up fast. As she learns how things work in Mexico, she finds her true values and her place in the world.It isn’t unusual for adopted kids to feel out of step with their families and environments. I wanted to explore that.

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

First, I was interested in the process of self-actualization—how people (outside of therapy) come to know themselves and change. Second, in my opinion, slavery of all kinds are the greatest and most insidious evil in our world. I wanted to develop a story that exposes this evil in a way that took trafficking out of news articles and commentary and put it into an emotional context, which might grab readers in the gut and make them think.

Will there be another book in the JadeAnne Stone Mexico Adventure series?

Absolutely yes. Book 4, Coyote, Pursuit and Terror Across the Border publishes on November 16th. This book completes the story of the trafficked teen, but doesn’t end the cartel threat to JadeAnne. That’s all I’m going to say!

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On the mend from a gunshot wound in Mexico City, investigator JadeAnne Stone needs to get Lily, the trafficked fifteen-year-old she rescued, back to her family in the U.S. But within hours of her release from the hospital she recognizes her nemesis Anibal Aguirre, trolling her neighborhood in a black SUV. Is he looking for her? He’s the one who sold her to the traffickers. Her U.S. operative father puts together a team for round-the-clock security, and Anibal is arrested during an attack on the house, but at the airport the U.S. Marshal transporting him is killed and he disappears. Who knew Anibal was being extradited at 12:30? And why does it appear the Aguirre clan is right in the middle of a deadly human trafficking network? JadeAnne realizes that between the cartel traffickers, the government officials in their pockets, and possibly the handsome doctor she danced with in the park, nowhere and no one is safe, not even her dog Pepper. Whichever cartel paid for JadeAnne and Lily wants them back, and time is running out.

Hometown Boys – Book Trailer

Sometimes going home is the most dangerous thing you can do.

Junkie burnout Troy Ingram murders an elderly couple outside small-town Morrison, Illinois. He’s supposed to make it look like a robbery, but there’s so much blood he panics and flees. When he’s caught by police, he falls back on Plan B: tell everyone who will listen his motive was revenge on the Durrell family.

See, twenty years ago, Kelly Durrell broke his heart and ruined his life.

When Kelly returns to Morrison for the funerals, leaving her life in Boulder still packed in boxes and her relationship with detective Cash Peterson in its infancy, local gossip is quick to reach her. Troy’s story doesn’t make sense, but everyone in town seems happy to blame Kelly.

She can’t even turn to her family for consolation: she and her mother get in an argument every time they talk, her dad doesn’t want to make waves, and her cousins are too busy fighting over their inheritance to care about anything else.

But Troy’s lawyer, Lizzy D’Angelo, is sure someone forced Troy to commit the murders, and that Kelly is the key to finding out who. With Lizzy’s help, Kelly starts digging. Soon she discovers just how many secrets a small town can hide.

Can Kelly shine a light in her hometown’s dark corners without getting herself and her family killed?

Hometown Boys is a smart, tension-filled thriller that will keep you riveted until the surprising, satisfying end.

Demented

Cindy Smith is a young woman living in Washington, D.C., making a life of her own. Her present seems perfectly happy until her past hunts her down. Cindy has frequent suspicious encounters with Adan Jackson at her workplace. Adan Jackson is one of the three men who gang-raped her sixteen years before and got away with a misdemeanor assault charge. Cindy engages a private investigator, Nickey Arnold, to deal with her tormentor. But, as Nickey investigates further, a harrowing set of events lead all three men to make their way back into Cindy’s life, and she has to reopen chapters she never wished to read.

Demented by Joe Clark is a crime thriller novel that begins like a mystery and ends like an action movie. As stated by the author, it is genuinely a “story of crime, punishment and getting away with it.” Though being a crime drama, the author successfully maintains the characters’ compassionate nature. The story revolves around events that would help bring the plot forward and dwells in the great depths of its real-life characters.

The writing style is simple yet gripping. The story progresses with multiple episodic scenes, which could be translated well into a screenplay. The plot may feel like a train where we keep adding carriages to reach the end. Though this might be interesting for readers who love the suspense as a genre, it might be mind-boggling for others. The numerous characters and their names could be hard to keep in line with the story. However, the multifold narrative, strong roles, and quick pacing story wouldn’t let readers put down the book. The author effectively covers a realistic description of how law and justice play out in society.

Demented is a mystery thriller that will leave readers wondering if it is right to believe everything is either black or white or if it has been a grey area all along. It is a reviving tale of right or wrong and everything in between.

Pages: 412 | ASIN : B0872HRL57

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Homecoming Heist

Four men. Four desperate situations. How far would you go to keep a roof over your head? This is the question posed in Tyson Collin’s crime thriller, Homecoming Heist. Centered around our downtrodden protagonists, each man is pushed to his end when the economic situation of their dwindling, rural town threatens his livelihood.

Bo, a down-on-his-luck real estate developer can feel the hounds at the bank breathing down his neck just as another deal falls through the cracks. Doug, an unemployed ex-con, is simply trying to look after his brother’s son after several stints left him unable to raise the orphaned child, now a young man who grew up in the foster system. Steve, Doug’s nephew, has no job prospects to replace the anger constantly coursing through him from losing both his parents at a young age. Phil, a recovering alcoholic turned AA sponsor, has also seen better days and could use a windfall after years of battling addiction.

Desperation forces them to band together when a series of unfortunate events pushes them to cook up the biggest money heist their small Missouri town has ever seen. The play is sure to solve all their financial problems, but will they be able to pull it off without getting caught, or killed?

Readers will immediately be sucked into this spellbinding heist novel. I really enjoyed the intriguing depth that each character develops throughout the story. This adds much more suspense once the action picked up because I was so invested in the characters. The story reminded me of the American neo-western crime drama Hell or Highwater; compelling because you care about the characters.

Readers follow the band of thieves throughout their scheming, which is all planned out during the distraction of their local high school’s homecoming celebrations. This is a suspenseful novel with a variety of twists that I never saw coming but thoroughly enjoyed. Things quickly go sideways, leaving every man’s freedom in jeopardy. When tragedy strikes, will our antiheroes be able to overcome it or will they have to pay the ultimate price? After getting a little more than halfway through Homecoming Heist I found it hard to put down.

Pages: 261 | ASIN: B0BF2SS5B8

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Finding The Murderous Sidney Friedlander

Len Handeland Author Interview

Requiem for Miriam follows a young detective with a hidden psychic gift as finds herself in mortal danger from the man she’s hunting. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When I was young, I briefly thought about going into law enforcement (specifically, undercover work as a detective). Growing up, I was intrigued by classic television shows involving strong women in law enforcement, including Charlie’s Angels, Policewoman, and Murder She Wrote as was my character Maria Rodriguez. Rather than make the lead detective a man (with men being the majority of lead detectives in the 1980s) in charge of finding the murderous Sidney Friedlander, I wanted the lead detective in the case to be a woman and someone of color, as it’s essential to include as much diversity in my novels as possible.

Your characters are fascinating and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Writers, from time to time, including myself, are inspired by actual events that occurred. The story of Miriam and Sidney Friedlander was inspired by the Sunny Von Bulow case back in the 1980s. At that time, my husband and I lived in New York, so naturally, the news was filled with the events surrounding the murder of the wealthy heiress and the husband confessing to the killing of his wife. Despite the Von Bulow’s being the typical New York “WASPS” (white Anglo-Saxons), I wanted to represent the Jewish community as New York has a large Jewish community. I worked for a Jewish boss and had many Jewish friends who introduced me to the customs, traditions and life celebrations of the Jewish community. I wanted my main characters (Sidney and Miriam) to be anything but the typical gentile couple. The other characters (Maria Rodriguez & Raphaella ) were inspired by people I met while I lived in New York. One was a strong, very vocal, and opinionated Haitian woman I worked with, and the other was an equally strong, proud, and beautiful Puerto Rican-American woman I befriended while studying at FIT (The Fashion Institute) in Manhattan. The Haitian character Raphaella appeared in my first novel, “The Darkest Gift.” She is one of my favorite characters and interesting enough to be included in two of my books!

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

My novel’s themes included love, devotion, deception, jealousy, rage, revenge, adversity, and justice.

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

My next novel is called “Transplant – The evil that dwells within,” which is the story of a young woman (Elizabeth Bennington) who was born and struggled with a congenital heart condition. Her life is further complicated by being bullied in school, leading to depression and attempted suicide. Being institutionalized, including therapy. Meeting the man of her dreams, having a child which strains her health, requiring a heart transplant with the donor being unknown, leading to destructive urges that overcome Elizabeth as if she’s being possessed by the donor who turns out to have been a serial killer. It should be released by January or February of 2023.

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Sidney and Miriam seem to be the perfect, successful New York couple, but their marriage is a tragic sham. When Sidney’s glamorous mistress, Tori, urges him to get rid of his troublesome wife, a murderous series of events ensues. Sidney kills Miriam in a fit of rage, and with her last breath, she curses him. Tori dies horribly at the hands of a vengeful ghost and Sidney goes on the run.
Maria, an ambitious young detective with a hidden psychic gift, is on the case. With the help of her Haitian lover, Raphaella, a striking, rum-drinking voodoo expert, she tracks Sidney down and goes undercover to entrap him. But Maria soon finds herself in mortal danger from the man she is hunting.
Will Maria and Raphaella get their man? And will Miriam find the justice – and revenge – she seeks from beyond the grave?
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