Blog Archives

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.

Buy Now From B&N.com

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?

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

Buy Now From B&N.com

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

Buy Now From B&N.com

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.

To Soar Beyond the Stars: The Mystical Journey of One Wing


To Soar Beyond the Stars the Mystical Journey of One Wing is a unique tale about the spiritual journey of self-discovery of the seagull One Wing after a terrible accident. The story is told as though written by a human who has become disillusioned with life. The story is imaginative and original with likable and relatable characters in an unexpected way.

The story is quite an original idea and has some very detailed worldbuilding that makes it a story all its own. The idea of seagulls having their own society, education system, and even an enemy force that they defend against is unusual but intriguing. The average person likely does not view seagulls as sophisticated enough for this type of society, but the author manages to make it charming and convincing. The author also does a good job cluing readers into what will be important later in the story. For example, the way the author capitalizes Spirit gives the reader the idea that this concept will be important and somewhat anthropomorphized. This idea also applies to concepts like hope throughout the book. The superstitions and beliefs of the seagulls are explained in quite an entertaining way which explains why seagulls still get caught in the engines of planes despite having intelligences.

While I enjoyed To Soar Beyond the Stars needs I felt that the exposition felt rushed in the beginning as opposed to a complex story set-up that gives the audience insight into the complexities of One Wing’s personality and ideals. This is still a motivational story with language and literary devices that will appeal to middle grade readers and up.

To Soar Beyond the Stars takes readers on an inspiring and thought-provoking journey. This enchanting story has a unique premise that delivers a spellbinding adventure that anyone can enjoy.

Pages: 224 | ISBN: 1441536035

Buy Now From B&N.com

Through the Waters and the Wild

Through the Waters and the Wild by [Greg Fields]

Through the Waters and the Wild by Greg Fields tells us the story of the human spirit. The book starts with Conor Finnegan, a young American completely disillusioned with the way his life had come to be. Trying to get out of the depressive state that he was in, caused by a failed marriage and a meaningless job, he starts to read the letters left for him by his grandad, Liam Finnegan, and begins to gain a new sense of purpose through his words and memories. Liam Finnegan was an Irish farmer who spent his youth in Ireland during the Irish Civil War. Liam felt stuck in his home country, without a real purpose. Not wanting to involve himself in the Irish war, he fled to America, leaving everything that he ever knew and loved behind, in the pursuit of a dream and a meaningful life.

It is through Liam’s memories and experiences, that he left for his grandson in his letters, that Conor is able to find new motivation in his life as he tries to turn it around for the better. The most enjoyable and enriching part of the book is Liam Finnegan’s story. Most of the book narrates the hardships that Liam had to go through in life, the losses that he experienced, the physical and mental pain that he had to endure, and all that he had to do to build himself a life worth living. Through Liam’s story we not only get to see the effort that it takes to find one’s purpose in life, we also see and are able to learn a little bit of the Irish history alongside it. This all makes for a very interesting and gripping storyline, full of history and humanity.

The pacing of the story felt at times a little slow, especially when it related Conor’s thoughts and storyline, however, it was still very enjoyable and easy to follow through. The writing is excellent, the way that the author presents the character’s thoughts and experiences is simply beautiful, very poetic, I simply couldn’t put the book down. There’s a lot of reflection that one goes into while reading this book, the stories told can be very relatable, we all experience doubt, loss and loneliness, sometimes we get stuck and we don’t know who we are or what’s the life that we want for ourselves. This book revolves around all of these topics, around human nature and the hardships that one may face throughout life, which allows for some introspection and deep thoughts about our past, present and future. The story also beautifully describes the value and importance that love and family has in human life, something that I enjoyed reading a lot about.

I wouldn’t mind reading more about Liam Finnegan’s story, he’s definitely a very interesting man that had to go through some unfortunate circumstances, a man “born in the blood of oppressed generations”. The human soul is contained within the pages of this book. Liam Finnegan not only helps his grandson but also us, the readers, to navigate the hard realities of adult life. Through the Waters and the Wild is a story about finding one’s place in this harsh world and also about finding love, full of the hopes and dreams of the human mind.

Pages: 250 | ASIN: B08LHMCC5R

Buy Now From B&N.com

%d bloggers like this: