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A Bridge Too Far

Mark M. Bello
Mark M. Bello Author Interview

Supreme Betrayal follows a woman who was assaulted and years later finds out that her attacker is nominated for the Supreme Court, and is determined to stop him. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

The novel was, obviously, inspired by the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and other similar high-powered sexual assault cases. Literary Titan has reviewed my past work and reviewers know that I like to begin my novels with action sequences. Supreme Betrayal is no different. I researched dozens of actual sexual assault cases and testimony in those cases, especially those involving men or power and influence. The “party scene” at the beginning of the book is a compilation of those real cases, including the events testified to in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

Hayley is a strong woman and represents young woman who often get caught in a bad situation. What were some obstacles you felt defined her character in your story?

Hayley’s “obstacles” are the same as any ordinary young woman who faces off against well-financed, politically placed, entitled, white men. She feels powerless against the rich and powerful and a criminal justice system that looks the other way for those in power. She, like the real women her character is based on, feels guilt and shame—”How could I be so stupid? How could I put myself in this situation?” Victims of sexual assault often blame themselves rather than their predators. For Hayley, “looking the other way” became a way to cope and move on, even though the events of her youth effected her relationships, even her marriage. The possible elevation of her assaulter, this sexual predator, is a bridge too far, and she decides to tackle the issue head on.

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

I like to think I am a fair-minded, politically neutral writer. I am a staunch advocate of social justice causes. The challenge is to present important social justice issues, depict how the criminal and civil justice systems might handle these issues, try to present multiple perspectives, including political ramifications, and try not to display bias. What happened to Hayley could have happened to anyone.

When and where will this book be available?

Supreme Betrayal will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all online booksellers, as well as on my website at http://www.markmbello.com

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

SB eBook Cover.jpg

Teenagers in various state of inebriation and consciousness packed the Walnut Lakefront home in West Bloomfield.

Hayley Larson wasn’t a bad girl; she wasn’t even a party girl. However, she was tired of always doing everything her parents ordered. They certainly would not approve of her being at this party.

Exiting an upstairs bathroom, Hayley was startled to see Oliver Wilkinson and Shane Marbury standing on the other side of the door. Barely coherent, seriously drunk, high, or stoned, the young men blocked her.

Over the next twenty years, Hayley told no one what happened behind closed doors that night. That is until now.

Oliver Wilkinson is the President’s nominee for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. Hayley Larson can’t let that happen.

But Wilkinson will stop at nothing for a seat on the court . . . NOTHING!

Supreme Betrayal

SB eBook Cover.jpg

Supreme Betrayal by Mark Bello follows a young woman who, after a rare night out, is viciously attacked at a party. Frightened and alone, she manages to get away but has to stumble through a party practically nude due to his brutality. Years later, her attacker is in a position where he would be able to do what he wants and hurt who he wants as a judge on the supreme court. However, Hayley’s got a plan. Will she get the justice she so deserves?

This book wastes no time getting to the heart of the drama and in so doing ensures that you are enthralled right from the beginning. No warning, just bam! Right in your face. But it has to be that way to convey the full weight of what happens to Hayley. Many teenage girls find themselves in dangerous situations and at the mercy of certain men who crave power. Bello portrays Hayley as a strong and tenacious character that is empathetic and is easy to empathize with. She’s a character that always felt authentic and one that I was rooting for throughout this riveting book. Oliver’s character is, of course, upsetting, pretending that he has a perfect life and that he’s a gentleman when he’s anything but the perfect gentleman. I would say that I hate his character, but it is because his character is so vividly developed.

The book’s themes are heavy but handled in a respectful manner while still being entertaining. I felt a connection with Hayley and wanted her to find peace and wanted Oliver to face justice so that he wouldn’t hurt innocent women and ruin their lives. I felt like this would make a great Lifetime Network Movie as the drama high and the emotions are palpable. The author was able to piece together a story that is both engaging and rings true because of real events that happen to people.

Supreme Betrayal by Mark Bello is an engrossing legal thriller that is hard to put down and even harder to forget.

Pages: 284

MarkMBello.com

 

Betrayal In Black

Betrayal in Black (A Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Book 4) by [Mark M. Bello]

In a fictional city, a black couple is coming back from a fair when they are mistakenly stopped by a police officer, unfortunately, it ends with a murder. What follows is the complex dichotomy inside the police department, the obstacles that a mother and recent widow has to endure for justice, and the length to which the parties that seek to benefit from this tragedy will go.

A Betrayal in Black by Mark M. Bello is a story that doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality that black people in America face and how they have to adapt in order to survive.

A Betrayal in Black opens up in a lighthearted way and then transitions to a much darker and cruder story. Throughout the story I felt that the author had a clear understanding of law and police affairs.

When it comes to the technical parts of the story, Bello does a great job of immersing the reader into the world of law and order, with details that show the deep knowledge he has over legal prosecutions and police internal affairs. However, while this is immersing, it sometimes gets tedious and almost didactic, for example, when describing what a grand jury is, it almost feels like you are reading a law school book. But this is a minor flaw in an otherwise engaging story. The dialogue was interesting, and could even be funny at times.

A remarkable thing about this book is how it details every single aspect that goes into a case, from the murder itself to the conviction, all throughout detailing the victims grieving and the lawyers seeking justice. A particularly moving chapter is when the wife of the victim is speaking with their mother and they are retelling a story of how racism has evolved in this country, and, as angry as she may be, she can’t show it, because she is a woman of color.

This book was written in 2019, but the murder it describes is all too recent. The different ways black people have to think to present themselves to white people in order to be considered “equals” and not be dismissed as rude, is all too familiar. The themes in this book come at a crucial time, where stories like these are needed to paint a more vivid picture of the struggles minorities face in America. A Betrayal in Black is a must read.

Pages: 272 | ASIN: B0827D7LGX

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Blaze Her Own Trail

Dorothy Place Author Interview

Dorothy M. Place Author Interview

The Heart to Kill is an edge of your seat crime novel following Sarah, a high-flying law student, who returns home to help an old friend prove her innocence. What was the inspiration for this thrilling case Sarah takes on?

The inspiration for the novel was Euripides play, Medea, where Medea murders her two sons in revenge for her husband, Jason’s abandonment.

The lawyers Sarah must work with have a ‘boys club’ mentality. Did you see Sarah breaking into this group or did you want her to blaze her own trail?

In my mind, Sarah was confused by what happened. She believed she excelled in everything she did and didn’t quite comprehend how she could be treated in the way she was. While she wanted to become “part of the group,” in the end she was forced to blaze her own trail.

This is a suspenseful crime story that gets the details just right. What research did you undertake to ensure the law was portrayed accurately?

Part of my background contributed to this novel. I served as an expert witness on change of venue trials, interviewed California judges and attorneys who were serving or had served on the Family Bar for a Ford Foundation grant to study the impact of the (California) 1970 Family Law Act, set up reading learning centers in 32 California State Prisons to teach prisoners to read, read trial transcripts for preliminary hearings,read the South Carolina law on murders, and had three attorneys advise me on several issues.

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

Sarah comes back. She is now in New York City living with her Aunt Beccah and working as a paralegal for a law firm specializing in labor issues. She finds a book with an inscription “To Yetta,” picture of a woman, and a receipt for services to be rendered to the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. The story, The Search for Yetta, and her current legal work on a class action suit defending female janitorial workers in New York against wage abuse, finds Sarah discovering, not only who her Great Aunt was, but that the current abuses among low-wage earners today closely parallel her Great Aunt’s experiences. Publication? Keep your fingers crossed.

Author Link: Website

Savvy law student Sarah Wasser returns to her apartment to find two telephone messages:  She has not been chosen for a coveted summer internship, and her best friend from high school has just murdered her two children.  Unwilling to admit the internship failure to family and friends, the quick thinking Sarah secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team and returns to her sleepy hometown in South Carolina.

But Sarah is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with duplicity and betrayal, and her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and discovery of her father’s role in the degradation of JoBeth.

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