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Kick Ball Slay

Evann Myrick is an aging, widowed detective with a special gift for solving crimes. When he begins to investigate a string of murders that has been plaguing the world of West Coast swing dancing, he finds himself thrown into a hostile environment full of treachery, deceit, and murder. Myrick finds himself locked in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a vicious killer that is closer than he thinks. As the body count rises and his investigation deepens, the killer’s attention turns to Myrick. With no witnesses, a long list of suspects and a world totally unknown to him, he must rely on all his skills as a detective to stop this murderer–before they stop him.

Kick Ball Slay, by Doug Dorsey, is a riveting murder mystery, set in the competitive world of West Coast swing Dancing. The story focuses on Evann Myrick, a brilliant detective that is tasked with solving these murders. Dorsey does a wonderful job of keeping readers in suspense and making it hard for us to guess the identity of the killer.

I enjoyed following Evann throughout the investigation as readers will be trying to put the pieces together with him. I am a fan of Dorsey’s style of writing. His language is descriptive and engaging. The author’s characters are well-developed and diverse, adding to the world of swing dancing. Dorsey has also done a great job of making all of the characters in the book seem like suspects, making it hard for the reader to pinpoint one person.

Kick Ball Slay is a fascinating whodunit crime thriller with a unique setting and a compelling cast of characters. With a compelling mystery at its core readers will be wrapped up in solving this spellbinding case.

Pages: 329 | ASIN: ‎ B09W921HLJ

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Weaving Reality, Legend, And Fiction

JCR Paulino Author Interview

The Swords of Blood and Gold follows a deep-sea diver that is the prime suspect in a series of murders committed by a supernatural killer, and he must find a way to stop it. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write a story weaving reality, legend, and fiction, and I was waiting for an interesting character with an unusual livelihood.

Then I met Jon Sherman (in my mind) shortly after learning about the Merchant Royal, a 17-century English merchant ship lost at sea in 1641. The ship sank carrying 100,000 pounds of gold, 400 bars of Mexican silver, and nearly 500,000 pieces of eight and other coins. Nothing known to men has ever sunk carrying more wealth. I was hooked instantly, and everything flowed naturally from there.

Since Jon was a deep-sea treasure hunter, he needed to find something lost at sea, and I needed to give him a live-or-death reason for it. I was fascinated by the story, and the first draft just poured out of me.

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the stories theme?

I dived headfirst into deep-sea treasure hunting, and that was a lot of fun. I figured this subject would be new to some readers, and the challenge was to present this world in detail without making it didactic.

I also studied Chinese history and legends to intertwine reality and fiction. I did have an advantage here since my awesome wife is Taiwanese, and we’ve been married for twenty years.

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

Good question. Some readers will notice that the book’s themes are centered around the villain, Jun Tao.

The story exposes love versus justice, the relationship between understanding and forgiving, and the yearning for redemption. Each reader will have a different experience with the book, and some will unearth more profound layers of meaning from its pages.

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

The Crystal Canvas. It follows Jon Sherman (the main character from The Swords of Blood and Gold) on a new adventure, racing against time, supernatural forces, and ancient relics. I’m hoping to release it in December 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Deep-sea treasure hunter is the splashy job description on his LinkedIn page. Pretentious or not, Jon Sherman and his Deep Blue Marine Exploration crew are the best in the business. But a nasty disagreement with his boss suddenly leaves Jon without a job.

When his ex-teammates salvage five chests from the bottom of the ocean, a supernatural killer wielding a mysterious weapon murders the entire crew, and Jon becomes the prime suspect. Overnight, detectives are after him while a masked murderer goes on a rampage, trying to kill Jon and everyone he cares about.

Jon teams up with the daughter of his late boss, and they tumble down a path that uncovers centuries-old secrets and the nature of the killer’s deadly weapon.

To fight back, Jon must employ his treasure-hunting skills to locate the only blade capable of challenging the mighty adversary. But will that be enough to survive a deadly journey riddled with supernatural forces, unexpected romance, and surprising self-discovery?

Read this supernatural thriller today!

A charismatic cast and peppered with edge-of-your-seat action scenes” — Lisa Howard
This book will leave you thinking about its contents for days” — Amber Lilyquist

Any Fan of a True Crime Book

Shannon Yarbrough Author Interview

The Answers You Seek follows a man who returns to his hometown for his father’s funeral and discovers that his father may have a connection to a swingers club and a murder. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My own father had several affairs before leaving my mother in 1994 after 30 years of marriage. Much like Toby’s relationship with his father in the book, there were many unanswered questions in the end. I did have a strong relationship with my father by the time he passed in 2016. But in 2018, my mother revealed some information I had never known about him. So, I started writing this book as a way to deal with my anger and grief.

Toby Kipton is an intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Toby is a fictionalized version of my younger self. True to the book, there was a time when no one would tell me anything about my father’s life because “it was in the past” or because “I was too young.” Those early chapters in the book before the murder takes place are almost biographical. I never stalked anyone, but at one time, I did google the name of one of his long-time mistresses just to see if I could find out anything about her.

As for Toby’s obsession with the murder of his neighbor, any fan of a true crime book or television series can relate. I fictionalized the details of a real unsolved murder that happened in my hometown and just
wrote Toby into the middle of it.

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

Around the same time my mother told me something I never knew about my dad, I became intrigued with the unsolved murder of a woman in my hometown. Some of the details of her murder involved a swingers club which I thought was so bizarre since I’d never known that was happening right there where I grew up. Most of the theories and details in the book, like the one about the body being stored in a fast food restaurant’s freezer, are based on real details related to the case. So, I adapted all of that into the book to create the mystery element while Toby is also seeking out the answers to his questions about his father’s past. The real murder remains unsolved to this day.

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

This was the first time I’d written a mystery and I really enjoyed it, so I’m working on another one. I hope to adapt my new book into a series. The lead character is trans and is an investigative journalist.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Toby Kipton’s life is disintegrating. First he loses his job. Then, forced to leave the big city, he must return to his small hometown to bury his father.
It only gets stranger and more dangerous from there.

Toby becomes obsessed with his father’s mistress, a woman with whom his dad carried on a secret twenty-year affair. Unraveling the truth leads him deep into the nest of intrigue and vengeful gossip that plagues any small town, and soon Toby uncovers evidence that may tie his father to a local swingers’ club—and murder.

The Product Of My Warped Mind

Mark. M Bello Author Interview

You Have The Right To Remain Silent follows a high-profile lawyer as he takes on a brutal murder case involving a congressman that challenges him on all fronts. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I am usually inspired by an event in the news or cases I handled in my practice. You Have The Right to Remain Silent is the exception. The inspiration for the novel was a short article I read about a man who fell into a coma and could not participate in his own defense. I wondered (and then researched) how the legal system typically handled this unusual event. The result of my research (and novelist’s license) is You Have The Right to Remain Silent.

When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

No, I had no idea. I hadn’t written a novel like this before. The closest example to this, in my portfolio, was my 3rd Zachary Blake legal thriller, Betrayal in Blue, which was not “ripped from the headlines” like the others. However, it was a follow-up to my 2nd novel, Betrayal of Justice, which was. In Silent, I wanted to introduce the concept of jury consulting, with the expert assistance of my good friend, Shari Belitz (a central character in the book), a real person and a great sport. She loves and approves her fictional self. I also knew the book would be a “whodunnit.” The rest, as I began to peck at my computer keys, was the product of my warped mind.

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the story’s theme?

For you aspiring novelists out there, my research consists of information available in a routine Internet search. As a lawyer, I might know legal concepts and specific laws that you don’t know, or use search terms or articles and materials that you might not be familiar with, but all of this information is available online. As a person who is old enough to remember “legal research” before computers and the Internet, I am constantly amazed on how technology has changed research. And, of course, this is a novel, not a court filing—if I fudge a bit, I enjoy, as I stated earlier, a novelist’s license.

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

As you may or may not know, I took a short detour from my adult legal thrillers. I just released my cookbook, The Blake-Lewin Family Cookbook of Traditional Jewish Recipes: L’Dor V’Dor—From Generation to Generation II and my first children’s social justice picture book: Happy Jack, Sad Jack: A Bullying Story. The next book, if I can ‘kidnap’ my wonderful illustrator, Melinda T. Falgaust, will be the 2nd book in the Children’s Social Justice/Safety Series, probably late Fall, early Winter. Stay tuned!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | LinkedIn

If You Have The Right to Remain Silent is representative of the quality of books coming in our future, 2022 is going to be one heck of a year for readers.” —Reader Views

Conservative talk-show host Mia Folger is in therapy with Dr. Harold Rothenberg. Mia and her husband, progressive Congressman Bradley Crawford, are not getting along these days, personally or politically.

When Crawford is found brutally dismembered and murdered, the evidence points to Mia as his killer. While the prosecutor pushes for a murder indictment, Dr. Rothenberg, convinced of his patient’s innocence, turns to an old friend—high profile attorney Zachary Blake, Detroit’s self-proclaimed ‘King of Justice.’

Blake will do anything for Rothenberg, the man who successfully treated his kids in their battle with a predator priest. Zack takes Mia’s case, but has his work cut out for him because Mia has been hospitalized, shocked into a catatonic state at the discovery of her husband’s mutilated body, unable to assist in her own defense.

Sensing he must prove Mia’s innocence to avoid an eventual life sentence, Zack enlists the aid of his crack investigator, Micah Love, and Micah’s cyber-specialist, Reed Spencer to dissect and poke holes in the case. But, for this case, Micah in convinced that Zack needs more—he recommends beautiful, sharp, brash, foul-mouthed, cocky-confident New York based jury consultant extraordinaire Shari Belitz and her team of mock trial/focus group gurus.

Shari is the best of the best. Her assignment in the Folger case? Flyspeck the evidence and unleash her arsenal of psychological techniques and predictive skills—use focus groups or mock juries to determine what evidence or circumstances would cause the real jury to declare Mia Folger innocent of all charges. Zack wants no part of Shari; one cocky lawyer-Zachary Blake-should be sufficient to prove Mia’s case. Blake knows what he needs for an acquittal; a brash jury consultant from NYC will only get in his way. But Micah persists and persuades Zack him to give Shari and her team a try.

Zack, Micah, Reed, and the irrepressible Ms. Belitz join forces in an all-out attack on the evidence, while evil characters lurk in the background, engaged in a sinister plot to assure Mia’s demise.

Expect the unexpected in this whodunit legal crime thriller, the 8th installment of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series, featuring all your favorite series characters and one brash, exciting newcomer who gives Blake all he can handle.

Dead Man’s Pose

Mario went to yoga class like any other day. He definitely didn’t leave in better shape than when he arrived. Mario, as it turns out, left in a body bag. Elaina’s yoga class was certainly not the place anyone expected to find a dead body. Shortly after Mario’s fateful visit, things begin to take an even more frightening turn for Elaina. She needs answers, and she wants them quickly. When she makes up her mind, very little stands in her way. With more than a  little help from a friend, Elaina sets out to solve the mystery and get her life back in order.

Dead Man’s Pose, by Susan Rogers and John Roosen, is a fantastic mystery filled with rich characters and the perfect mix of action and suspense. Set in Australia, the culture is evident and much of the dialogue includes terms and phrases specific to the setting. I enjoyed the premise of the story immensely. Rogers and Roosen have created a truly unique series of books centered around yoga studios. The Yoga Mat Mysteries are appealing on many levels.

Main characters Elaina and Ric are the perfect team. From the moment they start their mission to solve Mario’s murder, their chemistry is ideal. I enjoyed the exchanges between the two. They give readers a really wonderful pair to watch throughout the story. Rogers and Roosen provide readers with a great mix of dialogue and narrative. I am easily turned off by books that have an inordinate amount of dialogue or far too much narration. The authors have made Dead Man’s Pose a true pleasure to read with fast-paced exchanges within a great dynamic.

The whole yoga studio backdrop is actually kind of amazing to me. It provides a wonderful sense of peace and calm compared to the chaos around the main characters. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief when everything circled back to this place of zen. This is a truly unique background for a book in the mystery genre.

I highly recommend this installment of the Yoga Mat Mysteries to any readers looking for a new author to explore. I am a big fan of Agatha Christie’s work and voraciously read any mystery set outside the US, so I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Elaina and Ric and look forward to more books in this series.

Pages: 331 | ASIN: B09SYJG1YP

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Human Collateral

When a young woman goes missing it’s up to two lifelong friends, Miles Darien and Ryan Duffy, to get to the bottom of things. When Miles starts his PI service in Lakeville, he didn’t anticipate a desperate mother to come knocking at his door. Cora Sims asks Miles to find her missing daughter, Olivia, after she up and leaves one day to start a new life in the big city of Chicago. With the help of his best friend, Ryan, Miles tracks down Olivia and undercovers a loan-shark organization that asks for organs as collateral. A penniless Olivia doesn’t realize how dangerous her situation is until it’s too late. In Harry Pinkus’ thriller novel: Human Collateral characters dodge bullets left and right, but will everyone make it out alive?

Author Harry Pinkus has written a riveting crime fiction story that is clear, concise and to the point. There is not a single plot structure or character that doesn’t fit in the story. The book is realistic when it comes to the political chain of command and police procedures. Even though Miles notes how the FBI blocks him from their investigation, he’s not trying to step on anyone’s toes or override police procedures to get the information he’s looking for. Generally, in murder mysteries, you have the noisy detective who jumps through loopholes to get to the bottom of things, not caring who they have to step over to find their killer. Not Miles though, he respects the police force and doesn’t push the investigation. Even though, as a reader, I wanted more information to help find the killer, I respect Miles for not bulldozing through the chain of command and letting the FBI do what they do best.

This is a realistic police procedural that puts the facts over the need for thrills. We follow the investigation with few surprises due to the methodical method with which everything is provided. Miles and Ryan’s day-to-day life is one that readers can understand, if not relate to, because of how grounded they are. Every character in this story has a very polite air about them. Their conversations reflect this and everyone has the same cordial sensibility.

Human Collateral is a compelling mystery novel that takes readers into the trenches of the private investigator world and tells a crime fiction story that feels realistic while still being interesting. If you are a reader looking for a meticulous who-dun-it that takes a pragmatic approach to solving a heinous crime, then this will certainly entertain you.

Pages: 289 | ASIN: B09JHV754X

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I Wanted To Write About A “Real” Heroine

Author Interview Kate Darroch

Death in Paris follows a school teacher that sets off for a new job in Istanbul and while on the way gets entangled in a murder mystery. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

This is a Cozy, which follows all the Cozy conventions and the complex 15-point Cozy plotline.

Many Cozies feature women who unexpectedly become business owners or have exotic jobs.

I wanted to write about a “real” heroine who had a normal job. I wanted her to be a salt-of-the-earth type that anyone could relate to.

To use talents that she really had in order to solve crazy mysteries in a real way. Not to always know better than the police or to stumble on answers. To be a real sleuth, because she needed to be. “Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man.”

I wanted her to be a person, someone that people could feel for, and feel with.

The most relatable place and time for me is Glasgow in the 1970s. It was a time and place full of real-life heroines.

I wanted the reader to meet the women Màiri loves and understand why she loves them, maybe even to love them too.

Màiri Maguire struggles at the start of the novel with her situation and becomes a strong character as the novel progresses. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Màiri is a real person to me. She wrote herself. She is a strong person with a strong voice but she is also soft and gentle, loving and caring, kind and compassionate. And she’s nobody’s fool, despite always seeing the best in people to the point, sometimes, of seeming gullibility.

Put a person like that into a situation like the one in Death in Paris and she cannot help but become even stronger.

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

The massive global change in attitudes that began in the 1970s. In Britain, the 1970s were a period when almost all thinking people thought that almost all the world’s problems could be solved by education. Give the working classes a university education, a degree, and they’ll become just like us, thought the upper class intelligentsia. Get the upper classes down the mines for a day, and they’ll soon learn what it means to be a worker, thought the thinking workers.

And everyone loved The Beatles and Carnaby Street; and we really truly believed that we ourselves could be agents of massive global change for the common good.

The meeting of polar opposites on common ground and finding friendship inspired the introduction of Major Peverel, who has been a popular character.

The courage under fire of the Brits living through what was effectively an undeclared war, their everyday lives a battlefield.

I myself lived in frequently-bombed London, I was within seconds of gory death twice. Once if I had arrived at the tubestation 20 seconds earlier. Once if I had walked down The Strand 30 seconds later.

Many people did die. Many were horribly maimed. But we still lived our everyday lives in an everyday way and had a lot of fun.

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

Death on the Istanbul Express

Book 2 in the series. It will be available at the end of May 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Màiri Maguire teaches in top schools all over the world, but on days like today she wishes she had never left Glasgow!

8:10 a.m. on 15th August 1970. They’ve been in Paris only 12 hours. Lianna, Màiri’s closest friend, is locked up in jail, charged with murder. Màiri is being hunted by murderous criminals. She never dreamt that travelling outside Scotland would be so dangerous. Will Màiri ever again see her comfy home in Merrylea, her loving sisters Morag and Katriona, her schoolboy nephew Niall?

Major Ellis Peverel seldom leaves Màiri’s side. Respected by the Paris police, shrouded in secrets, who is this man? Is he a true friend to Màiri, or does he have an agenda of his own?

Who really killed the corrupt taxman for whose death Lianna has been framed? Màiri has only 6 days to find the murderer. Can she free Lianna in time? Or must she choose between her friend’s freedom and her own livelihood… if she’s still alive.

Close To Becoming An Obsession

Lynn-Steven Johanson Author Interview

Corrupted Souls follows a detective that is investigating a murder that appears to be a hate crime, and in the process uncovers a massive conspiracy that could get him killed. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I read a story about hate crimes perpetrated against the Jewish community in New York City, and it really bothered me. The memory of those attacks stuck in the back of my mind, and it came out when I was considering an inciting incident for Corrupted Souls. I find hate disgusting, and this heinous act in Corrupted Souls fills my main character with disgust in the same way it would me. Sadly, such an incident could easily happen today.

Joe has been through a lot and this case pushes him to his limits. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Joe has a strong moral sense, and that comes from his small-town, Midwestern upbringing. He has the best solve rate of any of the detectives in his area because he drives himself to close a case. He is creative, intuitive, and his lieutenant has described him as a bulldog because once he grabs hold of a case, he won’t let go of it. It comes close to becoming an obsession, and he once learned the hard way that he cannot drive himself beyond what is physically and psychologically possible to solve a case.

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

This may seem odd to some people, but I don’t think in terms of themes when I write. I approach a story by concentrating on plot and character, and if themes develop out of the story, so be it. To me, themes clutter my thinking about the story, and they don’t help me write the book. So, I leave themes up to people who read and interpret the story.

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

I just completed the first draft of One of Ours, and it will be published next year. It tests Joe in ways he has not been challenged before because the crime strikes close to home.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Chicago detective Joe Erickson returns to the force following medical leave, and right away a high-profile murder falls in his lap. The body of a graduate student, the son of a prominent Jewish attorney, washes up on the shore of Lake Michigan with a swastika cut into his back. The hate-crime investigation leads Joe and his partner to suspect neo-Nazis, and as he digs deeper into the young man’s death, he uncovers a conspiracy that nearly gets him killed.
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