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Atypical of the ‘Thriller’ Genre

Al E. Boy
Al E. Boy Author Interview

Little Girl Scream follows a hotelier who must find a killer lurking in her hotel before he strikes again. What was the inspiration for the mystery at the heart of your story?

We wanted to write a thriller absent of the usual tropes and cliches. We were trying for a scene and situation somewhat atypical of the ‘thriller’ genre. Foremost in our objectives was to create a relationship between the two main characters wherein they did not end up romantically involved by the end of the story. Sort of a: “Yes. A man and a woman can be great friends who admire and respect each other.”

I loved the relationship between Dale and Sofia. What were some ideas that guided their character relationship?

The references in the book to the witty dialogue and ‘slightly combative’ repartee of the golden age of movies was something we both wanted to embody in Sofia and Mathis. In a sense, they are a little like Butch and Sundance from ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in that while they do make the odd pithy and even disparaging remark, the duo do genuinely care for one another and will willingly risk their life for the other.

What was the writing collaboration process like with co-author F. Carod?

While I live in South Korea, F. Carod actually lives in Cancun. She’s a wealth of information that was put to great use in the development of the story. We’d write excerpts, post them in a ‘private’ Facebook page we created, give our critiques, do rewrites and revisions, etc., etc, until we were satisfied we had what we were after. It was a low process that took a while, but I think I speak for both myself and my co-author when I suggest we both learned a great deal from one another in the process. Lastly, modern technology is wonderful. It’s remarkable two individuals on either side of the globe can write a book together without having ever met.

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

There are three books in the series. The second takes up a few months later with Sofia and Mathis living in Guadalajara. Her father is a wealthy hotel magnate, and he allotted them plots of land on his huge family compound to build homes with some of the money Tiara Tillman gave them. At the close of Book 1, when they watched Chief Ricardo’s press conference on TV, and he stated every person connected to Tillman would be hunted down, Mathis mused the man may be inviting trouble. Truer words were never spoken. But the trouble follows our faithful friends, as well.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Absolutely nothing can compare to the Hotel Amatista, Cancun’s premier luxury resort. The jewel in her family’s chain of 5 star hotels, Sofia Hernández is in charge, and the young woman takes great pride when she hears guests remark the hotel makes them feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s been happening lately, Young guests vanish, only to turn up the next day…abused, tortured…and dead. Sofia suddenly has her hands full dealing with police investigations, trying to ease her guests’ fears, and doing her best to save the Amatista’s reputation. And, with no way of knowing if the sadistic culprit is a hotel employee or a guest, stopping the killings will be no easy task. With the help of Dale Mathis, a visiting English professor, she is able to thwart further abductions and murders, but her interference draw the ire of the sinister mastermind who decides Sofia must pay for her boldness. To make matters even worse, her new friend becomes the number one suspect of the Cancun police.

Last Night in Sturgis

Last Night in Sturgis by [JJ  Spain]

Last Night in Sturgis written by JJ Spain is the first book in a Mike Salas detective series. The novel follows Salas’ journey as he hunts for a killer who is attending the largest motorcycle rally in the world with over one million riders.

The eventual setting of Last Night in Sturgis is predictably, Sturgis, South Dakota. Prior to this, the setting rolls through various towns and cities across the United States on the way to Sturgis. The descriptions are rich and colorful and immediately draw the reader into the story. Author JJ Spain describes the natural landscapes and cities in detail; however the most vivid descriptions are saved for the numerous motorcycles in the book! Descriptions include visual sights, smells and sounds, which all serve to give this contemporary mystery novel an authentic feel.

There are a large number of characters in Last Night in Sturgis including vivid descriptions of all the characters physical appearances and even their clothing. The free flowing dialogue also helps to differentiate the many varied characters. The two main characters are described in complete detail, which really delivers a complete portrait of our protagonist. Detective Salas’ character is further developed through his somewhat dubious actions, his sharp dialogue and interactions with other characters – particularly his partner – a new police officer named Ronnie. Albert, the character Salas is searching for is also well developed, and I really enjoyed the insight we get into his dark and disturbed mindset. This is given through monologue in the chapters he narrates which provides variation to the tone and atmosphere of the story. His motivation and fixation on the past lead him on a journey with far reaching consequences.

The storyline is easy to follow, which is a benefit since the various colorful characters pull you in many directions, but the mystery at the heart of the story is still alluring.

Last Night in Sturgis is an entertaining crime fiction novel. The setting is richly described with numerous intriguing characters and a plot that follows a traditional structure but has enough twists and turns that transforms this standard murder mystery into a riveting crime thriller.

Pages: 241 | ASIN: B08WJKQDG1

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Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes)

Polish Dragon P. I. (Midnight Cranes) by [Steve Zimcosky]

Still recovering from jat lag as a result of his last case, Tom Sipowicz, the Polish Dragon P.I., is needed yet again. This time he is asked to go undercover at MaGed Material Handling to get to the bottom of a couple of mysterious deaths, with suspicions of theft and drugs just to make things a little more interesting. As Tom makes his way around the warehouse, trying his best to blend in, his well trained eye is quick to pick out a few suspects and odd happenings among his new peers. With the help of some friends as well as his own set of skills, Tom soon finds just how deep the problem goes!

In The Polish Dragon P.I. (Midnight Cranes) by Steve Zimcosky, we again get to follow the intriguing exploits of Tom Sipowicz as he seeks to solve all manner of enthralling mysteries. This time he’s asked to help solve a couple of deaths at an international company that specializes in building hardwares. The president isn’t satisfied with the official report by the authorities, and Tom is recommended to him. Instead of his usual methods, Tom is asked to go undercover so he can better assess and observe those at the warehouse, knowing that at least one of them is potentially responsible for the deaths. This provides for an entertaining narrative twist that puts the P.I. in different situations. Along the way, Zimcosky does an excellent job of fully immersing the reader in the environment Tom is living and working in. The plot moves fast even with lots of details given to the reader throughout the story. 

Like the other books in this series, Midnight Cranes is a fun and quick read. Tom is the kind of character that is instantly likeable and seems to be capable of just about anything; a trait that provides him with his many adventures. The quick references to past books makes everyone seem more relatable and familiar, which makes the book even more enjoyable. 

Midnight Cranes is the perfect book for some light and fun reading that delivers intrigue and entertainment on par with a full length novel but Zimcosky does it in under 90 pages. This is a book that will excite long time fans of the series as they’ll find the tried and true protagonist in new situations, but new readers will enjoy the easy story and alluring mystery.

Pages: 213 | ASIN: B093MX47QX

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My Key Fits Every Door: If the Key Fits…

Private investigator Mark Taylor receives a call from the manager of a pricey Hollywood hotel offering him a job. That phone call throws him into a swirling murder case with many knots and angles as Taylor is asked to find the murderer of one of the hotel’s residents. His task becomes even more complicated as someone tries to frame him for the deaths of two hotel staff linked to the case. As the P.I. works his way through the layers of the case and finds that his own life is also in danger. Several suspects pop up, including the elegant Meredith Morgan who has Taylor’s heart in her palms, the shady Hymie Hillman, a Hollywood actor and even the hotel manager. With seemingly unrelated fragments of clues lying around, Taylor must piece them together and find the killer before someone else dies.

Author Dennis Louis Dyer’s My Key Fits Every Door delivers a riveting mystery novel dripping with cunning and humor. Dennis Dyer finds the right balance between exciting and puzzling. He pulls this off by telling his story with lighthearted and free-flowing language.

Dyer’s writing style gives the book a distinct but appealing feel. He uses shocking comparisons and metaphors that were consistently creative and intriguing. They are novel enough to interest you but include familiar elements that won’t have you scratching your head. Some will stop you in your tracks and make you smile. Others will make you throw your head back in laughter.

The author also knows how to inject witty personality into his characters that lends the story some authenticity. The main character for example is a smug, good-looking, eccentric detective who has a way with ladies. He’s the kind of man that would zig when you expect him to zag.

Readers are sent on, what feels like, a wild goose chase as the author expertly opens up many plausible channels and leaves you wondering which one leads to the answers we seek. It’s multi-layered crime fiction story that kept me guessing.

My Key Fits Every Door is an intellectually invigorating whodunit story with ever compelling characters, a mystery that is messy but coherent, and a satisfying ending. Fans of crime or mystery fiction will find plenty to enjoy in Dennis Louis Dyer’s riveting murder mystery.

Pages: 214 | ISBN: 1977239978

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How Criminals Think

Malcolm Tanner
Malcolm Tanner Author Interview

Drowning My Suspicions follows two friends who investigate the death of their friend and find that it might not have been an accident and the killer may be lurking. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I am an avid watcher of detective and investigative stories. I have always wondered how criminals think and how they act when greed and power take over in a person’s mind and nothing will stand in their way. I try to look at the motivation that drives them and incorporate that into the story.

The characters in your story are interesting and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The characters in the book are developed behind the ideals of wanting to find justice, character flaws that they try to correct, and from background, whether it be home life or friend’s influences. I think it is important to see each character from the events in their lives that shaped them and formed them. I also shoot for a blend of what I know about real people and what I would like my readers to see in these characters. The blend of those two things are important when I am bringing those characters to life.

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

Some themes that were important were justice, the frailty of the human mind, relationships and the outcomes when they turn bad. People can become very selfish and cold hearted. When opportunity becomes a series of sordid events to make that opportunity a reality for a person, their mind is clouded and judgment is affected. They get trapped and instead of doing the right thing, they are caught up into making one mistake after another until the climax builds a situation that becomes desperate. People are affected psychologically by the things that happen in their life, both the good and the bad. I want my readers to seriously consider that in their own lives when it comes to understanding others.

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

The next book will be the fourth in the Mike Parsons series, “Mirror Image”. I have three previous books in this series that you can find here at the following link: The Mike Parsons Trilogy (3 book series) Kindle Edition (amazon.com). The book will be available sometime in the late fall of 2021.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Meet Braden McDermott, former college football star, professional football announcer, and… ex-boyfriend.

Braden lands the job of his dreams and he leaves his girlfriend Arial behind to accept the position. Once he starts his new career, but realizing he’s still hung up on Arial, he wants to go back to her. However, his agent Tyler, and Braden’s best friend investigative reporter Larry, try to convince him to forget about Arial and move on, but when Braden falls ill he has to make a decision on what to do with his life.

Arial Kramer is furious when Braden dumps her for a ‘job’. She vows never to depend on a man again and makes the decision to use men to get what she wants. Power, money and fame. Then, at an inopportune time, she gets a call informing her he’s sick and wants to get their relationship on track again. Braden admits he made a mistake and she reluctantly takes him back. She wonders if he will find out she is involved with some seedy characters in a fraud scheme.

When Braden meets an untimely demise and his friends, Larry and Tyler start to investigate what really happened that night at Arial’s place. Was it an accident or was it murder? Who could have done what to their friend?

In this thriller filled with greed, lust, money and power, Larry and Tyler set out to find the truth and ensure that justice for their friend, Braden McDermott is served.

1A Penn Road – Book Trailer

1A Penn Road is a short, suspense thriller about obsession fuelled by desire. Man’s desire is the desire of the other, but be careful who you let in.

Three strangers move into 1A Penn Road and soon become best friends with their live-in landlady Chrissy.

Chrissy is young, vibrant and generous. However, she is prone to outbursts of rage and depression, triggered by an obsession with her ex-boyfriend Leon.

The lack of recognition from whom she most desires it, has led Chrissy to develop reckless and self-serving tendencies, which continue to escalate tensions at 1A Penn Road. Until one Thursday evening, she is found bleeding to death on the staircase.

1A Penn Road is a short, sharp gripping thriller. It is one of the books in a series written by the same author. The stories require only an hour of your time to read, but in that hour you will be drawn in by the suspense and kept guessing until the last few pages.

The next book in the series will be the title Jay Deux.

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A Primary Motive for His Murder

Cam Lang
Cam Lang Author Interview

The Concrete Vineyard follows a homicide detective who finds himself at the heart of a deadly murder mystery case where his friend is the next target. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to write a novel about urban planning but didn’t know how to make it appealing to the masses. Usually, the only people who read urban planning books are other urban planners. So in order to make things interesting I decided to kill one of the most respected senior citizens in the town – Edward Mitchell, its modern day patriarch. He also happens to own one of the most coveted properties in the Old Town district. By having the pursuit of this man’s property become the central focus of the novel, I would be able to tie in characters in the land development industry (realtors, developers, planners, lawyers, politicians) with greed as a primary motive for his murder.

Bryan Dee is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I knew that my main character (urban planner Kris Gage) would reveal and tackle the planning issues I wanted to raise in my novel but I needed another character to bring out the history component. I decided to cast my main detective (Bryan) as a former history major who doesn’t really care for his position as a police officer but he does experience enlightenment about what is happening to his former hometown. Fire plays an important role in the history and evolution of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Bryan’s understanding of the past is required to reveal this major storyline. A key message of the novel is you can’t plan for and be a good caretaker of a place if you don’t appreciate its history – like Bryan does.

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

I actually started this book as a non-fiction account of why the colonial charm of historic Niagara-on-the-Lake is eroding. With every passing year, more and more of its tree canopy is being etched away as homebuilders carve out more for infill development, poorly designed sites and subdivisions have become tragically normal, and traffic and congestion continue to increase. Meanwhile, the wine and hospitality industry is singularly focused on generating business and tourism as town administration council – bereft of vision and creativity at the best of times – continue to adopt a status quo that is no longer working. Like a big rig on a highway, it is difficult to slow down and even harder to turn around, so it’s easier to just keep it going in the same direction.

Greed is a common, if not ubiquitous condition in any town or city and it has hit its peak in the first capital of Upper Canada. From realtors to developers, homebuilders, winery owners and politicians to a flock of Torontonians who now call this town their own, they’re all padding their pockets at the expense of the greater good. While the themes of sustainability, good planning and historic preservation reign overtly in my novel, this book is actually about automobile dependency and addiction. If the town eventually decides to address this core issue, everything else will get better.

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

I have a lot of things on my bucket list. I’m surprised I even wrote one novel. If I find a good issue or a corrupt character who I feel like picking on, I might try to write another urban planning mystery.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Why would anyone want to murder the most respected senior citizen, Niagara-on-the-Lake has ever had?

Retired history professor Edward Mitchell was surely not long for the grave, so why would someone risk life in prison to kill him? Picking up the clues is the reluctant Homicide Chief Detective, Bryan Dee. Thinking he might be out of his depth he is happy to enlist the aid of his friend, Kris Gage. But when Dee reads the deceased’s last entry in his diary, ‘time to take care of K. Gage,’ he becomes torn between investigation and friendship.

As an urban planner, Gage understands real estate and the bureaucracy of planning. Following the money, he soon finds himself in the middle of corrupt developers who seek to take all the charm out of the area. Over two hundred years after the War of 1812, is Niagara-on-the-Lake, once again, on-the-Take?

The Concrete Vineyard is an intriguing and unique whodunit. Packing an intellectual punch, this smart murder/mystery will have you guessing and gripped! If you like great characters, clever plots and intelligent storytelling, then you’ll love this creative and thought-provoking novel.

Buy The Concrete Vineyard today for a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Drowning My Suspicions

Drowning My Suspicions by [Malcolm Tanner]

Drowning My Suspicions by Malcolm Tanner is a captivating story of Braden McDermott, a well-established sports broadcaster and close friend of Larry Mattingly, an investigative reporter. Larry narrates his journey to investigate his friend’s death, which he believes was not justly resolved by the law. The story is action-packed and moves smoothly between an ongoing court case and the series of events leading up to the trial in a succession of flashbacks. As Larry delves into his friend’s acquaintances and connections stemming from Arial Kramer, an ex-girlfriend, he follows a path of deceit and crime that stems over several years, leading up to Braden’s unfortunate fate.

Malcolm Tanner writes with an exciting, fast-paced tale that keeps you engaged immediately from the beginning. The story quickly shifts into past events tied to the court testimonies and witness accounts, focusing on specific individuals and their connections to the case. The author leads the reader into layers of circumstances and events surrounding Braden, Larry, Arial, and a few key players in the story. This process creates an atmosphere of mystery about the death and how what appears to be a straightforward story is far more complex. As new events and developments occur, new characters and situations emerge, drawing the reader deeper as the story digs far below the plot’s surface.

The author steadily builds momentum, along with unexpected twists, holding the reader’s attention until the end. Larry’s investigation takes in a lot more as the story moves to include peripheral characters and instances that weave into a much larger role in the plot. He is a likable character with a keen eye for finding justice with an unrelenting nature. Each chapter is short and concise but descriptive enough to keep you moving forward without pause. It’s an addictive read that ignites a sense of getting to the bottom of the case. I felt that longing to solve the mystery like a jigsaw puzzle that continues to grow, adding more pieces along the journey.

As a reader who enjoys character development and complexities, I found Drowning My Suspicions an enjoyable read, with a layered plot that kept me moving from one riveting scene to the next. Drowning My Suspicions is a hard-boiled mystery with an engaging storyline, fascinating characters, and a plot that will engross you.

Pages: 243 | ASIN: B08V57XXPM

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