Interview with Isidore Farrugia from Gabriel Valjan’s new mystery-suspense novel, ‘Turning To Stone’

character interviewTitle: Turning To Stone

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Author: Gabriel Valjan

Website: http://wintergoosepublishing.com

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1N73WGy

We’re thrilled to have here today Isidore Farrugia from Gabriel Valjan’s new mystery-suspense novel, Turning To Stone. Isidore Farrugia is a fortyish-something detective living in Naples, Italy.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Detective Farrugia.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I do think that the author did a great job because I was in quite a mess, doing undercover narcotics work within a Camorra clan. Most readers know about the Sicilian mafia, but not much has been written about the Neapolitan criminal organization, or about the ‘Ndrangheta, which hails from my native Calabria. Each criminal enterprise has its own structure and Tomasso, another character in the novel, explains it well, although he gets a little poetic at times. As for me, the only quibble I had with the author is that he had me get shot at more than once. I took two bullets in a place that made me the butt of unwanted jokes from my colleagues. Please, give me a little dignity. It had better not happen again.

TurningtoStone_FlatforeBooks (1)Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

He was kinder to me than I am to myself. I’m a driven individual, often temperamental, although Claudio Ferrero, the journalist undercover like me in Turning to Stone, but with the ‘Ndrangheta, would pick a choice word to describe me. This time around, Gabriel managed to show me at my best. I began my career doing undercover work in Taormina (Sicily), where I made a name for myself before I started working narcotics. The author got it: undercover work is a combination of acting and gardening in that you’ve got to play a role and spread the manure just right because the stakes are high, and they were in this outing of the Roma Series.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Tenacity.

Worse trait?

Stubbornness. There are stronger words in Italian and even more in Calabrese, but I am pigheaded. Plain and simple: I am the one with long ears. I’ll get fixated on something and I won’t let go.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

I can’t think of a particular actor, but if I could pick someone who could convey my energy and my moodiness then I would pick Idris Elba, but he’s too dark-skinned, though my mother was Spanish and dark and my father, Calabrese, and darker. Elba’s Luther has some of my energy, although I’ve been far more violent than him – by necessity, of course.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I do. Her name is Noelle. We met in Milan. Readers learned about her and my first experience with yoga in Book 3 of the Roma Series: Threading the Needle. Now, there the author put me smack in the middle of a thorn bush. In Threading, I had the Italian version of Internal Affairs on my back and the media chanting my name – all because I’d accompanied Bianca to a meeting and some college kid got gunned down in an alley. It wasn’t the first time I helped her. I flew all the way to Boston (Book 2: Wasp’s Nest) to warn her that a professional killer was after her. Hey, I think there’s a pattern here. Perhaps, the author doesn’t like me, but he gave me Noelle. No complaints there, and I’m more flexible, too. Win-win.

At what point in the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I was deep undercover with the Camorra and I had to go to a meeting, which I don’t want to spoil for readers, but let’s just say that it went horribly wrong.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Tough question; come to think of it, it’s not one that would have occurred to me, to be honest.  Who among my fellow characters would I not want to be?  There are admirable traits among all of them, but I guess that — it’s still weird contemplating it — it would be Dante, because he has to put up with Bianca. She has formidable computer and research skills, and I admire her composure and utter equanimity under pressure.  What gets under my skin, though, is that she can be a bit abrupt sometimes, a little too direct, which strikes me as a very American trait. At times, I think she gets obsessive to the point that she is secretive and withholds information from the rest of the team. I do love her in my own way, but I don’t know how Dante does it. Perhaps, Bianca and I are too alike and I see myself reflected back at me. I know my answer sounds more like I wouldn’t want to be Bianca, but that isn’t the case. I just don’t know whether I could be Dante and have her around me 24/7. I’ll say this, though: they complement each other, but she is too much work for me. What’s that word in English I’ve heard used to describe people like her?  Don’t tell me, I’ll think of it. Ah, yes, I’ve got it: high-maintenance.

How do you feel about the ending of the book, without giving too much away?

We grew closer as a team, but my gut tells me that something bad is on the horizon. Bianca has become introverted, as if she were hiding something. Then, I heard that she was going to Boston, which says right there that something is wrong between her and Dante. Bianca says it’s work, but I know her. She is running away from Dante. She can say it’s Rendition, but I don’t believe it one bit. Gabriel always includes the first chapter of the next book in the Series at the end of his novels. Book 5: Corporate Citizen looks promising. But, why did it have to be Boston? I’m telling you that Gabriel has it in for me. So, my Italian is not exactly RAI, but Silvio, our translator, can help out. Oh, before I forget, Silvio has a pet in Turning. Tell me, who walks a cat?

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

  1. Please don’t have me shot at again. Please. I feel like Sergeant Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon. ‘I’m getting too old for this…’
  2. I’d like for him to bring up some of past work in Calabria. I’m proud of that time in my life. It was my work on the San Luca Vendetta that caught the attention of the late anti-Mafia magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. The ‘Ndrangheta is impenetrable, but I got in and did my job.
  3. We both know that Alessandro has bad luck with women, but please find him a girlfriend soon. He’s got that puppy-dog look and it’s breaking my heart.

Thank you for this interview, Detective Farrugia.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Yes, you will. Readers can learn about me in the first three Roma Series books, and join me in Turning To Stone for an adventure in Naples. Loki, Bianca’s mysterious contact, is now giving her baffling anagrams. They seem to lead to a charismatic entrepreneur who has a plan to partner with organized crime to manipulate the euro and American dollar. Against a backdrop of gritty streets, financial speculation, and a group of female assassins on motorcycles, we discover that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.

author pic

About the Author:

Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. His fourth book, Turning To Stone, came out 15 June 2015. Gabriel writes short stories, which are available online and in print. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Connect with Gabriel Valjan on the web:

Blog: https://gabrielswharf.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gabriel-Valjan/291400997547203

Twitter: @GValjan

Website: www.gabrielvaljan.com

Pinterest boards for the Roma Series books

Book 4: Turning To Stone | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/turning-to-stone/

Book 3: Threading the Needle | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/threading-the-needle/

Books 2: Wasp’s Nest  | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/wasp-s-nest/

Book 1: Roma, Underground  | https://www.pinterest.com/gvaljan/roma

Book Cover Reveal: Aeromancist by Charmaine Pauls

About The Book
 

Title:  Aeromancist

Book 3: Seven Forbidden Arts Series

Author: Charmaine Pauls
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher:  Mélange Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2015

Preorder Book Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Aeromancist-Seven-Forbidden-Arts-Book-ebook/dp/B010766W5S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435450290&sr=1-1&keywords=aeromancist

 





Book Description:

Passion always comes with a price.

All he could offer was thirty days of passion.

He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.

Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.

He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.

* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.

 

About The Author
 
 

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.

 
Contact Charmaine at:

Website: www.charmainepauls.com 

Blog: www.charmainepauls.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charmaine-Pauls/175738829145132

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharmainePauls

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorCharmainePauls

 

 

 


Profile: Author Barry Hornig

Were you on line at Studio 54? Did you ever swap drugs for gold in Tangiers? Or try on a dog collar at the Botany Club? Ever marry a countess or a Playboy playmate? Meet Barry. He did all of that and a lot more. He’s had many ups and downs and has probably forgotten more than you’ve fantasized, but this book is what he can recall…

“I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out."

Thus goes the pitch of Barry Hornig’s candid, compelling, revealing, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Without a Net: a True Tales of Prison, Penthouses, and Playmates (Köehler Books, 2015), which, from idea to polished manuscript, took him eight years to complete.

Without a Net is the story of a young man from a middle class background who shoots for the stars and goes after things that aren’t attainable, and when he thinks he has them, they get taken away,” states Hornig. “In the process, he winds up incarcerated, threatened with guns, and succumbs to addictions, but through a powerful series of visualizations he manages to manifest somebody who helps him change his whole life around through love and compassion. And through that, he is able to help other people.” Hornig’s over-the-top life is told with honesty, self-mockery, hope, and more than a little Jewish humor.

The decision to write this memoir came about from Hornig’s anger about his great ups and downs in life and the question, “Why do they continue to happen to me?” He needed to get it out of his system. Through writing, he hoped to see life more clearly and get rid of some of the anger and pain. He decided he wouldn’t misdirect his energy by looking back, but instead concentrate on looking forward and benefit from lessons learned, and it worked. “I hope I left a roadmap and some signposts to show other people that when they get lost, there is a way out,” says Hornig. “I believe that with determination, visualization, and the right partner, you can emerge from any darkness, live an interesting and fruitful life, and recover your sanity and your spiritual balance.”

In addition to his personal journey, the book offers a kaleidoscope of America from its triumphant and proud years in the 50s to a more recent time when – from Hornig’s perspective – “A great power has been shamefully falling apart. We’ve killed all our heroes, and there’s nobody to look up to. Violence never wins. And Gordon Gekko was wrong; greed is not good. (Sorry, Oliver.)”

Writing Without a Net had its challenges. From telling the truth, to stirring the hot coals, to old temptations re-awakening, to unsupportive peers telling him he was wasting his time and would never finish the book, Hornig admirably stuck to his vision through it all and came through the other side with a completed manuscript and a renewed sense of reality.

Besides the obvious painful, emotional journey of having to access his troubled past, Hornig’s challenge included the fact that he’s dyslexic. Because of this, he decided to work with Michael Claibourne, who helped him organize his thoughts and Without a Net Coverpen his words. Claibourne loved his life story and had been urging him for quite a while to write it all down.  It seemed just as exciting as any of the screenplays they were working on. “My creative process was a form of channeling with Michael, who acted as interviewer, scribe and psychiatrist,” adds Hornig. “We wrote this memoir from Topanga Canyon to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Montana, and New York City. Sometimes lying down and sometimes sitting up.  In person, over the phone, and over the net. It was complex but clear. I tried to be truthful and honest with all the subjects.”

In spite of help from his writing partner, as well as support from his spouse and family, becoming an author has been overwhelming for Hornig, to say the least. “I can’t quite wrap my head around it,” he says. “All I did was tell a story. We’ll see what happens from there, and I’ll leave it up to my audience.” He’s looking forward to sharing some of his experiences in this journey with younger people, and hopes that this book puts him in a venue where he can talk to them. “I want to spread the news: it’s never too late.” He hopes readers will learn from his story and even find themselves in it, and realize that even the most destructive impulses can be overcome. “I have been able to forgive the people who wronged me, and forgive myself for wronging the people that I wronged – both the ones who are dead and the ones who are still alive. And looking back now through the other end of the telescope, it’s all very clear.”

Barry Hornig currently divides his time between Santa Monica, California, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he owns a gallery of fine art rugs. He is a professional sports fisherman, an expert on the paranormal, has talked with beings from space, had visions in Masar-i-Sharif, has been blessed by Muktananda, and hugged by Ammachi. “I have so many more stories to tell… and they’re not all autobiographical” states the author on what lurks on the horizon. “Screenplays, movies, all with messages. I am hoping that with this book my other story work will be taken seriously. And that in turn the other work will get out and more lessons will be learned.”

Connect with Barry Hornig on the web:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Without a Net is available from Köehler Books, Amazon, B&N, and other online retailers.

My article originally appeared in Blogcritics

Tickling: Such a Powerful Word by Veronica Frances

Let's Talk About Tickling 2Tickling: Such A Powerful Word

By Veronica Frances

Tickling—such a powerful word. To most people, tickling is just a mere word, an afterthought. Pianists like to tickle the ivories. Perhaps one is tickled to hear such happy news. For somebody with a tickling fetish, tickling is anything but an afterthought.

For someone with a tickling fetish, it is difficult to understand how people are so unaware of the power of tickling. Tickle fetishists find it hard to fathom that people are generally quite nonchalant about tickling, or just don’t think about it one way or another. What’s the big deal about tickling? It is simply an annoyance that can be fun for only a few minutes at a time. Those are the thoughts that many people have about tickling. It is difficult for non-tickle fetishists to understand how somebody could love tickling so much, to the point where it can sometimes become an obsession.

The truth is anything can become an obsession. A love of tickling does not have to be an obsession, but it can be a very powerful fetish. Tickling is powerful in so many ways. That is why so many people avoid it and even hate it. Some of us even love to hate it, loving it and hating it at the same time. Tickling confuses people and frightens those who have a deep fear of losing control. The confusion comes from the way in which tickling can escalate, beginning as such a delightful, erotic sensation and becoming torturous or extremely intense very quickly.

The word tickling and any form of that word holds tremendous power all on its own, especially for those of us who are deeply affected by it. It is sort of like when a dog hears something that others can’t, or when you say the word walk and the dog reacts with such excitement, their ears standing straight up at attention. For a dog, the word walk will make them react with passion and exuberance.

Dogs will also react to sounds that humans do not always hear. Non-tickle fetishists cannot hear the hidden power behind the word tickling the way someone who loves tickling most certainly can. When tickle fetishists hear the word tickle or any form of the word, they react internally and sometimes even find it difficult to hide their delight and the fact that the word even makes them blush at times.

For many tickle-fetishists, any form of the word tickle excites them. Most people with a tickling fetish cannot hear the word tickle and not feel that strange twinge in their body. For the true tickle fetishist, the word tickle puts a bounce in their step and makes them feel just a bit more alive.

But tickling is so much more than a word. It is a feeling, a response, a vulnerability, a powerful kick in the libido and, for many, it is something to avoid. Tickling is scary to some people because it is a straight dive right into the pool of surrender and vulnerability. It can feel pleasurable, but it can also feel uncomfortable and maybe even slightly painful. Pleasure and discomfort do meet up sometimes when it comes to tickling. Tickling can be a place of mixed emotions and reactions.

The tickling fetish can force people to explore their sensuality and all the pleasures and discomforts that come with it. It is so powerful when someone who loves tickling allows themselves to find pleasure from the different sensations that tickling can cause, even if there is some minor discomfort for those who are extremely ticklish. Sensuality is really about exploration and once we stop exploring, our relationships and sensuality suffer.

So, we must admit that tickling has power over us, or else why would we react so passionately to it? I mean, people either hate it passionately, love it passionately, or say that it doesn’t affect them one way or another.

I received a review of my novel Tickling Daphne H. from a woman who personalized her own uptight feelings about tickling in the review. She put on this pair of boxing gloves that really made me see how uptight tickling can make some people. The truth is, she was uptight well before reading my novel. She basically forbade her husband from tickling her or doing any of the wild things in my book. She thought that tickling couldn’t possibly be fun and she would smack her husband if he ever tried that stuff with her.

I remember thinking, Now here is a woman who needs a good tickling, perhaps a spanking as well. I wondered how uptight she actually was with her husband and if he perhaps secretly wanted to loosen her up a bit and teach her a thing or two by tickling her all over her uptight body.

The point is, her reaction to my book was a passionate one and truthfully, tickling does tend to cause differing, passionate reactions in people.

Yes, we each have our own reactions to tickling, but if we suddenly find ourselves with a partner who has a tickling fetish, or if we are facing a tickling fetish ourselves, we must explore those reactions and discover that tickling is not just a mere word after all. For some people, it is a necessary part of life.

Copyright © 2015 Veronica Frances

About the Author:

Veronica FrancesVeronica Frances is the author of the gutsy, no-holds-barred novel, Tickling Daphne H. Her new non-fiction book Let’s Talk About Tickling sheds a refreshing new light on the subject. She is known as the TickleWriter in some circles.

Veronica also writes under her real name, Stacey Handler. Stacey is the author of The Body Burden; Living In The Shadow Of Barbie. Her book was featured in Jump Magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly, The National Enquirer, and several other publications, radio shows and cable TV shows.

Stacey excels at public speaking, singing, composing, and writing. She is a singer-songwriter, poet, and has written in many different styles. She has an album and several singles available, including her two popular anthems, Ain’t No Skinny Little Thing and Soap Opera Diva.

She lives in New York City, where she continues to write erotica, fiction, poetry and non-fiction.

For More Information

Turning To Stone, by Gabriel Valjan

thedarkphantom:

Excerpt reveal…

Originally posted on Plug Your Book!:

TurningtoStone_FlatforeBooks (1)Title: Turning To Stone

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Author: Gabriel Valjan

Website: http://wintergoosepublishing.com

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1N73WGy

About the Book:

Bianca is in Naples for Turning To Stone, the fourth book in the Roma Series from author Gabriel Valjan. Loki, her mysterious contact, is now giving Bianca baffling anagrams. They seem to lead to a charismatic entrepreneur who has a plan to partner with organized crime to manipulate the euro and American dollar. Against a backdrop of gritty streets, financial speculation, and a group of female assassins on motorcycles, Bianca and her friends discover that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.

Excerpt from Turning To Stone by Gabriel Valjan1

He was back at work.

Farrugia and Noelle had had a beautiful meal together, an even more beautiful night in bed together. It almost made him…

View original 1,932 more words

Interview with angel expert & children’s book author Michelle Beber

Michelle Beber has certifications as an Angel Intuitive and Angel Oracle Card Reader from renowned “angel lady,” Doreen Virtue, as well as certifications as a Spiritual Teacher and Archangel Life Coach from Doreen’s son, Charles Michelle BeberVirtue.

In 2008, Michelle’s life changed when she attended a spiritual retreat and learned about angels and how they communicate through repetitive number sequences known as “angel numbers.” Little did she know that this insight would lead her on an amazing spiritual journey that would directly connect her with angels and result in the discovery of her life purpose.

Always grateful for the spiritual guidance she has received, Michelle looks forward to sharing the knowledge she has gained to inspire others, especially children. Michelle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

Her latest book is the juvenile fiction/children’s picture book, Angels, Angels, Everywhere.

For More Information

About the Book:

Angels Angels Everywhere 2Title: Angels, Angels, Everywhere
Author: Michelle Beber
Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 30
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is a non-denominational, multiracial book written in delightful rhythm and rhyme and accompanied by charming illustrations. The themes of constant support and unconditional love are designed to help children deal with everyday experiences in life.

By developing children’s faith in knowing that they are not alone and building their trust that they are consistently watched over, cared for, and loved, children will become empowered to deal with life’s challenges. The book also lets children know that angels are there in good times as well, sharing in their joy.

For More Information

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Michelle Beber. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Angels, Angels, Everywhere is my first published book.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I chose to self-publish with vanity publisher, Balboa Press, the self-publishing division of Hay House Publishing, because I wanted to align myself with a company who had the same spiritual and metaphysical philosophy as mine. There are many options available to writers, and I recommend that authors do a lot of research to determine which choice is best for their particular circumstances.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

It took nine months, just like having a baby! This was definitely “the birth of my first child.” It would’ve taken less time if I wasn’t such a perfectionist, but I was more interested in having a quality product versus rushing it into the marketplace.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It was amazing! I’ll never forget holding the book in my hands for the first time. It was an incredible feeling to see all the hard work that I’d put into something become a reality. I danced around the living room with my book in my hands, saying, “I did it! It’s real!”

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

It seemed like I did so many things at once, it’s hard to recall, but it was probably setting up my Amazon Author Central page. Setting up that page was highly recommended since Amazon is the largest retailer of books in the world.

At that time, I was also looking into website development and setting up my social media accounts. Needless to say, you must have an online presence.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I have a much better understanding of what it takes to put a book together and have learned that the production of the book was the easy part. The hardest part begins after the book is printed. Whether you publish traditionally or independently, you will need to do your own marketing and promotion, so be prepared to put in the necessary time and effort because your book will only be as successful as you make it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

What has amazed me is the vast amount of supportive organizations out there to help authors learn and grow. I’m a member of the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and have found their workshops very helpful. If you do a Google search, you can find lots of beneficial networking groups, seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The most rewarding thing about being a published author is reading the beautiful reviews that people have left about my book. It’s so heartwarming to know that I’ve had a positive impact on people’s lives, especially children.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Never give up! If you’re passionate about writing, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dream. It’s what you were meant to do. Stay positive, work hard, and have patience. It can take a long time to put your book into the marketplace, but once you do, it’s the most gratifying feeling you’ll ever have. And finally, don’t forget to ask the angels for help!

 

Book Feature: From New York to the Smokies by Wayne Zurl

 

About The Anthology Collection

 

 

Title: From New York To The Smokies
Author: Wayne Zurl
Series: 5 Book Anthology Collection from the Sam Jenkins Mystery Series
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publication Date: April 16, 2015
Format: Paperback – 163 pages / eBook / PDF
ISBN: 978-1680460780
Genre: Mystery / Police Procedural
Buy The Anthology Collection (Preorder – Pub Date: April 16, 2015)
Book Description:
Author Wayne Zurl is back with his popular Sam Jenkins Mysteries Series. From New York To The Smokies is a 5 book anthology collection from the Sam Jenkins Mysteries Series!
THE BOAT TO PRISON

Seventeen-year-old Sam Jenkins is busy fishing and falling in love with a girl named Kate. But with a father involved with the union and a divorced mother, Sam often finds himself acting like the adult of the family. During a fishing trip off Long Island, Sam overhears a conversation involving dangerous plans that can land his dad in jail.To keep his father out of prison, Sam teams up with detectives from the county’s rackets bureau and enlists the help of two friends to pull off an operation far beyond their usual high school curriculum.

FAVORS

Police community Service Aide Liz Lopez should be in fine spirits—she’s in line for a promotion to police officer and a raise. But her sullen demeanor tells her boss, Lieutenant Sam Jenkins, that Liz is anything but happy.Jenkins begins an unofficial investigation to find out what’s going on. The detective learns of a bizarre home life and a dark secret Liz keeps under wraps.

FAVORS is a story of how the police take care of their own—in an honest and compassionate way.

ANGEL OF THE LORD

A killer is on the loose in Prospect, Tennessee. He strikes repeatedly, each time leaving a cryptic message for the police to find. By the time a fifth body turns up, Police Chief Sam Jenkins is under pressure—either solve the murders or bring in outside help.But the chief’s ego won’t allow others to work his cases. And at the eleventh hour he tracks down a prime suspect, but death is only seconds away for the next victim.

MASSACRE AT BIG BEAR CREEK

A misunderstanding between hunters rapidly escalates into a battle not seen in Southern Appalachia since the Hatfield and McCoy feud.As bodies pile up faster than evidence, Sam Jenkins and the officers of Prospect PD scour the remote hills and valleys of East Tennessee and North Carolina to solve a case that reads more like an old west adventure than a modern police drama.

ODE TO WILLIE JOE
Prospect, Tennessee Police Chief Sam Jenkins receives two reports of UFO sightings in three days. The gritty ex-New York detective doesn’t believe in coincidence…or space aliens, but he can’t find anything to explain a glowing spaceship and little green men—until he sends Sergeant Stan Rose and Officer Junior Huskey to Campbell’s Woods. They call in a startling discovery, and the investigation begins.

 

 

Book Excerpt:
From ANGEL OF THE LORD
The rain never stopped. From early
June through late August, it poured or drizzled almost every day. I thought if
I stood still too long I might begin to mold. It reminded me of the monsoons in
Southeast Asia.
Drops of rain falling from the brim
of my cap were exceeded only by the young woman’s tears.
“When did you see the boy last?” I
asked.
“Right after breakfast. He went
into the living room to watch TV, and I started doing laundry in the basement.”
“And when you came upstairs he was
gone?”
More tears rolled over her cheeks
as she stood there, wringing her hands. “Yes.”
“Was your door locked?”
“Lord have mercy, no.”
“Is your son’s rain jacket here?”
She shrugged and cried a little
more.
“Let’s look,” I suggested.
We walked to the mud room off the
kitchen. A small hooded jacket hung on one of the five pegs over an antique
wooden chair not six feet from the back door. A small pair of bright blue
rubber Wellingtons sat on the floor.
“You call for him outside?”
“Of course. I ran all around.”
Without the puffy eyes and fear
scarring her face, Emily Suttles would have been an attractive brunette.
“And then you called 9-1-1?”
“Yes.”
“What was he watching?”
“I don’t know. He knows how to work
the TV.”
“You turn it off?”
“One of the policemen did.”
“Let’s take a look.”
She stared at me as if I had two
heads. “Why?”
“Indulge me.”
Back in the living room, Emily
picked up the remote control and turned on a flat screen about the size of a
stretch van. The American Movie Classics channel came on playing a scene from Halloween 4.
“Did you or the cops look through
the house?” I asked.
“Yes, of course.”
“All over?”
“Every room.”
“Slowly or quick?”
“Quick. I was frantic.”
“Let’s try again. Where’s Elijah’s
room?”
“Upstairs.” Emily began to look
impatient. “I know he’s not there.”
We walked upstairs anyway. I looked
under the bed. Nothing. The boy’s mother called his name. More nothing. I
opened the closet. Huddled in the left corner, leaning against the wall, four-year-old
Elijah Suttles slept peacefully, a small flashlight in his right hand. I shook
his knee.
“Hey, partner, you doing okay in
here?”
He opened his eyes, blinked
rapidly, and looked frightened.
“Take it easy, son. I’m a
policeman. Your mom couldn’t find you and asked for some help.”
“Jesus have mercy, Elijah,” his
mother said, “you ‘bout scared me half ta death. You come out here right now,
young man.”
“Go slow, Mrs. Suttles. He probably
had a good reason to hide in here. Didn’t you, son?”
The little boy nodded, but still
looked scared.
“Something happen on the TV?”
Another nod.
“Ready to come out now?”
The boy stuck out a hand, and I
pulled. Once on his feet, he scrambled to his mother and locked onto her leg,
mumbling an apology.
“Some of these slasher movies scare
me, too,” I said. “He just ran from the killer on the screen. Wasn’t a bad
idea.”
Emily Suttles hugged her son,
looked at me, and said, “Thank you.”
“I’ll call the three officers and
let them know your son’s safe.”
I switched on the ignition in my
unmarked Crown Victoria and keyed the microphone. “Prospect-one to headquarters
and all units. The missing child has been found. Resume patrol. Five-twelve,
close out the call at 1015 hours.”
PO Johnny Rutledge acknowledged. “10-4,
Prospect-one.”
“Five-oh-nine, I copy that,” Billy
Puckett said.
After a long moment of silence,
Sergeant Bettye Lambert, our desk officer, broke in. “Unit 513, five-one-three,
do you copy?”
No answer.
“Anyone know 513’s 10-35?” I asked.
“Joey was goin’ house ta house,
east end o’ the street,” Puckett said.
“I’m probably the closest,” I said.
“I’ll check.”
Just as I shifted into reverse, PO
Joey Gillespie spoke on the radio.
“513 ta Prospect-one. Boss, ya
gonna need ta see this. 1175 Benny Stillwell Road, obvious 10-5.”
10-5 is our brevity code for a
homicide.
* * * *
Two men lay face down on the
kitchen floor. One with a shaved head made it easy to see the small caliber
bullet hole at the base of his skull—a .25 perhaps or more likely a .22. Blood
trickled from the wound down past his right ear, over a thick neck, and onto
the Mexican tile floor. The other victim’s blood oozed to his left. Funny, the
little details you notice at the scene of a murder.
“You call crime scene and the ME?”
I asked.
“Yessir, had Miss Bettye do it
right after I called ya.”
I nodded and looked around the
kitchen of a relatively new and expensive home. “Big house.”
Joey Gillespie nodded.
“At least 4,000 square feet,” I
guessed. “And quality. These guys had bucks.”
He nodded again and looked a little
queasy.
“The air hasn’t come on recently.
In this humidity blood tends to stink quicker. Smell bother you?”
“Yessir, I ain’t used ta this.”
“Nobody gets used to it, kid. You
just learn to ignore it.”
“I guess.”
“You search the rest of the house?”
“Jest looked on the first floor ta
see if there was anybody here.”
“Basement?”
“Nosir. On a slab.”
“Let’s go upstairs.”
I drew my old Smith & Wesson
from the holster on my right hip, and Joey pulled out his .40 caliber Glock.
“Look around, and pay attention.
Don’t watch me. There’s probably no one here, but we’ll do this by the
numbers.”
“Yessir. I’m right behind ya.”
We made a quick sweep of the first
floor, opening all the closets before ascending the stairs. The landing above
left us in a hallway with what looked like four bedrooms, two baths and two
closet doors. We found nothing in the guest johns or closets. A lack of
personal property in three of the bedrooms led me to believe they were set also
aside for guests. We looked further in the master suite and discovered two
closets holding clothing for two different people.
“I guess the two guys slept
t’gether,” Joey said.
“Yep.”
“Strange, huh?”
“Not strange, just a minority.”
“Uh-huh.”
Two car doors slammed out front.
“Let’s see who’s here,” I
suggested.
Jackie Shuman and David Sparks,
crime scene investigators from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, had arrived
and stood in the foyer holding cameras and forensic kits. Moments later, Deputy
Medical Examiner Morris Rappaport and his assistant Earl Ogle pulled up in the
morgue wagon.
“How’d ya find these two?” Jackie
asked of no one in particular.
“I’s checkin’ the neighborhood for
a missin’ child,” Joey said. “Got no answer here, but there was two cars in the
driveway and the garage was closed. Figgered someone’s home, so I walked ‘round
back and seen them layin’ here on the floor.”
“Nice wheels out there,” David said.
“Audi S7 and an F-Type Jag,” I
said. “Pushing a hundred grand apiece.”
“And they’re relatively new,
right?” Morris asked.
“The Jag’s new, and the Audi’s not
far behind.”
“With these two sporty drivers, why
do you suppose there’s an oil spot on the concrete driveway?”
“Good question, Mo,” I said.
“Something for our ace evidence technicians to explore.”
“We’ll git’er done,” Jackie said.
“And take pictures of this table
top. Someone ruined a nice antique.”
Jackie looked closer at the numbers
someone crudely scratched into the mellow wood finish.
“Thirteen thirteen,” he said.
“Wonder what that means?”
“Two unlucky numbers,” Morris said.
“Two unlucky guys,” I said. “Has to
mean something. Finding out will keep me from playing in the traffic.”

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About The Author

 

 

Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators. He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves. Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of his Sam Jenkins msyteries have been published as eBooks and many produced as audio books.Zurl has won Eric Hoffer and Indie Book Awards, and was named a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. His full-length novels are: A NEW PROSPECT, A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT, HEROES & LOVERS, and PIGEON RIVER BLUES.

The all new FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES, an anthology of five Sam Jenkins mysteries is available in print and eBook, published by Melange Books, LLC.
For more information on Wayne’s Sam Jenkins mystery series see www.waynezurlbooks.net. You may read excerpts, reviews and endorsements, interviews, coming events, and see photos of the area where the stories take place.
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