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First Chapter Reveal: Killer Pursuit by Jeff Gunhus

Killer Pursuit banner 2

Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Pages: 352
Genre: Thriller

When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection…and no-one knows who’s on the other end.

Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder’s similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but the rumors that the victim’s client list may have included Mason’s political enemies has her worried about the director’s motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she’s not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.

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Killer Pursuit is available at Amazon.

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Killer Pursuit

First Chapter:

Allison McNeil tensed when she spotted the first shadow dart through the mist and take cover behind a tree. In the early-morning light it took her a while to pick out all six members of the Hostage Rescue Team approaching the cabin, but within a minute she could clearly see the tactical team converging on their target.

The small building stood on a rise, up from the swampy, flood-prone land around it. Wood-slated walls tilted precariously inward, twisting the windows into deformed rectangles. Moss and dead leaves covered the roof. The place smelled and looked like decay, well on its way to inevitable reclamation by the weeds and vines choking the cabin to a miserable death.

And, if Allison was right, the place deserved what it got. Hell, if she was right, she had half a mind to take a match to the place after everything was done.

She hunkered down behind a fallen tree, her head barely clearing the top to see the building and the team closing in. A trickle of sweat started at the base of her neck and went the length of her spine. She adjusted the Kevlar vest, under her light windbreaker emblazoned with large yellow letters. FBI. It felt ridiculous to wear the windbreaker when it was in the ’80s before daybreak with the Louisiana humidity hovering at about a thousand percent, but if it meant that the hotheads with assault rifles could more easily identify her as a friendly, then she was happy to have it.

Garret Morrison shifted his weight next to her, stretching out a leg and rubbing his knee. She gave him a sideways look.

“You all right?” she whispered.

He scowled at her. They both knew she didn’t give a damn about him. The comment was intended as a dig at the fifty-three-year-old Garret who prided himself on being in better shape than the agents beneath him. Even though he ran the Behavioral Analysis Unit, home of the FBI’s fabled profilers who spent more time in the heads of the criminals they chased than in the field, he required an aggressive physical program for his people. Everything about Morrison is a throwback to the old male-dominated Bureau. A slicked-back head of hair with just the right amount of grey to lend him gravitas without making him look old, a square jaw out of a mountaineering magazine, cold steel-blue eyes that seemed to look through people instead of at them. Unless they were trained on an attractive female, in which case his eyes gave their full attention to the area below the chin and above the waistline.

“Worry about yourself,” Garret grumbled. He turned to Doug Browning, a junior agent who followed Garret around like a little puppy. “Jesus, Doug. Not so close.”

Allison turned back to the cabin and raised her binoculars, not bothering to hide the smile on her lips. Garret was a legend in the Bureau for his work hunting America’s worst criminals, but Allison’s own legend had grown since her work on the Arnie Milhouse case a year earlier. While that case had given her credibility, she knew she was just as likely to be referred to as the woman who’d broken Garret Morrison’s nose when he’d made one too many unwanted advances while she was a trainee. And, while she wanted to be known for her work, she didn’t mind that piece of fame following her around.

“Alpha team in position,” said a voice through the small speaker in her ear. She noticed Garret put a finger to the side of his head and nod. He looked over at her.

“You better be right about this,” he whispered.

Allison shook her head. For all his brilliance—and, regardless of how she felt personally about him, she recognized that he was brilliant—Garret’s transparency could border on the inane. What he was really saying was that if the lunatic Allison’s research had tracked to this location wasn’t holed up in this backwoods cabin, if the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team had been activated and deployed for no reason, then the blame would drop on her like a bag of bricks. If Sam Kraw was in there, Allison knew it would be Garret standing in front of the cameras taking credit for the HRT mission and the capture of America’s most wanted fugitive.

She pushed the thought away. As long as they caught the bastard and ended his multi-year killing spree in the Southeast, she didn’t give a damn who got the credit.

Allison moved her binoculars. The tactical team was in place around the cabin, peering through scopes with infrared capabilities. If there was someone hiding in the shadows of a window or doorway, they wouldn’t be hiding for long.

On some signal unseen by Allison, the men began a steady, crouched advance to the building. She realized she was holding her breath so she blew out her air slowly between pinched lips.

“Relax, McNeil,” Garret muttered. “You’re making me nervous.”

The two members of the tactical squad approaching from the front reached the deck that wrapped around the front of the building. As they strode across it, the old wood floorboards groaned. The men froze. The seconds stretched out. Allison became suddenly aware of the hum of insects in the air around her. The dampness of her own skin. The sound of a bird calling in the distance. All of her senses were wired tight. An entire year of her life was wrapped up in the next few seconds. And if she’d got it wrong, Garret would have the ammo he’d been looking for to get her out of his unit once and for all. But she wasn’t worried about herself. What really bothered her was the chance that she had it right, that this was Kraw’s hideout, but that somehow they’d spooked him and he’d already slipped away. If that had happened, he’d be hundreds of miles away by tomorrow, scouting for his next victim as he traveled.

Movement in the cabin. Just a flutter. Like a bird trapped in a cage. Only her intuition told her it was more than a bird. It had been an arm. A human arm. Sam Kraw.

Based on the lack of movement from the tactical team, she realized no one else had seen it.

“I’ve got movement,” she whispered into her mic. “Window to the right of the front door. An arm.”

“I didn’t see anything,” Garret whispered.

Allison ignored him. The men around the cabin responded immediately, reorienting to the front door. Guns pointed at the window.

One of the men produced a miniram, a high impact, brute force breaching tool. Coordinating with his partner, he crouched next to the door while the other man readied a flash-bang grenade.

There was a pause, as if someone had pressed a button on a TV remote. Everyone was in place. The air seemed to still as if the world knew something was about to happen. Allison had her binoculars trained on the window where she’d seen the movement. If Kraw was inside, then the nightmare was almost over. She’d know in a few seconds whether that was the case or not.

But in that second, she saw the movement again.

Only this time, she knew something was wrong.

It was a man’s arm, she saw it clearly this time. But it was too stiff. The color was off. And, attached at the shoulder, she saw a coil of wire.

A mannequin arm on a spring.

Meant to make them think someone was inside.

It was a trap.

About the Author

Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on

His latest book is the thriller, Killer Pursuit.

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Interview with Sean Dow, author of ‘A Leafy Green World’ & ‘Al-thar’

Sean DowSean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.

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About the Book:

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Title: A Leafy Green World
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Thriller

A Leafy Green World is a fast paced, action packed thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brent Holcomb has moved to Portland in hopes of resurrecting his life and his career. There, he meets Robyn-the girl from his dreams. All is going smoothly until he realizes Robyn and her friends are not what they seem. Now, wrapped up in the murder of an innocent man, and with nowhere to turn, Brent forms a bold plan-a plan that will put him on a dangerous course, aligning himself with domestic terrorists and ultimately, a deeply hidden cell of Islamic terrorists.

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Al-TharTitle: Al-thar
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 466
Genre: Thriller

In Al-thar, (Arabic:revenge) Brent is living a tranquil life on the peaceful Philippine island of Masbate. But the FBI’s witness protection plan is not enough when you have destroyed the plans of the world’s most feared terrorist group-an assassin is on the way, and his plans are far worse than a simple bullet in the head.

With the violent destruction of his new island home, Dr. Holcomb is once again thrust into danger, this time on an international level. There are only two outcomes in this new high-stakes match, Brent’s painful and public death and the destruction of America’s, or the death of Saadullah Abul Ka-beir, and his council.

Brent brings together his cast of memorable friends from A Leafy Green World as he devises the greatest deception ever imagined. The action goes at a break-neck pace from the Philippines to Washington, D.C., and from a remote valley in Pakistan to the jungles of Sierra Leone in this novel that has been described as almost too real, and too timely.

For More Information

  • Al-thar is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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

Multi-published. A Leafy Green World is my second novel, and Al-thar, the third.

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 self-published. Having read horror stories of the lengths other authors had gone through trying to find a traditional publisher, I decided to go with the self-publishing route, at least until I had a chance to see if I could establish myself with a few stories.

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

It seemed like two lifetimes from the time I submitted my first manuscript until I had a chance to hold it in my hands, but it was probably about 6 months.

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

It was a terrific feeling-jubilation, accomplishment, and relief that it was finally done. Not very exciting, but I celebrated by starting another story.

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

I made a lot of marketing mistakes. My first was to engage an expensive company to promote my story. Big cash outlay, with little result-lesson learned.

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

I have gone back to my first books and tried to put myself in the shoes of the reader. This has been most beneficial in learning how to fine tune my style.

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

Tough question. I would have to say the biggest thing is the number of people and companies making outrageous promises on their ability to market independent authors. There are good ones out there, but the old adage, Let the buyer beware could be no more true than it is in the book marketing world.

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

The joy of hearing back from happy readers, there is nothing else like it!

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

Start writing! As a side note, I find that when I am actively writing a story, my mind responds just like my body does when I occasionally relent and take it to the gym-everything becomes sharper, and I take in so much more of the world around me. Maybe it’s time I start that next one?



First Chapter Reveal: Sabotage by Bryan Koepke

SabotageTitle: Sabotage
Author: Bryan Koepke
Publisher: Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.
Pages: 316
Genre: Thriller

Reece Culver and his friend Haisley Averton travel to Scotland with only one thing on their minds – fishing. After witnessing an automobile accident involving a freelance journalist they quickly realize that something far greater than a crash caused his SUV to sink into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

With increasing curiosity, Reece inserts himself into the complicated life of Marie Rhodes who is in the middle of her own crises as she watches her 20-year marriage crumble.

Realizing that they’ll never make it out fishing, Haisley uses his skills in computer forensics to find out who hacked into Karl Rhodes’ office computer at Draecon International and made it appear that he’d remotely accessed the dead journalists laptop. As Haisley combs through logs on the chief of strategy’s computer he stumbles upon an even bigger plot involving a secret drone factory somewhere in the United Kingdom, what looks like funds being embezzled out of Draecon International, and a plot that threatens the national security of the U.K.

Reece spends increasingly greater amounts of time with Marie Rhodes trying to learn what she knows and soon finds that he can’t resist the temptation of falling in love with the woman of his dreams. But as things heat up he questions her true motives.

When Karl Rhodes’ executive secretary is found dead Reece agrees to protect Marie’s soon to be ex-husband Karl. In a tricky game of cat and mouse Reece travels the globe as he tries to keep Marie, her husband, and Karl’s mistress out of harms way, and unknowingly puts himself directly into the crosshairs of a hired assassin.

For More Information

  • Sabotage is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Chapter 1

Saturday June 8, 2013

Julian had been told the target would be traveling south along the coastal road. With a practiced hand he pivoted the stock of the Russian-made sniper rifle on its black steel swivel mount atop the bipod legs and aimed toward the highway below. The SUV would be passing right through his sight . . . there. A chilly breeze blew through the tent, rippling the damp cotton shirt that lay molded to his back. He wasn’t nervous, but he did tend to sweat as the killing hour approached. He regarded the unpleasant sensation as just part of the job. It wasn’t like anyone would ever find out.

Peering through the custom-made rifle scope, he adjusted the magnification between his thumb and index finger, zooming in on the worn white strands of the highway’s center line several hundred yards below. As he rotated the knob back out, he spotted the farthest flag he’d placed in the branches of a nearby tree. The strip of white plastic barely fluttered, telling him the wind was calm.

His square unshaven chin pressed firmly against the cold black stock of the Dragunov SVD, and he pushed upward, seating the steel magazine that housed multiple 7N1 steel-core sniper rounds. With its 151-grain projectile and velocity of 830 meters per second, it was perfect for this type of work.

A rifle was the best—precise, anonymous, and decisive. He ran the shot through his mind one more time. Envision what you want to have happen. He’d read about that in an e-zine, and he adopted it as part of his preparations, even though it was supposed to be part of his ten-year life plan. He didn’t need any plan. In ten years he’d be rich and retired on a private island in the Caribbean.

The tracking device he’d stuck under the rear bumper would tell him when the SUV was near. It would approach on its way south toward the city of Talbert. He’d picked the perfect spot. The narrow Scottish road curved left around a large hill, and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean spread beyond the guardrail.

Confirm the license plate BV-061-EK, lead the target, and pan upward to the windshield. He’d draw a bead on the man’s head, squeeze the trigger, and watch as the windshield filled with a fine red mist. He’d envisioned the heavy vehicle veering sideways and crashing through the flimsy rusted guardrail before plunging into the depths of the sea. The driver would be dead before he realized how freezing cold that water was.

As the assassin waited patiently enduring the wet chill that reminded him of his home on Bainbridge Island, he monitored the moving red dot on his cell phone. A young woman with a yellow scarf drove past in her blue Volvo sedan. His stomach growled, and he remembered the bacon he’d had at the inn. The slabs were thick and cooked only in patches. Typical British cuisine.

The dot was rapidly approaching, and he shifted his attention to a silver Nissan Pathfinder rapidly making its way up the road. It carried two occupants. Damn it, he thought as a maroon BMW X5 came around the corner. The Pathfinder would pass in front just as the BMW entered his field of fire.

He could feel a drop of sweat rolling down the knobs of his spine. He zeroed in the rifle scope on the BMW windshield. The cross hairs remained steady as the SUV slowed to make the curve. He saw the Pathfinder pass through in a blur. He had a split second of clearance as he squeezed the trigger. The windshield misted red and flashed beyond his line of sight.

About the Author

Bryan KoepkeBryan Koepke lives in the United States with his wife, and dog. He grew up in the midwest, settled in Arizona, and then twenty years ago made his way north to Colorado. He’s a private pilot, Electrical Engineering Technician, and since 2009 has been employed as a Financial Analyst. Bryan has always had an interest in writing. He wrote his first stories at the age of 7. He started writing thrillers in 2010, and published his first book in 2014.

He holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic’s license, Pilot’s license, and has a BS in Finance. He’s also taken multiple graduate level engineering classes. His many hobbies include hiking, fishing, skiing, and travel. He’s an avid reader and enjoys watching television shows like 24, Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, and Ray Donovan.

His latest book is the thriller, Sabotage.

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Character Interview: Doug Landry from John Benedict’s medical thriller, ‘Adrenaline’

adrenalineWe’re thrilled to have here today Doug Landry from John Benedict’s new medical thriller, Adrenaline.  Doug Landry is a 42 y.o. anesthesiologist living in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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

Thank you so much for this interview, Doug Landry.  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 feel I was fairly portrayed.  The author seems to have a very good grasp of what it means to be an anesthesiologist—perhaps because he is one himself.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?  Yes, the author definitely shows my inner conflict with displaying emotion.  He also does a good job showing my marriage in jeopardy as I struggle with my desire for Jenny, the beautiful new SICU nurse.  I wish I would have done better dealing with my temptation, but then I guess the story wouldn’t have been as interesting.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?  I’m an intelligent, skilled anesthesiologist who cares about his patients. I also care about my wife and three young sons.

Worse trait?  Sometimes in medicine, patients have bad outcomes—it’s the nature of the beast.  Nowadays, I tend to bury my emotions and detach from my patients, owing to past bad experiences where I’ve been burned by caring too much. Unfortunately, this conflict is spilling over into my personal life and causing problems.  I also have a bit of a wandering eye and struggle now and again with this affliction.  Nothing serious—until . . .

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!)?  Matthew McConaughey or Matt Damon or Tom Cruise

Do you have a love interest in the book?  I love my wife, Laura, but we’re going through a bit of a rough patch in our 20-year marriage.  We’re fighting more now and did I mention I have a wandering eye.  So as luck would have it, after a particularly nasty fight, I run into a new co-worker nurse—Jenny—at the gym and she sure seems to be coming on to me.  I am flattered, but confused.  And of course she’s gorgeous.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?  Right after I meet Jenny, the SICU nurse at the gym.  I know she’s trouble for me and I do my best to avoid her at the hospital, but she has other ideas.

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?  I definitely wouldn’t want to be Mike Carlucci, my best friend and colleague.  As much as I have problems, he has real difficulties. I catch him doing drugs in the operating room and I really worry about his future.  Should I turn him in?  He’s likely to hurt some innocent patient.  But, he’s my best friend.  Guess what—Laura and I fight about this too.

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

I like it!  It’s very exciting and it’ll keep you guessing what’s going to happen and who’s going to survive, right up until the end.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?  He needs to focus more on my relationship with my wife Laura and how we can make it better.

Thank you for this interview, Doug Landry.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?  Well, I have it on good authority that I’ll be back—this time in a spooky, dark medical thriller called The Edge of Death.


JOHN BENEDICTDr. John Benedict graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and entered medical school at Penn State University College of Medicine.  While there, he also completed an internship, anesthesia residency and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship. He currently works as a physician/anesthesiologist in a busy private practice in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Benedict has been writing stories since high school, but his creative side was put on hold to pursue a medical education and start a family—he now has a wife and three sons.  Finally, after a 15-year pause, his love of writing was rekindled and his first novel, Adrenaline—a gritty medical thriller with a realism borne of actual experience—was born.

Besides creating scary stories, the hallmark of Dr. Benedict’s writing is genuine medical authenticity—something in short supply these days in thriller fiction.  He draws on his 25+ years of experience as a board-certified anesthesiologist to infuse his writing with a realism that renders it both vivid and frightening.  As one of only a handful of anesthesiologists throughout the country writing fiction, he gives readers a taste of what really goes on in the operating room, the human drama inherent in this high-stress, high stakes environment where lives are continually on the line.  Readers will find out what it’s like to hold a patient’s life in their hands, as the author provides an illuminating glimpse into the fascinating, but poorly understood realm of anesthesia.




Purchase on Amazon

About the Book: A sensational, skillful and highly suspenseful tale, Adrenaline introduces anesthesiologist protagonist Doug Landry. About Adrenaline: When patients start dying unexpectedly in the O.R. at Mercy Hospital, Doug Landry finds himself the focus of the blame. Is he really incompetent or is there something more sinister going on? As Doug struggles to clear his name and untangle the secrets surrounding these mysterious deaths, it becomes exceedingly clear that someone is serious—dead serious—about keeping the devastating truth from ever seeing the light of day. As he launches a pulse-quickening race against time to prevent more deaths, Doug soon finds that the lives of his patients aren’t the only lives at stake.  Seems that someone will stop at nothing to keep Doug from revealing the truth. Could it be that murder is the ultimate rush?

About the Author: Pennsylvania native John Benedict graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and entered post-graduate training at Penn State University College of Medicine, where he completed medical school, internship, anesthesia residency and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship. Benedict currently works as an anesthesiologist in a busy private practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


Character Interview: Tommy Cucitti from Arnaldo Lopez Jr.’s thriller ‘Chickenhawk’

arnaldo 3We’re thrilled to have here today Tommy Cucitti from Arnaldo Lopez Jr.’s new thriller, Chickenhawk.  Tommy Cucitti is a 34 year old homicide detective living in Long Beach, NY.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Tommy Cucitti.  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? Well, in the book I notice that I’m portrayed as being a little immature and impulsive. It’s just that I like keeping it real, you know what I’m saying? Some people can’t handle that. So I guess that I wasn’t really portrayed fairly but I’m alright with that, I’m still good son.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? Colorizing? What the hell is that? If you’re talking about like, my personality and stuff, then yeah it was okay. Only thing is like I said yo, he made me look a little immature. I’m a grown-assed man! Yeah, he should have taken that into consideration when he was “colorizing” my personality, you know, make me a little more serious about things. He got my love for Hip-Hop down right though!

What do you believe is your strongest trait? I’m a damn good cop.

Worse trait? Uh, I do have a temper.

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!)? Yo, Channing Tatum of course!

Do you have a love interest in the book? Yeah, my girl Daphne. She’s hot!

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? At the part where me and my partner Eddie get transferred to the D.A.’s office.

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? I would definitely not want to be that fat, greasy, nasty S.O.B. Bob Avni, for all of the reasons that I just now mentioned.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? The ending is real son! This go down in true New York fashion with plenty of gunplay and fists being thrown! I just feel kinda bad because of how me and Eddie end up but it’s all good.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it? Make me the main character next time and give me more love scenes with my girl!

Thank you for this interview, Tommy Cucitti.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future? Oh absolutely! From what I understand the author is busy working on the next novel with me in it!



Arnaldo Lopez Jr. has been employed by New York City Transit  for twenty-eight years and was formerly employed as a dispatcher with the NYPD.  Mr. Lopez is also a speaker and trainer, speaking on subjects as diverse as terrorism and customer service.  He created the civilian counter-terrorism training program currently in use by New York City Transit and many other major public transportation agencies around the country.

As well as writing, Mr. Lopez is an artist and photographer, having sold several of his works over the years.  As a writer he’s sold articles to Railway Age magazine, The Daily News magazine, Homeland Defense Journal, and Reptile & Amphibian magazine; scripts to Little Archie and Personality Comics; and short stories to Neo-Opsis magazine, Lost Souls e-zine, Nth Online magazine, Blood Moon magazine, and various other Sci-Fi and/or horror newsletters and fanzines.  He was also editor of Offworld, a small science fiction magazine that was once chosen as a “Best Bet” by Sci-Fi television.  Chickenhawk is his first novel.

Connect with Arnaldo Lopez Jr. on Facebook and Twitter.


Title: Chickenhawk

Genre: Thriller

Author: Arnaldo Lopez Jr.

Publisher: Koehler Books/Café Con Leche books

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

Chickenhawk is an urban crime fiction novel that showcases New York City’s diversity, as well as the dark side of race relations, politics, sexuality, illness, madness, and infidelity. Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti are Manhattan North Homicide detectives after a serial killer that manages to stay below their radar while the body count keeps climbing in a city that’s turning into a powder keg.

Character Interview: Dr. Bruce Markum from Jim Bailey’s medical novel, ‘The End of Healing’

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Dr. Bruce Markum from Jim Bailey’s new medical novel, The End of Healing. Bruce Markum is a 36-year-old surgeon living in Washington, DC.

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

end_of_healing_bookThank you so for this interview, Bruce.  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?

Look, this book has been a nightmare for me. I mean, it’s pretty clear that Bailey prefers that goody-goody Don Newman over me. He made me look like a big jerk and I’ve had to do a lot of damage control to salvage my reputation. People who know me will tell you that a lot of the stuff he wrote about me was completely bogus.

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

Well, he did a great job of entertaining the readers at my expense. Of course I would like to have been portrayed differently! How would you feel? I admit I’m the kind of guy who tells it like it is, but I’m not a jerk.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?


Worse trait?

Spouting off when I should keep my mouth shut. Wait – don’t print that.

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!)?

Ben Affleck.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Frances, hello! She’s the hottest thing this side of the Rio Grande. Smart, too. Of course, she’s really pissed at me right now, but she’ll get over it. And by the way, don’t believe everything Bailey wrote in the book about what happened between us. Frances’ll come around. We make a good-looking pair — you can’t argue with that, right?

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

That trip to DC. Sampson was so naïve about how business gets done in this country. I knew then I’d made a big mistake going to study with him. Don’t get me wrong – Sampson understands a lot about the problems in healthcare and he means well. But it’s better to work the system the way it is. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, that’s what I say.

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?

Don Newman. Let’s face it—he’s naïve. He just doesn’t get the way the world really works. Also, he’s a terrible dresser.

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

Well, I’m just glad I got out of there before that craziness with Don by the omphalos, or whatever they call it. I mean, does anyone really believe all that? I think the whole thing is ridiculous. Obviously Don had a nervous breakdown or something. Or maybe a hallucination from lack of sleep. How else would you explain it?

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

Don’t. Please. Just leave me out of it.

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

Well, I’m not prepared to announce anything just yet, but I’ve formed an exploratory committee to study my options. Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know!


Title: The End of Healing

Genre: Suspense

Author: Dr. Jim Bailey


Publisher: The Healthy City

Purchase on Amazon


Dr. Don Newman, a resident physician at the renowned University Hospital, awakens in a windowless call room in the middle of the night to the screams of his pager. As he runs to a dark ward to attend to a dying woman strapped to a bed, Don realizes that despite having worked long and hard to become a doctor—and having sworn to do no harm—harm has become his business.

So begins Dr. Newman’s quest to become a healer in a system that puts profits ahead of patients. Abandoning his plans to become a cardiologist, Dr. Newman enrolls in an Ivy League graduate program in health system science, where an unorthodox professor promises to guide him ever deeper into the dark secrets of the healthcare industry. Along with fellow students Frances Hunt, a sharp and alluring nurse practitioner, and Bruce Markum, a cocky, well-connected surgeon, Dr. Newman begins a journey into the medical underworld.

When Dr. Newman unearths evidence of a conspiracy stretching from the halls of Congress to Wall Street and even to his small campus, his harmless course of study becomes deadly serious. Will he be silenced? Or will he find a way to save his patients and others from needless torture? One thing is certain:  the path to healing is fraught with danger. Will this path lead Don to a dead end?

Jim Bailey Author Photo

About the Author:

Jim Bailey is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where he directs the Center for Health Systems Improvement, cares for the sick, and teaches doctors in training. His research appears in many peer-reviewed medical journals, including AMAJournal of General Internal Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Bailey has an abiding passion for the classics, medical history, and ethics, and believes that sharing our stories can heal.The End of Healingis his first novel.

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Character Interview: Rudyard Bloodstone from Chris Karlsen’s suspense/thriller ‘Silk’

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Rudyard Bloodstone from Chris Karlsen’s new suspense, Silk.  Rudyard is a 31 year old Detective Inspector with London Metropolitan Police Service and living in London, England.

Silk HighRes (2)It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Rudyard.  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?

Yes. Ms. Karlsen showed several different sides of my personality, which I appreciate. I’m not just a detective. I do have outside interests and friends. She also portrayed me as a bit rough around the edges, which I am. I’m not, and never have been, a smoothie. She was honest about me not being one spoiling for a fight but not afraid to mix it up either.

I’d like to clarify that it might seem like I don’t miss my family in Wales as I don’t speak about wishing to go for a visit or having them visit me. I do miss my family and the lovely countryside around Brecon where I grew up. But, I had nine brothers and sisters, most of whom are married with children of their own. Chaos rules the day when we’re all together. I always need a rest after, plus, my work keeps me busy. Opportunities to go home aren’t many.

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

She mentioned my Victoria Cross for extreme valor in the face of battle. Those are the Queen’s words, not mine. I do not feel a hero. I did what was necessary at the time. Nothing more, nothing less.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?


Worse trait?

I’ve a short temper.

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!)?

Karl Urban

Do you have a love interest in the book?

There are two different ladies I see socially. Not at the same time, though. I enjoy their company, but I’m not in love with either.

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

When Chief Superintendent Effingham and Detective Inspector Napier from the City of London Police Department interfered in my investigation.

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?

Viscount William Everhard. I never want to slip into madness the way he did and become fiend.

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

I approve. I was surprised and glad my partner and I finally discovered what we needed to solve the difficult case.

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

I hope she does write another. I understand she plans to. I look forward to trouncing Napier who is, and always has been, a thorn in my side so please include him. I enjoy my police colleagues so I’d like to see most of them again. I’d like to have more fun with my adopted stray, Winky. He’s as incorrigible as a canine can be, but I love him.

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

Yes, sometime early next year, I believe.


Title: Silk

Genre: Thriller

Author: Chris Karlsen


Publisher: Books to Go Now

Purchase on Amazon


London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum’s beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they’d better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.



Chris is a Chicago native. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was in her late teens where she later studied at UCLA. She graduated with a Business Degree. Her father was a history professor and her mother a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books.Her parents were also passionate about traveling and passed their passion onto Chris. Once bitten with the travel bug, Chris spent most of her adult life visiting the places she’d read about and that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel Europe extensively, the Near East, and North Africa, in addition to most of the United States.

After college, Chris spent the next twenty-five years in law enforcement with two agencies. Harboring a strong desire to write since her teens, upon retiring from police work, Chris decided to pursue her writing career. She currently writes three different series. Her historical romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters, and he latest book, Silk, is book one in her mystery/suspense series, The Bloodstone series.

She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.

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