Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Pub Day! Happy New Year!

When Mel and I decided to write a book together, which quickly turned into writing a series together, we never dreamed we'd fall in love with out characters, and that our reader response would be so fabulous.  Today is publication day for Book 2 in the Deception series, and we're thrilled with the response we've received so far from early reviewers. Below is a little snippet from Book 2.


“I’ve warned you before about messing with my man.”
Candy Granger rubbed her burning cheek. Why did her mother always have to take their side? It had been the same with the lowlife who had warmed her mother’s bed before the detestable Duke. The scumbag made her skin crawl each time he dared to look at her, always thrusting his crotch in her direction and running his tongue around his lips. “Messing with your man, Mom? He’s the one who had his hands all over me. Open your eyes—he’s been trying to feel me up ever since I turned fifteen.”
She ducked to avoid a second slap as her mother screamed at her. “Get your bags and get outta my sight. When I was fifteen…”
Candy stopped listening. She’d heard the “when I was fifteen” story for the last ten years. It always ended the same—with her mother extolling how much she’d sacrificed and how ungrateful Candy was. “Forget it, Mom. I’ll leave.”
She glared at Duke as she stalked through the living room and into her tiny bedroom. Now that he knows Mom is going to take his side, the gross son of a bitch will get even braver. The sound of her mother screaming at Duke gave her some comfort. What Candy couldn’t figure out was why her mother had come down so heavily on her instead of him. Any decent mother would have thrown out the boyfriend, not her only child. She strained an ear—the shouting had stopped. Then the trailer began to rock. It was always the same.
Candy packed her backpack and left her bedroom. The sound of her mother and Duke having sex filled her with disgust. Mother was never going to change; neither were the men she dragged home with her. All her lovers had tried it on with Candy, eventually. Candy opened the front door then let it slam shut behind her. Dammit, all I needed was one more month. Ms. Tyson had promised to help me get my work paper.
Leaving the trailer park, she sighed heavily, relieved in a way to be out of there. The park was well known to the NYPD. Her mom’s drug habit in particular had brought several officers to their door over the past few years. Nevertheless, it had been a place to sleep. What now?
The conundrum played on her mind during her trek to the city. Without any money, no close friends, and no family she knew of, there was no place to go. She couldn’t go to the shelter, not after the problems her mother had caused the last time she’d found Candy there.
“Shit!” she exclaimed as a pebble pushed its way through the sole of her shoe. She glanced at the sky. “Is that all you’ve got? My feet were already hurting.” A sudden gust of wind struck up, driving the dust from the road into her tired eyes, blinding her for a second. Candy laughed and sat beside the road, rubbing at her eyes. Cursing God might not be the brightest idea I’ve had.
Candy heard the sound of a vehicle pulling up beside her and peered through the darkness as the door to a Winnebago opened. An older woman smiled at her.
“You look lost, child. What are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere all by yourself?” the kind-looking woman asked.
Candy hesitated for a moment, thinking of all the horror stories she’d heard on the news recently, but her aching feet and the way the woman was smiling warmly at her soon dispersed her fear. “I was headed into town, but the road dust blinded me.”
A robust older man leaned forward over the steering wheel and asked, “Do you need a lift?”
“No, it’s okay. Besides, you’re going in the wrong direction. I don’t want to put you out.”
“Nonsense,” the woman said quickly. “When was the last time you ate a decent meal, child? You look like a good strong wind would blow you away.”
Candy realized she hadn’t eaten anything but snacks in two days. “I’m all right. I’m not hungry.” Her stomach rumbled noisily, disputing her claim. “Guess that’s my body’s way of calling me a liar.”
The three of them laughed. “Hop in. Our girls have already eaten and gone to bed. Plenty of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans left.” She patted her husband’s protruding stomach. “I’d be shot if he didn’t get at least two proper meals every day. What do you say, child?”
Candy hesitated again. She was hungry, and maybe if she were lucky, they would let her sleep in the motor home, giving her one more day to figure out what she was going to do next. “I don’t want to impose on your kindness. I’ll be fine. I can see the city from here, and it won’t take me long to make it on foot.”
The man revved the engine of the Winnebago. “Leave the girl be, Elisa. You’re too pushy sometimes.”
The woman swiped her husband’s arm. “Hush now, John, what if it was one of our girls? I’m only trying to keep the child safe.” She turned to face Candy again. “Does your momma know you’re out here all on your own? We can drop you off at home.”
Her head dipped. “She doesn’t care. She kicked me out a few hours ago. She was in bed with her boyfriend when I left.”
“Such a shame. What about the rest of your family? Maybe we can drop you off at one of their homes.”
“I don’t have anyone else. I was going to stay at a shelter tonight until I figured out what to do.”
Tears welled up in the woman’s eyes. “How dreadful. Then you’re definitely accepting a ride from us. We’ll take you into the city, and if we can’t find a decent shelter, we’ll put you up in a hotel for the night.”
The more the couple interacted with her, the more she trusted them. Her view of adults was skewed by her years in the trailer park. What harm could it do to take a ride into the city? It would only take ten minutes instead of the hour or so she predicted it would take her to walk. “Okay, if you’re sure I’m not putting you out.”
The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill. “Here, honey, take this. It should get you a decent room for the night.”
“Thank you.” Candy stuck the money in her jeans pocket.
The woman jumped out of the vehicle and opened the side door. “Get in. I’ll fix you something to eat before we drop you off.”
“Wow, this is beautiful.” Candy placed her bag on the floor. “I can’t thank you enough for pulling over and offering to help me out like this.”
“Nonsense.” Elisa shushed her. “Do you want to use the bathroom to freshen up? I’ll heat up the food for you. Third door on the right.”
Candy made her way to the bathroom, glancing into the bedroom on the left. The two bunk beds were occupied, but all she could see was long hair. She felt better knowing John and Elisa had children of their own. The smell of fried chicken seeped through the bathroom door, making her tummy rumble even more. Elation wrapped around her at her good fortune. So there are some kind people left in this crazy world. She rinsed the dirt out of her eyes, washed her hands and face, and dried them on the monogrammed beige towel hanging on the rail. Then she opened the door and rejoined her hosts. Glancing out the window, she realized how close they were to the city.
Elisa placed the scrumptious food on the plate and set it on the table. “Well, don’t let it go cold now. I’ve poured you some milk. Do you want coffee, too?”
“No, thank you. This smells fabulous.” Elisa motioned with her hand for Candy to tuck into her food. She did so with gusto before she downed her milk in one go. “That was great. Again, I can’t thank you…” Her tongue refused to work, and her jaw went slack as the woman standing before her suddenly started to look blurry. Before she could figure out what was happening, she tipped sideways onto the bench.
~ ~ ~
   Candy woke several hours later, her head pounding as she struggled to remember exactly what had happened. Forcing her head off the pillow, she groaned as bright light hit her aching eyes. She pushed herself up off the bunk. She was no longer in the back of the Winnebago but in an ice-white room, wearing a matching white hospital gown. Maybe John and Elisa had an accident. Candy checked her body over, feeling for injuries. I’m not hurt, so where the hell am I? She walked to the door and tried the knob. Locked.
   She turned to survey the room. It had a sterile quality that screamed hospital, but Candy couldn’t remember any hospital with nothing more than a bed, a sink and commode in the room. Her gaze homed in on the red numbers on the pillow. Thirty-Seven. She moved to the bed and pushed the pillow aside. The sheets had the same number printed on them, as did the blanket. What the hell? Curiosity overwhelmed her, and she pulled her arms out of the gown and turned it around. The number thirty-seven was stamped across the back in red. She pushed her arms through the holes and sat on the bunk. Looks like I’m number thirty-seven, and from what I can see, I’m in the loony bin. 

Looking for a great New Year read?



Sunday, September 4, 2016

#SundaySample - Chapter One - Tragic Deception

Best selling British author, M. A. Comley and I are proud to introduce the Deception series. Mel and I have talked about co-authoring for years, but only recently did we turn that talk into action. Although are genres are similar, our styles are somewhat different, and we wondered if we could find our rhythm. Once we found our character, Sergeant Alexandra Fox, the rest was easy. Early reviews of our introductory novella, Clever Deception, have thrilled and humbled us. If you're a member of Goodreads you can check out the early reviews there. Our first novel is now available for pre-order and will be released on October 1st. The novella, Clever Deception is also available for pre-order and will be released on September 14th. Book 2 is will under way. I hope you enjoy this sample of Tragic Deception. We believe Alex has a long and tempestuous career ahead of her.

Book Trailer for Clever Deception



“As of eight o’clock this morning, we have three missing babies. Only one is in our borough, but we’ll we working in conjunction with all precincts. Talk to your CIs, keep your ears open, and knock down doors if you have to—but find those babies.”

Commander Patterson was winding down his morning speech, and for once, the squad room was quiet and somber. “Any questions?”

He waited only a second before issuing his final command. “Then hit the streets and find those babies.” His dark eyes bored through the crowd, homing in on her. “Fox, my office.”

Alexandra waited for the snickers and “Alex the Fox” comments that usually followed his summons, which happened frequently—at least once a month, and more likely than not, once a week. She shot a glance at her current partner, Corey Graves, who averted his eyes and turned his back on her. “Bloody tosser,” she mumbled as she pushed her way through the throng of officers to follow the commander.

She knocked on the door and waited for the command that would allow her to enter. Even after a year, Alex didn’t quite understand American protocol. He’d ordered her to meet him in his office; why couldn’t he just leave the damn door open?

“Come in.”

Opening the door, she stuck her head inside. “You wanted to see me, sir?”

Patterson sighed heavily. “Come in and close the door behind you.”

Alex stepped inside the room, closed the door, and took her position in front of his desk. She’d made the mistake once of sitting down without an invitation. Her face flushed at the memory. Patterson didn’t like her, and she knew if it weren’t for Chief Brown, he would have fired her on the spot. She’d learned to play Patterson’s game, but she didn’t like it.

Patterson eyed her over his glasses, a smirk playing around his lips. “No surprise, but Officer Graves no longer wishes to partner with you. He called you a ticking time bomb.”

“Right. Like I’m the bloody one off with the fairies.”

His face blanched. “What the hell does that mean, Fox?”

Alex met his gaze head on. “It means Graves needs to pull his head out of his arse, stop ogling the skirts, and do his job. Most of us eat three times a day. Graves has to be laid three times a day, or he can’t function.”

His gaze slowly drifted away from hers when she refused to admit defeat. He opened the window behind the desk, then leaned back in the chair, bit off the end of a cigar, and lit it. His eyes held a challenge when they met hers again. Smoking had been banned in New York for several years. An officer could actually be dismissed if caught smoking on the grounds. She could report him, but Patterson would probably get a slap on the wrist, and warning. “You’ve lost six partners in the last year, Fox. I suppose all of them were ‘off with the fairies’?”

The anger bubbling just below the surface rose, and Alex clenched her hands at her side. He’s probably going to fire me anyway, so sod it. “I have never lost a partner, sir. Not one of them has been shot, knifed, beaten, or killed. I do my job, which is to have their back, not inflate their egos or their willies.”

Patterson puffed on the cigar and blew smoke in her direction. “Sit down, Fox.”

Pulling out a chair next to his desk, she sat, steeling herself for a long lecture on the importance of loyalty and fitting in. A chill shivered down her spine. She hoped he didn’t ask her about the bloody book he’d given her last time. How to Win Friends and Influence People. She’d thrown it in the trash after reading the first chapter.

“You passed all the protocol for detective.” Patterson ruffled the papers on his desk as he continued to huff and puff on the cigar. The smirk around his lips widened. “Except one—a recommendation from me.”

“I’m a good copper, sir. I deserve that promotion.”

He shrugged. “The problem is your attitude and your refusal to fit in.”

Anger surged to the surface again, and she gripped the arms of the chair. “You mean conform, sir. Not fit in.”

He eyed the white knuckles, and Alex took a deep breath, forcing herself to relax as Patterson continued. “You’re not in England, Fox. Half the time, we can’t understand what the hell you’re saying, and the other half, we feel like you’re insulting us.” His jaw tightened, and his eyes darkened. “Fit in or get out.”

“Recommend the promotion, and I’ll be out of your hair, maybe even out of your district.”

He chuckled. “I’ll do you one better.” He rummaged through the papers on his desk then pulled out a file and passed it to her. “You want to be a detective? Find those babies before the FBI does, and I’ll recommend your promotion.”

Alex flipped through the file, which contained some of the same information that had been passed out earlier, along with a more in-depth case summary listing the names and addresses of the parents, doctors, nurses, and hospitals as well as pictures of the newborns.

“You’ve got a week. That’s how long I’m suspending you.”

Her head jerked up, and she once again met the dark gaze. “Suspending me? For what, sir?”


He continued to puff on the cigar and blow smoke in her direction. He wanted her to challenge him. She hadn’t been insubordinate, but he knew if he pushed hard enough, she could be.

“And how exactly am I supposed to investigate while under suspension? I won’t have access to anything.”

He sneered. “You like working alone. Isn’t that what you’ve told me for the last year?”

Alex closed the file and stood. “And if I can’t find them in a week?”

“Send out some resumes. You’ll be looking for a new job.”

$.99/99p pre-order

$.99/99p pre-order

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Top 10 Spam messages for the day! Sometimes I just need a laugh.

I hate spam, but occasionally it makes me chuckle. The pics are my own little addition.

1)  Have you seen this picture of you?
(If it's of me, I'm assuming I was there!)

2) Your penis wants you to take the little blue pill!
(Bwahahahahaha--Yeah, I'll fall for that one.)

3) My dearest friend---
(Is that like BFF?)

4) Beloved in Christ - I have 25 million US Dollars
(Good for you!)

5) Tired of not being able to perform in bed?
(Where did you put the camera?)

6) Last chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I won't hold my breath on that one.)

7) We can't deliver your package!
(Probably because it's not for me.)

8) Invoice attached, please pay immediately.
(Talk to the guy with the 25 million)

9) What should we do next?
(Stop spamming me? That would be my first suggestion.)

10) Could you help me with this?
(Why, yes, I think I can. Let me put you on hold for a minute.)

Even with the new laws against spamming, I'm pretty sure we're never going to get rid of it. So, maybe I'll just continue to laugh occasionally.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Three Great Books For $.99 and New Release!

For one week only, you can get a combined set of three books for $.99
Love legal thrillers? Check out Jenna James in Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.
Paranormal Mysterys - Catherine Mans is awesome in Bet you Can't Find Me
Psychological Thrillers - Jacody Ives in The Gifts

Amazon (all sites)
Apple ibooks

It was my great pleasure to co-write an exciting new series with NYT best selling author, M. A. Comley.  Clever Deception is now available for pre-order on Amazon.



Monday, July 4, 2016

The Original Jake Savior - Comic Relief - Cigarettes Will Kill You

Occasionally I take a break from the chaos, murder and madness of my mysteries and legal thrillers and write just for fun.  Prior to writing Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Jake Savior was my comedy relief.  I loved his witty attitude, and sense of moral justice.  He was willing to kill for a price, but it was the freebies he really enjoyed. I knew I would never publish this book, but occasionally I look back and read what I’ve written and smile.  Sometimes I add a new chapter just for fun.  Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that was just, well, too far out there?  Good Intentions was that for me.  Good for a laugh, and brining an excellent character to mind, but not really marketable.  Still, I’ll always be grateful to Good Intentions and the Jake Savior contained therein, as he inspired portions of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.  Working with the justice system I can totally understand his statement:  “The courts seen fit to let a pedophile go--I didn't.”  Poor Jake.  Life was tough for a killer for hire, but death without his cigarettes was even worse.


     You grow up poor you've got to wonder if God's got a sense of humor. All the crap life throws at you. And He gives you mothers. It's kind of like that guy Brandon Lee said in the movie The Crow--"Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children."
     He got that right. My momma wasn't just a good woman. She was a Saint. Somehow she managed to raise four kids on a waitress' salary. And three of them turned out pretty good. Or would have. But that's another story.
     Sometimes when I'm thinking about momma I have to wonder if she knew about God's sense of humor. She read us the good book every night, but she never said nothing about no sense of humor. Still, she had to know something. I mean, after three girls she got me. She had to figure God was up to something.
     I’m Jake Savior, and yeah you might as well go ahead and laugh. Everybody else does. My clients are always telling me God's got a sense of humor. The people looking for me weren't looking for a savior. They were mostly searching the want ads for killer for hire. That's me. For the right price I put a lot of people out of other people's misery. Heck, I even done some for free. Some people deserve to die, and being the nice guy I am, I gladly obliged them.
     But I'm digressing. Let's get back to God's sense of humor.
     I'd had a pretty good day. Won a few bucks on the horse races. Did a little charity work by ridding the world of one more piece of garbage. The courts seen fit to let a pedophile go--I didn't. So I was feeling pretty good about myself, except I was out of cigarettes.
     Now anyone that knows me knows I love a good smoke. Last count I was up to five packs a day. Momma always said those thing were going to kill me. Turns out she was right.
     Only a die-hard smoker goes out at 2:00 a.m. for smokes. Especially since all the safe places close down early, leaving only a few gas stations and convenience stores open at that hour. Still, I was willing to take my chances. It was too damn cold for thieves to be out and I really, really wanted that last cigarette before I turned the lights out and called it a day.
     You've probably already concluded that I'm a smart ass bastard that beats my own drum. Some people will smoke anything. Not me. I'm a strict Kentucky Red's Best smoker. Which means whether I liked it or not I was gonna have to hoof it over to Winchester Road at this time of night. Not everybody carried Red's Best.
     Being the cautious person I am, I scouted the parking lot and looked inside for milling customers. No cars and only one customer at the counter. I quickly ascertained he was one of the good guys like me, needing that last deep drag to calm his nerves before he called it a night. Boy was I wrong. Wrong place, wrong time and wrong guy. Five minutes after I entered the door of the Shaky Seven Gas to Go bullets started flying.
     I've always heard that your life passes before your eyes when you're dying. Trust me, that's all bull. My last vision was that pack of Red's Best I held in my hand, and my last thought was how good that cigarette was gonna taste as soon as I got outside. Of course, that wouldn't have surprised anyone who really knew me. It wasn't any big surprise to me. I was surprised though. Having listened to momma all those years and growing up with three sisters extolling virtues that I never needed or wanted, I was expecting either that bright light to take me to Heaven, or most likely in my case, a little fire and brimstone trail leading to Hell. That didn't happen either.

# # #

     "God, I'd kill for a cigarette."
     "You're kidding right?"
     I glanced over at the convenience store clerk floating next to me as we both looked down at our bullet ridden bodies. I had to chuckle a little. That pack of Red's Best was still clutched tightly in my outstretched hand.
     "Yeah, mom always said those things were gonna kill me. Guess she can say 'I told you so' now."
     "So, what do we do now?"
     "Beats the hell out of me," I stated turning to really look at the clerk. He was young, probably in his early twenties and looked like he was gonna cry any minute.
     "Jake Savior," I stuck out a hand. I sure as hell didn't need someone blubbering all over me.
     "Ronnie Smith," he stated, gaze still riveted to his body. "Mom's gonna be really pissed. I don't know how she's gonna pay the rent this month."
     "Maybe she'll get lucky. Sue the store and get a million dollars."
Ronnie finally looked at me, took the hand I still had stuck out and shook it heartily.  "Really? You think she can do that?"
     Truth was I didn't know shit about civil lawsuits. Criminal law, yeah, I could advise you all day long on criminal law, but civil suits were a different animal with a whole new breed of greedy demons. Still, we were dead and what was he gonna do, sue me if I was wrong?
     "Sure kid, happens every day."
     "That would be nice."
     "Hey, look, another late night smoker coming in." We watched as the guy entered the store, took one look at the blood and immediately jerked out a cell phone. A good Samaritan all the way. So what if he loaded up on a few cartons of cigarettes, a couple of gallons of milk, some bread and snacks and three cases of beer while he waited.
Sirens blared away and we watched as the local cops pulled up, followed by paramedics.        The good Samaritan stayed just long enough to give a statement before hopping in his now loaded Toyota and hitting the road. He'd be celebrating tonight and nobody the wiser.
I watched as the paramedic leaned over my body, checked for a pulse and shook his head.      "This one's dead."
     "No, shit, Sherlock. I mean, really, there's a hole right between my eyes."
     "Hey, Jake. . ."
     "Where the heck are you going?" I yelled. Ronnie was slowly drifting backwards as if drawn by some unseen force. I headed in his direction only to find myself up against an invisible brick wall.
     "Well, that sucks," I muttered, kicking the wall only to find another long held belief wasn't true. You could feel pain after death.
     Being the naturally curious person I was, and since death so far had held a hell of a lot more surprises than life, I drifted back inside the store.
     "We got a pulse."
     The kid was still alive. Hallelujah. Hope he doesn't tell his mother about that million dollars. She might really be pissed then.
     "Marty, you bag and tag that one when the coroners done."
     I'd always had a lot of respect for guys like Marty. The things they had to deal with every day. Bet his friends called him the bag and tag guy. I really wanted to pat him on the back until the fat bastard leaned over and picked up my pack of Red's Best, stowing them in his front pocket. "Don't guess he'll be needing these anymore."
     They all laughed. Laughed.
     I hope you get lung cancer you son-of-a-bitch and die a long, slow, painful death.
I watched as they loaded the kid into the ambulance, lights flashing, sirens blasting. Might have been happy about that if the fat bastard hadn't chosen that moment to light up one of my Best's. Smoke drifted my way. A tantalizing aroma of pure Heaven.
     "Hey, Marty, you got that body bag?"
     I watched the red tip as it arced through the air, landing a few feet away. There was still half a cigarette left. Dumb bastard. You don't throw away half of one of Kentucky's best brands. You smoke it slowly, savoring the aroma and taste.
     I spent the next five minutes trying to wrap my newly dead fingers around that cigarette. I could see it. Smell it. And if I closed my eyes, I could even taste it. But try as I might I couldn't pick the damn thing up.
     Frustrated I sat back down on the curb, listening as the cops made jokes as they loaded my body into the wagon. It wasn't funny. Wasn't funny at all.
     So the next time you're sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and you think life ain't fair, try dying at a late-night convenience store for a pack of cigarettes and then find out you've got to sit and watch some other lucky bastard enjoy them.
     That's when it hit me. Yep, God's got a real sense of humor. At least if Ronnie was here I'd have somebody to share my misery with.
     So this is hell. Stuck here in what I can only describe as grey matter to watch life pass me by, totally unable to intervene or enjoy even the simplest of things. That's what I was beginning to think. But that was before the kid. The kid changed everything and hell started looking pretty good to me.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Star Studded Performance - Book Review - Twisted Justice

Having followed the Justice series since book 1, Cruel Justice, I've developed a super sensitivity to Lorne Warner and her family and friends.  As with all great books it's necessary to like or hate the characters.  M. A. Comley weaves a cast of main characters that have been easy to love, and a cast of antagonists that for some might cause nightmares, but for others allows you the opportunity to look into the minds of some seriously evil villains.

Twisted Justice doesn't disappoint.  Not only does Ms. Comley bring back out favorites, Lorne and Katy and their MET crew, but also combines that with new favorites DI Sally Parker (Wrong Place and No Hiding Place).  The story starts with the a bang, and the action doesn't let up as these two well-seasoned crime professionals go after a family crime unit that would rival the American early Mafia families.

The antagonists, led by a very determined, controlling and cold mother, are real enough to have been formerly portrayed in true crime stories.  Believable unfortunately in the world we live in today.  Greed knows no bounds, and there is no honor among thieves.

Twisted Justice offers the reader a well developed and believable plot, in-depth and fabulous characterization.  If you love crime procedurals you'll love this one.

Looking for a new series that will give you months of enjoyment, then check out the remainder of the Justice series.