Book Review: FIELD OF VALOR by Matthew Betley

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Set in the aftermath of Betley’s “machine-gun pace” (BooklistOath of Honor and the discovery of a deadly global conspiracy, the president requests Logan West to form a covert task force with the mission to dismantle a nameless enemy.

With the full resources of the Justice Department, Intelligence Community, and the military (not to mention presidential pardons pre-signed), Logan must battle a secret organization with the connections and funding to rival many first-world nations. The goal of this organization is both singular and sinister—to pit the United States against China in a bid to dismantle the world’s security and economy. Back on US soil, Logan and his task force pursue the elusive foe from the woods of northern Virginia to the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, from suburban Maryland across the urban sprawl of Washington DC. The stakes have never been higher for Logan or America itself…

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

VALOR IS FREEDOM

 

 

 

 

“Betley has quietly become an important new voice in the covert-thriller genre.” (Booklist)

“The action in Betley’s superb thrillers can come from every direction at the pace of a firefight, sweeping you from Iraq to Mexico to Africa to the corridors of power in DC. A former Marine, Betley writes with the authority of an insider who understands this world intimately, just as he knows his compelling and troubled hero, Logan West. A welcome new star!” (Peter Heller, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOG STARS)

“Suspenseful, inventive, and relentless, FIELD OF VALOR unfolds at lightning pace. The action rings with authenticity. The story brims with twists, intrigue, and secrets that will keep readers turning pages.”  (Meg Gardiner, New York Times bestselling author of INTO THE BLACK NOWHERE )

“In Field of Valor, make sure you strap in tight! Like the best rides in a theme park, this one starts FAST, and while your heart rate may occasionally approach ‘normal,’ it never truly does…and you’ll love it! Betley’s pacing, language, and presentation of situations sing the true, real notes of one who has been there. Logan West uses his considerable intelligence and fortitude to conquer the challenges presented. If you haven’t discovered Matthew Betley before, congratulate yourself for doing so now!” (Charles Davis, Fox Sports NFL Sunday Announcer & Analyst, John Madden Video Game Announcer )

“Fast, hard-hitting, and impossible to put down, FIELD OF VALOR is hands-down one of the best action thrillers hitting bookstores in 2018.” (The Real Book Spy )

 

 

 

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Better, than expected.

 

I admit this was my first tap into Matthew Betley’s blockbuster series with Field of Valor. It was definitely better than I expected it too be. I’m not sure what I expected, but exceeded whatever was in my brain! Excellent. The crafting of the scenes, including the fighting, settings, and action were off the charts. All I could say was, DAMN, that was good. It’s that kind of thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaves you full when you’re done. The plot to stop a global conspiracy with the lethality, resources, and resolve that rival our own military make this a homerun. In fact, it seems like the conspiracy gets deeper and deeper as the book goes along. I jumped into this series with Field of Valor, so have to go back and devour the first two books. Overwatch and Oath of Honor. So I’ll be ready for book 4 when it comes out early next year!

 

 

 

Five Gold Stars

 

 

 

 

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Matthew Betley grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, which he considers home after his family moved there from New Jersey, where he was born and which also explains his affinity for the New York Yankees. He attended St. Xavier High School and then Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated with a B.A. in psychology and minors in political science and sociology. He also spent the first semester of senior year investigating felony murder cases as an intern investigator in Washington, D.C., for the Public Defender’s Office, a formative experience that provided countless stories that could fill the pages of a non-fiction book. Upon graduation, he worked in corporate America for five years in Cincinnati before joining the Marine Corps in 1999.

Matt spent ten years as a Marine officer and was trained as a scout sniper platoon commander, an infantry officer, and a ground intelligence officer. His experiences include deployments to Djibouti after 9/11, and Fallujah, Iraq, prior to the surge, both in staff officer support billets.

Finally, and most importantly, Matt is a recovering alcoholic with nearly eight years of sobriety. He credits the Marine Corps with providing a foundation in discipline and personal accountability for his desire to initially seek help. Matt is open and direct about it and has spoken in front of large groups of people with one clear message – if he can get sober, so can anyone. He credits his recovery with providing the authenticity for Logan West’s struggle with his inner demons.

 

 

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Release: Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl

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Looking for a serial killer thriller you won’t be able to put down? Then discover Portraits Of The Dead, by #1 best-selling author John Nicholl, today.

Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself faced with a difficult case when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.

Can Gravel find the girl and stop the murderer?

He will learn that the greater the evil, the deadlier the game… 

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

Trust me, this is an author you don’t want to miss. John Nicholl is the real deal. When I listened to the audiobook format of this title I was literally in awe. Having worked in law enforcement as a police officer, John Nicholl fully brings to life the true nature of crime fiction. You’ll get to know well DI Gravel, a young student named Emma, and the sadistic mind of a killer. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young busine

 

 

 

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John Nicholl, an ex police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six darkly psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon # 1 bestseller.

John has publishing deals with Bloodhound Books, W.F. Howes, and Hungarian publisher – Konyvmolykepzo. He is always happy to hear from readers, bloggers or the media and can be contacted via his author website at: http://www.johnnicholl.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Murder of a Lover by Faith Martin

MURDER OF A LOVER

 

 

 

DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE IS SOLVING THE COLD CASES NO ONE ELSE COULD CRACK.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “A NARROW MARGIN OF ERROR.”

 

Ten years ago, Rowan Thompson was found stabbed to death with a pair of scissors in his student house. It turns out that Rowan was quite a lover, with many disgruntled partners left in his wake.
But did any of them have a strong enough motive to murder him?

Meanwhile. Hillary’s stalker is getting more aggressive with his messages and flowers. And it looks like he may be much, much worse than she thought.

Has Hillary finally bitten off more than she can chew?

Hillary Greene has returned to Thames Valley Police HQ, acting as a consultant for the Crime Review Team, looking into murders which the police have never been able to solve.

She wasn’t sure she wanted to go back. But solving crimes is irresistible for Hillary Greene. And it doesn’t hurt that her new boss is devastatingly handsome.

This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to the absolutely thrilling conclusion.

MURDER OF A LOVER is the thirteenth a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.

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THE LOCATION
Number 8 Kebler Road is a three-story house in a typical leafy road in Oxford, near South Park. Victorian terraces face each other across the narrow street, whose pavements are interspersed with strategically placed lime trees. Keble College, an unmistakable building of red and white brick is the dominant feature. Quiet, pleasant, it’s in one of the city’s many attractive areas, and dedicated mainly to student digs and private residential properties.

 

 

 

 

Keble College

 

 

 

 

THE DETECTIVE
DI Hillary Greene
An attractive, single woman nearing the landmark age of fifty, Hillary Greene was a police officer of many years’ experience (earning the rank of DI) and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knew how the system worked, and was always fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. Forced to retire early through no fault of her own, she has now returned to the force as a civilian consultant on cold cases. She still enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the wily Commander Marcus Donleavy, but it is her new boss, the very attractive Steven Crayle, who is likely to cause her the most problems now!

 

 

 

 

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I’ve come to love DI Hillary Greene in all her stories. But I’ve also come to realize that it isn’t just her story. It’s also the story of the victims that need justice. Now she is working cold cases doing what she does best–getting to the bottom of things. She always has a nose for the nitty gritty of detective work. Faith Martin has a knack for bringing you into the point of view of the protagonist leaving you with a personal impression like you know them. No easy feat I’m sure.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “A NARROW MARGIN OF ERROR.”

 

DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
BOOK 5: MURDER IN THE FAMILY
BOOK 6: MURDER AT HOME
BOOK 7: MURDER IN THE MEADOW
BOOK 8: MURDER IN THE MANSION
BOOK 9: MURDER IN THE GARDEN
BOOK 10: MURDER BY FIRE
BOOK 11: MURDER AT WORK
BOOK 12: MURDER NEVER RETIRES
BOOK 13: MURDER OF A LOVER

Books 14-17 coming soon!

 

 

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AUTHOR BIO

 

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! The first 13 books in the series are available now.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So, if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

Books of the Year by Bibliophile Vikki Faircloth

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I asked fellow bibliophile, Vikki Faircloth, some questions about her favorite books and authors. Let’s see what the results are…

 

 

FAVORITE AUTHORS 

David Baldacci, Greig Beck, Matthew Betley

Lee Child, Preston & Child, Clive Cussler

Matthew Fitzsimmons

Meg Gardiner, Mark Greaney, Michael Grumley

Alex Lukeman

Luke Murphy

Matthew Reilly, James Rollins

S.L. Shelton, Jack Silkstone

A.J. Tata, Brad Taylor, Brad Thor

 

 

 

The Best Improve Great Performance Development Concept

 

 

 

 

 

BEST BOOKS READ THIS YEAR

Matthew Betley: Overwatch and Oath of Honor

Mark Greaney (was a new author to me): all Gray Man books this year

Meg Gardiner: UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere

Alex Lukeman: Project Book 16

 

 

 

Matthew Betley: Overwatch & Oath of Honor

 

 

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Mark Greaney

 

 

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Meg Gardiner: UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere

 

 

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Alex Lukeman: Project Book 16

 

 

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BOOKS IN QUE

David Baldacci: The Fallen

Jack Carr: Terminal List

David Ricciardi: Warning Light

 

 

 

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Anticipation

 

 

 

 

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RELEASES

Matthew Betley: Field of Valor

Brad Thor: Spymaster

Robert Parker: Jesse Stone Debt to Pay

James Rollins: Hammer of Witches (the title has changed?)

 

 

 

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Crucible: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force Novels) by James Rollins

The cover has yet to be revealed! Pre-order here

Available January 8, 2019. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Dead End Girl by L.T. Vargus & Tim McBain

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Her body is broken. Wrapped in plastic. Dumped on the side of the road. She is the first. There will be more.

The serial killer thriller that “refuses to let go until you’ve read the last sentence.”

The most recent body was discovered in the grease dumpster behind a Burger King. Dismembered. Shoved into two garbage bags and lowered into the murky oil.

Now rookie agent Violet Darger gets the most important assignment of her career. She travels to the Midwest to face a killer unlike anything she’s seen. Aggressive. Territorial. Deranged and driven.

Another mutilated corpse was found next to a roller rink. A third in the gutter in a residential neighborhood.

These bold displays of violence shock the rural community and rattle local law enforcement.

Who could carry out such brutality? And why?

Unfortunately for Agent Darger, there’s little physical evidence to work with, and the only witnesses prove to be unreliable. The case seems hopeless.

If she fails, more will die. He will kill again and again.

The victims harbor dark secrets. The clues twist and writhe and refuse to keep still. And the killer watches the investigation on the nightly news, gleeful to relive the violence, knowing that he can’t be stopped.

A page-turning thriller packed with heart-stopping suspense. Fans of John Sandford, Jeffery Deaver, Karin Slaughter, and Lisa Gardner should get to know Violet Darger.

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

 

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Praise for Dead End Girl:

“Wow, just wow! If you like scare-you-half-to-death mystery books this is the one for you. It starts with a bang and just doesn’t stop.” — Ada Lavin

“Refuses to let go until you have read the last sentence.” — Bloodymummer

“Violet Darger is a unique, incredible character, and I immensely enjoyed taking this journey with her.” — Cat

“If you liked Silence of the Lambs, you’ll love Dead End Girl… At the same time, there’s so much attention to detail and organic storytelling that this could easily compete with any of Stephen King’s longer works. I found myself completely invested in every character, from the authorities to the killer to the victims themselves.” — eden Hudson, author of Jubal Van Zandt & the Revenge of the Bloodslinger

 

 

 

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Authors LT Vargus and Tim Mcbain have teamed up to write an excellent series.  The Violet Darger FBI thriller books. After reading this one I walk away with the indelible impressions of the writers upon my head. The ability to not only capture the moment, but display it in “3-D” with a lasting prose that sticks to your ribs. I found it easy to mentally visualize scenes throughout the book, which made for a very unique reading experience. I’ve only come across a few writers that have this effect.

The storytelling was great in the deep point of view of newly minted special agent Violet Darger from the FBI’s Victim’s Unit. All of the characters get a nod though. It’s definitely a slow burn, yet paced perfectly without a dull moment. Highly recommended series!

 

 

 

 

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L.T. Vargus grew up in Hell, Michigan, which is a lot smaller, quieter, and less fiery than one might imagine. When not click-clacking away at the keyboard, she can be found sewing, fantasizing about food, and rotting her brain in front of the TV.

L.T. Vargus now lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her special man friend/writing partner, Tim McBain.

She likes YouTube videos of cute animals, mystery novels, punk rock, and pizza.

Website | Amazon

 

 

 

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People say your author bio should tell the world why you write. I write because life is short, and I want to make something awesome before I die.

Website | Amazon

 

 

 

 

How To Get Your Book Into Schools And Double Your Income With Volume Sales With Dave Hendrickson

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Amazon | Goodreads

 

Have you ever dreamed of an entire school reading your book?

 
Would you like to double (or more!) your writing income?

 
This book shows you how.

 

Drawing from his own first-hand experience, David H. Hendrickson leads you through every step of the process. He highlights the critical pitfalls to avoid, and points out ways to maximize your profit when a school adopts your book.

With advice and insights that are adaptable to getting your book in front of audiences ranging from middle grade to high school to college, and even to corporations, this book is for you!

 
“If you have a book you want to get into K-12 schools and sell in the thousands,
you MUST read this book.”
—Maggie Lynch, bestselling author, Career Author Secrets series

 

www.hendricksonwriter.com

 

 

Audiobook Blog Tour: Call to Arms by Rachel Amphlett

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Call to Arms: A Detective Kay Hunter mystery (Kay Hunter British detective crime thriller series Book 5)

 

 

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About the Audiobook

Author: Rachel Amphlett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: hours minutes

Publisher: Saxon Publishing⎮20

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 5

Release date: March 5, 2018

Synopsis: Loyalty has a price.

 

 

 

Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers.

Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation.

DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil.

Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser.

But, as she gets closer to the truth, she realises her enquiries could do more harm than good.

Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s enquiries will reach far beyond her new role…

 

Buy Links

Buy on RachelAmphlett.com

 

 

The Detective Kay Hunter series is one of my favorites of 2018. Kay Hunter is back on the job having to prove herself again merely a year after barely surviving an attack. I always feel like I”m part of the investigation when I read one of these books. This time it’s her boss, DI Devon Sharp who’s in trouble. Kay and her team take it upon themselves to solve a cold case linked to Sharp ten years ago involving someone close to him. The mystery unravels in splendor in this page-turning crime book. I’ll be eagerly awaiting book #6!

 

 

 

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Call to Arms is a gripping murder mystery, and the fifth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH
2. WILL TO LIVE
3. ONE TO WATCH
4. HELL TO PAY
5. CALL TO ARMS

 

 

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About the Author: Rachel Amphlett

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

 

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Married Lies by Chris Collett

Married Lies

 

 

Do you love gripping mysteries with great characters?

Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post

Lucy Jarrett is terrified. Someone is watching her every move, following her home from work and making threatening phone calls. But her husband doesn’t believe her and no one else is listening.

Lucy’s married life is proving anything but blissful. Her musician husband is perpetually away on tour and doesn’t want to start a family.

Lucy finally calls on Detective Tom Mariner for help, and he takes her fears seriously because of the recent murder of another young woman by her ex-partner.

DI Mariner himself is already on the hunt for a sadistic killer.Nina Silvero, wife of an ex-police officer, was duped into sipping sulphuric acid disguised as celebratory wine.

Grappling with Nina’s apparently motiveless killing, Mariner delegates Lucy’s case to Millie Khatoon. Is someone out for revenge against the police?

Can DI Tom Mariner track down the stalker and catch the killer before anyone else dies? 

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the fifth book in the DI MARINER SERIES. More books coming soon!

 

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

BLOG TOUR - Married Lies

 

DI Mariner is back on the scene in book #5 Married Lies, trying to catch a serial killer, and assisting a woman who’s being stalked.  This one is definitely a page turner that hooks you from the very beginning. Chris Collett does a good job of crafting scenes, portraying the mindset of the victim, and drawing the reader into the story. Highly recommended series!

 

THE SETTING

Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

 

THE DETECTIVE

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “STALKED BY SHADOWS.”

DI MARINER SERIES

Book 1: Deadly Lies

Book 2: Innocent Lies

Book 3: Killer Lies

Book 4: Baby Lies

Book 5: Married Lies

Books 6-7 coming soon

 

 

Excellent Quality

 

 

 

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CHRIS COLLETT – AUTHOR BIO

I was born and grew up in a Norfolk seaside town, almost as far east as it’s possible to go in England without falling into the North Sea. There I worked variously in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). I graduated in Liverpool, then for twenty-five years taught children and young people with learning disabilities, including autism, before going into higher education as a senior lecturer.

Mindful of its reputation, I moved somewhat reluctantly to Birmingham, where I met my husband, in 1981. But just a few years later DI Tom Mariner was created to police its mean streets, and these days I relish the vibrancy and rich social history of the city. After eight outings for Mariner, I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recently retired from lecturing and I’m currently luxuriating in the time I now have to continue the Mariner series, alongside published short stories and academic works. In my spare time, among other things, I’m a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

Wesite | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads

Andy Siegel Discusses Justice & His Legal Thriller Series

 

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Andy Siegel maintains a special commitment to representing survivors of traumatic brain injury in his practice of law. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. His many trial successes have regularly placed those outcomes among the “Top 100 Verdicts” reported in the state annually. A graduate of Tulane University and Brooklyn Law School, he now lives outside of the greater NYC area. 

 

Andy Siegel is also the author of several adventurous legal thrillers, three of which are newly released today.

 

 

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A Time with the Author

 

 

In your bio you twice mention your “sense of justice.” What does that mean, and how does it affect your work as a lawyer and a novelist?

 

My sense of justice is an internal feeling I get when my hard-fought legal efforts have resulted in achieving an outcome I know to be more than fair and reasonable. And … the resolution leaves my client with an impression of satisfactory closure. As a novelist, I create good versus evil and/or David versus Goliath scenarios in my stories. So I believe a sense of justice is attained for my eponymous character when the readers find themselves viewing Tug Wyler as an ambulance chaser they can root for.

 

 

 

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What is the civil justice system?

The best and only game in town. Where people can come under one roof and address real grievances in a civilized way, judged by members of their own community. I’ve never considered any area of law other than personal injury, embracing the fact that the media likes to poke fun at guys like me. Any related scene you’ve ever viewed in a movie or on television will show a guy in a neck brace, representing a scammer of the system. I get it and appreciate its humor too. I mean, just look at the home page of my andysiegel.com website. It reads: “Finally, an ambulance chaser you can root for …”

 

But I specialize in injury cases involving traumatic brain insult. My commitment to these individuals extends beyond the courthouse walls, as I sit on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. I represent real people whose lives, and those of their families’ lives, have been tragically altered in a nanosecond of negligent conduct. I try to make life easier for those folks who—through no fault of their own face a future long in challenges. For some, that challenge is just getting out of bed in the morning.

 

 

You strike me as a natural storyteller. Name the similarities of trials, cases, and victims to storytelling.

Each has a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s that simple. But, if you’re going to be a storytelling novelist, you also need an audience. In court, my audience is captive, with a court officer keeping them in that jury box until their service is over.

 

 

 

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You stated “Justice is something you shouldn’t have to compete for, … but it is.” In light of this statement, what are the flaws of the adversarial nature of the justice system?

The flaws are not in the system per se but rather in the manner in which an injured individual selects and hires their lawyer. People spend hours and hours researching what car they’re going to buy, but that same person will hire any accident lawyer upon the recommendation of a friend—or even a friend of a friend—without doing any due diligence. The fact of the matter is, not every lawyer has the requisite knowledge and experience to handle cases of significant proportion. Especially when it comes to traumatic brain injury (TBI), an area I have a compassionate interest in.

And I’m not the “right guy” for every TBI survivor with a lawsuit. There has to be a particular connection between the attorney and the client in these matters for things to be holistic. For a greater understanding of the message I’m hoping to share here visit: http://tbihelpline.com/traumatic-brain-injury-lawyer-new-york/, which memorializes a lecture I gave at the annual conference of the Brain Injury Association of New York State called the“Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a TBI Lawyer.”

And what I mean by “justice is something you shouldn’t have to compete for” is that your case will only be as good as the lawyer you hire. If the other side has a better lawyer, then you may lose that competition for justice.

 

 

 

Who is Tug Wyler?

 

Part me, part my alter ego. But you knew that already. However, I live in the real world and not a fictional one, so I’m unable to follow Tug Wyler’s model as he goes about representing his clients in such an antic, creative, and risk-taking way.

 

 

What motivates him?

 

What keeps Tug digging deeper and deeper into the circumstances giving rise to his legal retention is his compulsion, like mine, to make the system work for the injured victim, an outcome the big insurance companies vigorously resist. Please remember, as I always do, that there’s no one type of victim. We’re all vulnerable.

 

 

 

 

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Do you have any other creative ideas for books besides the Tug Wyler series?

Easiest question of the bunch. No. Every single word in the Tug Wyler Mystery Series is derived from, inspired by, and influenced by each and every legal case I’ve handled over the years. I write from a true insider’s perspective. So, I’m not very confident that I could write an engaging book outside of this series. I have written a screenplay though …

 

 

 

 

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How did you go from “not knowing what you wanted to do” to Brooklyn Law School?

 

My college roommate made a very compelling argument in support, stating, “Hey, let’s go to law school. Let’s be lawyers, get a JD degree. Knowledge is power. Power is king, and we’ll command respect from our peers. Respect.”

Sounded good to me. My only plan at that moment was a decision whether to get a Domilise’s hot sausage po’boy or to go to the Camellia Grill for a piece of pecan pie. I recall being stretched out on our disgusting couch, sore from lacrosse practice, thinking how I needed to investigate this lawyer thing a bit more, already knowing exactly who I needed to speak to: my childhood next-door neighbor Jack B. Weinstein, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson.

As I grew up, Jack had taught me a lot of useful stuff over the years—how to change a flat tire on my bike, how to bait a hook and scale a fish, and how to use a lock wrench, among many other things. One day on college break, I walked down his driveway. He gave me his patented smile and said, “Back from New Orleans. Great, here.” He handed me a potato sack and a broomstick. Jack, for certain, was the only person in Great Neck, Long Island, who owned a potato sack.

Anyway, he led me to his fenced-in garden, which was on a narrow tract of land between the Long Island Sound and the Library Pond, where I asked what the sack and the stick were for. He responded with a pointed finger. What I saw was a gaggle of Canadian geese swimming in the Library Pond.

“And?” was my next question, which led to his second finger point. A gosling was stuck in his garden, trying to get out by repeatedly attempting to jump through one of the square openings in the wire fence. Unfortunately the little guy was too big to get through, and, with each jump, he scraped the top of his head on the wire, which wound was now bloody and deep. “Jack, why don’t I just pick him up and put him over?”

He responded, “Go stand in front of the fence, and, when I pick up that chick, you ward off mama goose with the stick and the sack.”

I gave him a curious look, which was met with a You’ll understand in a moment expression. The one thing I knew about Jack was that he was always right, so I didn’t question him and took my position.

Jack asked, “Ready?”I nodded, and, when he went to pick up the tiny frightened chick, it began squeaking some alarm call. This cry for help caused mama goose to take off like a high-powered fighter seaplane on a dive-bombing mission, flying straight at my head at forty miles per hour. Barely fending her off, I screamed, “What the fuck, Jack?” realizing I had just sworn at the highest and most prestigious federal judge in New York State. Turning back to him, I saw that little ball of fluff was in the exact same place it had been before the mom took her run at me. Unnerved, I asked, “What’s up?” Jack responded, “I couldn’t get a grip on him.” Now I’m not one to take issue with a famous federal judge—and famous he was—but I did strongly urge him to get a hold next round, which didn’t happen until after four more attempts and close encounters with a highly protective and dangerous mama goose.

Recovering from our confrontation, we found ourselves sitting on a bench, facing the Long Island Sound, next to his rowboat. Over the years, Jack and I had had several conversations on this bench, but this was the most important one. I said, “Jack, I’m thinking of going to law school. Why’d you go?”

He responded, “I didn’t know what to do next.” That was good enough for me. He added, “I’d be happy to write a recommendation but don’t apply to Columbia Law School.”

I said, “Thanks, but why not Columbia?” He didn’t hesitate. “Because you’ll get in, but you’re not qualified.” He of course was right again.

Long story short, my roommate didn’t show up for the LSAT test or apply to law school, but I owe him dearly for that “knowledge is power” speech, for that conversation propelled me to go to law school. I will add that I love what I do.

 

 

 

NellyEltonJenna

 

 

ANDY SIEGEL

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Interview with Historical Mystery Author Jennifer Kincheloe

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Jennifer is a research scientist turned writer of historical fiction. Her novels take place in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD and combine, mystery, history, humor, and romance. THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK was released in November, 2017. Her debut novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC was a finalist in the Lefty Awards for Best Historical Mystery, The Colorado Author’s League Award for Best Genre Fiction, the Macavity Sue Feder Award for Historical Mystery, and is the WINNER of the Mystery & Mayhem Award for Historical Mystery and the Colorado Gold for Best Mystery.

Jennifer grew up in Southern California, but has traveled to such places as Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and Papua New Guinea. She’s been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. Jennifer currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers, two dogs, and a cat. There she conducts research on the jails.

 

 

 

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*What’s a typical day like for you?

 

I’m a corrections researcher, so by day, I’m coding multi-level statistical models and shadowing deputies in the jails. By 6:00 AM I’m at my desk at the Sheriff’s Department. It’s culturally so different from academia, where I came from. After work, I lift weights with my personal trainer in the jail. I’ll go over to a weight machine and someone will have left their gun on the seat. Then I go home, take care of my teenagers,do an interview, arrange a reading in a bookstore, write a little, fall asleep on my laptop.

 

 

*Do you still struggle with Chronic fatigue?

I gave up sugar and that helped me a lot.

 

 

 

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*What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Art inspires me. Music inspires me. When readers respond to my work in a positive way, it’s a huge jolt to my creative energies. I love readers.

 

 

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*On your website you state the following, So when I wasn’t writing or conducting research, I was reading every writing book I could get my hands on. I treated it like one more graduate degree. This took a couple of years.”  

 

  • During this time frame name some of the writing books that helped you the most.

I started writing screenplays before I wrote fiction. I sent my first screenplay off to my Oscar-nominated screenwriter x-boyfriend, David, who graciously read it and told me it stank. It did. He recommended three books to me: Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert McKee; The Art Of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives by Lajos Egri; and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. They changed my game. Screenwriting books are incredibly instructive for fiction writers because they teach you story structure. Now David is a big Anna Blanc fan (and I know he’d tell me if he wasn’t).

  • Any favorite quotes, tips, techniques?

Give into your voice. Don’t self censor. There’s a Neil Gaiman quote that is right on the money.

 

“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”  

  • Were you ever overwhelmed by the amount of information?

I was famished for information. Writing was a fresh discovery for me. I hadn’t known that I could do it or love it so much. And once I made that discovery, it’s all I wanted to do or talk about. So, I was like, ‘bring it!’

 

 

Write Sign, Love for Writing, for writers and authors.

 

 

 

* “I treated it like one more graduate degree…” Tell us more about this and your approach to learning the craft.

 

When I first started writing fiction and screenplays almost ten years ago, I was surprised that I wasn’t good at it.  I thought it would be easier because I was a already a competent non-fiction writer. It wasn’t. Writing fiction or screenplays is a whole different beast and you have to learn the craft. You’ve got to put in your ten thousand hours. I read dozens of screenplays and dissected them. I diagrammed novels. I would read books I loved five times in a row. Each time I’d look for something new. What was the ratio of description to action? What rules did they break? How did the author make me feel so deeply? I would study first paragraphs of novels that were effective and mimic them. When I presented my writers’ group with my first sex scene, they laughed, because it was unintentionally hilarious. So I started reading romance novels–just the dirty parts–to try to figure out what made a good love scene.

And, I wrote. Some days, I wrote for fourteen hours. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and write. I wrote first thing in the morning. I wasn’t working much at the time, so I could do it.

 

 

 

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*With a MPH (I’m guessing it’s a Masters of Public Health–My wife has one of those), a Ph.D, a love of reading, and what you’ve accomplished so far in writing, I’ve assumed the following.

 

-You love to learn new things. Is this true?

Yes, which is why I love corrections research so much. I get to learn a whole new discipline that also ties into my fiction.

 

-You have great self discipline. How did you develop such great character?

Thank you. I don’t know. My mother worked us pretty hard when we were kids, be it doing chores or hiking up mountains, and I’m grateful. Then I traveled extensively in the developing world, so I know about cold showers and picking bugs out of your food. Working hard and pushing through when things are tough is key. But it’s crucial to know where to focus your energies. I let a lot of things slide because they would take me away from writing or time with my kids.

 

-I can also tell you have a sense of humor, which I love in Anna Blanc, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. Where does your sense of humor come from?

 

Boredom. Childhood used to be filled with boredom. Wonder too, but in the 60s and 70s we had to make our own entertainment. I liked to amuse myself by finding the humor in things. Even now, I’m often giggling behind my hand.

 

 

 

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*How do you utilize research for your novels?

 

I love to use primary sources for my Anna Blanc research. The Los Angeles newspapers from the early 1900s enthrall me. Most of my story lines come straight out of the papers. I steal events from the newspapers, descriptions of technology, prices from advertisements, fashion, entertainment. I love eyewitness accounts. I harvest slang and social morays from novels written in that period — things that Anna Blanc would have read. Text books from the period. Magazines. Photography is my very favorite source I’ve collected thousands of pictures of the 1900s on my Pinterest page. Here’s the link. Prepare to be amazed https://www.pinterest.com/jrobin66/

 

 

 

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*I love Anna Blanc! She’s such a unique character. This sounds weird but, did it take a while to create her?

 

Thank you so much!. I was planning on writing someone else entirely and she forced her way onto the page. She’s maturing a bit, and that takes time. But her voice is in the very first paragraphs of the first draft I wrote. In some ways, Anna is like me at 19 only magnified. I was self-absorbed. She’s even more self-absorbed. I was naive and privileged. She’s sheltered and filthy rich. I was relatively smart and brave. She’s even braver and more brilliant. And, like most women of my generation, I was frequently dismissed. So Anna is dismissed.

 

 

*What’s next in the Anna Blanc series?

 

Book three will be out next Spring. It’s based on a true story and involves a white slavery ring, a murder in Griffith Park, and a mysterious man who comes into Anna’s life and drives Joe Singer crazy. There’s a trip in the Blanc’s luxurious private train car, a brutal trek in the desert, family drama, and lots of skeletons in closets.

 

 

 

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