Guest Post: M.E. Browning – MERCY CREEK

Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning Banner

Good day, book people. One of my go-to genres for reading are mysteries and suspense. Ever since my youngest brother became a police officer in our hometown, many years ago, I’ve been particularly attracted to mysteries and suspense featuring police officers or others in the law enforcement arena. However, I’m very particular with books featuring law enforcement officers (LEO) is that the LEOs must be realistic as well as the action. Stories that are taken from the headlines or feature realistic cases are my preference. Needless to say, the authors that write in the genre are rock stars to me. I’m pleased to welcome one such author today. Please help me welcome M.E. Browning, author of the recently released Mercy Creek, the second book in the Jo Wyatt Mysteries series. Ms. Browning will be discussing facts in fiction when dealing with a missing child. I hope you’ll enjoy what she has to share with us, add Mercy Creek to your TBR list, and follow the blog tour to learn more about this book and author. Thank you, Ms. Browning, for taking the time to join us today, the blog is all yours.

When a Child Goes Missing: Facts in Fiction

Few police investigations are more fraught with emotion than a report of a missing child. Sadly, more than 365,000 children went missing in 2020 according to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. Some of those children were runaways, others were abducted by a parent or family member. Still others were found almost immediately in their own home or at a friend’s.

At the heart of my next novel, Mercy Creek, is a missing child case. My protagonist, Detective Jo Wyatt, leads her investigation in much the same way that law enforcement does in real-life cases.

On television there is often an obligatory scene where an officer—usually surly and intentionally unhelpful—states that a person must be missing for twenty-four hours before the police department can take action. That is false.

How an investigation proceeds is often determined by the missing person’s risk factors. Law enforcement takes into account mental or behavioral disabilities, medical issues that require drugs, if they’ve already been missing for more than 24 hours before being reported, or any other situation causing a reasonable person to believe the person is at risk. Age alone may be enough to determine if a child is at risk as many jurisdictions treat children under a threshold age as incapable of self-care (for example eleven years old or younger).

Custody issues between divorced parents have accounted for more than a few missing children. I’ve responded to plenty of civil standby calls to ensure estranged parents behaved during their custody exchanges. Occasionally, a parent was late to the exchange—either out of spite or to exert control. It was meant to punish the other parent, not the child. But familial abductions happen far too frequently and in 2020, 63 percent of all AMBER alerts issued were due to a child being abducted by a member of their own family.

For those not familiar with the term, the AMBER Alert System is a cooperative effort between law enforcement and the media in the event of a child abduction. The name pays homage to nine-year-old Amber Hagerman whose kidnapping and murder spurred the system’s creation, but the acronym stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, and the program is administered within the Department of Justice (DOJ).

AMBER Alerts are only one of many tools available to law enforcement when investigating a missing child. There is a vast number of FBI resources that local jurisdictions may request. However, not every tool is appropriate or available for each investigation.

Common requests include aircraft, artists, blood pattern specialists, botanists, crime scene technicians, evidence response teams, entomologists, ground-penetrating radar, pathologists, search and rescue teams, tracking dogs, and underwater search and rescue teams.

The support Detective Jo Wyatt requests for her investigation in Mercy Creek is tailored to the southwest Colorado terrain of her rural jurisdiction and includes search and rescue teams for both land and water, K9 teams, and more. She would be the first to tell you that working a missing child case takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. The crushing reality is that not every investigation has a happy ending, and not every child is found. But Jo would also be quick to point out that the glue holding search and investigative teams together is hope. ♦

Mercy Creek

by M.E. Browning

October 11 – November 5, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning

In an idyllic Colorado town, a young girl goes missing—and the trail leads into the heart and mind of a remorseless killer.

The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.

Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance. For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past. But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.

As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it’s just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: October 12th 2021
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1643857622 (ISBN13: 9781643857626)
ISBN: 9781643857633 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781666520835 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B08SVMSNXG (Kindle edition)
ASIN: B09DHJH9ZZ (Audible audiobook)
Series: A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Book 2 || Each mystery in the A Jo Wyatt Mystery series is a stand alone novel.
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Penguin Random House | IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible | Barnes and Noble | BookDepository.com | Downpour Audiobook | eBooks.com | !ndigo | Kobo Audiobook | Kobo eBook | Goodreads

Author Bio:

M.E. Browning

M.E. Browning writes the Colorado Book Award-winning Jo Wyatt Mysteries and the Agatha-nominated and award-winning Mer Cavallo Mysteries (as Micki Browning). Micki also writes short stories and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in dive magazines, anthologies, mystery magazines, and textbooks. An FBI National Academy graduate, Micki worked in municipal law enforcement for more than two decades and retired as a captain before turning to a life of crime… fiction.

Catch Up With M.E. Browning:
MEBrowning.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Instagram – @mickibrowning
Twitter – @MickiBrowning
Facebook – @MickiBrowningAuthor

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=302812

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for M.E. Browning. There will be TWO winners. ONE winner will receive (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and ONE winner will receive one (1) physical copy of Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning (U.S. addresses only). The giveaway runs October 11 through November 7, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Q&A by Cindy Wang Brandt, author of YOU ARE REVOLUTIONARY

YOU ARE REVOLUTIONARY by Cindy Wang Brandt Virtual Book Tour Banner, published by Beaming Books, tour by PR by the Book

Hello book divas and divos and Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day to those of you in the US! I’ve been an avid reader all of my life. I can vividly recall sitting beside my mother as she read stories to my from assorted picture books when I was much younger. One of my paternal aunts, my father’s youngest sister, also helped to instill a love of reading by providing me with boxes of children’s books when I was in elementary and junior high school (aka middle school). I’ve tried to instill the love of reading in my nieces and nephews, often gifting them with books when they were younger and taking them with me to various book festivals. Not all are book divas and divos in later years, but they all fondly recall these experiences. I love helping to spread the love of reading in our youth and it is for this reason that I’m excited to welcome Cindy Wang Brandt, author of the soon-to-be-released You Are Revolutionary, a picture book for young readers. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about this author and book and perhaps enter the giveaway for a print copy of You Are Revolutionary to share with young book diva or divo. Please help me welcome Cindy Wang Brandt as she answers a few questions about her background and the impetus for You Are Revolutionary.

Author Q&A

 

1. Where did you grow up / live now?

A. I grew up and still live in the Southern city of Taiwan called Kaohsiung (pronounced Gao Shung), where we were pandemic free for most of the year 2020!!

 

2. What is your education/career background?

A. I grew up conservative evangelical so I was very religious. I went to a Christian college and seminary, and actually became a career missionary for 5+ years! But now I have “faith shifted” and am no longer part of that world—this shift informs much of my work now.

 

3. Do you have kids and/or pets?

A. I have two awesome kids and I had the cutest Yorkie in the world named Caramel, but we lost her a few years ago. 😦

 

4. What inspired you to write?

A. I entered the blogging scene in the early 2010s and eventually developed a career as a writer, publishing my first book in 2019 and now a children’s book in 2021. I didn’t grow up in a literary family, in fact, English is my second language, so there was no support or resources for my journey to become a writer. The democratization of the internet made it possible for me to share my words with the public and I am forever grateful for the platform. Now, looking back, there were many clues that I was meant to be a writer, I just didn’t know it at the time. Anytime I needed to write in life—for school, writing family newsletters, and eventually on social media, it lit me up inside and I felt the most joy when I found any opportunity to put words together.

 

5. Where/when do you best like to write?

A. I’m a morning person, so I only ever write in the mornings. However, I do get my best ideas randomly throughout the day—often in the shower, which I do at night.

 

6. What inspired your story?

A. As I’ve previously mentioned, I have “faith shifted” meaning I’ve left the faith of my childhood. This has caused significant anxiety and trauma in adulthood. As I’ve sought to understand the source of my angst, much of it was having power wielded over me when I was a child. A big part of my own healing is to become an advocate for children today, that they be afforded full autonomy because they are human beings, not any lesser than adults. If kids are to be treated and respected as adults are, then what excludes them from becoming revolutionaries, people who make a change in the world? It is a human right to have a say in the way we live our lives, and yet we exclude kids from this work. I think our world still has a long way to go to extend children the rights they deserve, and I hope my book helps move progress.

 

7. Who do you hope will read your book?

A. I work with parents and I want parents to know that their responsibility isn’t just to raise happy and healthy children, but that we have an awesome responsibility to raise conscious citizens that together create a better world for all. The best way to love our kids is to create a world that is kind to all kids. Parenting is a revolution in itself, an act of changing the world. I hope parents who feel this responsibility deeply will pick up my book and read it for their inner child as well as their own kids.

You Are Revolutionary

written by Cindy Wang Brandt and illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao

YOU ARE REVOLUTIONARY - CWBrandt

Synopsis:

You have what it takes to change the world!

This is the empowering message parenting author and podcaster Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to hear and embrace. In this inspiring picture book she speaks to every child who sees injustice in the world, revealing that they already have inside themselves everything they need to make big, transformative change in the world—just as they are. Every kid is a revolutionary! You don’t need to wait until you grow up. You don’t even need any special skills. Kids who are loud, kids who are quiet, kids who make art, kids who are good at math, kids with lots of energy, kids who are good listeners—all kids have what it takes to make a difference.

Lynnor Bontigao’s vibrant illustrations feature a diverse group of children taking up a call to action and using their individual gifts to change the world.

Book Details:

Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Ages 5-8)
Published by: Beaming Books
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Number of Pages: 32
ISBN: 9781506478302 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 9781506478982 (ebook)
ASIN: B08VLQX3PJ (Kindle version)

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | BookDepository.com | BN.com | eBooks.com | !ndigo eBook | Kobo eBook


Connect with the Author via: Instagram  | Twitter

Connect with the Illustrator via:  Facebook | Instagram  | Twitter | Website

Giveaway:

YOU ARE REVOLUTIONARY Giveaway image

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by The Book Diva’s Reads. There will be one (1) winner of a print copy of You Are Revolutionary by Cindy Wang Brandt, illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. The giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on October 11th and ends at 11:59 PM ET on October 18, 2021. The winner will be announced on October 19, 2021 by 10:00 AM ET. All person entering that resides outside of the US and Canada will be disqualified. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This virtual book tour and giveaway organized by PR by the Book