Guest Post: Gary McAvoy – AND EVERY WORD IS TRUE

Hello, my bookish peeps. I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and, perhaps, time to read some wonderful books. I’m always fascinated by what draws an author to a particular subject matter. Or more simply put, why that book is written that way? With fiction, the answer can be quite convoluted, but we generally expect the answer to be simplistic when dealing with nonfiction. I don’t know why since reality is often anything but simple and often convoluted with stories within stories and intrigues within intrigues. Author Gary McAvoy deals with just that scenario when faced with the possibility of purchasing and researching the records of one of the key investigators in the infamous Kansas murders that led to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Read what Mr. McAvoy has to say about his journey to becoming an “accidental” author in today’s guest post. Thank you, Mr. McAvoy, for stopping by and sharing this information with us. I’m looking forward to reading And Every Word Is True to learn more behind the scenes details in this investigation and I hope you’ll be putting this book on your TBR list.

Gary McAvoy

Though I’ve been writing professionally, on and off, for some 30 years, I had no plans to even start the book I’ve just finished. It wasn’t until the State of Kansas sued me—to prevent making public the research I obtained—that the thought even occurred to me. And then, I couldn’t not write it.

As a dealer in rare literary manuscripts and other historical memorabilia, I was approached in 2012 by the son of Harold Nye, a former special agent for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the lead field investigator for the 1959 Clutter family murders, a case made famous by Truman Capote in his bestselling book In Cold Blood. The younger Nye was looking to sell his father’s signed books and handwritten letters from Capote in order to meet family medical expenses, the type of transaction dealers like me encounter often.

When the State learned of the pending auction of Agent Nye’s personal archives, however, they went ballistic, issuing a cease and desist order—one I was not about to comply within the normal course of legitimate business—which quickly morphed into a lawsuit. Beyond the books and letters, Nye’s personal journals and investigative field notes of the notorious murders of a Kansas farmer and his family were interesting enough at first glance, I thought, but hardly seemed the type of material a state government would sue over to gain protective custody.

That type of extreme action made me more curious as to what I was actually in possession of, so I dove into a deep pile of research lasting six years, discovering in the process that while Capote’s book told a gripping tale exceedingly well, there was another, more sinister reality to the investigation that hadn’t been made public—one that appeared to have been the State’s urgent target of suppression.

Having ultimately prevailed in that litigation when the Court ruled in our favor—affirming our First Amendment right to publish—I came to realize this was much more than a simple auction of memorabilia. This was potentially a book of historical literary import. But I did not want it to be a take-down of an important and treasured American work (although, as a byproduct, I did uncover an abundance of erroneous or contrived material in Capote’s work). No, this book needed to set the record straight in a story that had been read and deeply believed by millions of readers worldwide for over fifty years—no small task.

Surprisingly, more than one publisher we approached with early versions of the book while finding its content and premise fascinating, responded: “We don’t want to be the house that brings down an American classic…”! That was hardly the intention of the book, but clearly, my work was cut out for me. That’s when I chose the path of an indie author, and never looked back.

To have “fallen in” to a topic I normally wouldn’t have been drawn to was one thing. But, as we learned from the bullying tactics of a well-funded legal opponent, backing down when we were in the right would have been unconscionable. Faced with a do or die moment, we took the high road, won the day, and have published a book that will stand the test of time. And, after all, every word is true.

Author Bio:

Gary McAvoy

Gary McAvoy is a veteran technology executive, entrepreneur, and lifelong writer. For several years he was also a literary media escort in Seattle, during which time he worked with hundreds of authors promoting their books—most notably Dr. Jane Goodall, with whom Gary later collaborated on “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating” (Hachette, 2005).

Gary is also a professional collector of rare literary manuscripts and historical letters and books, a passion that sparked the intriguing discoveries leading up to his latest book, And Every Word Is True (Literati Editions, March 2019), a revealing look at startling new disclosures about the investigation surrounding the 1959 Clutter family murders, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to Capote’s classic tale, adding new perspectives to an iconic American crime.

Catch Up With Gary McAvoy On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!

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And Every Word Is True

by Gary McAvoy

on Tour April 1 – May 31, 2019


And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy

Truman Capote’s bestselling book “In Cold Blood” has captivated worldwide audiences for over fifty years. It is a gripping story about the consequences of a trivial robbery gone terribly wrong in a remote village of western Kansas.

But what if robbery was not the motive at all, but something more sinister? And why would the Kansas Bureau of Investigation press the Attorney General to launch a ruthless four-year legal battle to prevent fresh details of the State’s most famous crime from being made public, so many years after the case had been solved?

Based on stunning new details discovered in the personal journals and archives of former KBI Director Harold Nye—and corroborated by letters written by Richard Hickock, one of the killers on Death Row—

And Every Word Is True meticulously lays out a vivid and startling new view of the investigation, one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they pick up where Capote left off. Even readers new to the story will find themselves drawn into a spellbinding forensic investigation that reads like a thriller, adding new perspectives to the classic tale of an iconic American crime.

Sixty years after news of the 1959 Clutter murders took the world stage, And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to the true story of “In Cold Blood.”

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime, Memoir
Published by: Literati Editions
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-0-9908376-0-2 (HB); 978-0-9908376-1-9 (PB)

Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary McAvoy. There will be four (4) giveaway winners.  One winner will receive one (1) Gift Card and three (3) winners will receive one (1) print copy of And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019, and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: Frankie Y Bailey – A DEAD MAN’S HONOR

Hello, book people. I’m excited to introduce you to today’s special guest, a criminal justice professor and the author of the Hannah McCabe and Lizzie Stuart mystery series, including A Dead Man’s Honor, Frankie Y. Bailey. Ms. Bailey will be introducing us to Lizzie Stuart and discussing the idea of the past intruding on our present. Thank you, Ms. Bailey, for taking time of your busy school and writing schedule to visit with us today.

Out of the Past
By Frankie Y. Bailey

I love film noir. Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum, is one of my favorite noir films. I watch it every time it comes up in the TCM cycle. The movie is about a former private investigator who got into trouble and has settled in a small town and opened a gas station under an assumed identity. But he has not escaped his past. He is summoned to a meeting with the crooked businessman who once hired him to locate a woman and his stolen money. The woman, with whom the PI had a dangerous affair, is back with his former client. Mitchum may hope to do what the businessman has demanded and go back to his new life, but Jane Greer, the femme fatale, has other ideas.  As you might expect of film noir, even the love of a good (small town) woman can’t save Mitchum. 

I don’t write noir fiction. My character, Lizzie Stuart, is a crime historian and the five books in which she has appeared so far are both academic mysteries and traditional classic detective fiction. But, like Robert Mitchum’s character, Lizzie has not been able to escape her past. The fact that she is not sure of who her father was – or is, he might still be alive – means that she must decide later in the series whether she will look for him. There’s also the matter of Becca, her missing mother – who puts in her appearance in Book 4 and can hold her own with any noir femme fatale. 

As the series are being reissued, I’m looking back at how it evolved. Book 2, A Dead Man’s Honor, was initially going to be the readers’ introduction to Lizzie Stuart. Instead, it followed a book set in Cornwall, during which Lizzie’s best friend, Tess Alvarez, a travel writer, and John Quinn, a Philadelphia homicide detective were introduced. Lizzie’s vacation in Cornwall, England, followed the death of the grandmother who raised her. It’s Lizzie’s dead grandmother, Hester Rose, who is front and center in A Dead Man’s Honor.

Hester Rose was close-mouthed about a lot of things – including her childhood in Gallagher, Virginia before she climbed into a boxcar and left the town under cover of darkness. In A Dead Man’s Honor, Lizzie has applied for and received an appointment as a visiting professor at Piedmont State University in Gallagher. She has joined the faculty in the School of Criminal Justice. As is the custom for visiting faculty, she has teaching responsibilities. She also has the research agenda that she described in her application. She wants to investigate a lynching in Gallagher. As a young girl, Hester Rose was witness to a lynching involving a black man accused of murder. She was there in the house with the accused man and the young deaf woman who loved him. As the police and angry white citizens gathered outside the house, Hester Rose was put out of a window. 

It is usually Lizzie’s voice that we hear in the series. She is the first-person narrator. But she sometimes flashes back to a conversation with one of her grandparents. Only a fleeting thought here and there. A Dead Man’s Honor, the only way to describe the lynching was from Hester Rose’s point of view. From the point of view of a frightened child as she hides in the bushes, watching. As Mose Davenport runs out of the house and is shot by someone in the crowd. As, later, she climbs into the boxcar and leaves Gallagher.  

Hester Rose tries to flee her past. Lizzie goes back to Gallagher to dig it up because she wants to know more about her grandmother and herself. 

Meet the author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University at Albany (SUNY). Her areas of research are crime history, and crime and mass media/popular culture and material culture. She is the author of a number of non-fiction books, including local histories and books about crime fiction. Her mystery novels feature Southern-born crime historian, Lizzie Stuart, in five books, beginning with Death’s Favorite Child and A Dead Man’s Honor. The books are being reissued by Speaking Volumes. Frankie’s two near-future police procedurals feature Albany police detective, Hannah McCabe in The Red Queen Dies and What the Fly Saw (Minotaur Books). Frankie has also has written several short stories, including “In Her Fashion” (EQMM, July 2014), “The Singapore Sling Affair” (EQMM, Nov/Dec 2017), and “The Birth of the Bronze Buckaroo” (The Adventures of the Bronze Buckaroo, 2018). She is currently working on a nonfiction book about dress and appearance in American crime and justice, a historical thriller set in 1939, and the plots of the next Stuart and McCabe books. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. 

Connect with the author at her website or Twitter

A Dead Man’s Honor A Lizzie Stuart Mystery #2 by Frankie Y. Bailey
ISBN: 9781628158731 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781628158724 (ebook)
ASIN: B07FTYK444 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 5, 2018 (originally published on January 1, 2001)
Publisher: Speaking Volumes, LLC.

Crime historian Lizzie Stuart goes to Gallagher, Virginia for a year as a visiting professor at Piedmont State University. She is there to do research for a book about the 1921 lynching that her grandmother Hester Rose witnessed when she was a 12-year-old child.

Lizzie’s research is complicated by her own unresolved feelings about her secretive grandmother and by the disturbing presence of John Quinn, the police officer she met while on vacation in England. Add to that the murder of an arrogant and brilliant faculty member on Halloween night and Lizzie has about all she can handle.

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Guest Post: Darcia Helle – OUT OF THE DARKNESS

Good day, book people. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I’m happy to welcome today’s guest, Darcia Helle, author of the Michael Sykora and Joe Cavalli Paranormal PI series, including the latest addition to the Joe Cavalli series, Out of the Darkness. If you’re like me, you often wonder just where an author comes up with these amazing and sometimes twisted stories? What inspires them? Why did they write the story the way they wrote the story? Thankfully, Ms. Helle is taking a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share with us what inspires her. I hope you’ll be inspired after reading this and grab a copy of her latest book, Out of the Darkness

The Inspiration Behind the Stories

I’m often asked about the inspiration behind a novel. Why did I write that specific story? The answer I’m quick to give is: I write the story that speaks to me the loudest. But that doesn’t really answer the question. With twelve novels published, you’d think this would be an easy one for me. In seeking the answer, I reflected on all those books I’ve written. The pattern I found there surprised me.

In the writing world, I’m what’s known as a pantser, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline the plot and I don’t write character profiles. When I start writing, I don’t know what’s going to happen or who these people in my head are. I don’t create the characters or their stories; they pop into my head with something to say. The time plotter authors spend writing story outlines and character profiles is the time I spend in silence, letting my mind roam, and following where the thoughts take me. 

The sum of all that, I realized, is that I don’t write with deliberate intention. I write from a place of curiosity and emotion. 

Still, none of that explains why specific characters and their stories come to me when they do, demanding theirs is the story I tell. I always assumed it was random. And then, as I examined the trajectory of my writing, I realized it’s not.

The explanation as to why I write what I do at any given time is this: I write the story I need to feel, explore, and experience both psychologically and emotionally at that time. 

Oddly, I had no idea this was happening. Perhaps even stranger, I don’t know how it happens.

For instance, my Michael Sykora series is dark suspense/thriller, and consequently, the writing experience is intense. The content is difficult to examine, and I’m hyper-focused. Through these stories, I explore the psychopathic mind, which fascinates me from an intellectual standpoint but also requires me to step inside that mind and feel what it’s like to be a twisted killer. This series forces me to confront the dichotomy between my natural peacenik “live and let live” personality, and the darker part of me that believes some humans lost their humanity and can’t be trusted to exist among us. While I truly love spending time with these characters, it’s an emotionally draining experience.

My Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI series is lighter in content and allows me to step outside real-world boundaries. I knew that writing these books offered me a fun diversion from a sometimes-bleak world. What I didn’t consider is that this series also provides me with a way to gain insight into the meaning of our lives, and to examine, without conscious intent, the ways in which our connections matter. 

Each of my novels is sprinkled with bits of me, whether it’s an issue I needed to work through, a concept I wanted to understand, or just a feeling demanding exploration. 

To further complicate my writing life, the story I think I’m writing is not always the story with which I end up. For example, when Gus from Out of the Darkness popped into my head, I thought I understood who he was. Based on that assumption, I also thought I knew where the story would go. Then, as I wrote, I realized Gus was someone different than I’d assumed him to be. As with real people, the image I saw was only a projection based on my expectation and biases. During the process of getting to know Gus, I felt and understood his complexities. Consequently, the story went in an entirely different direction. 

All this took place at a level deeper than my conscious awareness. I didn’t plan for Gus to be or do anything in particular. I listened, felt, and followed where he led. When we reached the end of his journey, I looked back and realized Gus had served as a reminder for me to focus on what’s important in life, as well as to look beyond the surface.

So, if you want to know what inspired me to write Out of the Darkness, I can only say that my subconscious had something to tell me.

Darcia Helle

Author Bio:

Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.

Catch Up With Ms. Helle On:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

Out of the Darkness

by Darcia Helle

on Tour March 1-31, 2019


Out of the Darkness by Darcia Helle

Gus wakes up in a dark void with no memory and no body. Screaming and cursing does him no good. He’s trapped, until he learns about one man who can help.

Joe Cavelli is a PI who hears ghosts, solves their murders, and sometimes fixes their personal problems. Now he finds himself pestered by an invisible, impatient, and brash amnesiac.

Solving cases for ghosts comes with a unique set of circumstances. This time, Joe can’t even claim to be investigating a murder, since Gus’s body is nowhere to be found. Together, Joe and Gus delve into Gus’s past, uncovering clues that lead to a startling conclusion.

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 300
Series: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Book 2
Purchase Links: Amazon |Goodreads

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

Enter To Win!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Darcia Helle. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2019, and runs through April 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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