Book Showcase: MISFIRE by Tammy Euliano

Misfire, Book 2 in the Kate Downey Medical Mystery Series, by Tammy Euliano
ISBN: 9781608095223 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781608095230 (ebook)
ASIN: B09X5ZPQCL (Kindle edition)
Page Count: 368
Release Date: January 23, 2023
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Genre: Fiction | Medical Mystery | Thriller

MISFIRE by Tammy Euliano cover featuring a bluish-gray x-ray of a human chest with a defibrillator highlighted

A device that can save a life is also one that can end it

Kadence, a new type of implanted defibrillator, misfires in a patient visiting University Hospital for a routine medical procedure—causing the heart rhythm problem it’s meant to correct. Dr. Kate Downey, an experienced anesthesiologist, resuscitates the patient, but she grows concerned for a loved one who recently received the same device—her beloved Great-Aunt Irm.

When a second device misfires, Kate turns to Nikki Yarborough, her friend and Aunt Irm’s cardiologist. Though Nikki helps protect Kate’s aunt, she is prevented from alerting other patients by the corporate greed of her department chairman. As the inventor of the device and part owner of MDI, the company he formed to commercialize it, he claims that the device misfires are due to a soon-to-be-corrected software bug. Kate learns his claim is false.

The misfires continue as Christian O’Donnell, a friend and lawyer, comes to town to facilitate the sale of MDI. Kate and Nikki are drawn into a race to find the source of the malfunctions, but threats to Nikki and a mysterious murder complicate their progress. Are the seemingly random shocks misfires, or are they attacks?

A jaw-dropping twist causes her to rethink everything she once thought she knew, but Kate will stop at nothing to protect her aunt and the other patients whose life-saving devices could turn on them at any moment.

Perfect for fans of Robin Cook and Tess Gerritsen

While the novels in the Kate Downey Medical Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:

Fatal Intent
Misfire

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Indiebound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Apple Books | Barnes and Noble | B&N NOOK Book | BookDepository.com | Bookshop.org | eBooks.com | Google Play Books | Kobo eBook

Praise for Misfire:

“From surgery to suspense, Tammy Euliano knows the worlds she writes of. Misfire is a first-rate medical thriller—the kind that leaves you thinking that was too close!” —Michael Connelly, New York Times best-selling author

“A medical thriller meets domestic suspense meets serial killer terror all rolled into one page-turning extravaganza. You will read Misfire for the plot, but absolutely stay for the characters. I miss them already.” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times best-selling author

“Medical suspense as sharp as it gets. Euliano is off to a good, no, a brilliant start.” —Kathy Reichs, New York Times best-selling author

Read an Excerpt:

“You aren’t gonna let me die this time, are ya, Doc?”

Oh boy.

So started my Wednesday, with about the worst line any anesthesiologist can hear from a patient in preoperative holding.

“This time?” the nurse said.

“Last time my heart decided to dance a little jig instead of pumpin’ my blood.”

Sitting close beside Mr. Abrams, his wife squeezed her eyes closed. “Abe, tell Dr. Downey the whole story.”

“I read about it in your chart last night,” I said. “Last time they tried to fix your hernia, your heart needed a jump start.” To the nurse I added, “V fib,” a chaotic heart rhythm that usually requires electrical shock to convert back to a normal rhythm. “It happened when they were putting you to sleep and they canceled the case.” Instead of a hernia operation, Mr. Abrams ended up with a very different procedure that day—placement of an automated internal cardioverter defibrillator, or AICD. A device implanted in his chest to detect and treat the problem should it recur.

“Your AICD hasn’t fired, right?” The device had been checked by cardiology the day before.

“Right. Rosie watches it like a hawk huntin’ a rodent.” He nodded to his wife, who slipped her phone under the book in her lap.

“I completely understand,” I said to her, nodding at the hidden phone. “My aunt has the same AICD, and I can’t stop checking the app either.” Maybe a downside of the novel AICD, the Kadence communicated through the patient’s phone to the cloud, where I could view status reports on my beloved Aunt Irm’s heart. “I don’t expect any problems this time, but we’re ready if your heart decides on another jig.”

“Dr. Downey, I need to ask a favor.” Mrs. Abrams didn’t look at me, or at anyone. She gripped her paperback as if it would fly open.

“Call me Kate.”

“Come on, Rosie, let the doc do her job,” Mr. Abrams said.

She ignored him. “Dr. Yarborough is his cardiologist. She said if he could keep his phone during the operation, she would be able to watch his AICD.”

I generally like to honor requests. This one required a caveat. “I’ll make a deal with you. We’ll keep the phone close for Dr. Yarborough as long as you promise not to watch the app.”

Her sparse gray eyebrows drew together.

“During surgery, there’s electrical noise that can confuse the AICD. I don’t know what it might report and I don’t want you frightened.” Sometimes we turn off AICDs during surgery, but this operation was far enough away from the device implanted near his left shoulder that the noise shouldn’t cause a problem. What she might see on the app, though, I couldn’t predict.

She nodded uncertainly.

Eric, the anesthesia resident assigned to work with me on the case, arrived with a small syringe of a sedative. “What do you think about some happy juice?”

“I think my wife needs it more than me,” Mr. Abrams said.

Her lipstick appeared to redden as her face paled.

“Unfortunately, it goes in the IV,” Eric said with a kind smile for her. “We’ll take good care of him.”

“You’ll watch his blood sugar,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am.” Eric unlocked the bed.

“And be careful with his AICD.”

“We will.” He unhooked the IV bag from the ceiling-mounted pole and attached it to one on the stretcher.

Tears dampened her eyes as Mrs. Abrams stood and leaned down to kiss her husband’s cheek.

“I’m gonna be fine, Rosie. Don’t you worry. I’ll be huntin’ by the weekend, and we can try out that new squirrel recipe before our anniversary.”

“We are not serving squirrel stew for our fiftieth anniversary,” she said.

Eric and I exchanged a smile.

“Oh now, you wait and see.” Mr. Abrams patted his wife’s hand.

“What’s squirrel taste like?” Eric pushed the bed from the wall.

“Tastes like chicken.” Mr. Abrams laughed loudly. “No, just kiddin’ with ya . . .” As they turned the corner, the voices faded. I stayed behind to reassure Mrs. Abrams.

“I can’t lose him.” Eyes squeezed shut, a sob escaped.

I wrapped an arm around her ample shoulders and waited. I knew that feeling; had lived that feeling; had lost.

“I’m sorry.” She dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

“No need to apologize. Last time scared you. Tell you what, once he’s asleep, I’ll give you a call and let you know it went fine.”

That calmed her. We walked together to the main doors, where I directed her to the waiting room. I turned the opposite direction to not let her husband of fifty years die during a hernia operation. No pressure there.

In the OR, we helped Mr. Abrams move to the operating table. After applying monitors and going through our safety checks, Eric held the clear plastic mask over his face and said, “Pick out a good dream.”

“Oh, I got one.” He winked at me. “I’ll try to behave this time, Doc.”

“I’d appreciate that.” I maintained eye contact and held his hand as I injected the drugs to put him off to sleep. Despite having induced anesthesia thousands of times, I always experience a tense few moments between the time the patient stops breathing and when the breathing tube is confirmed in the windpipe. During those couple of minutes, if we couldn’t breathe for him, there’s a real, if remote, chance the patient could die. Not a failure to save, but, in essence, a kill. Anesthesia is unique in that. We take people who are breathing fine, mess it up, then fix it, so the surgeon can correct the real problem.

When Mr. Abrams’ induction proceeded without incident, I felt an extra sense of relief and was happy to share that with his wife. The operation, too, went well, and an hour later, he awoke from anesthesia, gave a sleepy smile, and said, “How’d it go, Doc?”

“Fine. No more hernia. Are you in any pain?”

He shook his head. “Nope, you done good.”

As Eric gave his transfer-of-care report to the recovery nurse, I helped re-connect the monitors. Mr. Abrams looked great. Whether he’d be hunting squirrel in a few days, I couldn’t say. I headed toward the pre-op area to see our next patient.

“Dr. Downey!”

I spun back to see Mr. Abrams’ head loll to the side, his eyes closed, his hands on his chest. In two steps I was back at his side. “Mr. Abrams?” I placed two fingers to his neck where his pulse should be while the ECG monitor above showed ventricular fibrillation—a randomly bumpy line—and his pulse oximeter, the sticker on his finger that recorded pulse and oxygen, became a flat line. Cardiac arrest.

What the hell?

I forced the image of his wife saying, “I can’t lose him,” from my mind as I lowered the head of the bed and started chest compressions. “Eric, manage the airway.”

He placed a mask over Mr. Abrams’ nose and mouth and started squeezing the breathing bag. “Why isn’t his AICD firing?”

Good question.

The overhead monitor flashed and shrieked an alarm.

The fire-engine red crash cart arrived and a nurse snapped off its plastic lock. As she tore open the foil pack of defibrillation pads from the top of the crash cart, the charge nurse assembled medications. A smoothly running team, each member with his or her own tasks.

The overhead alert began, “Anesthesia and Charge Nurse stat to the PACU.” I tuned it out as a crowd in scrubs assembled around us. The anesthesiologist in charge of the recovery room said, “How can I help?”

“Call Nikki Yarborough in cardiology.” As I continued chest compressions, the nurse reached around my arms to place the large defibrillator pads on Mr. Abrams’ chest. I noticed the small scar where his AICD was implanted and silently ordered the damn thing to fire. The charging defibrillator whined with an increasing and eventually teeth-itching pitch.

Seconds before I yelled, “Clear!” the ECG monitor traced a “square wave”—three sides of a bottomless square, up-across-down. I held my breath, though it was only seconds. Normal sinus rhythm followed. His AICD had finally fired, kick-starting his heart back to normal electrical activity.

I stopped chest compressions and placed my fingers on his neck. Strong pulse. “Mr. Abrams?” I grasped his hand and leaned forward. His head turned toward me. “How do you feel?”

He rubbed his sternum with his other hand. “Chest hurts.”

“Like a heart attack, or like someone pounded on it?”

“Pounded.” He opened one eye.

“Sorry about that.”

“No. Thank you.” The corners of his mouth turned up weakly. “You did good.”

“I’ll have cardiology come check out your AICD and figure out why it took so long to fire.”

He nodded. “Can you tell my wife I’m okay?” It struck me his first thought was for his wife, and that I’d told her everything would be fine. Crap. It also struck me she might have peeked at his app.

The recovery room attending waited for me as I stepped away. “Dr. Yarborough’s in a procedure but will come by as soon as she’s done.”

I thanked him and hurried to the waiting room to check on Mrs. Abrams.

She must have followed directions, because I found her in the back corner of the crowded space, the book unopened in her lap. At my approach, she looked up.

“He’s fine.” Always the best lead, but she didn’t smile. I sat beside her and lowered my voice in an attempt at privacy. “After the surgery, he had a rhythm problem like before.”

She gasped and I placed a hand on her arm.

“We did CPR until his Kadence fired and everything is fine now. He’s awake and he asked me to tell you that.”

Tears filled her eyes.

Though I wasn’t supposed to invite her to the recovery room until the nurse was ready, Mrs. Abrams needed to see for herself. I knew what that felt like. “Would you like to see him?”

She nodded and walked with me in silence.

The very understanding nurse lowered one of the stretcher’s side rails, and Mr. Abrams extended an arm to embrace his wife. “Now, Rosie, I told you I’d be fine.” He looked past her shoulder and winked at me, but his eyes shone as well. Such a beautiful couple. I returned to work before we were all bleary eyed.

Excerpt from Misfire by Tammy Euliano.
Copyright © 2023 by Tammy Euliano.
Published with permission. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Tammy Euliano author photo showing a smiling white female with brown, shoulder-length hair, wearing a blue-print top and a necklace with a blue stone

Tammy Euliano writes medical thrillers. She’s inspired by her day job as a physician, researcher, and medical educator. She is a tenured professor at the University of Florida, where she’s been honored with numerous teaching awards, nearly 100,000 views of her YouTube teaching videos, and was featured in a calendar of women inventors (copies available wherever you buy your out-of-date calendars).

When she’s not writing or at the hospital, she enjoys traveling with her family, playing sports, cheering on the Gators, and entertaining her two wonderful dogs.

Connect with the author via: Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Website 

Giveaway

This is a giveaway for one (1) print copy of Misfire by Tammy Euliano and a bookmark. This giveaway is limited to residents of the United States only. All entries by non-US residents will be voided. To enter use the Rafflecopter link.

This giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on 01/10/2023 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 01/16/2023. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 01/17/2023. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Post: Adam Sikes – LANDSLIDE

Good day, book people. I’ve learned that some readers appreciate gaining insight into authors and their “writing process.” Every author, from those just starting out to those with years of writing and publishing experience, seems to have a writing routine or process. Some of these routines seem very similar, such as writing in the morning and having a favorite beverage on hand, and others are quite unique, writing in longhand with a specific type of writing instrument. I enjoy learning about them all and am very pleased to welcome Adam Sikes, author of Landslide, to the blog today. Mr. Sikes will be answering the question “what is your writing process?” for us. I hope you’ll enjoy the information he’s sharing, follow the blog tour to learn more about this author and his book, and grab a copy of Landslide to read. Thank you, Mr. Sikes, for taking the time to join us today. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

What is your writing process?

The “writing process” is something I didn’t understand until I started doing it. I had to learn my process over time and, in truth, it took a few years.

Although I just recently started writing fiction seriously in the past ten years, I’ve always considered myself a writer. I remember in junior high trying to outline a techno-thriller along the lines of Tom Clancy. When I was in high school, I recall enjoying writing historical research papers, which I then continued in college and during graduate school. With the CIA, writing was a part of my daily experience. And even while in the Marine Corps and special operations, I wrote.

When I began writing novels, however, I approached and experienced writing differently. I found the process of thinking about a subject, outlining the story, and then writing the narrative to be insufficient. My writing was flat, lacking the kinds of sentences and word use that I so enjoyed from other writers, and as one editor called my dialogue, it was “wooden.”

Consequently, in addition to seeking out education and training to improve my craft, I engaged in self-reflection to understand how I produced my best work. This led me to a multi-step process that allowed me to think through single scenes as well as plotting an entire book, honing my writing to engage the reader, keep them turning the pages, and feel connected to the characters.

  • Running: I found that movement stimulates my creativity and when I went running, I was able to think through the various aspects of a plot, a character’s personality, and especially tough scenes I felt stuck on.
    Notebooks: I handwrite every scene in a Moleskine notebook using a form of shorthand. I write fast and small, trying to keep the scene flowing and not getting hung up on precise language. I also use a handmade pen given to me by my brother, a woodworker and craftsman. This pen is very dear to me and physically connects me to the pages and my writing.
    Typing 1 of 2: After I handwrite a scene, I then type it in Word, double-spaced, font Garamond 12. This initial typed scene is raw and barebones.
    Typing 2 of 2: Now that I have the scene on the computer, I go back through slowly, adding the “meat” to the story, being precise about words and phrasing, and endeavoring to flesh out the narrative.
    Read Aloud and Type: In the final stage before entering the editing process, I try to write in the morning and read aloud as I go through the scene once more, listening to how the words and phrases sound and editing grammar and punctuation to achieve the desired effects.

This process works well for me and gives me confidence that even if my first run-through seems weak, as I perform each step, the writing gets stronger and better. On the other hand, I am also able to see when a scene or piece of writing isn’t working. If that happens, I don’t hesitate to start over. I find it better to start from scratch rather than continually trying to force a scene to work.

And finally, I always have a cup of coffee or tea with me when writing. Even if it just sits there and goes cold—it’s there.

Landslide

by Adam Sikes

November 14 – December 9, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Landslide by Adam Sikes

 

International Arms—Private Military Companies—Corruption at Every Turn

U.S. Marine veteran Mason Hackett moved to London to start his life over, and he’s done his best to convince himself that what happened fifteen years ago doesn’t matter—the people he killed, the men he lost, the lives he ruined. But when Mason sees the face of a dead friend flash on a television screen and then receives a mysterious email referencing a CIA operation gone bad, he can no longer ignore his inner demons.

Driven by loyalty and a need to uncover the truth, Mason launches on a perilous journey from the Czech Republic to Romania toward the war-torn separatist region in eastern Ukraine to honor a fifteen-year-old promise. The answers he seeks—the fate of a friend and his connection to the underworld of international arms dealers and defense corporations—throw Mason into the cauldron of a covert war where no one can be trusted.

Praise for Landslide:

“Sikes imbues the emotionally complex Mason with a palpable sense of grief. Readers will look forward to his further adventures.”

Publishers Weekly

 

Landslide is not only a gripping geo-political thriller, but a morally-complex tale. It grapples with fraught questions of both individual and national loyalty as well as killing and the grim realities of war. I read this book over the course of two-white knuckled days that I won’t soon forget. Adam Sikes is a huge talent.”

Elliot Ackerman, New York Times best-selling author

 

“Adam Sikes is the consummate storyteller. What a fast-moving train Landslide is, a real rollercoaster of a ride, gripping, emotional and thought-provoking. I enjoyed every thrilling second. This is good stuff!”

J. Randy Taraborrelli, New York Times best-selling author

 

“A gem of a read with mach-speed mayhem, loaded with rich detail from a writer who knows what he’s talking about.”

Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author

 

“With an irresistible hook that grabs you from the get-go, Landslide is an action-packed, nonstop espionage thrill ride that will keep you furiously turning the pages. Marine Corps veteran and former intelligence officer Adam Sikes delivers a fast-paced, gritty, supercharged read.”

Andrew Kaplan, New York Times best-selling author

 

Landslide is a seismic quake of an international, high-stakes thriller in the grand tradition of Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, and Brad Taylor. Adam Sikes has penned a seminal effort that’s bracingly effective in its portrayal of current geopolitical dynamics through the eyes of former Marine, and current expatriate, Mason Hackett. A terrific tapestry of a tale with the kind of stitching that would make the likes of Alistair MacLean and Frederick Forsyth take notice.”

Jon Land, USA Today best-selling author

Book Details:

Genre: Spy Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: September 2022
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781608095049 (ISBN10: 1608095045)
Series: A Mason Hackett Espionage Thriller, #1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Oceanview Publishing

Author Bio:

Adam Sikes

Adam Sikes is a novelist and freelance writer. He is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in International Politics and a Masters in History. Prior to taking up the pen, he served in the US Marine Corps with combat tours in the Balkans, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Following the Marines, Adam joined the CIA and conducted operations in Central Asia, East Africa, and Europe. He is the author of the international thriller Landslide and is the co-author of Open Skies: My Life as Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot. He lives in Southern California.

Catch Up With Adam Sikes:
www.AdamSikes.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @sikesar
Instagram – @Adam_R_Sikes
Twitter – @Adam_R_Sikes

Tour Participants:

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Guest Post: Shawn Wilson – DUPLICITY

Good day, book people. I am constantly amazed at what triggers the “what if” creative response from writers. One of my favorite authors read one line in a 19th-century newspaper about a woman walking in the desert with a cookstove on her head and crafted a story featuring that interesting tidbit. Another mentioned that she read an article about a regional murder in the early 20th century. She found the murder to be a fascinating story, but it was the mention of the deaf-mute teenage witness that she wound up using to craft her story. It is mind-boggling to me that these highly creative personalities can use almost anything and it leads to their crafting a story, sometimes immediately and other times years in the making. Today’s guest is Shawn Wilson, author of the recently released Duplicity, the second book in the Brick Kavanaugh series. Ms. Wilson will be discussing with us her road to becoming an author. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Ms. Wilson’s path to publication, follow the blog tour to learn more about this book and its author, and enter the tour-wide giveaway. Thank you, Ms. Wilson, for taking the time to stop by today and share with us. I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

A POGO STICK . . . AND PUBLICATION
by Shawn Wilson

Could a pogo stick actually be the catalyst for fulfilling a long-time goal of becoming a published author? In my case, the answer is yes. But what did these two seemingly unrelated things have to do with each other?

It was the summer I would turn twelve. Elementary school was over and junior high would start after Labor Day. The hula hoop craze was history, and I was tired of roller skating. I needed a new activity to fill the lazy vacation days. It came in the form of a pogo stick. I don’t know why my father thought it was appropriate and I’m sure my mother thought it was dangerous. I saw it as a challenge.

To say I was not athletic was an understatement, but what I lacked in coordination I made up for in persistence. I was determined to conquer this odd spring-loaded pole with a handle at the top and a footrest near the bottom. After several falls and many failed attempts to jump more than once or twice, I found my balance. Soon I was able to travel the length of the sidewalk in front of our house and go up and down the porch steps. But there was a price to pay. Both my legs, from inner thighs to knees were covered in ugly bruises. While my mother was horrified and feared someone would think I was a victim of abuse, I felt victorious.

It wasn’t the only worry she had that summer. I was obsessed with a crime story reported in our local newspaper. At an upstate New York camp, a boy had been found dead. Foul play was suspected. It was, to my way of thinking, a far more interesting mystery than the Nancy Drew books I routinely checked out of the library.

Fast forward to 1969. While astronauts landed on the moon, I started working for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. One job led to another while I pursued a degree in Administration of Justice. Over the years, my resume included the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

My government service ended abruptly when my job was abolished. I saw early-out retirement as an opportunity to devote more time and energy to a goal/dream of writing crime fiction. I had completed two manuscripts and despite unsuccessfully finding an agent or publisher, I wrote another. More rejection followed but just as I didn’t give up on the pogo stick, I stuck with it. While attending Bouchercon 2018, the annual mystery conference named for former New York Times critic, Anthony Boucher, I attended a presentation by Oceanview Publishing. I introduced myself, briefly described my manuscript, and was invited to submit sample chapters. Weeks later, they requested the full manuscript. I tried to keep my expectations in check as I awaited a response. That changed when I received an email requesting a time to schedule a teleconference. I knew that publishers don’t call to tell you they’re not interested. A week later, I signed a contract. In December 2019, my debut crime novel, Relentless launched.

Looking back to the summer of the pogo stick, I realize how influential that time was. The bruises faded but the determination to reach a goal despite obstacles encountered along the way defined how I would respond in years to come. And apparently, my interest in a real-life crime story and a passion for mystery novels led to two careers. The second, being a published author is, by far, the best job I’ve ever had. ♦

Duplicity

by Shawn Wilson

October 31 – November 25, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Duplicity by Shawn Wilson

This was not the homecoming Brick envisioned.

After the trauma of his last case, and after three months spent recovering in Ireland, life is looking up for newly retired homicide detective Brian (Brick) Kavanagh. Back home in Washington, D.C., a new job shows promise when he’s asked to train criminology students in cold case techniques.

Then he’s off to a whirlwind weekend in Chicago with Nora, an Aer Lingus flight attendant he’d met in Ireland. There he receives shocking news that his former partner’s wife and twin infants have been kidnapped. Brick rushes to D.C. to support Ron, the man who’s always had his back—but as days pass, Brick questions how well he really knows this man.

Brick’s cold case—the unsolved hit-and-run death of a college student—is heating up. Brick finds gaping holes in the original investigation. Is it possible diplomatic immunity granted someone a “get-out-of-jail-free card”?

Meanwhile, Ron’s family tragedy unfolds in a most bizarre manner, and the escalating cold case points to D.C. corruption at the highest level. Things are getting complicated . . . very complicated . . . and dangerous.

Praise for Duplicity:

“…it’s a cracking good time. One doesn’t have to be a mystery fan to relish this.”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

 

Duplicity is a compelling read with depth and a protagonist you’ll want to spend more time with. I’ll be first in line to see what’s next for Brick Kavanagh!”

David Putnam, bestselling author of the Bruno Johnson crime series

 

“…you’re in for an engrossing and entertaining read.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author

 

Duplicity is a delightful, twisty thriller featuring a hero it’s impossible not to love… I raced through the pages ’til three a.m. rooting for him to succeed.”

Matt Witten, author of The Necklace

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 2022
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN13: 9781608095100 (hardcover)
ISBN10: 160809510X
ISBN: 9781608095117 (eBook)
ASIN: ‎ B09XPHSF1L (Kindle edition)
ASIN: B0BGQJSQD1 (Audible Audiobook)
Series: The Brick Kavanagh Series, 2 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:   IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Barnes and Noble | B&N NOOK Book | BookDepository.com | Bookshop.org | eBooks.com | Kobo eBook | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Shawn Wilson

Shawn Wilson is a produced playwright and author of Relentless, the first novel in the Brick Kavanagh mystery series. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from American University in Washington, D.C., and spent over thirty years working for the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Having traveled on five continents, she is very happy to call Chicago home.

Catch Up With Shawn Wilson:
www.ShawnWilsonAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @shawn152
Facebook – @shawnwilsonauthor

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Guest Post: R.G. Belsky – IT’S NEWS TO ME

Good day, book people. I kind of miss the longer days of Summer (don’t miss the heat for a variety of reasons), but I’m enjoying the spectacular fall foliage here in the hills and mountains of West Virginia as well as the cooler weather. (There’s something special about curling up in my reading chair with a good book, a blanket, and a nice hot cup of tea.) As most of you may know, I’m somewhat of a fanatical reader, reading and re-reading my favorite books and series. Why you might ask, do I reread and re-reread these books? Well, the stories are usually gripping and well-written, but I also feel a vested interest in the characters. I need to know what they’re going to do next and/or revisit what they’ve done in the past. For this reader, it truly is all about the character (and the writing). Thankfully, there are plenty of authors that understand this devotion and provide us with hours of reading pleasure by crafting new stories featuring these beloved characters. I’m pleased to welcome back, R.G. Belsky, author of the Clare Carlson series, including the latest release, It’s News to Me. Mr. Belsky will be discussing with us the importance of the character in character-driven stories. I hope you’ll find what he has to share enlightening. Thank you, Mr. Belsky, for coming back for a visit. I’m looking forward to learning more about your thoughts on characters. Without further adieu, I’ll now turn the blog over to you.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE CHARACTER, NOT THE STORY
By R.G. Belsky

Philip Marlowe. Kinsey Millhone. Harry Bosch. Spenser. Stephanie Plum. Matt Scudder. Alex Delaware. Rizzoli and Isles.

If you’re a mystery fan, you know all of these characters. You buy their books. You read them. You love them.

I’ve been asked many times at mystery conferences and book signings and by readers what I think is more important in a mystery: the character or the mystery story itself.

That’s an easy one for me to answer.

The three most important things in any mystery novel — to paraphrase another well-known expression — is character, character, and character!

I mean if I’m reading a book that has an interesting story, but a boring character that I can’t relate to — well, I’ve never finished reading a book like that. On the other hand, if the story is weak but I like reading about the character…hey, I’m in! And that actually happens to me a lot of times.

The hard truth is that many successful mysteries — even by the great authors — don’t tell a particularly strong story.

Even the legendary Raymond Chandler (dare I say it!) is guilty of this. He is without question in my mind the greatest mystery author ever. And yet the stories are hard to follow, muddled at times, and usually don’t follow any kind of logical sequence of events. Doesn’t matter. Because of Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is the ultimate detective, the ultimate PI. Chandler does such a brilliant, incomparable job of writing about him and the LA scene from the ’40s and ’50s that we don’t care about the inconsistencies or holes in the story.

Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books are the same way. Love the character. Sets the bar for the wisecracking, cool private investigator of more recent times. A kind of a modern-day Marlowe. But there are very few surprises in the storylines of the Spenser books. Bad guys try to take him, he takes care of the bad guys — and makes sure justice is done. In between romancing his longtime girlfriend Susan Silverman. It’s a perfect formula that has little to do with the mystery itself in most of his books.

I’ve read pretty much all of the Sue Grafton “alphabet” books over the years. If you ask me to tell you one of the stories Kinsey Millhone was involved in, I’d have a hard time doing that. But I could tell you a lot about Kinsey herself — her background, her romances, what she likes to eat, etc.

Some prominent authors — like Michael Connelly, for example, do a better job of combing a more complex, twisty story with their character. But still, the reason I read the Harry Bosch books (and watch the TV series now) is for Harry Bosch — the wonderful character Connelly has been writing about now since the early 90s. Even better, we’ve gotten to see Bosch age over the years, which is an added nice touch for making the character seem real and relatable to the reader.

All of this is why I spent so much time and thought and effort in creating my own character of Clare Carlson.

This is my fifth mystery feature Clare Carlson — a TV journalist in New York City who breaks big crime stories and deals with a messy personal life — in It’s News to Me (Oceanview – Oct4).

But Clare didn’t just emerge out of nowhere.

In fact, she’s had three different names. She started out when I was writing the first book in the series as Jenny McKay because I’d written a series using that character as a TV reporter back in the early 90s. I thought at first I’d make her an older Jenny, but the timing of having her age at the right speed got too complicated. She then became Molly McQuillan, who worked for a sensational tabloid like the Enquirer or Star mag (where I once worked). I wasn’t entirely happy with Molly McQuillan either. And so I started writing that first book all over again with Clare Carlson as a talented but troubled ex-newspaper reporter who now worked for a TV news station. And that became an award-winning mystery called Yesterday’s News — which has now led to four more Clare Carlson books.

One of the most difficult parts of creating a compelling character is not just writing the positive stuff, it’s the negative too.

A good character has to be flawed, not perfect.

The flaws are crucial.

Reed Farrel Coleman, who wrote a number of the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone books after Parker’s death, said once that the Jesse Stone character was very difficult in some ways to write.

Why? Because he did seem perfect, at least at first glance. Good looking, tough, honest, and, of course, you thought about Tom Selleck playing him in the TV movies when you read the books. No one likes a perfect person. So Jesse had to have some flaws to make him interesting. A drinking problem. A failed marriage. A promising baseball career that was tragically cut short by an injury. Yes, he’s still very likable — but he’s flawed too. And that makes him so much more interesting.

So that’s what I’ve tried to do with my own character of Clare Carlson too.

I like the story I tell in It’s News to Me.

But I like Clare Carlson even better.

Hopefully, you will too. ♦

It’s News to Me

by R.G. Belsky

October 3-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

It's News to Me by RG Belsky

Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she’s dead at 20

When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.

After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect’s mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son’s innocence.

As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service’s website offering paid dates with wealthy men.

Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt’s death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.

Praise for It’s News to Me:

“[It’s News to Me is] witty, clever and engaging. Clare Carlson’s irreverent comments and dogged reporter’s instincts make for a propulsive ride as she races from the chaos of a newsroom’s inner sanctum to the dangers of a murder victim’s deepest secrets. Once you start, you won’t put it down.”

Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times best-selling author

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN10: 1608094561 (hardcover)
ISBN13: 9781608094561 (hardcover)
ASIN: B0B1VPDNTL (Kindle edition)
ASIN B0BGQHZQV2 (Audible audiobook)
Series: Clare Carlson #5 (each is a stand-alone work)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible Audiobook | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository.com | Bookshop.org | Goodreads

Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky

R.G. Belsky is an award-winning author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His new mystery, It’s News to Me, was published on October 4 by Oceanview. It is the fifth in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. Belsky has published 19 novels—all set in the New York City media world where he has had a long career as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine, and NBC News. He also writes thrillers under the name Dana Perry. He lives in New York City and is a contributing writer to The Big Thrill magazine.

Catch Up With R.G. Belsky:
www.RGBelsky.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dickb79983
Instagram – @dickbelsky
Twitter – @DickBel
Facebook – @RGBelsky

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Guest Post: Linda L. Richards – EXIT STRATEGY

Good day, book people. I’ve been thinking about “art imitating life” quite a bit lately and decided to look up the quote (I don’t know why, my brain is weird). Oscar Wilde wrote “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” in an 1889 essay. I don’t know if that’s always true, but I’m thankful that authors look at various situations and think “I wonder” to themselves. As readers, we reap the benefit of their creative thinking and writing talent triggered by “I wonder” scenarios. I’m honored to welcome today’s guest, Linda L. Richards, author of Exit Strategy. Ms. Richards will be discussing that all-important “what if” scenario in her writing. Thank you, Ms. Richards, for joining us today and sharing your thoughts. The blog is now all yours.

Guest Post

So much of everything is around “what if?”

In Exit Strategy, the “what if'”s occur against the backdrop of technology and high-tech financing.

What if the high concept technology around a unicorn start-up simply did not work? And what if the people involved with developing the tech and bringing in the financing understood that it did not work, but were too deeply enmeshed in everything they were creating that they couldn’t step back from it? That they had to keep crashing forward, no matter what?

Around the time I was conceiving the book that is now Exit Strategy, there was a lot of discussion about Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. She is a woman and she is beautiful, so it was very easy for public opinion to sway against her. In my mind’s eye, I saw something different. (Albeit, something that may have no bearing on reality. But this is fiction, so that’s okay, too.) What if she did not intend to deceive her investors and potential investors? What if she knew – or at least thought she knew — if she just got a bit more loot and had a bit more time, she would get it all to work out? It’s a different story then, do you see?

So Exit Strategy is not the story of Theranos or Elizabeth Holmes, though there might appear to be some connective tissue. Also, we’re layering in the perspective and contributions of the damaged hitwoman we first met in 2021’s Endings. I think that is an important piece, as well. By her very nature and all that has happened to her, our narrator’s perspective is suspect. We can’t trust her. She doesn’t even trust herself. So what we end up with is this juxtaposition of strong women on the edge of the abyss. It’s a tight rope. And I hope it works for you. And if it doesn’t, I hope it at least makes you uncomfortable. And wonder. And squirm a bit in your seat. ♦

Exit Strategy

by Linda L. Richards

May 16 – June 10, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Exit Strategy by Linda L Richards

A shattered life. A killer for hire. Can she stop?

Her assignments were always to kill someone. That’s what a hitman—or hitwoman—is paid to do, and that is what she does. Then comes a surprise assignment—keep someone alive!

She is hired to protect Virginia Martin, the stunning and brilliant chief technology officer of a hot startup with an innovation that will change the world. This new job catches her at a time in her life when she’s hanging on by a thread. Despair and hopelessness—now more intense than she’d felt after the tragic loss of her family—led her to abruptly launch this career. But over time, the life of a hired killer is decimating her spirit and she keeps thinking of ending her life.

She’s confused about the “why” of her new assignment but she addresses her mission as she always does, with skill and stealth, determined to keep this young CTO alive in the midst of the twinned worlds of innovation and high finance.

Some people have to die as she discharges her responsibility to protect this superstar woman amid the crumbling worlds of money and future technical wonders.

The spirit of an assassin—and her nameless dog—permeates this struggle to help a young woman as powerful forces build to deny her.

Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Dexter will love Exit Strategy.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 17th 2022
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN10: 1608094227 (hardcover)
ISBN13: 9781608094226 (hardcover)
ASIN: ‎ B09F24MTMN (Kindle edition)
ASIN: B09ZD3VHTC (Audible audiobook)
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: IndieBound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Bookdepository.com | Bookshop.org | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Linda L. Richards

Linda L. Richards is a journalist, photographer, and the author of 15 books, including three series of novels featuring strong female protagonists. She is the former publisher of Self-Counsel Press and the founder and publisher of January Magazine. Linda’s 2021 novel, Endings, was recently optioned by a major studio for series production.

Catch Up With Linda L. Richards:
LindaLRichards.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @linda1841
Instagram – @lindalrichards
Twitter – @lindalrichards
Facebook – @lindalrichardsauthor
TikTok – @lindalrichards

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Guest Post: Davin Goodwin – PARADISE COVE

Good day, book people. I’m currently in Charlotte, North Carolina finishing up my participation at a Migraine Retreat (yes, it’s a thing and the closest I’ve come to a “vacation” in close to 12 years other than day trips). As I bid a fond farewell to all of my new acquaintances and fellow migraineurs, I’m preparing for the short drive back to West Virginia. Before I jump in my car and head north, I’m excited to welcome back, Davin Goodwin, author of Paradise Cove. Mr. Goodwin will be sharing with us an adventurous tale from one of his vacation trips to Bonaire. I hope you’ll find it intriguing. Don’t forget to add Paradise Cove to your TBR list! Thank you, Mr. Goodwin, for returning and sharing with us today. I can’t wait to learn what happened on your trip.

Guest Post

My wife, Leslie (aka Double L, short for Lovely Leslie), and I had just finished a scuba dive at a location called The Rock, our two-week vacation on the beautiful island of Bonaire half over. We stood waist-deep in the sea a few yards from shore as Leslie gently untangled hair from the buckles of her face mask, eventually sliding it up and over her head.

Wide-eyed and wearing a grin that’d make the Cheshire Cat envious, she said, “How cool was that?”

I nodded. “Nice job.”

The “cool” event had happened about twenty minutes ago in twenty feet of depth during the second portion of our dive. We were slowly swimming back to the takeout point when I spied a hawksbill turtle resting on the bottom in a bundle of soft corals. Double L floated above it, taking a few pictures, and then slid in front of the turtle, inches above the bottom, for two more.

Before taking her last photo, she tilted sideways, and stared at the base of the soft coral. The turtle seemed to be struggling. She waved me over and pointed at two of the turtle’s legs; one front and one rear. The front one was wrapped in the soft coral and the rear one was wedged in a rock.

The turtle was stuck, unable to free itself.

At that moment, I couldn’t remember what I had read regarding a turtle’s ability to hold its breath. Just like humans, it probably ranged a little depending on the individual animal. But also, just like humans, I knew it wasn’t indefinite.

The little dude was between the proverbial rock and hard place. He was going to drown.

Unless….

To be honest, I was a little torn. It seemed nature had put this turtle in a predicament, and I considered letting nature take its course. Kind of like the Prime Directive in Star Trek; don’t interfere and change the outcome. Numerous other reef inhabitants would feast for days on his dead carcass. Isn’t that the way nature worked? Keeping everything in balance? If we saved this turtle, would we inadvertently throw the reef out of balance?

To coin a phrase, I was paralyzed with analysis. I decided to take the coward’s way out and wait a few more moments to see if the turtle freed itself. If not, I’d rethink.

What would Captain Kirk do?

While Star Trek scenarios ricocheted off the inside of my skull, Leslie summoned her Stephanie Plum call-to-action attitude and reached over, gently moving the branch of soft coral that snagged the turtle’s leg. And that’s all it took. The little guy sprung loose and bolted skyward. Les and I hovered above the coral and watched as it floated on the surface with its neck outstretched. After a few moments, I gave Double L an underwater high-five and we continued on our way.

Now, standing in the shallows after our dive, I figured Mother Nature owed us one. Or maybe the other way around. I’m not sure; I’m not good with Mother Nature.

“I think you deserve a burger and fries for lunch,” I said to Les.

Another high-five. “Absolutely,” she said.

# # #

A few days later, we stood at the tailgate of our four-door truck rental. We stacked our dive gear in the bed, having just finished another dive at The Rock. One more day and our vacation would come to an end.

“You want one?” Les asked. She held up an unopened Amstel Bright, condensation running down the side of the bottle onto her fingers.

“You brought beer?” I asked, which she obviously had, the question somehow seeming pointless.

We didn’t usually bring beer with us on our dive excursions fearing they’d be stolen out of the truck. Les, in all her wisdom, stashed a few inside the bag we had filled with water bottles and snacks.

Our diving for the day complete, I said, “Sure.” Then added, “You remember an opener?”

She didn’t answer, instead producing an opener from the back seat and making an exaggerated display of opening a bottle and handing it to me. Never doubt Double L!

We drank the beers while getting out of our wetsuits. Sitting on the truck tailgate, we griped to each other about tomorrow being our last day on the island. How can two weeks go by so fast?

Before getting in the truck and heading back to the resort, Les popped open two more “road pops” for the drive. Glad I brought her along.

About a mile up the road we noticed some police—or Politie in Papiamento, the native language of Bonaire—doing a random traffic stop. We’d seen several of these over the course of our stay, and word on the street was that the Police were cracking down on illegal motorists and vehicles, being more aggressive toward drunk drivers and open seals in vehicles.

We hadn’t been pulled over at the previous road checks, the Politie just waving us past. Probably something to do with us driving a rental vehicle (with AB CarRental all over it) and not wanting to harass tourists. We felt confident that we’d again get a pass.

But why take chances?

“Hide this,” I said to Double L, handing her my bottle.

“What am I supposed to do with them?” she asked.

“I don’t know. If we’re stopped, someone will come up to my window, so just hide them beside your leg the best you can.”

Les tucked the bottles between her leg and the door and covered them with her arm. I still wasn’t worried, figuring we’d be waved through.

To my surprise, an officer walked into the street and waved me to the shoulder. Uh oh, I thought.

Tall, fortyish, and in obviously good physical condition, he walked over to the driver’s side window, leaned down, and said, “Driver license, please.” His voice exuded authority and it seemed the other officers, all younger, awaited his direction and guidance. The name tag pinned to his chartreuse green safety vest read Officer Ruud. I wasn’t sure exactly how to pronounce his name, but I hoped his demeanor didn’t match the obvious pronunciation.

I dug into a pocket and produced my driver’s license. He looked it over, then looked at me.

After a short stare down, he motioned his head towards Les. “And, Mr. Goodwin,” he said, “who is the lady?” Leslie tightened. I sensed it more than I felt it and placed a hand on her forearm.

“She’s my wife, Leslie Goodwin.”

Officer Ruud looked at Leslie, then at me. “She is Double L?” he asked.

I held back a smile. “Sometimes, yes.”

He looked at Les. When he spoke, his voice was much softer, almost childlike. “You saved the turtle.” It was a statement not a question.

My smile slipped out and worked itself across my face. I found myself also looking at Les.

She nodded and simply said, “Yes.”

Officer Ruud nodded. Still looking at Les, he said, “You can pass.” He stood, barked something in Papiamento to the other officers, who all jumped to the side of the pavement. He waved us through and made a point of saying to Les, “Have a nice day. And thank you,” as we pulled forward, past the waving Politie officers.

Down the road, Double L handed me my beer. We clanked bottles and had a good laugh.

“Thanks Mother Nature,” she said. ♦

Paradise Cove

by Davin Goodwin

April 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Paradise Cove by Dave Goodwin

Every day is paradise on Bonaire—until something unexpected washes ashore

On the laid-back island of Bonaire, every day is paradise until a seaweed-entangled human leg washes ashore. Combing the beach, retired cop Roscoe Conklin examines the scene and quickly determines that the leg belongs to the nephew of a close friend.

The island police launch an investigation, but with little evidence and no suspects, their progress comes to a frustrating halt. Then, thanks to a unique barter with the lead detective, Conklin finds himself in possession of the case file. He can now aggressively probe for his own answers.

Sifting through the scant clues, eager to bring the killer to justice, Conklin struggles to maintain forward momentum. He has all the pieces. He can feel it. But he’d better get them snapped together soon.

Otherwise, the body count will continue to rise.

Praise for Paradise Cove:

“An intriguingly gruesome beginning, sexy location, and a supremely satisfying ending. Paradise Cove is a terrific read.” —Marc Cameron, New York Times best-selling author

Paradise Cove is a wonderful thriller with a great story . . . what makes it special are the perfect descriptions of Bonaire and life on the island.” —Nicholas Harvey, author of the AJ Bailey Adventure Series

“Grab a beer and revisit Bonaire with Roscoe Conklin as your guide in Paradise Cove. A rich cast of characters and an intriguing plot guarantee an exciting trip you’ll long remember.” –Shawn Wilson, author of Relentless

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN10: 1608094855
ISBN13: 9781608094851 (hardcover)
ISNB: 9781608094868 (ebook)
ASIN: B091FZVTRS (Kindle edition)
Series: Roscoe Conklin Mystery #2 | The novels in the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order.
Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Barnes and Noble | B&N Nook Book | BookDepository.com | Bookshop.org | eBooks.com | !ndigo | Kobo eBook | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Davin Goodwin

Davin Goodwin is a graduate of Arkansas State University and works in the technology industry. He’s been a small business owner, a real estate investor, an aerial photographer and flight instructor, a semi-professional banjo player, and a scuba diver, often seen on the island of Bonaire. Paradise Cove is the second novel in his Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series and he intends to continue writing the Roscoe Conklin series set on Bonaire. Goodwin lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Leslie.

Catch Up With Davin Goodwin:
DavinGoodwinAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Instagram – @davin_goodwin_author
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin

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Book Showcase: BEYOND THE HEADLINES by R.G. Belsky

BEYOND THE HEADLINES by R.G. Belsky blog tour banner, book cover features a blue-washed woman holding a microphone with the title BEYOND THE HEADLINES over her face and body; "She was a mega-celebrity--he was a billionaire--now he's dead--she's in jail"; Quote: "Excellent plot with fascinating characters...Clare Carlson had me hooked from the first book I read in the series." Manhattan Book Review, Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Beyond The Headlines

by R.G. Belsky

May 1-31, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

BEYOND THE HEADLINES - RGBelsky

She was a mega-celebrity—he was a billionaire businessman—now he’s dead—she’s in jail

Laurie Bateman was living the American dream. Since her arrival as an infant in the U.S. after the fall of Saigon, the pretty Vietnamese girl had gone on to become a supermodel, a successful actress, and, finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate dealmakers. That dream has now turned into a nightmare when she is arrested for the murder of her wealthy husband.

New York City TV journalist Clare Carlson does an emotional jailhouse interview in which Bateman proclaims her innocence—and becomes a cause celebre for women’s rights groups around the country.

At first sympathetic, then increasingly suspicious of Laurie Bateman and her story, Clare delves into a baffling mystery which has roots extending back nearly fifty years to the height of the Vietnam War.

Soon, there are more murders, more victims, and more questions as Clare struggles against dire evil forces to break the biggest story of her life.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 4th 2021
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 160809409X (ISBN13: 9781608094097)
Series: The Clare Carlson Mystery Series, 4 (This can be read as a stand alone mystery.)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

“Do you know who Laurie Bateman is?” my friend Janet Wood asked me.

“I do,” I said. “I also know who Lady Gaga is. And Angelina Jolie. And Ivanka Trump. I’m in the media, remember? That’s what we do in the media, we cover famous people. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.”

“Laurie Bateman hired me.”

“As an attorney?”

“Yes, as an attorney. That’s what I do, Clare.”

We were sitting in my office at Channel 10 News, the TV station in New York City where I work as news director. I should have known something was going on as soon as Janet showed up there. We usually met at Janet’s law office which is big, with panoramic views of midtown Manhattan, and a lot nicer than mine.

Janet never comes to see me at Channel 10 unless she has a reason.

I figured I was about to find out that reason.

It was early December and outside it was snowing, the first real storm of the winter. The snow started falling during the night, and by now it was covering the city with a powdery white blanket. Pretty soon the car exhausts and trucks would turn it into brown slush, but for now it was gorgeous. From the window next to my desk, the city had an eerie, almost unreal quality. Like something from a Norman Rockwell painting.

My outfit for the day was perfect for the snowy weather, too. I’d walked in wearing a turtleneck sweater, heavy corduroy slacks, a blue down jacket with a parka hood and white earmuffs, scarf and mittens. The ski bunny look. I felt like I should have a cup of hot chocolate in my hand.

“Why does Laurie Bateman need you as an attorney?” I asked Janet.

She hesitated for what seemed to be an inordinately long amount of time before answering.

“Are we talking off the record here?”

“Whatever you want, Janet.”

“I need your word on that.”

“C’mon, it’s me. Clare Carlson, your best friend in the world.”

She nodded.

“Laurie Bateman wants me to represent her in divorce proceedings.”

“Wow!”

“I thought you’d like that.”

“Is it too late to take back my ‘best friend in the world/ off-the-record’ promise?”

Janet smiled. Sort of.

“How much do you know about Laurie Bateman?” she asked me now.

I knew as much as the rest of the world, I suppose. Laurie Bateman seemed to have the American Dream going for her. Since coming to the U.S. as a baby with her family after the fall of Saigon in 1975, the pretty Vietnamese girl had grown up to become a top model, then a successful actress, and finally, the wife of one of the country’s top corporate deal makers. She had a fancy Manhattan townhouse, a limousine at her beck and call and her face had graced the covers of magazines like Vogue and People.

Her husband was Charles Hollister, who had become incredibly wealthy back in the ’70s as one of the pioneers of the burgeoning computer age. He was a kind of Steve Jobs of those early days, and he later expanded into all sorts of other industries—from media to pharmaceuticals to oil drilling and a lot more. He was listed as one of the ten wealthiest businessmen in America.

When Hollister married Laurie Bateman a few years ago, there were a lot of jokes about the big difference in age between the two—she was so much younger and so beautiful. Like the jokes people made about Rupert Murdoch with Wendy Deng and then Jerry Hall, his last two wives. People always assume that a younger and pretty woman like that is marrying for the money. But Laurie Bateman and Charles Hollister insisted they were in love, and they had consistently projected the public persona of a happily married couple in the media since their wedding.

Except it now appeared they weren’t so happily married.

“Is she trying to divorce him to get her hands on his money?” I asked.

“Actually, he’s trying to divorce her and stop her from getting her hands on any of his money.”

“So the bottom line here is this divorce is about money.”

“Always is.”

“Isn’t there a pre-nuptial agreement that would settle all this?”

“Yes and no.”

“Spoken like a true lawyer.”

“Yes, there is a pre-nup. But we don’t think it applies here. That’s because other factors in the marriage took place which could invalidate the terms of the pre-nup they agreed to and signed.”

“Okay.”

I waited.

“Such as?” I asked finally.

“For one thing, Charles Hollister has a mistress. A younger woman he’s been seeing.”

“Younger than Laurie Bateman?”

“Much younger. In her twenties.”

“Jeez! Hollister’s such an old man I have trouble imagining him being able to have sex with his wife, much less getting it up for a second woman on the side.”

“Her discovery that he was cheating on her, along with a lot of other reasons, have turned Laurie Bateman’s life into a nightmare—a living hell—behind the walls of the beautiful homes they live in. She’s kept quiet about it so far, protecting the happy couple image they’ve put on for the media. But now she wants to let the world know the truth. That’s where you come in, Clare.”

Aha, I thought to myself.

Now we’re getting down to it.

I was about to find out the real reason Janet was here.

“Laurie Bateman wants to go public with all this,” Janet said. “She wants to tell her story in the media. The true story of her marriage to Charles Hollister. We know Hollister is going to use his clout to try and smear her and make her look bad, so that’s why we want to get her version out quickly. What I’m talking about here is an exclusive interview with Laurie Bateman about all of this. Her talking about the divorce, the cheating—everything. And she wants you to do the interview with her.”

“Why me?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why not Gayle King? Or Savannah Guthrie? Or Barbara Walters or Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer or another big media name? I’m just the news director of a local TV station here.”

“She wants you, Clare. In fact, I think that’s the reason she hired me for her lawyer. She found out you and I were friends—and she’s hoping I can deliver you to her to do this interview on air with her.”

“I still don’t know why she wouldn’t want to go with someone really famous . . .”

“You’re famous too, Clare. You know that as well as I do. And that’s why she wants you. You’re as famous as any woman on the air right now.”

Janet was right about that.

I was famous.

It could have gone either way—I could have wound up being either famous or infamous because of what I did—but in the end I’d wound up as a media superstar all over again.

Just like I’d been when I won a Pulitzer Prize nearly twenty years ago for telling the story of legendary missing child Lucy Devlin—even though I didn’t tell the whole story then.

“Laurie Bateman’s life with Charles Hollister is a big lie,” Janet said to me. “Now she wants to tell the truth on air about all those lies she’s been hiding behind. Like you did when you finally told the truth on air about you and Lucy Devlin. That’s why she wants you to be the one who interviews her.”

I still wasn’t sure how I felt about all this new found fame I’d gotten from my Lucy Devlin story, but there was no question that if it got me this Laurie Bateman story . . . well, that would be a huge exclusive for me and the station.

“When can I meet her?” I asked Janet.

***

Excerpt from Beyond The Headlines by R.G. Belsky. Copyright 2021 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Author - RG Belsky

R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City.

His new mystery, BEYOND THE HEADLINES, will be published in May 2021. It is the fourth in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station – and follows THE LAST SCOOP, published in 2020. The first Clare Carlson book, YESTERDAY’S NEWS, won the David Award at Deadly Ink for Best Mystery of 2018. The second Clare Carlson book, BELOW THE FOLD, was named Best Mystery 0f 2019 in the Foreword INDIES Awards.

He also is the author of two thrillers written under the pen name of Dana Perry – THE SILENT VICTIM (2019), THE GOLDEN GIRL (June, 2020) and HER OCEAN GRAVE (June 2021 – Bookouture).

Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – THE KENNEDY CONNECTION, SHOOTING FOR THE STARS and BLONDE ICE – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News.
Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine and NBC News.

His previous suspense/thriller novels include LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD. Belsky lives in New York City.

Catch Up With R.G. Belsky:
www.RGBelsky.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dickb79983
Instagram – @dickbelsky
Twitter – @DickBel
Facebook – @RGBelsky

Tour Participants:

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

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Giveaway:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be two (2) winners who will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on May 1, 2021 and ends on June 1, 2021. Void where prohibited.

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Book Showcase: THE LAST SCOOP by R.G. Belsky

The Last Scoop

by R.G. Belsky

on Tour May 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:

The Last Scoop by R.G. Belsky

Martin Barlow was Clare Carlson’s first newspaper editor, a beloved mentor who inspired her career as a journalist. But, since retiring from his newspaper job, he had become a kind of pathetic figure—railing on about conspiracies, cover-ups, and other imaginary stories he was still working on. Clare had been too busy with her own career to pay much attention to him. When Martin Barlow is killed on the street one night during an apparent mugging attempt gone bad, it seems like he was just an old man whose time had come. But Clare—initially out of a sense of guilt for ignoring her old friend and then because of her own journalistic instincts—begins looking into his last story idea. As she digs deeper and deeper into his secret files, she uncovers shocking evidence of a serial killer worse than Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, or any of the other infamous names in history. This really is the biggest story of Martin Barlow’s career—and Clare’s, too—as she uncovers the path leading to the decades-long killer of at least twenty young women. All is not as it seems during Clare’s relentless search for this serial killer. Is she setting herself up to be his next victim?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Oceanview Publishing

Publication Date: May 5th 2020

Number of Pages: 368

ISBN: 1608093573 (ISBN13: 9781608093571)

Series: Clare Carlson #3

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

I was sitting in my office at Channel 10 News, drinking black coffee and skimming through the morning papers when I saw the article about Marty Barlow.

It was a brief item about the murder of a man on an East Side New York City street. It identified the victim as Martin Barlow. It also said that Barlow was a retired journalist. It did not say Barlow was the first—and probably the best—newspaper editor I ever had.

The police reported that he’d died from a blow to the head. Apparently, from a solid object, although the object itself was never found. Cops first assumed it had been a mugging, but later backed off that a bit because his wallet wasn’t taken. Instead, it just seemed—at least on the face of it—to be one of those crazy, senseless crimes that happen too often in New York City.

The article never mentioned Marty’s age—he refused to ever tell it to anyone—but I figured he must be well up in his sixties by now. He was a frail-looking man. He had disheveled white hair, pasty-looking skin and he couldn’t have weighed more than 150 pounds. He always wore the same old wrinkled suit that looked like it had last been cleaned during the Reagan administration.

But more than twenty years ago, when I was starting out at a newspaper in New Jersey, Marty Barlow had helped me become the journalist that I am today. He was my editor, my mentor and my friend.

Barlow was a grizzled old veteran even back then, and I soaked up every bit of knowledge and wisdom I could from him. He taught me how to cover police stories, political scandals, and human-interest features. “Never turn down an animal story,” was one of his mantras. “People love animal stories!” But mostly, he taught me what a noble calling it was to be a newspaper reporter—and about all the integrity and responsibility that went with it. His favorite quotation was from an old Humphrey Bogart movie where Bogey played a managing editor talking about the job of being a newspaper reporter: “It may not be the oldest profession, but it’s the best.”

I moved on eventually to a bigger newspaper job in New York City where I had a career filled with pretty spectacular moments. I won a Pulitzer prize by the time I was thirty, I scored a lot of other big exclusives and front-page stories for the paper, and became a big media star because of all that. Then the newspaper I worked for went out of business, and I moved into TV. After a few false starts there—mostly finding out that I wasn’t very good as an on-air TV reporter—I wound up on the executive side of the business. First as a segment producer, then an assignment editor and now as news director of the whole Channel 10 operation. Along the way, I found the time to get married—and divorced—three different times, too.

Marty had helped me get through the highs and lows in my life—both professional and personal—over the years. He was always there for me. He always supported me and took my side in everything. Well, almost everything. Everything except the marriage stuff. Marty could never understand why I couldn’t make my marriages work. “Why don’t you find one man, the right man, and settle down with him for the rest of your life?” That’s what Marty said he had done with his wife. “It’s not that easy,” I told him. “Sure, it is,” he said. “You make sure your marriage is as important to you as your job in the newsroom. Then the rest will take care of itself.” It was good advice from Marty, even though I didn’t always follow it.

Marty stayed on as editor of the same New Jersey paper where we’d met, doing the job he loved, until he was pushed into retirement a few years ago. At some point after that his wife died, and he came to live with his daughter in Manhattan. Even after he retired though, Marty became very active in local political and community events. He started a website that skewered local politicians and demanded more accountability/public disclosure in New York City government. Then he became a kind of local gadfly—showing up at town hall and council meetings to demand answers from politicians. That was Marty. Still looking for his next big scoop even after he retired.

We’d kept in touch and he was always asking me to meet him for coffee, but I hardly ever got around to it. Or to checking out any of the various news tips and leads he kept sending me. I never could find time for Marty Barlow anymore.

Until that last day when he showed up in my office.

***

“Hello, Marty, how are you doing?” I said. “Sorry I never got back to you on your calls and emails before. I’ve been busy covering a bunch of stuff.”

“Yeah, probably a big, breaking Justin Bieber news story, huh?” Barlow said, without even attempting to hide the contempt in his voice.

I sighed. Marty Barlow was an old-fashioned journalist who believed the news media should cover serious topics like politics, schools, and government waste the way newspapers had traditionally done in the past. But now newspapers were dying off as people turned to the internet to give them instant news. And TV newscasts, including Channel 10 where I worked, focused even more these days on glitzy celebrity news, viral videos, and all the rest of the gimmicks known online as “traffic bait” in order to increase our all-important ratings and sales. Marty hated that. I wasn’t wild about it either, but I had no choice in the rapidly-changing journalistic landscape.

“This time the big story was Kim Kardashian,” I said.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m kidding.”

“Good.”

“Actually, it was Khloe.”

“My God, what happened to you, Clarissa? The Clarissa Carlson I remember cared passionately about the stories she covered. She wanted to make a difference in the world with her journalism. I miss that woman.”

Fake news is what Marty called it. Yes, I know that term has a whole different meaning in today’s political world. But Marty had been using it long before that. For Marty, fake news encompassed pretty much everything on TV news or in newspapers or on news websites today. He didn’t just mean the celebrity news, either. He was contemptuous of the constant traffic reports, weather updates, lottery news, and all the rest of the things I did for a living. He complained that there was hardly any real journalism now. He was right. But the journalistic world had changed dramatically in recent years, even if Marty refused to change with it.

He sat down in a chair in front of my desk.

“So, Clarissa . . .”

“Clare.”

“What?”

“My name is Clare, not Clarissa.”

This was a ritual we had played out many times over the years. Yes, my full name is Clarissa Carlson, but I always use Clare. Have ever since I was a kid and decided how much I hated being called Clarissa. Everyone knew that. Friends, family, co-workers, even my ex-husbands never called me anything but Clare. Except for Marty. He insisted on calling me Clarissa. I never understood exactly why, but it had gone on for so long between us that it didn’t seem worth bothering to ask anymore.

I figured he wasn’t here for a social visit. That he came because he needed my help. Some big scoop he thought he was going to break, even though his days of breaking big scoops had long past. Marty always got very intense when he was working on a story, and this time he seemed even more intense than usual. I asked him what was going on.

“I’m working on a big story,” he said. “The biggest story of my life. And it’s all because I started taking a good look at one person.”

I nodded and tried to think of an appropriate response.

“Who?” I asked.

It was the best I could come up with.

“Terri Hartwell.”

“Hartwell?”

“Yes, the Manhattan District Attorney.”

I nodded again. Terri Hartwell was the darling of the New York City media and political world at the moment. She’d been a top-rated radio talk show host in New York for a number of years before she ran for the District Attorney’s job—and surprised political experts by unseating the incumbent. Since then, she’d aggressively gone after crime, corruption and all sorts of entrenched special interests in the city. Which made her a lot of enemies, but also made her popular with the voters. She was even being touted now as a potential candidate for Mayor.

“I started out thinking this was a story about building corruption. Illegal payoffs to politicians and authorities by wealthy New York City landlords. But now it’s bigger than that. Much bigger. There’s murder involved too.”

“Murder?”

“More than one murder. Maybe lots of them.”

I nodded again. Pretty soon I was going to have to stop nodding and ask more than one-word
questions.

“Who is being murdered? And what does any of this have to do with Terri Hartwell?”

Now I was rolling.

“I can’t tell you any more details. Not yet. I’m still trying to figure it all out myself. But this is a sensational story. More sensational than any story I’ve ever covered. And I have to stop whatever is happening before it’s too late!”

Marty was getting really agitated now, pounding on my desk for emphasis.

A lock of white hair had fallen over his forehead and his eyes were blazing. He frankly looked insane.

“Who’s your source on all this, Marty?” I asked.

“I can’t tell you my source, Clarissa. You know that.”

“Is it a good source?”

“All of my sources are good!” he thundered at me.

He was right about that. All of Marty’s sources were good. Or at least they always had been in the past. But I wasn’t so sure how much I could trust them—or Marty himself—at this point. I didn’t think he was lying. Not intentionally anyway. Marty never lied to anyone, most of all to me. But I did suspect his desperation to get back into journalism in some meaningful way—to prove he wasn’t finished in the news business, no matter how much it had passed him by in recent years—had distorted his judgement and his connections with . . . well, reality.

“Will you help me? Give me a few days to get all the details together, and then I’ll tell you everything. You’re the head of a big news operation now. You have resources I don’t at your disposal. Maybe we could work on this story together. You and me, Clarissa. Just like the old days.”

Mostly because I didn’t know what else to do, I told Marty I’d get back to him about it. I told him we’d get together for coffee—like he’d asked me to do so many times—to go over the details of his story and maybe reminisce a bit about old times too. I told Marty I’d call him the next week and we’d meet up at the Sunrise Coffee Shop on the Upper East Side, which was his favorite place.

Except I never did meet Marty Barlow at the Sunrise Coffee Shop the next week.

Or any time after that.

I never got around to calling him back.

I thought about all that again now as I read the article about Marty Barlow’s death. “Maybe we could work on this story together,” Marty had said. “You and me, Clarissa. Just like the old days.” I didn’t have the heart to tell Marty those days were long over.

***

My boss was Jack Faron, the executive producer for the Channel 10 News. I went to see him now.

“Problem?” he asked when I walked in the door of his office.

“What makes you think I have a problem?”

“Because you never come to see me this early in the morning unless it’s about a problem.”

“My God, whatever happened to the simple courtesy of saying good morning to the people you work with? What is wrong with us as a society, Jack? Have we lost all civility in this day and age? Why can’t you greet me one time with a cheerful: ‘Good morning, Clare. How are you today?’”

“Good morning, Clare,” Faron said. “How are you today?”

“Actually, I have a problem.”

I showed him the short newspaper article about the death of Marty Barlow and told him about my relationship with Barlow.

“What do you think about us doing something on the news tonight about his murder?” I asked. “I feel like I owe him at least that much.”

Faron made a face. “Not our kind of story, Clare. There’s no celebrity or sensational angle, no pizzazz, no ratings of any kind there for us. I’m sorry your friend got killed. I understand he meant a lot to you. But that doesn’t meet the criteria for getting a story about him on our newscast. You already knew that before you even came in here, didn’t you?”

I did. I was feeling guilty because I’d let Marty down at the end. And I didn’t need another thing to feel guilty about right now. Marty was like family to me. And I had no other family. Well, I did, but that was the other thing I was feeling so guilty about. I’ve screwed up a lot of things in my life.

“Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” I said. “A guy like Marty devotes his life to the news business. And now, when he dies, he doesn’t even rate a meaningful goodbye in what the news business has become today. It makes me sad. And yes, guilty, too, that I couldn’t do more for him, after everything he did for me.”

“He was an old man,” Faron said. “He died. There’s no story there.”

***

Excerpt from The Last Scoop by R.G. Belsky.  Copyright 2020 by R.G. Belsky. Reproduced with permission from R.G. Belsky. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

R.G. Belsky

R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His last mystery, Below The Fold, was published in May 2019 by Oceanview. It is the second in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. The first Clare Carlson book, Yesterday’s News, came out in 2018. It won the David Award at Deadly Ink for Best Mystery of 2018. Belsky previously wrote the Gil Malloy series – The Kennedy Connection, Shooting for the Stars and Blonde Ice – about a newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines, and TV/digital news. He has also been a top editor at the New York Post, Star magazine, and NBC News. Belsky won the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville in 2016. He has finished several times as a Finalist for both the Silver Falchion and David Awards. Yesterday’s News, was also named Outstanding Crime/News Based Novel by Just Reviews in 2018 and was a Finalist for Best Mystery of 2018 in the Foreword INDIES Awards. His previous suspense/thriller novels include Loverboy and Playing Dead. Belsky lives in New York City.

Catch Up With R.G. Belsky On:

RGBelsky.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Tour Participants:

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

Enter the Giveaway!!:

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on May 1, 2020, and runs through June 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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Guest Author Post: Davin Goodwin – DIVER’S PARADISE

Hello, book people. I hope everyone is doing well and surviving this quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. I pray you’re all safe at home with your loved ones and have everything you need. I’m pleased to welcome a new author today to TBDR. Davin Goodwin is an avid diver and his debut book, appropriately named, Diver’s Paradise, was just released. Mr. Goodwin will be talking about some of his diving experiences. Thank you, Mr. Goodwin, for taking the time to stop by today and sharing with us, and I’ll now turn the blog over to you.




My wife, Leslie (also known as Double L – Lovely Leslie), and I have accumulated more than eight hundred scuba dives on the island of Bonaire. It’s our home away from home, having made thirty trips over the past twenty-one years. Bonaire is known for its pristine near-shore reef system and easy shore diving, the opportunity to don gear and walk into the water from many vantage points along the coast. Most other dive destinations require boarding a boat and motoring to a dive site, possibly several miles out to sea. This is one of the reason’s Bonaire’s moniker is Diver’s Paradise.

After one recent dive, Double L and I removed our fins, standing in the shallows of Pink Beach, a popular dive site on the southern end of the island. The high afternoon sun reflecting off the calm waters caused us to squint as we began to gingerly sidestep our way over the small rocks and coral rubble, making our way back to shore. The dive had been excellent—as they always were—both of us impressed with the amount of soft corals on the southern dive sites.

“What was that fish I pointed out to you?” I asked. “The long silver one.”

“That was a tilefish,” Leslie said.

“Oh? I’ve never seen one before.”

Mid-step, Double L stopped, shooting me with a stare as if I’d just sprouted a dorsal fin.  “They are all over the place. You’ve seen hundreds of them.”

I shrugged. “I don’t think so.”

She tilted her head to one side allowing some seawater to drain from her ear. “Yes, you have. But I’ll admit this was the biggest one I’ve ever seen.”

“Did you see the way it was looking at me? It seemed to swim up close, then kind of laugh at me before swimming away.” Leslie remained quiet, just staring at me through her mask lens. “Seriously. I think he was taunting me.”

We took a few more steps before reaching the shore. 

“It probably knows what happened at Karpata,” I said. “Word has spread through the fish community.”

“Yeah, that’s right, honey,” Leslie said. She made a distinct point in rolling her eyes. “All the fish on Bonaire have heard about The Karpata Incident. You’re famous.”

Famous? I thought. Maybe so, but not in the way I had ever dreamed. What happened at Karpata, a dive site on the northern end of the island, a few days ago has come to be known as The Karpata Incident between Double L and me. The only other witness was our friend, John “Smack” Anderson, but he wouldn’t talk. At least not now. Earlier, I’d bought his silence with a grilled cheese sandwich, some leftover French fries, and a cold beer.

For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll expound on what happened. Dr. Phil isn’t available, so I hope by telling the story, I’ll reap some level of therapeutic benefit.

Without the possibility of a drum roll, let me explain The Karpata Incident.

Over the years, I’ve done 800+ scuba dives on Bonaire. Some of my other dives include excursions on Lake Superior when fellow divers were hurling breakfast over the side of the boat. I’ve dove The Price Wilhelm, a shipwreck sitting on the bottom of Lake Michigan in 100 feet of water, typically with low visibility, strong currents, and very cold water. And I’ve dove the Karpata dive site as the sea crashed against the shore, waves tall and powerful enough to knock divers on their keisters. 

Beyond a doubt, Karpata is one of my favorite and most dived sites, having logged more than 70 dives there. The reef starts a few yards from shore and at a depth of less than fifteen feet. The undersea wall stretches to depths in the hundreds of feet and is covered with hard and soft corals, along with hundreds of species of aquatic creatures. 

The water conditions at Karpata have never intimidated me. Regardless of the conditions at Karpata—waves crashing against the shore or the surface as smooth as glass—I’ve always made the dive. And it’s always been worth the effort.

Until a few days ago.

Until The Karpata Incident.

In hindsight, conditions weren’t that bad. After helping Double L into the water, she gave me the “okay” sign and swam out to the reef drop off, a mere twenty yards from shore. Smack did the same. Other divers along the shore entered the water and seemed fine. 

But me? I can’t explain it.

In an unusual display of clumsiness, I tripped twice while donning my fins. Then, while swimming out to the reef, my left fin came unstrapped and started to float away. I scrambled to find it and strap it back on my foot. 

Breathing heavy, I swam the short distance to the reef. My lungs felt as though they were about to punch through my rib cage, my breaths deep and quick. 

I recognized the indicators of hyperventilating. Slow down, I said to myself. Steady breathes. Exhale fully. I knew the actions required to get my breathing under control, but, for some reason, they weren’t working. Not that day. I had sucked nearly twenty-five percent of my tank air and hadn’t even begun a decent.

These problems were all workable and easily overcome. But not this dive. At least not for me. I felt I had no control of my situation. And I didn’t like how that felt…..

So, I aborted the dive.

I didn’t panic. I didn’t scramble to the shore or start flipping off my mask or looking for help. I just signaled to Les and Smack that I was done, and I swam to shore. 

I was finished.

After 800+ dives, and for the first time in my life, I had aborted a dive.

The Karpata Incident was now part of my legacy……

Others have gone through a similar situation, so I know a lot of folks can relate. And it just goes to show… regardless of age, experience level, number of dives, or levels of certification, when it comes to scuba, we’re all students. 

All the time.

But now my world is upside down. For years, I was the person my group looked to for all the answers. The one with all the answers; the Sensei; the Master Jedi. 

Not any more.

The hard part will be getting back on the horse that threw me. I need to go back to Karpata and make the dive. But the image of me aborting is planted in my brain. A dark picture burned into my neurons. Bad thoughts that I need to overcome.

But I will. I know it.

Karpata is a horse I will ride again.

But for now, I’ll put the Incident in the back, cloudy recesses of my mind, filed away in some dusty area where it can’t harm me. For the time being, I’ll concentrate on more delightful thoughts.

But I’ll be facing Karpata again. And I will overcome.

Cause Leslie wouldn’t have it any other way.






Diver’s Paradise

by Davin Goodwin

on Tour April 6 – May 8, 2020


Synopsis:

Diver's Paradise by Davin Goodwin



After 25 years on the job, Detective Roscoe Conklin trades his badge for a pair of shorts and sandals and moves to Bonaire, a small island nestled in the southern Caribbean. But the warm water, palm trees, and sunsets are derailed when his long-time police-buddy friend back home, is murdered.

Conklin dusts off a few markers and calls his old department, trolling for information. It’s slow going. No surprise, there. After all, it’s an active investigation, and his compadres back home aren’t saying a damn thing.

He’s 2,000 miles away, living in paradise. Does he really think he can help? They suggest he go to the beach and catch some rays.

For Conklin, it’s not that simple. Outside looking in? Not him. Never has been. Never will be.

When a suspicious mishap lands his significant other, Arabella, in the hospital, the island police conduct, at best, a sluggish investigation, stonewalling progress. Conklin questions the evidence and challenges the department’s methods. Something isn’t right.

Arabella wasn’t the intended target.



Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1608093832 (ISBN13: 9781608093830)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads



Author Bio:


Davin Goodwin

My family members have always been epic storytellers. I regularly wrote short stories in high school and college and, later in life, freelanced several articles for trade and industry publications. For years, the idea of writing a novel bounced around in the back of my mind, but never found its way out of the darkness.

My wife, Leslie (Double L), and I have visited the island of Bonaire nearly 30 times over the past 20 years, many of those trips for extended periods. The island is a perfect setting for the style of novel I wanted to write. Yes, the book would be a murder mystery, but I needed a laid-back, slightly exotic setting. And I wanted the book to partially center around scuba diving, an activity Les and I enjoy together as often as possible.

During the Spring of 2010, with mild coaxing from friends and family, the concept of Diver’s Paradise came to fruition. However, after close to a year of writing, I gave up, not touching the story for almost six years. In the Spring of 2017, I pulled out the tattered manuscript, rewrote and edited till blue in the face, then endured daily heart palpitations, waiting for submission responses from agents and publishers.

Nine months after my first submission, and after agonizing through a boatload of rejections, Oceanview Publishing—to my good luck—offered a contract. I would be a published author.

Diver’s Paradise launched on April 7, 2020 in Hard Cover and eBook, followed later in paperback.

I enjoy being outdoors when the weather is nice. I don’t particularly like snow and cold weather, which can be problematic dwelling in the frigid, midwestern state of Wisconsin.

Exercise is a passion of mine, although I don’t do it as intensely as in past years. Running, biking, and swimming are my favorites. As of several years ago, golf and I decided that we can no longer be friends.

Through high school and college, I played violin in the orchestras and community ensembles. Much to the chagrin of those close to me, around the age of sixteen I was struck with an uncontrollable desire to play the 5-string banjo. And play I did.

Hours and hours a day.

Everyday.

In 1992, the band I played with at the time, traveled to Ukraine and performed in the International Kiev Music Festival. I’ve also performed on radio, TV, and recorded on several albums.

I’m 58 years old and live in Madison, WI. Originally from Rockford, IL, I went to college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR, graduating with a degree in Computer Science. I’m married and have one daughter and one stepson, both grown.

Professionally, I have roughly 30 years’ experience in the technology industry and currently manage a group of software developers for a local, mid-sized company. In the past, I’ve owned several small businesses, worked as an aerial photographer, a semi-professional banjo player, a flight instructor, and a real estate investor.

Future Plans: Continue the Roscoe Conklin series, hopefully, for a long time.


Catch Up With Davin Goodwin On:


DavinGoodwinAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin
Instagram – davin_goodwin_author


Tour Participants:



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





Giveaway!!:



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Guest Post: R.G. Belsky, author of YESTERDAY’S NEWS



Good day my bookish peeps. Today, I’m pleased to host a visit from the award-winning author of the Gil Malloy mystery series, R.G. Belsky. Mr. Belsky is debuting a new mystery series featuring Clare Carlson with Yesterday’s News. He has graciously agreed to spend a few minutes on the oft-discussed issue of character likeability. Thank you, Mr. Belsky, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today and I turn the blog over to you.



DOES A CHARACTER HAVE TO BE LIKEABLE?


One of the first rules I learned when I started writing mystery novels was that your protagonist – whoever he or she might be – has to be someone the reader likes.

The protagonist can make mistakes.

Do bad things.

Frustrate everyone on a lot of levels.

But, in the end, you must create a sympathetic character that the reader can relate to easily. 

That’s certainly been true of most of the popular mystery characters I’ve followed over the years. Philip Marlowe. Spenser. Harry Bosch. Kinsey Millhone. Matt Scudder. All flawed in different ways, of course, but basically good people. Honest. Trustworthy. And, most of all….well, likeable. 

I’ve tried to do the same thing in Yesterday’s News, my new mystery featuring Clare Carlson – a woman TV journalist in New York City. Clare does a number of unpleasant things along the way (actually more unpleasant things than I envisioned when I started the book), but I think she’s still very likeable in the end.

So yes, I followed the rules when it came to creating a likeable character.

But what then are we to make of recent mystery novels which have broken this rule – and gone on to phenomenal popularity.

The most obvious example of this is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is told by alternating narrators – a husband and his missing wife. If you haven’t read the book (and you really should, it’s terrific!) or seen the movie, all I can say is that both characters turn out to fail the likeability test pretty badly. I sure wouldn’t want to spend time with either of them. But they are fascinating – and that’s what keeps us turning the pages to find out what happens next.

The same is true for The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, another huge-best seller in recent years. The narrator of this book is someone we feel sympathy for at the beginning, then not as much sympathy, and finally somewhere in between on the sympathy scale. But still not a fun person to be around. Not necessarily a good person. Not really a very likeable person

So does this mean the “likeability” rule doesn’t matter anymore?

Of course, some of this has been happening in fiction for awhile now. I mean how about Hannibal Lecter? Compelling character, but the whole cannibal thing is tough to get past as a character flaw. There’s a lot of this anti-hero stuff on TV too, with shows like Dexter and The Sopranos. Tony Soprano might seem like a nice guy some of the time, but we’ve watched enough to know that people around him wind up in waste dumps.

Some authors are happy to ignore the likeability issue, depending on the kind of book they are writing.

Charles Salzburg, the author of a new book called Second Story Man – about a brilliant cold-blooded burglar, talked recently about how he’d given up trying to make a dedicated criminal character like that likeable. He said he’d decided not to worry about it, and instead just make the burglar character as interesting as possible.

On the other hand, you can also have a character that’s too likeable. Reed Farrel Coleman, the best-selling author of the Jesse Stone series originated by Robert B. Parker, says writing Jesse can be a challenge because he’s almost too perfect. Good-looking. Tough. Honest. Charming (having Tom Selleck play the role on TV adds to this image.) Coleman said that was why it was important for Jesse Stone to have some faults – drinking too much, a failed marriage, a promising baseball career cut short by injury. But, when all is said and done, he’s still damned likeable. 

For me, I’m still going to follow the rule too.

Yes, my character Clare Carlson shoots off her mouth at the wrong time a lot.

She can be super-annoying.

She doesn’t always tell the whole truth about things.

But you know what?

I like her.

Hopefully, the readers will too. 

R.G. Belsky



Synopsis:


Yesterday's News by R.G. Belsky

A classic cold case reopened—along with Pandora’s box


When eleven-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing child cases in history.

The story turned reporter Clare Carlson into a media superstar overnight. Clare broke exclusive after exclusive. She had unprecedented access to the Devlin family as she wrote about the heartbreaking search for their young daughter. She later won a Pulitzer Prize for her extraordinary coverage of the case.

Now Clare once again plunges back into this sensational story. With new evidence, new victims and new suspects – too many suspects. Everyone from members of a motorcycle gang to a prominent politician running for a US Senate seat seem to have secrets they’re hiding about what might have happened to Lucy Devlin. But Clare has her own secrets too. And, in order to untangle the truth about Lucy Devlin, she must finally confront her own tortuous past.




Book Details:


Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Number of Pages: 343
ISBN: 160809281X (ISBN13: 9781608092819)
Series: A CLARE CARLSON MYSTERY
Learn More about Yesterday’s News & Get Your Copy From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Oceanview Publishing | Goodreads


Author Bio:


R.G. Belsky


R.G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. Belsky’s crime novels reflect his extensive media background as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine and NBC News. His previous novels include the award-winning Gil Malloy mystery series. Yesterday’s News is the first in a new series featuring Clare Carlson, the hard-driving and tenacious news director of an NYC TV station.


Catch Up With R.G. Belsky On:


rgbelsky.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

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




Giveaway:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.G. Belsky. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2018, and runs through July 1, 2018.


Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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