Author Interview: M. T. Bass & Murder by Munchausen

M.T. Bass will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview

  1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

I’m going back to my original roots–back to the mystery genre. While my first novel, My Brother’s Keeper, was set in 1950, the Murder by Munchausen Trilogy moves into the future, where cops find themselves tracking down hijacked PSAs—Personal Services Androids—who have been hacked and reprogrammed by cyberpunks into hit men. While everybody else seemed to be writing Night of the Living Dead remakes, I was trying to figure out who the next mortal enemy to mankind was going to be. I woke up one morning with the entire first scene in my head with Jake and EC tracking down an errant robot in a warehouse and it took off from there. The best part was some of the smartest people in the world—like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawkings, and Bill Gates—started warning us all about how the dangers of Artificial Intelligence will destroy humanity as we know it. That seemed to be a pretty good omen for my story.

  1. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

I am the oldest of five, but I’m not really sure how it’s shaped my view of the world. What is more important than writing what you know is to know about what you write. I’ve never been a cop, or a lawyer or a Navy SEAL, all of whom have appeared in my stories. If I only put down on paper what’s already in my own head, that will get pretty boring, pretty quickly. So, you have to dig in and figure that stuff out. After all I’m a writer—and not only that, but a fiction writer. Which means at heart I am down deep, you know, a liar.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I’m not particular about where I write, just that I’m writing. It used to be easy with a laptop, but I bought a Bluetooth keyboard and now I can work right on my iPad mini, which is even better. The funny thing is how I adjust my schedule to make time to write. When my kids were young, I wrote in the evenings after they were put to bed. Now, I’m up at five in the morning to scribble things out. That’s when it’s quiet.

  1. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

I drive them out to the park and encourage them to take candy from strangers in panel trucks. No remains, but I’ve seen a couple on the backs of milk cartons.

  1. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

If I could corner Joseph Heller, I’d ask him, “What the hell, man?” Catch-22 is my all time favorite book and I just have to know, how in the hell did he come up with all those colorful characters and all the zany antics. It just boogles my mind beyond Monte Python.

  1. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

Even though I’m a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, I’m afraid of heights. I swear that there is a huge amount of difference between altitude under you wings, and stepping out of a perfectly good airplane—even with a parachute. My brother-in-law said I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of falling. He’s now my favorite brother-in-law.

  1. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a back pack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

A Wilson soccer ball, a magic marker, and an air pump.

  1. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?

If only my hindsight was 20/20.

  1. Favorite snack?

Almost anything chocolate.

  1. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I’m not sure where the finish line is, but I’m driving like hell to get there with the top down and my radio turned up to eleven.

Murder by Munchausen Trilogy by M.T. Bass


GENRE: Mystery



A Cyber Crime Thriller Series: Notorious serial killers digitally resurrected to live & hunt again in hacked replicants, pursued by detectives of the Artificial Crimes Unit.



The Darknet Chapter 18 – A Hillside Dump

The ride to the crime scene was deathly silent. Nothing personal. That was just Jake’s usual way, an angry meditation to prep for facing down the grim reaper’s handy work. I could have let the Crown Vic chauffeur us but driving gave me something to do. It was a short trip down the Shoreway towards Battery Park. We got off at West 49th Street, near the Parkview Nite Club, a blues club Jake used to haunt in his youth until it went too upscale for his taste. The collection of official vehicles with flashing lights on Herman Avenue made GPS unnecessary.

As usual, Jake jumped out and went right for the body before the engine was even off. I tracked down the patrol unit that was first on the scene to get briefed. The guys were responding to a call from Animal Control which got a call from an elderly dog walker who noticed a growing circleof buzzards overhead and called to get a presumed carcass removed from the neighborhood before it drew coyotes which surely, she feared, would have eventually turned their hunger towards her beloved Bichon. I spotted her easily, cradling her pet in her arms among the gaggle of gawkers pooling outside the crime scene tape. Even though patrol had taken her statement, I went to speak with her. I didn’t expect to get much more from her—and I didn’t—but sometimes it’s more about “customer relations” than police work, and witnesses feel slighted if they don’t get to speak with a detective. Something Jake had no patience for…


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

M.T. Bass is a scribbler of fiction who holds fast to the notion that while victors may get to write history, novelists get to write/right reality. He lives, writes, flies and makes music in Mudcat Falls, USA.

Born in Athens, Ohio, M.T. Bass grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in English and Philosophy, then worked in the private sector (where they expect “results”) mainly in the Aerospace & Defense manufacturing market. During those years, Bass continued to write fiction. He is the author of eight novels: My Brother’s Keeper, Crossroads, In the Black, Somethin’ for Nothin’, Murder by Munchausen, The Darknet (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #2), The Invisible Mind (Murder by Munchausen Mystery #3) and Article 15. His writing spans various genres, including Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Black Comedy and TechnoThrillers. A Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, airplanes and pilots are featured in many of his stories. Bass currently lives on the shores of Lake Erie near Lorain, Ohio.

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Author Matt Betts & Carson of Venus: The Edge of All Worlds

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a physical copy of the paperback of Carson of Venus: The Edge of All Worlds (continental US only). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Enter to win a physical copy of the paperback of Carson of Venus: The Edge of All Worlds. Available for the continental US.

Carson of Venus is back in the first novel of groundbreaking Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe series!

When a mysterious enemy attacks his adopted nation of Korva, Earthman Carson Napier discovers his own arrival on Venus years ago may have unknowingly triggered the strike. The invaders’ trail of death and destruction leads Carson and his beloved princess Duare headlong into battle against a seemingly invincible, primordial race. But that is not Carson’s only challenge, for an uncanny phenomenon has entangled him with two strange individuals from beyond spacetime. Will Carson be able to solve the mysteries of his past and the enigmatic visitors before the entire planet descends into chaos?

Also includes the bonus novelette “Pellucidar: Dark of the Sun” by Christopher Paul Carey, introducing Victory Harben, the ERB Universe’s newest heroine:

The very principle of physics behind the Gridley Wave has mysteriously failed, cutting off all communication between the hollow world of Pellucidar and the outer crust, and now inventor Jason Gridley must seek help from his brilliant young protégé, Victory Harben. Together they recover timeworn records from deep in the ruins of a dead Mahar city, hoping to use knowledge of Pellucidar’s former reptilian overlords to jumpstart the Gridley Wave. But when their experiment goes terribly wrong, Jason and Victory suddenly find themselves drawn into the inscrutable machinations of an ancient evil.


A century before the term “crossover” became a buzzword in popular culture, Edgar Rice Burroughs created the first expansive, fully cohesive literary universe. Coexisting in this vast cosmos was a pantheon of immortal heroes and heroines–Tarzan of the Apes, Jane Clayton, John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Carson Napier, and David Innes being only the best known among them. In Burroughs’ 80-plus novels, their epic adventures transported them to the strange and exotic worlds of Barsoom, Amtor, Pellucidar, Caspak, and Va-nah, as well as the lost civilizations of Earth and even realms beyond the farthest star. Now the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe expands in an all-new series of canonical novels written by today’s talented authors!

Read an Excerpt

“My liege, let us take you to your quarters,” Lisant Or said, moving to the jong’s side. “If one of our nearby towns is under attack, there may be a danger to Sanara as well. We must get you to safety.”

Taman was having none of it. “Nonsense,” he said. “Carson, can you get us to Jovita swiftly?”

“Absolutely,” I said. Jovita was one of the closest settlements to Sanara, but it still lay nestled near a valley some half an hour away by air. “The anotar we arrived in should still be flight-ready out on the landing strip,” I went on, “and my personal craft is waiting inside the hangar near that. We could take a few people with us, but not many.” My anotar was designed to hold only a pilot and one passenger, though I knew we could squeeze in one more safely. The other anotar was a little more forgiving; meant to hold four in comfort, it might allow for another two or three passengers before the added weight would be a detriment to lift and velocity.

The jong said, “I will go with you and Duare.”

“Very well,” I replied. Unlike Lisant Or, I knew better than to suggest that the jong remain behind in safety.

Copyright © Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All rights reserved. All logos, characters, names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks or registered trademarks of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Used by permission.

About the Author:

Matt Betts worked for years in radio as an on-air personality, anchor and reporter. His fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His work includes the steampunk novel, Odd Men Out, urban fantasy crime novel Indelible Ink, and his recent cryptid/horror novel White Anvil: Sasquatch Onslaught. His current release Carson of Venus: The Edge of all Worlds continues a series begun by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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Author Interview: p.m. terrell & A Struggle for Independance

p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview

  1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book? I love history, and I have a personal connection to Ireland. One can’t study Irish history without getting involved in the history of the Easter Rising, which led to the War for Independence and the Irish Civil War. It is a fascinating time and place, and I wanted to write the stories of people that lived during that time. Many displayed incredible amounts of courage to stand up and demand independence and the right to be treated with respect. I wanted to write a romance in which a woman was married to a British loyalist, but she discovered the world of the average Irish citizen through the eyes of an Irish rebel, and she had to choose which path to take. Life was filled with uncertainties, and there was no guarantee that all would turn out well for either choice, but if she selected the man she loved, she could be imprisoned or executed for treason.
  2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world? I am the middle child. I have an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister. I have witnessed a lot of changes in societal norms from my oldest sister to my youngest sister. I remember seeing a picture of my youngest sister in a bikini standing next to my parents. I was shocked. I told her I would have been sent to my room for the summer if I had tried to wear that! I like to think I helped pave the way for her!
  3. Where is your favorite place to write? I write in my office. It is tranquil here, which allows me to transport my mind back to the past and halfway across the world. I also have windows in all four directions, so I can bring myself out of my writing periodically.
  4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains? I’ve had to make the difficult decision to kill a few of my darlings, and it was painful. In The White Devil of Dublin, I went back in time to the cusp of the Norman invasion in Dublin and an albino called The White Devil. I unexpectedly fell in love with him, and when he was murdered, I felt the same level of grief as if I had known him in this lifetime.
  5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I would love to meet Josephine Leslie, who wrote The Ghost and Mrs. Muir under the pen name R.A. Dick. I’d like to know what inspired her to write the character of Captain Daniel Gregg, and if she had ever seen a ghost.
  6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows. I do see ghosts.
  7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack? My iPad with my thousand-long list of music and books and a built-in solar charger. A multi-tool for all those times I need to crack open a coconut or cut off fronds for a roof. A variety package of seeds so I can grow fruits and vegetables.
  8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be? The ability to read minds. So many people hide their true selves that it would be awesome to know their thoughts so I could determine their motives.
  9. Favorite snack? Protein bars.
  10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going, or do you drive the speed limit? Is a police officer reading this? If so, then I drive the speed limit.

A Struggle for Independenceby p.m.terrell


GENRE: Historical novel


BLURB: Sometimes a woman comes to the realization that she has built the perfect life but with the wrong man. It is 1916 Ireland, and Independence Mather has settled into a tedious routine in an arranged marriage when she meets an architect hired to add a wing onto her husband’s vast estate. She soon falls in love with the charming, attentive Nicky Bowers, but he has secrets to hide. When she discovers he is an Irish rebel, events propel her into the middle of the Easter Rising. Now she must decide whether to remain the wife of a British loyalist or risk everything to join the rebellion and be with the man she loves.


The flames danced and pirouetted like so many ballet classes members assembled on a stage, their movements mesmerizing, even hypnotic. The warmth, however, was wanting, with a single peatbrick trying its hardest to do its job but failing like a tiny child not meant to go it alone. I felt sorry for it falling short of the success it strove so hard to achieve, and then I grew discouraged as the cold pervaded.

I lay on a bed of straw faintly scented with what must have been last year’s lavender blooms, asit was too early in the current season for them to make their appearance. The straw packed under my weight until I felt the pricks from shoulder to knee, and as I turned from one position toanother, I eventually felt the hard dirt floor upon which the bed was laid. The blankets meant to cushion and warm me were worn so thin, I could see the outline of my clothes underneath them,and despite wearing several layers, I could not get warm.

Nicky’s breathing had been measured, but now I could no longer hear him, and I struggled to see him through the gloom. He lay facing me—that I was sure of—but the shadows prevented me from seeing the details my heart desired. We’d talked until he’d fallen asleep, seemingly unaffected by the cold, and now I longed to hear his voice again. Despite his height and his brawn, his voice was gentle and reassuring, so very different from Stratford’s brusque and impatient tenor.

Shivering, I stood and gathered the blankets about me as best I could and made my way to Nicky’s side. I dropped to my knees upon his straw, which was a great deal thinner than the bed I’d been given. I was surprised to find his eyes open and watching me.

“It will be warmer for both of us if…” my voice trailed off as I felt the heat rising in my cheeks.

He opened his blanket as if inviting me in. I crawled in beside him, my back to his front. Unlike myself, who was wearing every stitch of clothing I’d brought in an attempt to stave off the chill, he was wearing only a gray shirt and trousers. My cold stockinged feet found him, and he covered us with both our blankets and then wrapped his arm around me. I placed my hand upon his and snuggled more deeply against him.

“Yes,” I said. “Much warmer.” I knew he could feel the beating of my heart; it was thumping wildly in both my chest and my neck, and I felt as though I could not catch my breath.

He settled in behind me, and I tried to listen to the rhythmic breathing I’d heard when he first slipped into slumber, but it did not come. His arm grew heavy across me like a weighty coat determined to protect me from the chill. Then he shifted, his head moving down to my neck where his lips brushed against my skin.

I turned in his arms, and he came upon one elbow to peer into my face. The darkness enveloped us, and I found myself searching out his eyes with a longing to see into his soul. I placed a hand upon his face, running my fingers along his jawline, feeling the stubble that had formed there since his last shave. And then my fingers found his hair and intertwined around the thick locks.

“You don’t have to do this,” he said hoarsely. “I gave you my word.”

“I know. But I did not give you mine.” I pressed upward to find his lips, my own whispering across his, savoring the fullness and the sweetness before his lips parted, and he returned my kiss with a passionate one of his own. I became lost in his kisses, my body burning for his, the longing mounting within me. “You don’t have to do this,” I whispered when we pulled back for a brief moment. “Or do you want to?”

“Desperately,” he answered as his hands followed the lines of my body as if memorizing the bend in my back, the flare of my hips.

“I love your curves,” he whispered.

“I am a bit hefty,” I answered, suddenly self-conscious.

“Oh, I beg to differ,” he said, his voice becoming serious. “I love every curve. Your body might not be perfect, but it is certainly perfect for me.”

I felt as though a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders, and suddenly I felt like the most beautiful woman in the entire world. As if to drive home his point, he set about exploring each curve, and in the process, he set my body on fire. Mountains of clothing and blankets peeled away, and somehow, the peat grew warmer until the room was awash in our moans and our heat, our limbs intertwined, our skin glistening, and I knew with all the assuredness in my soul that I was precisely where I was meant to be.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 24 books in multiple genres, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer instructional, non-fiction and children’s books.

Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in the detection of white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.

A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries was her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22, released in 2008. Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee, and The Pendulum Files was a national finalist for the Best Cover of the Year in 2014. Her second series, Ryan O’Clery Suspense, is also award-winning. The Tempest Murders (Book 1) was one of four finalists in the 2013 International Book Awards, cross-genre category. Her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Songbirds are Free is her bestselling book to date; it is inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured in 1780 by Shawnee warriors near Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, TN).

She was the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She was the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime and served as its chairperson and organizer for its first four years. She also served on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County (NC) Public Library, the Robeson County (NC) Arts Council, Virginia Crime Stoppers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.

For more information, book trailers, excerpts and more, visit the author’s website at

Twitter: @pmterrell

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Author Ella Quinn: The Most Eligible Lord in London

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In this captivating new Regency trilogy, bestselling author Ella Quinn picks up where her beloved Worthingtons series left off, as three Lords of London discover true love at last . . .

Handsome, rakish, incorrigibly flirtatious—Fredrick, Lord Littleton, is notorious. Lady Adeline Wivenly is resolved to keep him at arm’s length during her first Season—until she overhears another woman’s plot to trick him into marriage. Even a rogue is undeserving of such deception, and Adeline feels obliged to warn him—only to find herself perilously attracted . . .

In the past, Littleton’s charm nearly got him leg-shackled to the wrong woman. Now he’s positive he’s found the right one, for Adeline is everything he wants and needs in a wife. Her sense of justice is so strong she agrees to help him despite her mistrust. But can the ton’s most elusive lord convince the lady he is finally serious about marriage—as long as she will be his bride?

Read an Excerpt:

He forced a smile and made what he knew was a stylish bow. “Ladies, it is a pleasure to meet you. I hope you enjoy your time in the metropolis.” Miss Stern gave him a hard look. Had Lady Dorie already blackened his name to her friend? Lady Augusta was polite but unaffected, as if she did not care one way or the other if she met him. Miss Featherton had narrowed her eyes as if assessing his worth as a human being. That was disconcerting, but it ran in her family.

Then there was Lady Adeline. She just stared at him with considering, soft gray eyes that shone like silver. Curls of gleaming dark honey-blond hair framed her face. She was utterly entrancing. Immediately, he wanted to know what she was thinking. As if she realized she should not continue to look at him, she dropped her gaze and thick brown lashes fluttered to her cheeks, drawing his attention to her straight little nose and a light sprinkling of freckles. If only he’d met her in other company. Naturally, he could not help but notice her deep rose lips and the fact that her bottom lip was just a bit plumper than the top one. His gaze dropped lower, and he sucked in a breath. Even her demure spencer couldn’t hide the bounty beneath. He could have licked his lips at the thought of her in an evening gown. Here was a lady worth getting to know.

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a Great Dane. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat. After cruising the Caribbean and North America, she completed a transatlantic crossing from St. Martin to Southern Europe. She’s currently living in Germany, happily writing while her husband is back at work, recovering from retirement.

Ella loves when readers connect with her.

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Author Bobbi Smith: Capture My Heart

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Serad is the powerful, handsome pirate whose relentless plundering is the stuff of legend—but only a few know that his true identity is Lord Alexander Wakefield. His kidnapping as a child by Barbary pirates changed the course of his life. Now Serad is the master of the seas, accustomed to possessing whatever—or whoever—he wants.

He Stole Her Freedom…
When Serad boards the vessel La Mouette to loot for treasure, he discovers a cargo more precious than any trinket: the heiress Victoria Lawrence. A raven-haired, emerald-eyed beauty, Victoria captivates Serad as no woman ever has before. But the fiery young lady doesn’t seem to understand that she is now a captive, expected to honor her new master’s wishes and desires without question…

But He Must Win Her Heart
When Victoria set sail from India, she expected the voyage to deliver her into the arms of her betrothed—not a heartless gang of pirates. Now captured, she refuses to bow to any man, even one as commanding as Serad. Sharing his cabin, Victoria can barely resist her attraction to her captor. But if she gives in to her desires, Victoria knows Serad will accept nothing less than her total surrender…

Read an Excerpt

Serad headed back to his cabin. He dismissed the guard at the door and let himself in, only to find his entire cabin in disarray. Fury rocked through him, and he moved threateningly into the room, shutting the door behind him.

“What’s been going on here?” he thundered, his steely gaze fixed on Victoria alone as she stood, straight and proud, behind his desk, her hands down at her sides. He knew the gun was in the locked drawer, and he wondered if she’d found it. He didn’t dwell on that too long, for he still thought of her as a spoiled English lady, who wouldn’t know which end of a gun was which.

“Stay right there,” Victoria ordered, lifting the pistol. “I’m a dead shot and I’ll use it if I have to.”

Serad was angry, and he found it hard to believe that the emerald-eyed, determined woman holding his pistol pointed directly at his heart was the same inane, sophisticated beauty he’d dealt with up on deck.

“Just what do you plan to do with that?” Serad asked in a deceptively calm voice.

“I plan to make you let us go.”

“With one bullet?” His expression turned sardonic.

“One bullet is all it would take to kill you.”

“But after I’m dead, then what?”

“I have no intention of shooting you unless you force me to.”

“I’m relieved to hear that,” Serad mocked, deliberately trying to anger her. There was no way he was going to allow her to reach the deck holding a pistol on him. She was his captive, his slave. It was time she accepted the inevitable.

About the Author:

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi Smith gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982. Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller of the Year Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the NY Times.

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Author Cynthia Riess: False Light

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cynthia Riess will be awarding a set of Art History Mystery Books, Stolen Light and False Light (US only) to three randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Academic sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor, and Harrison Wheatley, a more seasoned art history professor, set out to tackle a brain teaser. This time the couple—married since their encounter in Stolen Light, first in the series—attempt to crack the long un-deciphered code of art forger Eric Hebborn (1934-1996), which promises to reveal the whereabouts of a number of his brilliant Old Master counterfeits. (Hebborn, in real life, was a mischievous sort, who had a fascination with letters and a love-hate relationship with art authenticators. I felt compelled to devise a puzzler on his behalf!) After publication of his memoir, Drawn to Trouble, published in 1991, he encrypts two copies with clues to the treasure hunt. On each of the title pages, he pens a tantalizing explanatory letter. One copy he sends to an art expert; the second, he releases into general circulation. The catch: both books are needed to decipher the code.

When the books are at last united 25 years later, Erik and Harrison are enlisted to help unearth their hidden messages. But when several research aides are brutally murdered, the academic challenge leads to far darker mysteries in the clandestine world of art crime. As the couple navigate this sinister world, both their courage under fire and the stability of their relationship are tested.

Read an Excerpt

Erika would not permit herself to sleep. She gave in to her selfish body only to allow it to lean its skull and spine against the wall as she went over, again and again, the day’s nightmare. Reliving it kept the memory raw; healing, impossible.

There was a light tapping on the door. She didn’t know how long she had been sitting there, only that the scant light in the room had dimmed. There was another tap.

“Miss Erika? May I come in?”

It was Grace. Erika had never heard the woman’s supplicating tone of voice, but who else could it be? “Grace?”

“Yes, Miss. Please, may I?”

A kind of dull curiosity moved her to answer, “Come in.”

Grace opened the door and entered the room. She was holding a tray, bracing one side of it with her forearm. She turned the knob with her free hand and shut the door, then better secured the tray. “I’ve brought you some cream of tomato soup and a muffin. You need some nourishment. Would you turn on the light? You wouldn’t want this old lady to trip, would you?”

Grace’s gentle prodding was so uncharacteristic that it caused Erika to rise to her feet and obey, as if to the command of a hypnotist. She clicked on the wall light and took the tray from Grace.

“Where should I put it?”

Grace scurried to the vanity table and pushed aside Erika’s pads and pens. “Right here is good.”

Erika did as she was told. Grace pulled out the chair from the vanity and reached up to touch Erika’s shoulder. “Now sit and have some soup.” She smoothed her scalloped white apron overlaying her starched black dress and stood there, waiting.

“I’m not hungry, Grace.”

“You don’t want to be hungry, but you are,” Grace said, without budging.

There seemed to be no choice but to heed Grace’s first prompt. Erika sat down. She had no intention of lifting the spoon provided. “Thank you.” She waited for Grace to exit the room.

Grace wasn’t going anywhere. She strode to the desk and dragged the desk chair to the vanity, placing it directly alongside Erika’s chair. She sat down. “You must take care of yourself—for yourself as well as your husband,” she said. “He loves you so. I have never seen him so distraught.”

“Harrison will be fine,” Erika said, staring straight ahead.

Grace shook her head. “Not if you aren’t.” She took Erika’s hand in her own. “I haven’t been very cordial to you. I apologize.”

“Apology accepted,” Erika said, feeling nothing.

“I have no children,” Grace said. “I worked for Harrison’s grandparents for fifty years. I’ve known Harrison all his life, and he is family to me; my only family. He is a dear man, but terribly naïve. It broke my heart to see his first wife take advantage of him. She nearly destroyed him. I was afraid you might do the same.”

“I won’t.” She withdrew her hand from Grace’s.

“I know you won’t. I see how you are with him. I see how you look at him. My prejudice made me blind to this, but now I see.”

Erika turned to Grace. “I’m empty, Grace. Do you see that?” She returned her focus to the wall.

About the Author:

Claudia Riess, a Vassar graduate, has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker and Holt, Rinehart, and Winston and has edited several art history monographs.

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Author Gina Briganti: Saunders Choice

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gina Briganti will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She lives life below the waves. What will a man sacrifice to discover it’s not a dream?

Mermaid Velvet has always had a special fascination with the World. And studying its two-legged humans has given the aspiring comedian unique skills to make her audiences laugh. But when she saves a human who believes he’s drowning, she’s stunned by the magic that flows between them.

Saunders is trapped between two realities with no memory of his past. Lost in a strange, underwater domain, he comes face-to-face with an alluring goddess of the sea. When he disappears from her realm, he’s desperate to reunite with the entrancing beauty.

As Velvet continues to bring Saunders out of the darkness, her love for him grows along with her fear that his next disappearance might be his last. And as his memories slowly return, Saunders must decide if he’s willing to leave the World permanently for a chance to be with the mermaid he desires.

Can Velvet and Saunders overcome his terrible fate and sink into each other’s perfect arms? Saunders’ Choice is a standalone novella in the enchanting Natural Gifts fantasy romance series. If you like irresistible attraction, mystery, and love against the odds, then you’ll adore Gina Briganti’s tale of the deep.

*An early version of Saunders’ Choice was published in the Changing Worlds anthology. Buy Saunders’ Choice to dive into an ocean of passion today.

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Knowing that she had only one more day to explore that part of the Dreaming, Velvet took advantage and swam out into another new part of the ocean. Here the water was bubbly and warm, a natural hot spring. Velvet relaxed and allowed the bubbles to massage her back and neck.

Domino surprised her by approaching her in a blended form of a water snake and a seahorse. He looked like an extra-long, coiled, seahorse. In the absence of his usual black and white clothing, he colored himself in black and white triangles.

Velvet couldn’t hold her curiosity any longer. “Domino, where do you get your ideas? You always surprise me.”

Domino’s seahorse mouth was able to smile. “They come to me, maybe the same way your ideas come to you? Some pop into my head, already formed. Others I work with until I like what I see. The more outrageous I look, the more comfortable I feel. Creatures stare, but this way I know why.”

Velvet nodded because ideas did come to her in a variety of ways. “Would you like some bubbles?” She graciously offered to move over, even though the spot she was in was prime and she was enjoying it. Domino had sought her out for a reason, and having to cancel their show at Shugey’s might have been hard for him. She reasoned that he would benefit from the bubbles more than she could.

About the Author: Gina Briganti writes fantasy and sci-fi romance in north Texas. She also writes holistic health non-fiction because real life can be magic, too. Her credentials in holistic health include certification as a Reiki Master Practitioner and teacher, certification as a nutrition consultant, and a degree in holistic nutrition.

When she’s not writing, eating delicious healthy food, reading, or making videos, she is spending time with family and friends. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a lab and chow mix.

There are exclusives and announcements that she shares only in her newsletter, which you can sign up for right here:

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A. R. Kennedy: Sleuth on Safari

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Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.

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For fifteen minutes, we stood at the conveyor belt, waiting for my luggage to arrive. The constant trail of luggage became a trickle and I began to worry. I had a vision that my vacation slideshow would be me in my Supernatural TV series T-shirt and jeans, with a soundtrack of my sister’s voice saying, “I told you so.”

I glanced at Charlotte. After a fifteen-hour flight, Charlotte had emerged refreshed. I was a little worse for wear. She gave me a dismissive look and I wiped a few crumbs from breakfast off my jeans.

She smiled briefly and the other expression returned.

“You know you look like Mom when you’re annoyed,” I told her.

She glared at me and whipped around. She and her bright pink luggage stormed off. Her pink flowy top wafted over leggings with a black-and-pink chevron pattern. I had to admit, she did look nice. And did not look like she had spent almost a day traveling. I looked down at myself. The same could not be said. My wrinkled black T-shirt and torn jeans, paired with Converse sneakers with tips that used to be white, made me cringe. Nothing about me said glamour.

I didn’t worry about being left in a foreign country by myself. I could find her a mile away with that highlighter pink gear.

I said a quick prayer before turning back to the luggage belt. I exhaled and smiled. She didn’t see the last bag to drop onto the conveyor. My worn tan duffle bag.

About the Author:

A R Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.


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Jo A Hiestand: Ancestral Whispers

Jo A Hiestand will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Ancestral Whispers

by Jo A Hiestand


GENRE: Mystery  (British)



Each year the residents of Nether Haddon celebrate the village’s founding in the time-honored way with games, music, and performances by their sword dancers. But something new is added to the fancy footwork this year: a team member dies … murdered. Fear, jealousy and suspicion quickly engulf the group, emotions as tightly interlocked as the five swords used in the dance: a series of turns, jumps and clogging steps intricate as Celtic knots. Was the victim the intended target, or should it have been someone else? In the course of the CID investigation, a mysterious 17th century puzzle is discovered. Does it hold a clue to the murder? Detective Brenna Taylor and her colleagues have more than enough to worry about. But unbeknownst to her, career criminal King Roper has escaped from prison where he was serving time for murder. Now free and eager to settle the score for his capture, Roper tracks down Brenna’s whereabouts, ready for revenge…



Mark bent over, silently cursing. No other police officer could be seen and I didn’t want to stop the shoppers to ask if they’d seen Delmar Goodfellow running for his life. I was about to suggest we go back to the car when I saw a person walk away from the corner of Jack Darkgate’s house. Tapping Mark’s arm, I nodded in the direction of the movement. Goodfellow raced along the path leading up the hill, but we weren’t far behind him.

The trail plowed through the patch of grassland between Jonah’s and Jack’s houses, from the lane to the base of the hill. From there it snaked uphill, alternately hiding and showing itself through the curtain of trees and boulders. As we came to the hill, I hesitated and glanced up. Late afternoon already wrapped the side facing us in indigo shadow. Violet-tinted shapes that could be trees or stones stretched onto the path. A flock of jackdaws rose from the cliff face, screeching against the sky and wheeling over the hilltop. I called to Mark to stop. He turned, the look on his face betraying his annoyance at losing even one second.

“What?” His breathing was loud and deep.

“It’ll be dusk soon, Mark. It’ll be hard to see in the wood.”

Despite his desire to rush on ahead, he glanced to his left. The wood held the last vestiges of daylight but farther to the west the trees lost themselves to the anonymity of approaching twilight. He exhaled loudly and shook off my hand. “I’m going ahead. You don’t have to. I need to catch him.” Before I could reply, he raced on.

I ran as best as I could, but the rocky path slowed my speed, and nettles and twigs grabbed at my trousers. Mark evidently took no notice of this, for he was at least twenty yards ahead of me.

As the path angled upward, it leveled slightly and I made better time. The soil was less rocky here, although closer to the cliff face, and I slowed slightly so I wouldn’t fall. Several yards farther on, the trail veered to the left, leaving the cliff, and I plunged ahead as fast as I dared go. Mark was in front of me, and though I could see him, it was the sound of breaking twigs and his shoes pounding the trail that guided me.

Which gave me an idea.

A dozen yards ahead the wood thinned to a small clearing. The light here was brighter and I could see Mark pause on the other side of a dead oak. He stood where the path branched and looked at the ground. I jogged over to him, careful not to step on the twigs and pinecones littering the area. Holding my right index finger before my lips, I turned my head to my left, listening for Goodfellow’s mad crash through the trees.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy–from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area–has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the details filling both her Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her McLaren mystery, BLACK MOON, received the ‘N.N. Light Best Mystery Book’ award for 2019.

Jo lives with her cat, Tennyson, and way too many kilts in the St. Louis-area.


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Author Interview: Roger Peppercorn – On The Devil’s Side of Heaven

Roger Peppercorn will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview

1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?

Well they say to write what you know so I’m write crime fiction. Which, now that I say that out loud sounds bad. I really don’t know much about crime at least not in the firsthand stance. But I do read a lot about crime, and the commission of crime. Which again doesn’t sound that good when you say it out loud.  

What made me write this book. After a while it was either sit down and write it or attach electrodes to my frontal lobe and flip the switch. Again, not like it sounds out loud like it does in my head.

Kidding aside I had been working on it for a long time and there was a point where this story was consuming a lot of my inner dialogue so at some point I sat down and just let it flow through my fingers to the keyboard.

I have two new projects I’m thinking about all the time one is the follow up to my first book which is titled The Sometimes Long Road home which will have all of the main characters from the first book, It picks up about a year and a half later.

I’m also working on a new set of characters for a book that right now is called Bearing the Cross. It will revolve around an ex-priest named who still is doing the work of a priest just without the collar. This will be a different kind of crime thriller with a whole new set of characters. But I promise there will enough murder and mayhem to keep you entertained.

2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a first born, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?

Really good questions, Well, I’m a first born. I have one other sibling who is a cop oddly enough. Not sure how the order of birth shapes my views of the world but I spent some years in the service when I was much younger. I have always had a bit of a wonderlust in me. Always looking to the horizon wanting to know what is on the other side. After I got out my wondering the earth didn’t stop. I got a job in telecom that allowed me to work all over the states and some time over in Europe and of course Canada.

Those travels probably more that anything else really forged my views of the world. What you realize after all that time on the road is most places are the same. I mean everyone has the same priorities which are family, health, food on the table, paying the mortgage, and retirement. Trying hard not to make the mistakes of their parents not that they have kids.

Probably that more than anything else is what has formed my views on the world. Maybe get out more go beyond the borders of where you exist. I don’t know I guess that’s probably it.

3. Where is your favorite place to write?

Favorite place to write is probably in a hotel room while I’m on the road. It’s quiet without any distractions. Maybe some light music in the background. Yeah probably that’s my favorite place. Definitely late at night.

I so wish I could get up throw a pot of coffee on sit down and pound it out. But that’s not really my writing style. Sometime after eight there is generally whiskey or beer involved. Normally I’ve been working on a scene or a few scenes throughout the day and now its time to sit down and write them out. If nothing else I get the premise of the scene out of my head.

I’m also big about spreading out. I need a lot of room for the elbows. Now this is going to sound maybe a bit weird or diva like, but I have this thing about sitting and writing in one spot for a long time and my arms sweating on a desk so I will put hand towels under my arms so they don’t sweat. So, nothing to weird or odd I hope.

I think you definitely need a fairly routine place to create but there are no real rules to writing.

4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?

Well when you write murder and mayhem, I suppose you can’t be hung up on some gore. But and this next part is going to sound preachy. I don’t knock someone off lightly and there is a bit of the dramatic when it happens. Plus, I think it is a lot like nudity in film and TV. It should not be gratuitous, and it should serve the story in a way that moves it along. I also don’t think it needs to be that graphic which is a bit hypocritical because all of my death scenes are pretty graphic.

All of my characters make it through the first book but not everyone will make it to the end of my next novel. Those scenes are taking a lot of planning and prep ahead of writing them.

5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

Well my favorite author is James Lee Burke and probably its going to be about scene setting and his dialogue structure. When he sets the table in a scene it is very vivid to the reader which makes the fictional world he has created another main character. It adds layers to not just the story but also every scene, but it is his dialogue between characters that really stands out. The back and forth between characters and the reactions they have are just so crisp. From a storytelling perspective it’s next level writing.

6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.

Ah, man these are really good questions. Something no one knows. Well for those that only know me through the dust cover or social media they know a lot. And I’ve given you a lot in this interview. But to hit the highlights I was born and raised in Colorado which is convenient since that’s where the book takes place. I now call South Dakota home, Primarily in the beginning because that’s where my wife is from and I really fell in love with the area and now four kids, four dogs, a bird and seventeen years later it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.

In the last couple of years, I have taken up smoking as a hobby, and that’s not the Mary Jane or Marlboro smoking either. I’ve always wanted a smoker for things like chicken wings or any other kind of meat. I have perfected smoked chili and meatloaf that is awesome to say the least.

But probably the thing they don’t know is I am horrible at grammar. I failed it often when I was in high school. Right after I signed on with Wallace, I did give them a heads up this was not my strong suit. Leesa my publisher told me not to worry because I didn’t own the patent on bad grammar.

So yeah probably that. I suck at grammar.

7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?

Man, these are really good questions. A backpack for company and three items in my survival pack. So if this is the genie in the bottle and the obvious like kids and wife aren’t part of it because obviously you know they would be if I could.

Endless supply of electricity for a laptop cause you know why not? It’s a deserted island so I assume there are pirates at some point which means rum so I’m good there. Of course the electricity could also be used for the smoker. Shoes. Have to have a really good pair of shoes because in that movie castaway and die hard that whole not having shoes thing seems like it’s a problem.

So electricity for the smoker and laptop (came with the talking backpack doesn’t count) and good shoes.

This probably says a lot about me, right? I may have to come back to this question and change it up so I don’t sound so weird.  

8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?

Ooh flying would be nice, No more airports. But then there is transporting so good news is I wouldn’t have to wear tights and a cape cause nobody should have to see me in tights and a cape. I kinda like the idea of way super smart. But then I’m going to be explaining everything and that seems like its going to become a real pain at some point.

How about that magic ring to create things? That could be fun but then again there would be a mask and a hidden identity plus now I’m back to tights but not a cape. So maybe that doesn’t work out the way I think it does. Which by the way what is it about capes and tights to the superpower? A bit overdone at this point isn’t it?

How about invisible? That could work. I like that idea. Cept at some point it maybe gets a little creepy right? And then not to mention your out on a date with the wife and she’s talking to some dude she can’t see and now she has to worry about getting locked up for mental issues and your kids start to think your god. So, yeah that’s going to be a problem. Not sure how that works itself out in the end.

Superpower in my existence. Can I make one up? Which sounds stupid because that’s not a thing. By the way and this is off topic I love those shows that hunt for bigfoot. And the in-camera interviews talking about bigfoot. My kids love those shows.

How about not being a jerk ever? Always have the right response no matter the situation. You’re a lot more likable, no tights or a cape. Your wife and kids aren’t getting carted off for talking to themselves all the time. I don’t sound like a ego maniac or narcissist. So, I’m going with that. Not being a jerk ever.

9. Favorite snack?

My daughter got me hooked on those little halo oranges. We eat a lot of those around the house and even when I’m on the road I generally get a bag of those and snack on them.

But if its not the healthy snack then it would have to be those jellybeans that are covered in the nerd candy. Not sure what they are called or where she got them, but they are awesome. Love those things.

However, its hard to beat a good solid corn chip and salsa. And for whatever reason you can only get the good chips in Mexican restaurants. Why is that by the way?

Can’t say no to a good chocolate bar though. But if you go that route there should be peanuts and cherry filling involved. Plain chocolate is good, don’t get me wrong but if its going to be your favorite then you shouldn’t have to scrimp.

Pudding is making a comeback in our house. My wife has been getting those little pudding cups for snacks around the house. I like those.

Another good question.

10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?

I mean it’s the 500 so who cares if you know how to get there and I’m definitely not driving the speed limit. This has to be Fast and Furious territory here. Like the only time you get to be nasty on the drive. But your going to need the soundtrack to really pull this off because otherwise you’re just driving aimlessly really fast and for not a lot of good reasons.

Could you imagine driving a high-end sports car on the way there, but you never break like 45mph? Kind of feels like a crime in of itself.

I really enjoyed this. Loved the questions. Thanks for the time and opportunity.


On The Devil’s Side of Heaven

by Roger Peppercorn


GENRE:   Thriller / Crime



With the drop of a judge’s gavel, Walt Walker has finally lost everything. The badge and gun he used to carry and the moral certainty of right and wrong, good and evil that used to keep him grounded. Now Walt, sans gun, gets his badges from an Army Navy store. He spends his days in South Florida, working for a boutique insurance firm as their investigator. He spends his nights in dive bars, trying to forget the mess he has made of his life.

Ronald Jacobs always preferred the title Human Resource Manger to Hitman. But now that he’s retired, he can concentrate on living in the shadows as a respectable gentlemen farmer. Far from the reach and pull of his past life.

Their transgressions are behind them but a chance encounter and a failed assassination attempt sets the two of them on a collision course of violence and retribution. Hunted by contract killers, the law, and corporate bag men, they are pursued across the unforgiving adobes and the sweeping vistas of the Mesa Valley in Western Colorado.

Survival means putting their past in front of them and their differences aside, because in this world the only thing that matters is to cast not others on the devil’s side of heaven, lest you be cast in with them.



A little after midnight on a clear and cold morning in March, Jimmy Dix parked his car three miles from the farmhouse. From here it would all be on foot. The sky, dark and overcast, would cover his approach to the farmhouse situated in the adobe desert, fifteen miles from the little town of Loma, CO. His target presumably would be asleep and unaware of his impending death.

Big Max Benson had been clear in his instructions. The job had to be tonight. Jimmy hadn’t bothered to ask why. Fifteen thousand dollars had been more than enough to silence any idle curiosity he may have had. And the promise to convert all the red ink that bore Jimmy’s name in Big Max’s ledger to black had been the clincher. He had driven fifteen hours in a rental car he had picked up in a hotel parking lot just outside of Billings, MT. In the trunk, Big Max had left a cut down 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 and a 9 mm pistol. Each weapon had come with more than enough ammo to do the job. Jimmy had brought along his own set of NVGs for the nighttime raid.

He sat in the car, staring out the windshield, thinking about the three mile hike he had in front of him. The car heater was cranked up to high. The dashboard clock read 12:02; the hike would take him about an hour. He thought about the task at hand. After he arrived, he would need probably thirty minutes to scout his final approach plus maybe another fifteen to twenty minutes to get set up. Maybe another five minutes to carry out the job. Jimmy did the math in his head and figured that worst case scenario, he would be back in the car no later than 4 a.m. This would leave him more than enough time to get clear of the area. Jimmy smiled at the thought of coming in under the cover of darkness, killing someone and then leaving under the same veil before any cops showed up.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Roger Peppercorn has suffered for the better part of his life from wanderlust and this need to see the other side of the horizon has taken him to all parts of the world. The people and backdrop of his travels have served as the inspiration behind his characters and storytelling.

As a child, his mother taught him to read and write. His father’s collection of Louis Lamour novels provoked the fantastical images in his mind and the romance of the written word. In the seventh grade, his history teacher brought the characters of a bygone era alive. From that point on, Roger began to hone his skills in storytelling. After high school, Roger took a course in creative writing that was taught by a long haired hippy in a Hawaiian shirt. 

Roger’s grandmother used to tell hypothetical tales of traveling across the plains in a covered wagon, the woes of having a son sent off to war, and the larger-than-life man she met at Pea Green Hall who later became her husband.

His first two novels “On The Devils Side of Heaven” and “The Sometimes Long Road Home” take place on the western slopes of Colorado, in the sleepy town of Fruita, where he grew up. They center on the strained relationships and sorted histories of three characters – Walt, Ronald and Jessica, and violence that erupts around them.

Roger is married and is a father of four beautiful children. He currently calls South Dakota his home.




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