Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Much Ado About Marshals by Jacquie Rogers : Review

Daisy Gardner wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu.  To her delight, her sister shot a bank robber and he got away, so now she even has a crime to solve. But her parents insist she marry a man whose farm is miles from town.  She can't solve crimes stuck out there. What better solution than to marry the new marshal!

Rancher Cole Richards saves his friend from robbing a bank, but is shot for his efforts, and now is a wanted man.  His friend takes him to Oreana to see the doc, where Cole's mistaken for the new marshal.  Now he faces a dilemma few men have to face--tell the truth and hang, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.

5 stars

It seems almost everyone is pretending to be someone else in this new Romantic Western Comedy by Jacquie Rogers.  Daisy, a modern-minded woman, who resides in the small pioneer town of Oreana, Idaho, knows what she wants and sets about getting it – but in a most charming and naïve way.  Daisy’s exploits had me cackling out loud sometimes.  When Cole Richards arrives in town wounded, he’s mistaken for the long-expected new Marshal.  Injured and on the run from the law, Cole keeps his mouth shut in the hopes that he can get out of town without riling up a posse. Cole, however, never ran up against a woman as contrary and beguiling as Miss Daisy.

I was sucked into this story right from the beginning.  I became easily caught up in the character’s lives and misadventures.  With distinct western flair and flavor this well-written, cohesive, and complex character-driven story just thrilled me.  Miss Daisy is an enchanting mix of innocence and risqué behavior.  When she sets out to get her man, Cole, there is just no stopping her.  Daisy, the sleuth, is just as talented – determined to solve the mystery of the escaped bank robber, she will not let a single clue escape scrutiny.

The Charisma between Cole and Daisy sizzles even as the subterfuge heats up.  The tension continuously builds between them amid the hilarity of a town that at times seems to have been overrun by imposters.  This is a darling romantic story that is a superb start on what I am sure will be an equally enchanting series.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Also, see my Feature Post with Jacquie Rogers where I interview Daisy. 


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

False Positives by Kim Aleksander : Interview

In 1972, a gifted student at Berkeley writes the first computer virus. When it’s run on the university mainframe it simply vanishes. Thirty-five years later, a government computer system issues ostensibly baseless assassination orders, and its creator goes in search of the ghost in the machine. What she discovers is a legacy black-ops program from the Vietnam Era that is alive and killing today. As she fights to prevent her brainchild from becoming a weapon for government-sanctioned murder, the protagonist is pitted against adversaries hell-bent on wielding the machine with Machiavellian ruthlessness to achieve their political ambitions. Joined by an eclectic band of characters, she plots to bring down the system before it is used to start a war of biblical proportions, and in doing so, she becomes marked for termination by her own creation.

Enter for a chance to win a PRINT (North America & Great Britian only) or Gifted Kindle copy of False Positives.  Comment on this post and/or Like False Positives on Facebook for bonus entries.  Giveaway closes March 31st 11:59PM Central Time.

Also enter the Paperback giveaway on Goodreads for another opportunity to win.

GoodReads paperback giveaway:


Thanks so very much for being here today and taking time to chat.  False Positives is your debut novel. Tell us a little about it, if you will.


False Positives is a techno-thriller set in Washington D.C. with scenes that play out in Saigon during the Vietnam era as well as contemporary Bangkok and Tehran.

It’s based on the idea that the U.S. Government is reliant on technology in the fight against terrorism—maybe a little too reliant. And this can be a real problem when the technology has bugs.

It all starts out in 1972 when a gifted student at Berkeley writes the first computer virus. Thirty-five years later, a government computer system recommends some ostensibly baseless assassination orders, and its creator goes in search of the ghost in the machine. What she discovers is a legacy black-ops program from the Vietnam Era that is alive and killing today.

Marnie, the protagonist, is pitted against adversaries hell-bent on wielding her machine with Machiavellian ruthlessness to achieve their political ambitions. Joined by an eclectic band of characters, she plots to bring down the system before it is used to start a war of biblical proportions, and in doing so, she becomes marked for termination by her own creation.

That’s from the back cover. How’d that sound?

I like it! Sounds exciting!  Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I grew up in California and spent my twenties in Hawaii. At some point, I decided that I needed to find a place as beautiful as Hawaii but as cheap as Mexico. I think I’ve found that in Thailand. Where next? I may have to wait until I decide the location for my next novel. This might be Hawaii. I miss Hawaii.

Hawaii is on my short list of places I’d really like to visit. It’s easy to understand why you would like to return.  Does travel play in the writing of your books?

I think that one of reading’s great treats is the ability to allow you to escape. If a book’s good enough it can transport you to anywhere in the world. It can even do this to other worlds if you’re reading science fiction or fantasy. So yes, travel is important but probably not in the way you’re asking.

For example, I’ve been to most of the places in False Positives. I’ve been to Vietnam, but not during the war. I’ve never been to Iran, and I’ve never been inside the National Counterterrorism Center, either. I guess that having been somewhere may allow one to write with a certain verisimilitude about a location, but I believe that with enough inspiration and talent one can do justice to any locale imagined or not.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

No formula. Not yet at least.

I’ve had four real stories bouncing around in my head for over 20 years now. It’s kind of weird because the longer I wait to actually write them down, the more I see others having similar ideas and getting them published or made into film. I think that’s a result of what Jung called the collective unconscious. That’s pretty much where my core ideas come from but then my own experiences and perspectives personalize them. I dream a lot and take notes when I wake up, but things do tend to change as they get written down. Also, time has an affect on things.

Some of my characters are based on people I’ve met or read about while others are pure fabrication. Some share my own viewpoints on things while others have minds of their own. How they develop is interesting. It starts with imagined conversations in my head. This I’m sure is entertaining when people catch me doing it, but eventually, their dialogue shapes the relationships of the characters with each other and within the story.

I will draw upon archetypes sometimes as a base, but often I find the characters tend to form themselves. Once I get to know them, I understand what drives them and how they must change as the story progresses.

What book(s) are you reading now?

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I’ve been a long time fan of spy and espionage thrillers and John Le Carré has yet to disappoint. I’m actually re-reading this after many years, and it’s better the second time around.

Who are some other contemporary authors that you enjoy reading?

Wow, this might be a long list. Let me think… way back.

I think it all started for me when a friend of mine handed me Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler. That pretty much hooked me on action and adventure. I read all of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books way before they were made into movies. The books had Carlos, not sure why the movies didn’t.

Then came Tom Clancy, I think someone invented the word techno-thriller to describe his work. Then there was Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, Michael Crichton… God, there’s too many.

I also really enjoy historical fiction. I loved Gary Jenning’s Aztec and The Journeyer. And then—wow—The Eight by Katherine Neville, that might be one of my favorite books ever. I worked through all of the James Clavell books while I was living Japan—Epic. Stephen King, Wilbur Smith… sorry, I’ll never finish this and I’ve barely started.

Next question?

That was a great start!  I know exactly what you mean.  I always HATE to get asked my favorite author.  My favorite is often the one whose story I’m currently reading! Lol Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

It’s hard to really say, as I’ve felt like a beginner all my life. I mean it took me until I was forty to actually think I was good enough to produce anything respectable.

The well-worn chant that everyone will repeat is to write! That and read a lot. It’s either that or kill all adverbs, but for me—and I believe Ray Bradbury said this many moons ago—a very important thing that I’ve learned is that what you don’t write possibly more important than what you do. Don’t become to attached to what you’ve written, and don’t be afraid to cull it. No matter how good you think something you’ve written is, chances are it can be better. So be sure to edit, slash, burn, and re-write as much as possible, and THEN be sure to hire a copy-editor before you try and publish. And THEN get a proofreader. Some argue otherwise, but I think writers are just too close to their work to be able to properly edit their own work. 

I think you nailed it!  Thank you so much for this opportunity to find out more about you and your novel.  I wish you every success!!


Kim Aleksander has worked with computer technology for over twenty-five years and holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Liverpool. He was raised in California, spent his twenties in Hawaii, and moved to Asia in 1999. Presently, he lives in a jungle in Thailand with his wife, two sons, a Jack Russell terrier, and a few ducks.

False Positives is his first novel.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

West With the Wind by Cindi Myers : My Review

West with the WindMariah Tate and her dog, Worthy, persuade veteran guide Campbell Jefferson to let them join his expedition headed to California. Camp can't say no to the beautiful widow, but his need to protect her soon clashes with her need to keep secrets. Mariah left more than bad memories behind in Pennsylvania and her growing attraction to the stoic but surprisingly sensitive Camp forces her to face up to the consequences of the choices she's made. Camp doesn't know what Mariah's hiding, but he's determined not to let the only woman who ever made him want to settle down get away. He pursues her across the prairies, through stampedes, Indian raids, desert drought and mountain snows. In the gold camps of California, Camp will discover Mariah's secret, and prove the love she wants most isn't out of reach.

My rating: 4 Cups

Mariah Tate, a strong-willed woman, heads to California to make a fresh start; her aim is to escape scandal and a hateful mother-in-law. Joining a small wagon train, and traveling with but a few personal belongings, Mariah and her canine companion, Worthy, face the trials of the trail with gumption and fortitude.

Having successfully crossed the country seven times already, this is the last journey for trail-weary Campbell Jefferson. With money earned from guiding this last group of hopeful greenhorns, Camp wants to buy a spread and settle down in California.

A single woman traveling alone on such a perilous journey is unheard of, but Mariah refuses to take no for an answer when pleading to join the wagon train Camp will be guiding. Thus, begins the story of their westward journey, an often arduous, dangerous trek. Mariah and Camp find themselves drawn to each other, but Mariah will let nothing deter from her duty; the secrets of her past haunt her present and strain to poison her future.

The authentic western flavor of the pioneer spirit makes this novel a spellbinding read. I became easily caught up in the adventure; immersed in the past. Mariah is a woman who embodies many of the traits associated with the hearty, adventurous folk of that time, yet still is an independent woman who is ahead of her time, as well; for me, that made her a unique and extremely likable heroine. Honestly, though, Worthy stole the show. Some of the best scenes in the book showed Worthy as the loyal, brave and intelligent companion he is. I also laughed out loud when he met up with a colony of prairie dogs the first time. The story is driven by the characters in it, and it is them that I related to most as they boldly strove to overcome all obstacles on their journey to golden California.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tangi's Teardrops by Liz Grace Davis

When Tangi's father dies, he leaves her nothing but three empty bottles. A kind uncle takes the poverty-stricken girl and her stepsisters in, and for a time life gets better on his farm. But Tangi remains a lonely outsider; her stepsisters tease her for her crippled leg, and the housekeepers use her like a servant.

Just before her thirteenth birthday, Tangi learns the truth about her father's strange legacy: the three bottles aren't empty any more. They're filled with all the tears she's cried since her father died, and her tears are enchanted. She must use them to travel to Rosevine, the world of her dead mother. Tangi not only belongs there but is necessary to keep Rosevine alive.

Tangi's tears will save Rosevine, and Rosevine will save Tangi from a cruelty-filled life, except for one thing: Tangi's lost the bottles.


  How did you start your writing career?

Like many authors, before I started to writer, I was an avid reader (still am). Books were a large part of my world. I spent endless hours in school libraries. At night I used a torch to read under the covers so my mother didn’t know I was awake. As much as I loved to read, I loved telling stories. I wrote a lot of short stories and poems while growing up. On many nights, my little brother begged to come and sleep in my bed and I hated it. But the reason he kept coming back, was so I could make up stories to tell him before he fell asleep. The dreamer that I was, I never could resist. 
 Tell us about your current release.
Tangi’s Teardrops is about a 12 year-old crippled village girl, who never felt that she belonged. Her dream had always been to one day become much more than the girl with the funny leg.

One night, she discovered a secret connected to the empty bottles her father left her when he died. A secret that revealed her tears to be something extra ordinary.

A secret that showed her a way out of the world she could never call home and led her to the Kingdom of Rosevine, a place where the impossible only existed in one’s mind and everything she could ever want was right at her fingertips.
But there was a price to pay for her happiness. And I better stop here before I reveal too much.

 Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Tangi’s Teardrops is a different kind of fairy tale that will not only give you a peak into an African village lifestyle, but also a fantasy world that needs tears to exist. If you want to find out why those tears happen to be Tangi’s and why they are so precious, then you should read this novel.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

Currently, I’m in the process of finalizing the publishing process of my contemporary romance novel, Chocolate Aftertaste. It’s the story of Nora, a young woman with an extremely controlling wealthy father. She only lives to make his dreams come true. And then he goes too far, expecting her to do something that will guarantee a future of unhappiness. This leads her to make a decision that destroys their relationship but will hopefully lead her to find her freedom, rediscover her passions and maybe find love.

Chocolate Aftertaste will be available for purchase in March 2012.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

Most of the time, no. But Tangi is. My third middle name is actually Tangi and like her, I was a loner when I was growing up and went through a similar but harsher experience as she did. Unlike her, though, I’m not disabled.

But yeah, Tangi’s Teardrops is based on my childhood, but apart from the cruelty of the housekeepers, everything else is a product of my imagination.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I was born in a refugee camp in Angola and stayed there until I was eight years old. I went to Namibia (where my parents came from) for the first time the year before Namibia became independent in 1986.

Growing up I lived in 5 countries, went to 5 primary schools, 3 high schools and by early next year, I would have obtained my Bachelors and Masters degrees from two universities in different countries.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

I do have a blog and you can visit it here: The door is always open to new visitors.

Thank you so much Laurie, for giving me the opportunity to be featured on your blog. You’re very kind. Thanks also to the people who bought or are thinking of buying my novel, Tangi’s Teardrops. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And watch out for Chocolate Aftertaste.  

Liz Grace Davis was born in a refugee camp in Angola, to Namibian parents. She grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria. Growing up, Liz spent most her days in school libraries, diving into the world of books. In her spare time she loves to travel, create jewelry and digital scrapbooks. She's in her element when she does anything that requires creativity. Liz recently published her Young Adult fantasy novel, Tangi's Teardrops.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Chronicles Of Jenson Quest - The Rise Of Va'kaar by J Bryden Lloyd - Interview & Character Interview

Jenson Quest III, is a 17 year old descendent of his grandfather, Jenson Quest Senior and his father, Jenson Quest II. Both are former test pilots for the RAF and private corporations.

Now aging beyond his years, Jenson Quest Senior lives in the nursing home run by his daughter, Maggs, whom the younger Jenson has lived with since his father's disappearance many years before.

Unfortunately for the grandson, the grandfather is on the verge of senility, as he continues to tell tales about great battles in space, and his efforts to protect the many 'human realms' that are spread throughout the galaxy.

The young Jenson is suddenly dragged into the reality that everyone previously believed to be an old man's imagination, as he steps forward to take the place of not just his aging grandfather, but also his missing (presumed dead) father, who vanished during a previous mission in defence of humanity.

Now he is on the other side of the galaxy, fighting alongside humans from over a hundred other worlds in The Great Drak; the special forces of the realms who defend the whole human race against the threat of the Zyll Swarm and their new Vuron Super Weapon, which has the power to wipe out an entire world.

Join Jenson as he discovers friends and allies of the most unexpected kind and battles Va'kaar; the Zyll commander who would see the destruction of every human realm.


This is the first part of a series, the second part of which is 'The Realms Of Jurrii' and is now available.

Both works can be found on Amazon, available for Kindle or the Kindle Reader Software.

Get The Rise of the Va'kaar FREE on Kindle on Amazon February 25th and 26th. Two Days ONLY! 



Enter to win a  Signed, Print copy of  The Rise of Va'kaar.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Like J Bryden Lloyd on Facebook for a 2nd bonus entry.
Giveaway ends March 24th 11:59PM CDT.

This book is high on my TBR list.  Unfortunately, I am still running behind.  I expect to read this book within the next four weeks and will update this post once the review has been published.

An Interview With J Bryden Lloyd (Author)

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Exhausting, Frustrating & Rewarding.

Exhausting because if you want people to read your work, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort, your work has to have an element that makes it unique and your characters and scenarios – even in sci-fi – have to have enough realism to keep the reader interested.
Frustrating because no matter what you write, you will never be 100% happy with it, and too often it will not be obvious as to why.

Rewarding because even if I only sold a single book every week, month or year; I would be happy in the knowledge that somebody somewhere was taking an interest in my writing.

How do you react to a bad review of your book?

I’m not entirely certain there is such a thing as a bad review. If someone buys your work and offers their opinion I think it is exactly that. Yes, it is possible that someone will buy your book and hate it, but others will see something in even those reviews that will prompt them to buy your work.

As for reaction to reviews, I do not believe any author should pass criticism on a reviewer, as they are offering their opinion. If you feel compelled to respond, you should take the time to be civil and offer your gratitude for their time.

Tell us about your family.

I am married (21 years) with 6 children. I guess my daily life pretty much revolves around my children’s interests, rather than my own. My 20 year-old son is a rugby/American Football player. My 18 year-old daughter studies Hair & Beauty and my 16 and 14 year-old daughters are in high school.

Last but not least are my 10 and 4 year-old daughters… The 10 year-old is the arty one and I cannot fathom out what the little one seems to be into everything.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

I love reading and writing descriptive stuff and bringing a seemingly impossible idea to life. As a result, I will have 20+ ideas swimming around in my head at any one time, all screaming to get out.

For me, the hardest part is linking those ideas into a finished prose that makes me feel like I have given over everything I want it to convey.
I will often rewrite a simple paragraph a dozen times – not because it’s wrong, but because I just can’t visualize EVERYTHING I want out of it – and then still go back and frown at the finished article.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

The Characters in my books are generally based on either specific characteristics of people I know now, or knew in the past. The few made-up characters I have are determined by the requirements of the story-line.
Plots are a totally different thing. I use the plot to carry the various characters to specific “key-points” in the book. How long it takes to get to those key points and what happens along the way is often decided as I write.
As long as each key point is reached and covered properly, there is no formula to my writing.

Tell us about your next release.

The Chronicles Of Jenson Quest – The Cause, is the 3rd installment of my YA/Space Opera series.

This is a much darker book than the first two parts, as our hero faces a totally different kind of threat on two fronts. For the first time, I will be taking him out of his comfort zone entirely, as several of the characters he relies upon in the earlier stories are taken from him, and assassins are on his tail.

He has to leave his best friend behind in a situation where he doesn’t know whether or not he will survive. Despite this he must search for his missing comrades and stay out of the way of the assassins.

Perhaps you would like to speak with Jenson?

An Interview With Jenson Quest III ( 3rd Protector of the 26th Human Realm & Wing Commander of The Great Drak)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be a fighter pilot. My Granddad and my Dad were both pilots in the RAF and were both Test Pilots… Admittedly, I had no idea they both kept swooping off to defend the galaxy, but yes, I wanted to be a pilot.

Tell us about your family.

Well, like I said, Dad and Gramps were both pilots. Gramps died a little while ago and Dad, well… he went missing on a mission… out there, you know… with the Keepers.

Anyway, I found his body in a crystal, but we couldn’t bring him back. The Drak Warriors honoured them both though, which was brilliant!
Now there’s just me and Aunt Maggs… well, on Earth, at least... My mum died when I was really young. I’ve got pictures, but I don’t remember her. Maggs runs a retirement home out in the country, here in the UK. I help out… well, I did, but I’m off to university soon, so I guess she’ll be needing a new go-fer.

Maggs is great, and she’s all I’ve got here now… apart from Twigg! He’s not really family, but he’s the brother I always wanted and he’s been my best friend forever.

Then there’s Mussa, and his son, Mussa Kai… and Yanna! Mussa is Gramps’ son from a “close encounter”, shall we say. Dad was really miffed when he found out about it, but he and Mussa became great friends and the best warriors in the Drak. Mussa Kai is my cousin… Mussa’s son. I haven’t met him yet but I hope to go to Naygara soon and meet him. Mussa’s ill, so I can’t wait too long.

Yanna is another cousin. Her mother was another child of my wayward Gramps! Yanna’s about my age and she’s a real stunner! Grey eyes, silver hair… erm, yeah, anyway… that’s all of them!

What is the next big thing?

On Earth? If we’ve got any sense… guns! BIG guns! All pointed out there at space! Coz there’re some mean old aliens who might just come and visit with their damned big spaceships and their damned Vuron bombs… that’s a gas, by the way, that burns everything it touches… Enough of the stuff could just burn out atmosphere away.

Out there? I’m sort of keeping my fingers crossed for SHIELDS for my Drak Interceptor! It’s almost indestructible, but you know, an impact in the wrong place and POOF! Lights out! So shields… good ones!

Who should play you in a film?

Someone really good looking! You know… like the guy who plays Torch in Fantastic 4…Chris Evans. In fact, he looks a bit like me, so it’s got to be him or someone just as good looking. If he’s not available, I’m not going to watch it.

Where you’d find a 6ft 5inch tattooed, muscle-bound animal to play Mussa? Now there’s a better question!


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John Bryden Lloyd was born in the village of Llay near Wrexham in North Wales in 1969. After a period in Coatbridge, near Glasgow, (1977 - 1986) and then Hill of Beath, near Dunfermline, Fife (1986 - 1988), Bryden returned to North Wales where he worked as a draughtsman for the MoD.

He married in 1991 and returned to education in 1993, with the aim of going into teaching, but in 1996 was forced to leave education with a HND in Aeronautical/Mechanical Engineering to find work. He still works as a contracting CAD designer.

Still living in Northop, North Wales with his wife, six children and two dogs, Bryden began investing more time in his writing in 2010.

The Rise Of Va'kaar was the first of the series of Chronicles involving Jenson Quest and the Great Drak. It took 18 months to write and although it was originally planned to be a stand-alone novel, the ideas and directions it inspired have spawned a possible 9-book series.

Once the first installment was finished, it took only 2 months to complete the work needed to finish book 2, The Realms Of Jurrii, which was published in mid November 2011.

The third of the Jenson Quest series, entitled The Cause, will be published in April/May 2012 and is destined to be a darker book than its predecessors.

In the meantime, Bryden has released his first Childrens Sci-Fi and a book of short stories. The Zubot Master; a sci-fi series for younger readers. Part 1, Time Slip, was released in January 2012, and Meet My Shorts! was released in mid February 2012.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Curbchek by Zach Fortier - Guest Post

Crime Drama
Curbchek is the story of a damaged cop, Zach Fortier.  Fortier worked in the police department for the city where he grew up.  One foot in the world of the cops, courts and legal system. The other in the world of gangs, drugs, thugs and street violence. Where the laws and rules are made by the strongest, the schemers and the most brutal. Read about the transformation of Fortier from a green rookie to a damaged paranoid veteran seeing danger in every situation.  Follow along as he walks this tight rope.  Trying to make difference, breaking the laws he promised to enforce.  This is a story of law and order uncensored.

Enter for a chance to win a Print copy of Curbchek.
Shipping for US/CAN ONLY.
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Comment on this post for a 2nd bonus entry.
Giveaway ends March 24th 11:59 PM CDT 


First of all thanks for asking me to do the interview for your blog.  I appreciate you taking the time to allow me to ramble on and on about the books I read over the questions you sent and also thought of some ideas of my own so this may ramble a bit, You have been warned!

I guess the first question everyone asks is Why? Why would you write?  I suppose the answer is different for everyone.  I have no real answer.  Every cop I have ever known has said at one time or another “I should write about this”.  Write about all that has happened, all I have seen working with the people of whatever city, county or State they live in. 

The reality is people are that amazing.  The things they get into, the things they do to one another both good and bad, blow your mind.  Night after night, call after call you are amazed by what you see, hear, and feel.  I have wanted to write about that experience for some time.  I never had the courage to try. 

Then one day a friend suggested I should sit down and write out all that had happened.  To be honest I was willing but not able.  Suffering from PTSD is no joke.  Memories are like shadows for me.  I try to see what is there. It is like peering into the dark corners of an old musty attic for hidden memories and they are gone as soon as the light starts to flesh them out. 

Memories of horrible calls I went on would come back in the middle of the night, and I would wake up sweating, breathing… thinking shit!  That was intense. But if I did not get up right then and write them down they would be gone in the morning like the shadows I mentioned.  SO I started writing an outline when I remembered a call I thought was note worthy I would write it down. (writing it down in my case means getting up and typing it on my MAC).

This started about a year and a half ago. The process was very hard at first.  Like trying to start an old car. I would get one memory and then another, then maybe three or four days would go by with nothing. Then came a day came when I could not write fast enough, the calls and memories came flowing out.  The analogy of a Dam break is not far from the reality I felt.  From barely a trickle, to a wall of memories knocking me down and demanding to be cataloged with the rest.  That process has continued for the past year and a half.  It continues today.  Three books later, I am still getting memories of things that happened and writing them down.

I was recently asked why do you write these books?  If you make no money, and get no fame why write?  Fame or money were never the issue. I write under a pen name, and I went self published and self promoted because I knew that no one who sits behind a desk 9-5; No one who attended some IVY league college, and no one who promoted books could ever grasp the streets the way I had.  They could not understand what I had personally witnessed, smelled, or felt. I did not want the experience cheapened, or lessoned for the reader.

If you read my books you’re there with me on the call.  You’re in the car while we travel 125mph chasing a coked out car thief.  You will sit in the room looking at splatters of an infant’s blood on the walls and ceiling wanting to kill the man who beat this child to death. 

Flowery prose and verbiage cannot do those scenes justice.  If you have never witnessed that horror, no amount of imagination and training as a writer will enable you to recreate it.  It is plain, brutal, and real.  The blood doesn’t sparkle, shine, or glimmer.  It bleeds.  It bleeds from another human being and will never be reclaimed.  It is life flowing from another person and we all know what that means and how it feels to witness that.

  So I write to bring this life I knew to the reader.  To show others what it means to be a cop from day one.  As a bright and shiny New Guy… to the damaged and dangerous veteran I became.  Seeing threats and danger in everyone around me.  To show how living and working and serving mankind broke me in short order.  That is why I wrote these books.

Another reason I write the books is that I have never watched or read a cop story that was anywhere close to what I have seen.  There is no thread, no story.  It is chaos, constant chaos from the minute you start the car to the minute you sign off on the radio. 

There is no common thread except that you can predict nothing.  Not one single day was like another, not one call was like another.  You had to learn to adapt and go with the flow or be destroyed.  Sink or swim.  There is no closure to the call.  There is no moral to the story.  It is survive the night, go home to your kids, and come back the next night to do it all again.  That is the reality of police work.  Chaos.

A complaint I have heard is the language is too strong in the books.  Really?  People in life and death struggles tend to express themselves in terms not used when discussing sales with the clerk at Walmart. 

I actually toned the language down severely from the way we talk on the street.  This is not a movie trying to get rated PG so more people will attend.  This is the way it was, a literal battle for survival.  Language used in those conditions is not the same as day to day.  Language is an expression of the circumstances.  The circumstances were deadly.  The language is appropriate for the situations in the books.

I could go on and on.  I wont.  I hope that your readers will take a look at the books and if they like them or they hate them contact me at my e mail address   I would like to hear their inputs. Thanks again.  Z


Zach Fortier was a police officer for over 28 years, specializing in K-9, SWAT, gang, domestic violence and sex crimes as an investgator. In Curbchek, he returns to his hometown as a cop, sure his tactical military training can make a difference. The city has other plans for his idealism. The novel Curbchek follows his journey into the realities of the street and the officers who work them, the hunters and the hunted jostling for position in the warped core of America's urban melting pot boiling over. Curbchek has been in the top 12 on Amazon's category 'Hot New Releases in Hard-Boiled Mysteries'. To find out more about Zach and get in touch with him see:
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