Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bracken MacLeod talks WHITE KNIGHT

Once, he had imagined himself slaying dragons and making the monsters pay. But his armor was wearing thin as the women who drifted through his office haunted him with the same, hard-bought lie: "I want to drop the charges." Every bruised face and split lip reminded the prosecutor of the broken home he’d escaped. So when Marisol Pierce appeared with an image of her son and a hint that she was willing to take a step away from the man abusing her, he made a promise he couldn't keep.

A promise that could cost him everything.

Now, he's in a race against time to find the boy, save the damsel, and free himself from a dragon no one can leash before everything in his world is burned to cinders. This is his last chance to be a White Knight.

Some men only know how to do hard things the hard way.


Thursday, June 05, 2014

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Giveaway: THE ETERNAL NAZI

Thanks to publicist Wiley Saichek, I'm giving away two copies of a compelling true crime book. U.S. and Canadian residents, to enter email G_SO at YAHOO dot COM with the subject line "ETERNAL Giveaway". Entries valid Friday, March 28 through Monday, March 31. I will pick two winners at random on Tuesday, April 1. More about the book below and from Doubleday:

Dr. Aribert Heim worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for only a few months in 1941 but left a devastating mark. According to the testimony of survivors, Heim euthanized patients with injections of gasoline into their hearts. He performed surgeries on otherwise healthy people. Some recalled prisoners' skulls set out on his desk to display perfect sets of teeth. Yet in the chaos of the postwar period, Heim was able to slip away from his dark past and establish himself as a reputable doctor and family man in the resort town of Baden-Baden. His story might have ended there, but for certain rare Germans who were unwilling to let Nazi war criminals go unpunished, among them a police investigator named Alfred Aedtner. After Heim fled on a tip that he was about to be arrested, Aedtner turned finding him into an overriding obsession. His quest took him across Europe and across decades, and into a close alliance with legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. The hunt for Heim became a powerful symbol of Germany's evolving attitude toward the sins of its past, which finally crested in a desire to see justice done at almost any cost.

As late as 2009, the mystery of Heim’s disappearance remained unsolved. Now, in The Eternal Nazi, Nicholas Kulish and Souad Mekhennet reveal for the first time how Aribert Heim evaded capture--living in a working-class neighborhood of Cairo, his converting to Islam, becoming a beloved uncle to an adopted Muslim family--while inspiring a manhunt that outlived him by many years. It is a brilliant feat of historical detection that illuminates a nation’s dramatic reckoning with the crimes of the Holocaust.

Nicholas Kulish was the Berlin bureau chief for the New York Times from 2007 to 2013. He now reports from East Africa for the Times.

Souad Mekhennet is a journalist and reports for the Daily Beast, the Washington Post, and ZDF German television. She is an associate at Harvard and Johns Hopkins, and previously worked for the New York Times.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Christopher Irvin talks FEDERALES

Mexican Federal Agent Marcos Camarena dedicated his life to the job. But in a country where white knights die meaningless deaths, martyred in a hole with fifty other headless bodies in the desert, corruption is not an attribute but a scale; no longer a stigma but the status quo.

When Marcos's life is threatened, he leaves law enforcement and his life in Mexico City behind for a coastal resort town—until an old friend asks him to look after an outspoken politician, a woman who knows cartel violence all too well. Despite his best efforts, Marcos can’t find it in his heart to refuse, and soon finds himself isolated on the political front lines of the war on drugs.

Inspired by true events,
Federales is a story of survivors' compulsive devotion to a cause in the face of ever-darkening circumstances. Available in paperback and Kindle ebook from One Eye Press.

I interviewed Chris as part of his Federales blog tour.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The True History of THE KEPT GIRL and Esotouric Ink, a New L.A. Imprint Launched with a 17th Century Publishing Model by Kim Cooper

Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric's popular crime bus tours, including Pasadena Confidential and the Real Black Dahlia. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons of LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third-generation Angeleno isn't combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writers' homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves, and an oral history of the cult band Neutral Milk Hotel. The Kept Girl is her first novel.

Having reviewed
The Kept Girl last week, I'm pleased to welcome Kim back for a second blog tour stop:


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

THE KEPT GIRL by Kim Cooper

L.A. historian Kim Cooper's indie-published debut novel, The Kept Girl, is inspired by a sensational real-life Los Angeles cult murder spree which exploded into the public consciousness when fraud charges were filed against the cult's leaders in 1929.

The victim was the nephew of oil company president Joseph Dabney, Raymond Chandler's boss. In the novel, Chandler, still several years away from publishing his first short story, is one of three amateur detectives who uncover the ghastly truth about the Great Eleven cult over one frenetic week.

Informed by the author's extensive research into the literary, spiritual, criminal and architectural history of Southern California,
The Kept Girl is a terrifying noir love story, set against the backdrop of a glittering pre-crash metropolis.


The first chapter-and-a-half of The Kept Girl is written in first-person from Chandler's viewpoint as he's tasked with tracing $40,000 scammed from Joseph Dabney's nephew, Clifford. With no illusions of being a detective himself, Chandler enlists the help of his secretary and a cop friend, and the story splits into three third-person viewpoints: our three protagonists pursuing different angles of the investigation.

I forgave this narrative hiccup. If Cooper had spent all or most of the novel in Chandler's head, the resulting prose might have seemed an imitation of his eloquence or an attempt to romanticize him into Philip Marlowe. Instead, The Kept Girl's portrait of Chandler is realistic and sad, the action more driven by Chandler's secretary, who infiltrates the cult, and the cop friend, who handles the "hard business".

The Kept Girl is best read as a fun, what-if scenario. What if Chandler and friends had some part in exposing this real cult? Cooper's level of detail took me to the place and time to make that imaginative leap. I hope she continues writing fiction.


Kim's second blog tour stop at Chatterrific is a February 19 guest post about how she oversaw the book's publication.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

William Petrocelli, Bookseller and Author of THE CIRCLE OF THIRTEEN

William Petrocelli is co-owner, with his wife Elaine, of the Book Passage bookstores in Northern California. His books include Low Profile: How to Avoid the Privacy Invaders and Sexual Harassment on the Job: What it is and How to Stop It. He's a former Deputy Attorney General, a former poverty lawyer in Oakland, and a long-time advocate for women's rights. The Circle of Thirteen is his first novel.



How far do the ripples of violence go? The Circle of Thirteen begins with a mindless act of family violence in 2008 and spans seven decades, finally culminating in the desperate effort by Julia Moro, the U.N. Security Director, to stop a major act of terror. In this rich, textured thriller, Bill Petrocelli weaves the story around themes of poverty, political corruption, environmental disaster, and the backlash against the rising role of women.

In 2082, as a catastrophic explosion threatens to destroy the new United Nations building in New York, Julia Moro finds herself on the trail of the shadowy leader of Patria, a terrorist organization linked to bombing attempts and vicious attacks on women. One of those groups of women – the Women for Peace — was headed by thirteen bold women who risked their lives to achieve world peace and justice.

Weaving back and forth in time, this gripping narrative illuminates the unbreakable bond between strong women, providing an emotionally grounded window into the future’s unforgettable history. This is a thrilling ride that will mesmerize until the end.