Erin Kelly: Stone Mothers Tuesday, Apr 30 2019 

Erin Kelly’s Stone Mothers bring a suspense thriller standalone to readers when the protagonist, Marianne Thackeray, must spent time in a flat in the renovated mental hospital near where she grew up.

With her mother in the throes of dementia and Marianne’s sister bearing the brunt of her care, Marianne has returned to the area on leave to help out. Her helpful husband doesn’t understand the history this place holds for her, when she and her boyfriend at the time were joined irrevocably by events that tie them together in an enormous secret that has affected her life ever since.

That secret revolves around a current member of the House of Lords member Helen Greenlaw. When Marianne’s history with Jesse and the secrets they hold threaten to rise to the surface, everything Marianne has built, from her life with her husband and her career, to her daughter, Honor, will be sacrificed. She can’t let that happen.

Working backwards in time to tell the story, Kelly hikes up the tension in a psychological thriller that becomes terrifying.

This is a multi-layered story, about darkness and how secrets can grip you in their thrall to allow the past to overshadow the present. The setting adds a gothic element that adds to this haunting novel that will have horrific consequences for more than one character. The themes of motherhood and what that means to different people, coupled with mental health issues revolved in different factions in the story.

Laura Kalpakian: The Great Pretenders Sunday, Apr 28 2019 


Laura Kalpakian brings 1950s Hollywood leaping off the page in The Great Pretenders.

It’s the time of the McCarthy hearings, and no one is more aware of the ramifications for Hollywood than gutsy Roxanne Granville, granddaughter of a studio mogul who decides to start her own writers agency after dropping out of college to be independent after the death of her beloved grandmother, who raised her in Paris.

After her studio-head grandfather gets her a job at an agency where the boss thinks sexually harrassing her is in her job description, Roxanne leaves to figure out her future.

Deciding to change the course of what she sees as overt racism, Roxanne uses front men to obtain scriptwriting jobs for men who’ve been ostracized for their beliefs. She also starts a relationship with an African-American journalist, Terrence Dexter.

Roxanne is determined to lead her own life. This will have devastating consequences for some of the people in her orbit. Dropping actor and studio names with aplomb, Roxanne rubs up against all of the people of the era, vividly bringing that time to life, when studios governed their actors and writers private lives or made them up; when gossip was king; and when a congressional hearing with the wrong answers could exile someone to Europe or Mexico.

A fascinating look at the Hollywood blacklist and racial prejudices of the time, filled with the glitzy stuff and lore of that storied town. Readers will revel in the behind-the-scenes gossip of Hollywood at the time, while the story brings to the forefront the way lives were destroyed unfairly and how mixed-race relationships were denied. It wasn’t really that long ago . . .

Shirley Rousseau Murphy: Cat Chase the Moon Friday, Apr 26 2019 

Readers know that any series that can stretch to its 21st installment must have a good following for a resason. Shirely Rousseau Murphy’s Cat Chase the Moon brings her Joe Grey cozies back with a new case that will involve the entire cat community, those that speak and those that don’t.

If you haven’t read a Joe Grey book yet, now’s the time to get acquainted with Joe and his partner, Dulcie, and their brood. Able to speak to several humans who keep their secret, Joe and Dulcie prowl around their town of Molina Point when their teenaged kitten Courtney goes missing. Stolen by Ulrich Seaver and ensconed in his pretty antique shop, Courtney doesn’t understand at first that her pampering days will soon lead to something far more dangerous. Soon the entire town in involved in a cat hunt for the pretty missing calico.

At the same time, a young woman is discovered in a shallow grave, left for dead. She’s rescued in time to be saved, and while under police protection, gives details of a theft ring that ties in to a family in town known for their spectacular domestic arguments. Unfortunately, a young girl is lost in the middle of these hostile parents who had managed to arouse angry feelings in their neighbors. But how far do their activites go beyond their own troubles?

Joe is the one who understands how these disparate threads are woven together as the humans investigate with a little help from their feline friends. Perfect reading for cat lovers, fans of Mandy Morton’s Hettie Bagshot series, or anyone looking for an inside look into the world of cats who can talk, framed in a cozy mystery from the author who has received eleven national Cat Writers’ Association medals for Best Novel of the Year.

Lexie Elliott: The Missing Years Tuesday, Apr 23 2019 


After last year’s explosive debut, The French Girl, Lexie Elliott returns with another strong psychological thriller that explores the ideas of shifting memories and truths in The Missing Years.

Meet Ailsa Calder, a producer of investigative journalism who’s inherited her family home, The Manse, set in the hills of the Scottish Highlands, a nicely gothic setting for the story she unfolds. When her mother dies, Ailsa finds her inheritence is her mother’s half of the home. With her father missing for decades, she must have him declared legally dead in Scotland to inherit his half of the creeky old place.

She brings her half sister, actress Carrie, with her as she sets up camp in the house and tries to figure out if she even wants the old home. Foreboding and far too large, she feels she will sell it at as soon as possible. But this is a chance for her and Carrie to spend time together, even if she feels, ridiculously so, that the house doens’t want her there.

Ailsa, traveling the world on assignment, has had a long-term relationship with an older reporter, and she’s unclear about their future together. Then strange things start to happen at The Manse, from threatening notes to dead animals turning up on her doorstep, and she’s uncertain she has a future at all.

The locals Ailsa meets and becomes involved with are distinctly drawn, and function to serve not only as steadying influences but also devil’s advocates of a kind, as Ailsa starts to have difficulty deciding what is real and what is her imagination. Does the house want her to leave, or to uncover its secrets? Who can she trust amongst her new cadre of friends?

With overtones of Gaslight, the tension rises as the mystery into her father’s past rises to the surface in a chilling climax.

This one will have readers flipping pages long after the lights should be out. Elliott owes Auntie M a night’s sleep! Highly recommended.

Louise Beech: Call Me Star Girl Sunday, Apr 21 2019 

Louise Beech is an author Auntie M had been wanting to read, so it was with great anticipation that she opened the pages of Call Me Star Girl–and she was not disappointed.

Stella McKeever is an unusual young woman. The book alternates between THEN and NOW, as her past story is spooled out in a chilling way that heightens the tension. Working in radio, Stella has decided to leave her show, and on her last night, she urges listeners to call in and share their secrets and she will share some of her own.

Stella’s secrets include her mother, Elizabeth, who walked out on Stella fourteen years ago, leaving the young girl in the care of a neighbor. Elizabeth is now back in her life, wanting to repair things. Stella’s never met her father; but she does know the scent of the perfume bottle her mother left with her that has become her talisman. Its star-shaped stopper brings good memories of Stella’s mother, memories Stella holds onto as her life takes an unexpected turn when she falls in love, hard, for Tom.

Then a young woman is found murdered in an alley. After, a man calls the station and tells Stella he knows who killed the pregant girl. Stella is determinined to get him to come forward to tell what he knows, despite the consequences. She dangles telling her own secrets to find out the truth. For Stella has been keeping a giant, horrific secret, one that will have a devastating effect.

A psychological thriller with a dark side to it, this complex story will have readers totally engrossed in Stella, her life and her secrets. Taut writing will keep readers flipping pages long after the lights should be out.

A. M. Peacock: Open Grave Thursday, Apr 18 2019 

Auntie M just finished reading A. M. Peacock’s debut serial killer thriller, Open Grave, which introduces DCI Jack Lambert. Having managed to hurt or offend pretty much everyone in his life, struggling with his own choices, Lambert is a workaholic who heads a team tasked with unraveling murders where two victims are buried and then dug up. Whether they two know each other is just one of the many items under investigation. In a realistic light, this isn’t the only case on the team’s plate. An effective start with a Newcastle setting to what promises to be a strong series, here’s Peacock’s story on is inspiration for the book. And Happy Birthday!

My inspiration for Open Grave:

Before I began writing Open Grave, my education consisted of a healthy obsession with reading crime fiction. A number of years ago, I discovered Stuart MacBride and read Cold Granite cover to cover in two days. From then on, I was hooked. I got the chance to see MacBride at a local library event, before he became a household name, and took the opportunity to pick his brains regarding the process of writing a book and how he came to be published.

In fact, this is a common thread in my journey to publication. A number of authors I admire have provided both inspiration and advice to me, whether this was due to a question at an event, or having the opportunity to meet them in another capacity. Authors such as Mari Hannah, Tess Gerritsen and Ann Cleeves all contributed to my own journey to publication in different ways.

Like most writers, I also write short fiction, and I have been published on multiple occasions. Before migrating onto writing longer fiction, this gave me confidence in my ability to pen something worthwhile. Also, like most writers, I wrote a very ‘autobiographical’ 70k word novel that is currently sitting in a drawer never to be read again. Once this was out of my system, and the stabilisers had been removed, it felt natural for me to delve into the world of crime.

I am constantly inspired by a number of other writers. Other than those highlighted above, I absolutely adore books by Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Lee Child and Dennis Lehane. I think the ability to create characters that you care about, with interesting crimes and a strong sense of environment, is the key to good crime writing. The authors I mention above all do this.

It’s no coincidence that my novel is set in the bleak Newcastle winter. Granted, we don’t get much sun in the North East of England anyway, but there is something much more atmospheric about a cold, grey, miserable setting, than a sunny jaunt by the seaside in my hometown of South Shields.

With regards to my main character, I was keen to bring Jack Lambert to life by giving him an interesting back story, one which would impact on everything he does. Jack, the hero of the book, is one of the only gay male detectives I can think of. When Open Grave begins, we see that he has only recently admitted this to the people around him. Because of this, we see a tension amongst those who know him and within Jack himself. He also comes from a troubled background, with links to a local gang.

This may or may not impact heavily on the story as things progress…

Open Grave, the first in the DCI Jack Lambert series, is available now in paperback, audiobook and ebook, via Amazon and other book retailers. As for book two, it’s just about done, so watch this space…

A.M. Peacock grew up in the North East of England before leaving to study for a degree in music technology at the University of Hull. A subsequent return to his hometown of South Shields saw him spend seven years as a teacher in a local college before changing careers to become a trade union official.

Having always been an avid reader, he took to writing after being encouraged to do so by his PGCE tutor. He has since gone on to produce a number of short stories, winning the Writers’ Forum Magazine competition on two occasions, as well as producing articles for both the local press and a university magazine.

A.M. Peacock is passionate about crime fiction and his debut novel, Open Grave, is the first in what will become a series of books featuring Newcastle-based detective, DCI Jack Lambert.

Away from writing, A.M. Peacock enjoys watching films, playing guitar and can often be found pavement pounding in preparation for the odd half marathon.

A.M. Peacock can be found on Twitter at @ampeacockwriter.

Max Allan Collins: Girl Most Likely Tuesday, Apr 16 2019 

Max Allan Collins takes on a Midwest high school reunion in Girl Most Likely, a thriller where no one is who they seem to be, except perhaps Krista Larson, Galena, Illinois police chief.

Known as the youngest female chief in the country, Krista is merely following in the footsteps of her father, a rencetly retired homicide detective. This is a scenic area, filled with tourists at times, a place where the crime rate is refreshingly low.

That is, until this reunion, where the young woman voted “Girl Most Likely to Succeed” returns to flaunt her career as a TV news anchor and investigative reporter. Astrid Lund has left many hearts broken in her wake, and friends who she’s left in the dust. Krista has just broken up with her boyfriend, and takes her father to the main event, held at a lodge where many of those from out of town are staying, thanks to yet another classmate.

Several teachers show up at the reunion, and there’s the usual rash of broken romances and gossip to talk about. Then Astrid is found dead and the page-turner takes off, but will her death be the last?

Instead of partying with her classmates, Krista slips into her chief’s role and begin the arduous task of flushing out the killer. To help her with this, she enlists the best detective she knows—her father–as a pro bono consultant. With a department as small as Galena’s, she needs all the expertise she can muster, while hoping to avoid calling in state authorities. While Keith Larson finds himself traveling Chicago and getting involved in a mob subplot (remember, this is fiction!) he adds a nice counterpoint to Krista’s moves back in Galena.

With a death of another student found in Florida tied into one in Galena,Krista looks for connections. Although this is her first homicide investigation,she forms a plan and runs a tight investigation with her small crew, Tinterviewing everyone who attended the reunion. Krista chooses her “favorites” to interrogate herself, those she deems more suspicious than the others, based on their shared history and her own knowledge. There will be several friends she upsets as she pursues a killer, those not used to Krista in her role as chief.

Part police procedural, part mystery, there’s enough here in terms of character and setting for Krista and her dad to form a detecting team for a series, if Collins is so inclined.

Diane Les Becquets: The Last Woman in the Forest Wednesday, Apr 10 2019 


Author Les Becquets calls on her love of nature, coupled with a a string of real-life murders, and brings the experience of her own horrific assault to meld The Last Woman in the Forest into a consuming and deliberate high tension thriller.

Loner Marian Engstrom loves working with rescue dogs to help her track endangered wildlife amidst conservation efforts from the oil industry. A personal tragedy in northern Alberta has her questioning everything she once believed about the man she loved, Tate, and puts Marian on a quest to find the still-open serial killer of at least four women.

There are scenes of breath-takiing beauty and wilderness survival as Marian enlists the help of a retired forensic profiler, Nick Shepherd, to help her reach the truth–could the man she loved have been a serial killer?

With victim reports interspersed throughout, this character-driven thriller moves around timelines. Getting inside the head of a serial killer is done well, and as the two investigate, every time Marian thinks she’s uncovered something that points to Tate’s innocence, another clue points to his guilt.

With a startling climax, this is one that will keep readers wondering until its climax. The result is that women must take their own instincts into account, perhaps more than they are trained to do. A suspenseful thriller that will grip readers.

Timothy Jay Smith: The Fourth Courier Wednesday, Apr 3 2019 


Auntie M recently had the pleasure of interviewing Timothy Jay Smith about his new thriller, The Fourth Courier. Having lived in Warsaw in the early 90’s, Smith witnessed the upheaval of that time, and his experience brings a clear eye to the time. Don’t miss the video at after the interview, where you can see the town and listen to Smith explaining his premise. Welcome Timothy!

Auntie M: Your new novel, The Fourth Courier, is set in Poland. Tell readers what it’s about:

Timothy Jay Smith: The Fourth Courier opens in the spring of 1992, only four months after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A series of grisly murders in Warsaw suddenly becomes an international concern when radiation is detected on the third victim’s hands, raising fears that all the victims might have smuggled nuclear material out of Russia.

Poland’s new Solidarity government asks for help and the FBI sends Special Agent Jay Porter to assist in the investigation. He teams up with a gay CIA agent. When they learn that a Russian physicist who designed a portable atomic bomb is missing, the race is on to find him and the bomb before it ends up in the wrong hands.

My novels have been called literary thrillers because I use an event or threat to examine what the situation means to ordinary people. In The Fourth Courier, Jay becomes intimately involved with a Polish family, giving the reader a chance to see how the Poles coped with their collective hangover from the communist era.

AM: What prompted this particular story?

TJS: The Fourth Courier goes back a long way for me. In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and Solidarity won the first free election in Poland in over sixty years. In the same year, Mikhail Gorbachav introduced new cooperative laws in the Soviet Union, which was an area of my expertise. I was invited to the Soviet Union as a consultant, which led to my consulting throughout the former Soviet bloc, eventually living for two years in Poland.

At the time, there was a lot of smuggling across the border between Russia and Poland, giving rise to fears that nuclear material, too, might be slipping across. While on assignment in Latvia, I met with a very unhappy decommissioned Soviet general, who completely misunderstood my purpose for being there. When an official meeting concluded, he suggested we go for a walk where we could talk without being overheard.

I followed him deep into a forest. I couldn’t imagine what he wanted. Finally we stopped, and he said, “I can get you anything you want.” I must have looked puzzled because he added, “Atomic.”

Then I understood. In an earlier conversation, there had been some passing remarks about the Soviets’ nuclear arsenal in Latvia, for which he had had some responsibility, and apparently still some access. While my real purpose for being there was to design a volunteer program for business specialists, he assumed that was a front and I was really a spy. Or perhaps he thought, I really did want to buy an atomic bomb!

AM: Have you always been a writer?

TJS: In the sense of enjoying to write, yes. I actually wrote my first stage play in fourth grade and started a novel in sixth grade, but I didn’t become a full-time fiction writer until twenty years ago. The first half of my adult life I spent working on projects to help low income people all over the world. I always enjoyed the writing aspects of my work—reports, proposals, even two credit manuals—but I reached a point where I’d accomplished my career goals, I was only forty-six years old, and I had a story I wanted to tell.

AM: And what was the story?

TJS: For over two years, I managed the U.S. Government’s first significant project to assist Palestinians following the 1993 Oslo Accords. One thing I learned was that everyone needed to be at the negotiating table to achieve an enduring peace. So I wrote a story of reconciliation—A Vision of Angels—that weaves together the lives of four characters and their families.

If anybody had ever hoped that a book might change the world, I did. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to bring about peace in the Middle East, but I’ve continued writing nevertheless.

AM: The Fourth Courier has a strong sense of place. It’s obvious that you know Warsaw well. Other than living there, what special research did you do?

Warsaw is a city with a very distinctive character. It’s always atmospheric, verging on gloomy in winter, and the perfect location for a noir-ish thriller.

I had left Warsaw several years before I decided to write a novel set there, so I went back to refresh my memory. I looked at it entirely differently. What worked dramatically? Where would I set scenes in my story?

It was on that research trip when all the events along the Vistula River came together for me. There was a houseboat. There was Billy’s shack, and Billy himself whose “jaundiced features appeared pinched from a rotting apple.” There were sandbars reached by narrow concrete jetties and a derelict white building with a sign simply saying Nightclub. Fortunately, Billy’s dogs were tethered or I wouldn’t be here to answer your questions.

My main character is an FBI agent, and I didn’t know much about that. A friend, who was an assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno, arranged a private tour of the FBI’s training facility in Quantico. That was before 9/11. I don’t think that could be done now. Maybe for James Bond himself but not for a wannabe writer.

If I was going to write a novel about smuggling a portable atomic bomb, I needed to know what a bomb entailed. Weight, seize, basic design, fuel? How would a miniature bomb be detonated? So I blindly contacted the Department of Energy. I explained what I wanted and was soon connected to an atomic expert who agreed to meet with me.

We met on the weekend at a Starbucks-like coffee shop in Rockville, MD. We met in line and were already talking about atomic bombs before we ordered our coffees. He had brought basic drawings of them. He was an expert and eager to share his knowledge.

Can you imagine having that conversation in a café today, openly looking at how-to schematics for building an atomic bomb while sipping skinny lattés?

AM: No, actually, I can’t! Today you’d probably be on the NSA’s radar just by making those calls. You’ve mentioned ‘scenes’ a couple of times. I know you also write screenplays. Do you find it difficult to go between the different formats or styles?

TJS: The sense of scene is crucial to my writing. It’s how I think about a story. Before I start new work, I always have the opening and closing scenes in my head, and then I ask myself what scenes do I need to get from start to finish.

I think it comes from growing up in a house where the television was never turned off. My sisters and I were even allowed to watch TV while doing homework if we kept our grades up. Sometimes I joke that canned laughter was the soundtrack of my childhood. I haven’t owned a television for many years, but growing up with it exposed me to telling stories in scenes, and it’s why my readers often say they can see my stories as they read them.

For me, it’s not difficult to go between prose and screenplays. In fact, I use the process of adapting a novel to a screenplay as an editing tool for the novel. It helps me sharpen the dialogue and tighten the story.

AM: I can see that and have a similar way of writing, visualizing the story in scenes. In your bio, you mention traveling the world to find your characters and stories, and doing things like smuggling out plays from behind the Iron Curtain. Was it all as exciting as it sounds?

TJS: It was only one play, and yes, I confess to having an exciting life. I’ve done some crazy things, too, and occasionally managed to put myself in dangerous situations. Frankly, when I recall some of the things I’ve done, I scare myself! By comparison, smuggling a play out of Czechoslovakia in 1974 seems tame. But I’ve always had a travel bug and wanted to go almost everywhere, so I took some chances, often traveled alone, and went to places where I could have been made to disappear without a trace.

AM: It sounds like you have a whole library full of books you could write. How do you decide what story to tell and who will be your characters?

TJS: I came of age in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, so I developed a strong sense of social justice. That guided my career choice more than anything, and when I quit working to write full-time, it was natural that I wanted my books to reflect my concerns. Not in a “big message” way, but more in terms of raising awareness about things that concern me.

For example, take Cooper’s Promise, my novel about a gay deserter from the war in Iraq who ends up adrift in a fictional African country. It was 2003, and in a few days, I was headed to Antwerp to research blood diamonds for a new novel. I was running errands when NPR’s Neal Conan (Talk of the Nation) came on the radio with an interview with National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb about a project on modern-day slavery. It was the first time I heard details about human trafficking, and was so shocked by its enormity that I pulled my car off the road to listen.

I decided on the spot that I needed to find a story that touched on both blood diamonds and trafficking. When I went to Antwerp a few days later, I visited the Diamond District as planned, but also visited a safe house for women who had been rescued from traffickers.

AM: In The Fourth Courier, you team up a white straight FBI agent with a black gay CIA agent. Even Publishers Weekly commented that it seemed like an ideal set-up for a sequel. Do you plan to write one?

TJS: Probably not. My to-be-written list is already too long.

I’m close to finishing the final edits on a book set in Greek island village, which is more of a mystery about an arsonist than a thriller. I’ve already started a new novel set in Istanbul about a young refugee who’s recruited by the CIA to go deep undercover with ISIS. I’ve never written a novel set in the States but I have the idea for one.

To date, my books have been stand-alones with totally different settings, characters, and plots. I try to write what I like to read: smart mysteries/thrillers with strong plots and colorful characters set in interesting places. I suppose like me, I want my stories to travel around and meet new people.

AM: You’ve had gay protagonists or important characters since your first novel over twenty years ago when gay literature had not yet become mainstream. How would you say that affected your choices as a writer, if it did?

TJS: Friends warned me that I shouldn’t become known as a gay writer because it would pigeonhole me and sideline me from consideration as a serious writer. At the time, I think the general public thought gay books were all about sex and more sex. Of course, already there were many emerging gay literary writers; it was more stigma than reality.

The world of thrillers and mysteries is still largely uninhabited by gays. Hopefully I am helping to change that. I also hope that my novels expand my readers’ understanding of homosexuality in the places where I set them. In The Fourth Courier, the gay angle is key to solving the case. In my other novels, too, the plot turns on something gay, and the way it does is always something that couldn’t have happened in the same way anywhere else because of the cultural context.

AN: What do you want your readers to take away with The Fourth Courier?

TJS: What motivated me to write The Fourth Courier was a desire to portray what happened to ordinary Polish families at an exciting albeit unsettling moment in their country’s history. I hope my readers like my characters as much as I do—at least the good guys. The people are what made Poland such a great experience. The Fourth Courier is my thank-you note to them.

AM: Now that your interest is on high alert, here’s a link to purchase the book:

AM: And now as promised, here’s Timothy in Warsaw:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr4DNhjeXRU&t=1s.

Thomas A Burns, Jr: Trafficked! Monday, Apr 1 2019 

I am Thomas A. Burns, Jr., author of the Natalie McMasters Mysteries. I want to thank M. K. Graff for graciously allowing me a guest post on her blog on the day that my third Natalie McMasters novel, Trafficked!, goes live on Amazon. She also served as a member of the Trafficked! book launch team.

Who is Natalie McMasters?

Natalie McMasters is a detective for the new millennium. As Trafficked! opens, she’s twenty-one, short and blonde (OK, it’s bleached), a way cute former stripper and a pre-law student on a leave of absence from State University. Nattie also moonlights as a private detective trainee at her uncle’s 3M detective agency. The stories are written in her voice in the present tense, to heighten the immediacy of the narrative and put the reader into her head so they can experience the story right along with her. If you don’t watch out, Nattie will get in your head!

Nattie was introduced in the short story, Stakeout!, which you can read for free. I published the first novel, Stripper!, in April,2018, followed by Revenge! in October. While the novels are chronological, enough background is given so each one can be enjoyed as a standalone.

In Stripper!, Nattie enters the seamy world of web cams and strip clubs to hunt a killer. Her investigation forces her to reassess many of the ideas that she’s lived by her whole life and do things she’s never considered before – strip on a stage, question her sexuality, and rediscover the meaning of love itself.

Revenge! is a sequel to Stripper! A scandalous video of Nattie from her web cam days is posted on the State campus CCTV system for all to see, and is just the first in a series of vicious attacks on Nattie, her family and her friends. What could she have possibly done to someone in her short life to deserve the callous revenge her unseen tormentor is so brutally exacting?

Trafficked! is the sequel to Revenge! and tells of Nattie’s search through New York City’s squalid sexworld for the most important person in her life, who doesn’t want to be found.

The investigation of the mystery is only one aspect of the story told in Trafficked! Additionally, it’s my personal homage to New York City, where I spent four years of my life as a high school student.

Trafficked! is also about love, sexuality and relationships, the importance of friends and family, and sheds light on serious social issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, and human trafficking. Parts of it are dark and gritty, and may be disturbing to some readers. The Natalie McMasters books are not cozy mysteries!

I already have a working title and a plot for a fourth novel, which I hope to have out by the end of 2019. It will resolve some of Nattie’s life issues resulting from the events in Trafficked!, and have a gothic setting.

I was born and grew up in New Jersey, attended Xavier High School in Manhattan, earned B.S. degrees in Zoology and Microbiology at Michigan State University, and a M.S. in Microbiology at North Carolina State University. I currently live in Wendell, North Carolina with my wife Terri, my younger son Taidhgin, four cats and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

As a kid, I started reading mysteries with the Hardy Boys, Ken Holt and Rick Brant, and graduated to the classic stories by authors such as A. Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Erle Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout, to name a few. I’ve written fiction as a hobby all my life, starting with Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories in marble-backed copybooks in grade school. I built a career as technical, science and medical writer and editor, working nearly thirty years in industry and government.

Now that I’m truly on my own as a full-time novelist, I’m excited to publish my own mystery series. I’ve also got a story about my second most favorite detective in Volume XIV of the MX anthology of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, entitled “The Horror in King Street,” coming out in June.

You can learn more about Nattie by signing up for my newsletter on my website, and follow me on BookBub, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

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