Friday, April 22, 2011

13 Questions for Christopher Hoare

Greetings everyone! This week Christopher Hoare is visiting with us. He lives with his wife, Shirley, and two shelter dogs, Coco and Emmie, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. After a working life mostly in some segment of the oil business he’s glad to return to Earth and write the kinds of stories that ground him and his readers in the humane rather than the exploitative side of life. The worlds he portrays in fiction are colored with memories of his oil exploration in the Libyan Desert, the Canadian Arctic, and the mountains and forests of Western Canada, but the emphasis is on the hopes and fears of the characters, rather than the success or failure of grand designs. He says that stories map the way our culture evaluates its motivation and direction; come and see Rast’s way.

Ksm: Chris, thank you for joining me today and answering these questions. It’s great to have you here. My readers are excited to learn more about you and your work. Congratulations on your contract with MuseItUp Publishing.

You know I have to ask this question first… when and why did you start writing?

Chris: Very early, the headmistress of my village school used to show off some story I wrote around the age of nine. I wouldn't call that the best of all possible launches, but my wish to write was probably engendered by my mother's love of reading. It was about nineteen years later that I sold my first writing -- some articles about living and working in the Libyan Desert to the owner-editor of a Tripoli English language weekly.

Then there was a bigger jump of thirty years to my first published novel. I suppose a good question would be why did I keep writing? Guess I'm just stubborn.

Ksm: Please tell us a little about your book.

Chris: Rast is high fantasy; a bit of romance; a bit of satire; plenty of trouble and action.

When the magic revolts to destroy the reigning Drogar, unleashing old enemies against Rast, a new danger lands upon the coast, an adventurer who scoffs at the thought of magic, Commander Antar. He comes to pillage Rast for the burning stone that can fuel his nation's iron furnaces, and to conquer the magic kingdom.

Prince Egon must tame his father’s deadly magic before he can withstand these assaults. His sweetheart, Jady, must ride alone to thwart the evil Deepning’s ascendance, released by the weakened Drogar. She also rides to confront the princess who must displace her, torn between duty and fury. Egon's poor spying makes him Antar’s prisoner and the invaders’ guide through the mountains, but it allows him to take their measure. Can the young peoples’ courage and magic repel the materialists from the sea?

Ksm: What inspired you to write this book and why did you choose to write this in the fantasy genre?

Chris: The idea of writing about a young man faced with a perilous future was prompted by Mervyn Peake's Gormanghast novels -- not that I'm a fan of them. I thought I could write a story with more reasons for Prince Egon to bemoan the fate ahead of him than Titus Groan could offer. I'm not a Gothic reader, so the fantasy canvas offered wider choices in plot and scenario.

Ksm: What research did you do for this book?

Chris: Most of Rast; scenery, terrain, and history came from my travels and experience in oil exploration. It was all in my head. I did need to learn about animal locomotion because I wanted the riding mounts of Rast to be six legged and the size of elephants. In fact, most animals in the world of Rast have either six or two legs, and feathers rather than fur or hair. That's the beauty of fantasy, you can create any marvels as long as they fit coherently into the story.

Ksm: They say that books choose their authors. How has writing this particular book affected you?

Chris: I wrote the first half in a very short time one summer, in a style otherwise foreign to me -- but that fit Rast -- and so different than my previous writing that it really did seem that Rast had chosen me. I couldn't get back to the novel until the following summer and then it was quite a challenge to find the same voice.

Ksm: What do you want readers to take from your writing? What do you want them to understand and why?

Chris: Rast turns a few fantasy expectations on their heads. Magic isn't an art to be learned, it is a dangerous force of nature that ultimately kills the sorcerer king who wields it. The materialist invaders are parodies of Western imperialists, while the simple folk of Rast are the 'helpless' savages they expect to conquer.

I hope readers won't be 'keeping score' on these aspects as they read, but by the close of the story will appreciate the contrarian version of our imperial past.

Ksm: Longhand or typing? Do you carry a notebook with you all the time?

Chris: Years ago I had to write longhand -- some 'magic' between the hand and the page, but it didn't take me long to find the word processor invaluable. I often write the first drafts in a once through rush, and the first edits are then to shift the sentences and paragraphs to where they make most sense in the text rather than where my speeding thoughts dropped them.
I rarely take notes. I found many years ago that if an idea in my head wasn't good enough to stay in my memory it probably wasn't good enough to go on the page.

Ksm: Do you consider yourself a full-time writer or do you have a day job? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Chris: I was always a part time writer, but now that I'm retired I work at one or more of the writer's tasks full time. More promotion things than new fiction at the moment, unfortunately. In five years? I hope to have a publicist who does all of this for me.

Ksm: Are you working on any new projects? Can you give us a short preview?

Chris: I'm polishing one more of my Iskander series novels with my local novel writers' group. Masquerade is another young Gisel story about a modern female security officer/spy on a 17th century world.  Here's a short excerpt:

Chapter Two

     When their carriage drew up in front of the Marsden mansion, Gisel peered out at the string of coloured lanterns draped across the portico and the gaily dressed crowd swirling to and fro under their light, greeting friends and entering the masked ball. Everyone – even the liveried footmen – wore masks, which scratched M’Tov’s plan that she would identify possible Imperial agents for him. The women all seemed to be dressed as shepherdesses or courtesans and the men were Greek gods, hoplites in short white fustanella, a kind of kilt, or philosophers in long robes. She fitted her radio earpiece into her right ear and pulled her jewelled ‘bandit’ mask down over her eyes. Wonder what they’re wearing under those kilts?
     M’Tov looked her way and muttered into his throat mic. “Do we have communication?”
     She raised her faux fan and answered into it. “Matah, loud and clear.”
     Hannan, sitting in the far corner of the carriage answered. “I read you, Colonel.”
     The older woman had been quite a surprise in costume. They’d both chosen to be courtesans but Hannan even looked the part. Her black hair, coiled up onto her head shone like a starling’s wing, and her decolletage threatened to reveal her navel if she leaned forward. Her SEALs had stared open-mouthed as she’d left the Hidden Creek crew quarters to enter the carriage. The full face ‘cat mask’ she manipulated in her left hand to offer teasing glimpses of identity added to the effect.
     Gisel felt embarrassed even with the uplift produced by a little padding Hannan had pushed into her bra. She wore her own dark hair unbound, down to her shoulders to hide the thin wire snaking to her earpiece. Her billowing gown was not new – the one she’d worn the year before at her audience with King Heri. Hope no one recognizes it.
     A blue-clad footman stepped to their carriage to open the door. M’Tov gestured for her to step out. “I’ll go last, so both lose yourselves in the crowd before anyone associates you with me.”
    He had a long toga-like costume with a laurel wreath about his balding head and a trident ready for his hand – a fair copy of the god Poseidon. Gisel rose and stepped over his legs to reach the door.
     As the footman handed her out she took a quick look around. The Lady Blanche had told her she would wait for her in the anteroom – which way was that? No time to stand around, she heard Hannan reach the carriage door behind her.
     Another footman approached her, this one dressed in lace edged jacket and breeches, long silk stockings revealing legs that many women might envy. Guess this guy could be a supervisor of sorts. “If you wish to follow me, my Lady. The entrance to the ballroom is this way.”
     She couldn’t stop her right hand pressing against the slit in her gown where her automatic was holstered. She felt the cool metal. Calm down, nothing will happen out here in plain view. She raised her fan to her lips as she followed the stranger toward the building. “Crockley – are you there?”
     “Up on the terrace steps, Ensign. I sees you an’ that feller.”
     Good going, Crockley: he remembered not to call her Missy. “Why is he dressed differently than the others? Do you know who he is?”
     “Nay, lass, but I’ll walk over toward ‘ee.”
     Hannan’s voice chimed in. “I’ll keep you in sight, Girl, but don’t act spooked.”
     Spooked? But her pulse was racing. Maybe this damned gown has given me away after all.
     The terrace doors swept open as two blue-clad footmen bowed them inside. Who the Hell is this man? The music and smells of perfume and food in the masquerade enveloped them as they entered. The orchestra played a chord to signal the next set and couples surged forward onto the multicoloured parquet of the ballroom for a courante.
     Her guide threaded his way through the crowd, his hand lightly resting on her arm. Not a footman after all, but why is he not in fancy dress?
     They arrived at a long table set at the side wall, covered with crystal bowls and platters of sweets and pastries, stacks of cut glass tumblers, and wine glasses with both red and white wine. “A refreshment, Lady?”
     “Yes, if you would. A sweet white if you please,” she answered absently. “If you were to remove your mask . . . would I know you?”
     His lips smiled as he picked up a glass to hand her. “You might, but we hardly spoke six words last year. I am an equerry to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. I saw you then, both at your audience with the King and at the hunting lodge.”
     She took the proffered glass and studied him over the rim as she took a sip. His appearance began to revive memories. “It’s Sir Lacey, is it not? My apologies for not recognizing you.”
     “A young lady can be forgiven for not remembering one courtier out of a hundred – while she herself imprinted on all the Court.” His eyes scanned her rather familiarly as he raised his own glass for a drink.

Ksm: What is the hardest thing for you as a writer?

Chris: I'm always behind with my networking; last one to join the publisher's chats that Muse is good at offering us for promotion. And, mostly lost in the stream of chatting by the time my answers appear. I've joined Twitter twice but never seem to find anything to tweet about. I guess I'm just tuned for more thoughtfully considered pieces -- not necessarily 90,000 words but snap answers and repartee are not my thing. Although I do like my characters to be good at all these things-- I wish Gisel was around sometimes to help out.

Ksm: Do you have any pearls of wisdom to pass on to aspiring writers?

Chris: Avoid 'hurry disease'. Never become carried-away-enthusiastic over a new piece of writing until you've studied it thoroughly -- if you're a writer you can always improve it. Don't submit it too soon. In fact, editors expect you not to.

Ksm: Can you tell us what your favorite pastime is? Other than writing, of course!

Chris: I've always been interested in history; the history of nations, of technology, of war, and of shipping. That's why my fiction is usually set in the past -- either real or invented. Today, with the internet I follow current events on world newspapers and magazines with an eye to their place in history; commenting on articles and blogs; and saving the most interesting posts for some future research I may do.

Ksm: If you could do anything you’d like, go anywhere in the world without time or money constraints, what would you do and why?

Chris: I'd visit all the real sites I write about, that often I've only seen on Google Earth. I'd do a historical ship tour, visiting all the recovered wrecks on display around the world. I'd like to have a military historian escort me to the scenes of historical conflicts and help me visualize the events. I'd like to visit more of the world sites where humanity rose a little farther above the mire -- I've done many in Europe and N. Africa; Athens, Giza, Stonehenge, Houses of Parliament, etc -- but there are whole continents more out there that wait.

Ksm: Thanks for joining us today. How can your fans find, follow and friend you? For his virtual book tour, Chris is giving away a copy of Rast to two lucky people . You can comment here or another blog and when the tour is over, he’ll choose the names out of all of the comments. Each time you comment is another chance to win!

Chris: I'm on Facebook at

My sig file lists the rest --

My fantasy, Rast, released by MuseItUp Publishing March 2011

Download a free copy of my Iskander series promo, Gisel Matah and the Slave Ship, from my website.

My Iskander series novels from Double Dragon -

Arrival, Deadly Enterprise, The Wildcat's Victory, The Wildcat's Burden

My Website

Iskander Blog

Rast blog

Photo credits: Cheryl Maladrinos

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thirteen Questions for Janet Glaser

Greetings, everyone. I’m excited to share Janet Glaser with you today on Boston DayDreaming.

She is an avid reader of diverse genres and photographer of family, (especially grandkids), friends, nature, and food that she prepares from her garden. She likes to try new recipes and share them on her blog, The Garden for Eatin.

Janet and her husband are snowbirds. They leave their northern home every fall and migrate to sunny Florida for the winter. She prefers to be called a sunbird because they are flying toward sunshine. Summer allows them fun family time camping with their grandsons (and granddaughter when she gets out of diapers). They enjoy campfires and fishing and especially hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with the boys.

Please welcome Janet Glaser, author of Sunshine Boulevard from MuseItUp Publishing.

ksm: Thank you for joining me today and answering these questions. It’s great to have you here. My readers are excited to learn more about you and your work. Congratulations on your contract with MuseItUp Publishing.

JQ: Thanks, Karen. I appreciate this opportunity to guest on Boston Daydreaming today and meet your readers.

ksm: You know I have to ask this, when and why did you start writing?

JQ: I started writing, like so many writers, in second grade at my public school. I had to do something to keep out of trouble---my mother was my second grade teacher…way before home schooling became an alternative. I believe the impetus to keep writing came when I was in seventh grade. My dear grandmother, Ma, took my handwritten “novel” and typed it up so it looked like a book. I was thrilled to see my words in this format instead of scrawled on the yellow-lined notepad.

ksm: Please tell me a little about your book.

JQ: Sunshine Boulevard is a mystery/light horror novella from Muse It Up Publishing. The story takes place in a Florida retirement community, Citrus Ridge Senior Golf and Resort Community. Someone or something is killing the senior residents on Sunshine Boulevard. Jim Hart, co-captain of the community’s volunteer first responders, is drawn into the investigation of the mysterious deaths. His friends are keeping shocking secrets which are revealed as a result of one of these inexplicable deaths. The story is a fun, quick, entertaining read. You can find the e-book at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore http:/ / ,, and major e-book stores online.

ksm: What inspired you to write this book and why did you choose to write this in the mystery/light horror genre?

JQ: We spend winters in Florida and meet lots of wonderful characters. Florida is known for having strange crimes and events happen, so it is a perfectly believable place for a quirky story like Sunshine Boulevard. I wrote this because I love reading mysteries and trying to pick up the clues to solving the who-dun-it. Sometimes I am right on and other times I am way off the mark. I love to discover a twist or surprise ending.

ksm: What research did you do for this book?

JQ: I did have to do some research for the book, but if I tell you what topics I studied, it would give away the ending!!!

ksm: They say that books choose their authors. How has writing this particular book affected you?

JQ: There are some scary spots in the book. After writing those scenes, it affected my sleep. I learned NOT to write before bedtime. Having a respected publisher like Muse It Up Publishing accept my story affirms that I am a storyteller. I am proud to be associated with MIU.

ksm: What do you want readers to take from your writing? What do you want them to understand and why?

JQ: I want them to escape into a different world. I want readers to put aside their every day life and make them smile or make their heart race with suspense. Since the book is about boomers and senior citizens, I think it is the perfect stage to present these folks as worthwhile, contributing members of our society. Just because people retire, it doesn’t mean they are brain dead or useless.

ksm: Longhand or typing? Do you carry a notebook with you all the time?

JQ: I am definitely a keyboard kind of gal all the way. I write poems long hand, but not pages of a story. I must admit my best creative time is in the shower, so no notebook. I think I have fantastic ideas just before I go to sleep. However, I doubt my husband would appreciate me switching on the light to write them down. I know I wouldn’t like it if he did that to me!

ksm: Do you consider yourself a full-time writer or do you have a day job? Where do you see yourself in five years?

JQ: I am not a full-time writer if you consider full-time as a 40 hours a week job. I enjoy writing several hours a day, but I fit it into a schedule that allows me plenty of time to spend with friends and family as well as reading and playing cards.

ksm: Are you working on any new projects? Can you give us a short preview?

JQ: I am working now on a mystery, but with a romance between a professional woman and a detective. I am also researching information about a brave woman who actually crossed the country in an automobile before there were roads. I think it will make a great story for girls.

ksm: What is the hardest thing for you as a writer?

JQ: The middle. Yes, I usually know the beginning and have an inkling of the ending, but making the middle of the story interesting is difficult. I just want to hurry up and get to the end. I think the middle is the most demanding for me to write in order to keep the reader’s interest.

ksm: Do you have any pearls of wisdom to pass on to aspiring writers?

JQ: No matter if you are learning how to ride a bike, play the piano, or hit a softball, you have to practice. It’s the same for writing. Write, write, write. That is the only way you will improve. I usually write a story, article, or even answers to interview questions, and then put the writing away for a few days or more. When I return, errors pop out at me. Odd sentence structure jolts me. Repeated words jump up at me. I think taking a break from your project gives you a chance to read it with fresh eyes. So write another project. Write, write, write.

ksm: Can you tell us what your favorite pastime is? (other than writing!)

JQ: I truly enjoy getting together with our friends for a very competitive, rousing game of Pegs and Jokers. It is a game similar to Sorry. We have all played it so much that we know the various strategies, so there are a lot of clever moves needed to finally get the last peg home. It is never the same game twice. I love the game so much I have a Squidoo site to teach others. I had a record number of hits over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s a privilege to share this fun game, sometimes called Social Security, with everyone.

ksm: Thanks, Janet. If you could do anything you’d like, go anywhere in the world without time or money constraints, what would you do and why?

JQ: In our forty years of marriage, my husband and I have taken trips to a lot of places including Europe, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. We traveled in our RV full-time for over eight years and saw most of the USA. I would still like to visit Nova Scotia and Alaska some day to see the beautiful scenery and meet the people of those areas.

ksm: Lovely interview, Janet. Thank you for joining us. How can fans find, follow and friend you?

JQ: It would be fun to hear from my fans at my JQ Rose blog

At Facebook J Q Rose,

Email me through the MuseItUp Author page for JQ Rose.

If you wish to purchase the ebook, it is available at the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore,, and major ebook stores.

An excerpt from Sunshine Boulevard is on my author website at

photo credits: Janet Glaser & MuseItUp Publishing

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thirteen Questions for Frank Scully

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Frank Scully, a MuseItUp Publishing author who writes excellent mystery novels.

Frank was born at the end of World War II and grew up in a small town in North Dakota. He remembers a time when radio provided the entertainment and then along came TV with very few channels. While in college getting his Bachelor’s degree in History and a Juris Doctor in Law, TV graduated to color and the first Star Trek series arrived, the Beetles landed on the Ed Sullivan Show, Kennedy was assassinated, and Armstrong walked on the moon. He served in the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate General Corps officer in the U.S., Vietnam and Thailand before getting his Masters in Business Administration from the Thunderbird School and embarking on a business career. Currently he is a Contracts Manager for a major aerospace and defense manufacturer.

Frank was always a voracious reader with a preference for mysteries and suspense novels. After many years of saying he would get around to writing a book someday, his wife decided that it was time for him to put up or shut up. Since that day, he has diligently worked at his writing until, finally, the first book, Resurrection Garden, has been published and others under contract are due out shortly.

ksm:  Frank, thank you for joining me today and answering these questions. It’s great to have you here. My readers are excited to learn more about you and your work. Congratulations on your contracts with MuseItUp Publishing.  You know I have to ask this, when and why did you start writing?

FJS:  I have been writing since I was in college. I had a professor that encouraged me. She said I had some talent. I was never able to actually do much more than dabble in fiction writing for my own pleasure for a long time. After graduating from college I served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After that I went on to get an MBA and began my professional career. It wasn’t until many years later that my wife finally got me to sit down and start writing a novel. That was almost twenty years ago. It has taken that long to polish my writing and get something published.

ksm: Please tell us a little about your book.

FJS:  Resurrection Garden is a mystery novel set against the backdrop of the settling of the North Dakota prairie at the turn of the 20th century. Railroads and the telegraph were changing transportation and communication. The pace of life was speeding up. The land was filling up with settlers. Opportunity grew out of the newly plowed ground. Deputy Sheriff Jake Turner, a man with a past he would like to leave behind, discovers the body of a murdered man in a thawing snowdrift. While investigating the roots of the crime, Jake uncovers threads leading toward his best friend, who is the brother of the woman he is falling love with. Jake is almost killed and an orphaned boy who has attached himself to Jake is kidnapped and almost killed. Jake is convinced the people behind the murder will kill again to cover their tracks but solving the crime might destroy his dreams. The characters and story are true to their time and place. Interwoven into the fictional are aspects of real life culled from newspapers and letters from the era.

ksm:  What inspired you to write this book and why did you choose to write this in the mystery/suspense genre?

FJS:  The idea behind the story came to me while I was driving through one of North Dakota’s harsh winter blizzards. The idea led to research which fed the story background.

Resurrection Garden is a part of my Decade Mystery Series. I am writing at least one novel set in each decade from the beginning of the 20th century to the current time set in different locales with both continuing and new characters in each one. There is something unique in each decade that marks it as separate from what went before or what follows. I shall explore aspects of what is unique as it is expressed in the locale chosen and how it affects the culture, characters and the tenor of the times and yet also see the common humanity that never changes. Resurrection Garden is unique among the books in the series in that it is set where my grandparents settled.

I write mystery/suspense novels simply because it is what I most enjoy reading. The genre incorporates a range of styles which allows an author a wide latitude for story telling.

ksm:  What research did you do for this book?

FJS:  I have photos, letters and other material from my grandparents and relatives that provided a wealth of information. I also used the local museum which was a tremendous resource of material from the early settlement days. The local newspaper has archives of the papers from the time that I read and many stories that were in the paper appear in the book in one form or another.

ksm: They say that books choose their authors. How has writing this particular book affected you?

FJS:  I thoroughly enjoyed writing the book. The time in which the story takes place is significant to me since my father was six years old at the time and my mother was just born. My grandparents were pioneers and settlers on the prairie. My paternal grandmother took out a homestead as soon as she was old enough and proved it up which required her to live on the land and make improvements. A hard life for an eighteen year old girl. She built a soddy the first year and plowed the land herself. She had a gun by the door for unwelcome visitors. I grew up with the stories and it was fun to bring some of them to life.

ksm:  What do you want readers to take from your writing? What do you want them to understand and why?

FJS:  I have no pretensions of literary greatness. I write for enjoyment, mine and the readers. I want the reader to come along for a ride, to have the story unfold in their mind and get them involved in the characters. To live alongside them as they go about their day, to feel the grit and grime, the fear and anxiety, and the joy and love also.

ksm: Longhand or typing? Do you carry a notebook with you all the time?

FJS:  I work on my computer now. When I first started way back when I wrote in longhand first and then typed it out on an old unpowered typewriter. Then I graduated to electric typewriters. The next step was dedicated word processors. When I got serious about writing twenty years ago I was using a word processor that was considered the latest and greatest. Today, the simplest laptop is so much better.

ksm:  Do you consider yourself a full-time writer or do you have a day job? Where do you see yourself in five years?

FJS:  I have a full time job that requires my full attention for 8 to 10 hours a day. Writing must take place on my time. In five years I will finally be retired and able to spend more time writing and getting my Decade Mystery Series written.

ksm:  Are you working on any new projects? Can you give us a short preview?

FJS:  I have another book coming out soon from MuseItUp called Dead Man’s Gambit. This is a story set in the 1990’s in California. Mike Johnson, former detective and current Assistant DA, has fallen into a comfortable rut, but the murder of a friend in prison is going to turn his life upside down, drag him into a deadly dangerous investigation of a brutal crime and rekindle his passion for justice.

Another book entitled Empty Time will be coming out shortly after that. Jim Lang is a corporate bureaucrat lost in empty time where life has little meaning beyond daily drudgery when he is set up to take the blame for international industrial espionage, stock fraud and murder. Pursued by the police and the killers, Lang must find a way to turn the tables on the corporate titans who betrayed him before they kill everyone he loves.

More follow these.

ksm:  What is the hardest thing for you as a writer?

FJS:  Finding enough time to write. With my full time job it is very difficult to get enough time to do all the writing I want to do.

ksm:  Do you have any pearls of wisdom to pass on to aspiring writers?

FJS:  Nothing new. The usual platitudes are true. Perseverance pays off. Don’t give up. Practice, practice, practice. Write, and then write some more. When you don’t write, read. Write because you like to write, not for the money.

ksm:  Can you tell us what your favorite pastime is? (other than writing!)

FJS:  I like to spend time in the yard and garden or take a long walk. When the weather does not permit this I read or play poker online.

ksm:  If you could do anything you’d like, go anywhere in the world without time or money constraints, what would you do and why?

FJS:  I would be hopping from one place to another. Although my work has enabled me to travel to many places in the world there are still so many more I would love to see and spend more time visiting. The Tuscany region in Italy is at the top of the list but so many more clamor for attention. New Zealand and Australia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, the Great Wall of China.

ksm:  Thank you for joining us here at Boston Daydreaming, Frank, and congratulations on your recent award from the Preditors and Editors Readers Polls! How can fans find, follow and friend you?

FJS:  Thanks for inviting me. It has been a pleasure.  My website is:  I have a blog there and all are invited to come and take a look and leave a comment.

Resurrection Garden

Jake Turner, a scarred veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, has been a lone drifter through much of the settling of the west. Opportunity was growing out of the newly turned sod of the North Dakota prairie in 1904 when he stopped to take a part time job as a Deputy Sheriff, expecting to move on again when the dark parts of his past catch up to him.

An investigation into a murder of a man hated by everyone has threads that lead to his best friend, Isaac. Jake is ambushed and almost killed, but is nursed back to health by Isaac. While Jake follows the clues into a labyrinth of hatred, sordid crimes and missing money he becomes attached to an eight year old orphaned boy named Andy and falls in love with Isaac’s sister, Alice. After being alone for so long with no hope or care for what tomorrow might bring, Jake finds it difficult to accept these new emotional attachments.

Jake believes in Justice, but before he had only his own life on the line. When Andy is kidnapped and almost killed, Jake knows the killers will do anything to stop him. In order to protect Alice and Andy, he must break their hearts and leave them and North Dakota behind.

Jake knows he’ll be back. So do the killers. Trap and counter trap are laid. Jake knows there will be graves. He just doesn’t know who will be in them.

Excerpt from Resurrection Garden:

The sheriff joined me in my contemplation of the body. It wasn’t pretty. Thor had never been handsome and the ravages of being frozen under the snow for the winter and having birds and other animals picking away at the skin as the snow thawed and exposed the body made what was left of him downright disgusting.

One thing was evident though. He hadn’t died easy. Freezing to death is relatively painless. Wander out in the cold, get lost, fall asleep and don’t wake up. That wasn’t what happened to Thor.

“What do you think? Shotgun, maybe?” the sheriff opined.

“At least,” I answered. The hole in his chest was big enough to put a fist through. “But why? He musta been dead already when he was shot.”

“Yeah, first someone beat him to a bloody pulp, then gutted him and slashed his throat. And then shot him. Ain’t that what you said, Doc.”

“Looks that way to me,” Doc answered. “Can’t tell you much more until he thaws out all the way.”

“Somebody wanted him deader than dead,” the sheriff shook his head.

“Takes some hate to do all that,” Doc commented. “Got any suspects?”

Doc and the sheriff both turned to face me.

I let out a deep sigh. “I suppose you want me to find out what happened to him.”

Also available at Amazon.

Photo credits: Frank Scully and MuseItUp Publishing