Apr 242014



Cym Lowell was born in Montana to academics with a youth of traveling the world. To be polite, he was an undistinguished student, rewarded with assignment to the U.S. Navy at 18. After two years in Vietnam, college and law school were a challenge. Being a veteran in the political turbulence of the late 1960s and early 1970s taught humility. Raising three children in the Midwest and Texas brought love and responsibility. An international tax practice in the financial crises of the past 40 years provided insight into motivations of actors on the global stage. Friends, clients, adversaries, and colleagues, like victory and defeat, added color and context. The result is a thriller writer with a treasure trove of experience to frame compelling characters enmeshed in heart-thumping challenge about endearing people caught-up in events that one would never dream possible.
Connect with Cym at these sites:



In his newest novel, JASPAR’S WAR (Rosemary Beach Press; April 2014; $12.99), author Cym Lowell takes readers on a thrill ride to the most unexpected and dangerous of locales to uncover secrets that could bring down the U.S. government.

The recent economic collapse of the Western world is not as vague or nebulous as most of us think. It has been initiated by those with close ties to the sitting American president who have been rewarded by various governments for their stealth efforts. Now, with the capitalists’ own money they are preparing to take the economic attack to another level.

However, there’s one woman who can unravel their plans.

Set in Greenwich, Connecticut, JASPAR’S WAR is the compelling story of an American woman who lives a life of happiness, privilege, and wealth. Wall Street success preceded the president’s request that her husband, Trevor, become Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to rescue a failing global economy.

Now, Trevor has been murdered when the government jet he is travelling in crashes and her children kidnapped. She is told to be silent or else they will disappear like their father. Jaspar doesn’t know it, but she has evidence that can bring these people to justice. Yet, her own government is suspicious of her reasons, suspecting she may know more than she’s willing to tell. To save her children, she is on the run in Italy with an unlikely ally, and will go to the brink of hell and back, joining hands with assassins, traitors, and the devil himself, in a most terrifying and psychological cat and mouse game of intrigue and deception.

Hunted from all sides and unsure of who to trust, Jaspar races around the world in an attempt to stop a madman’s disastrous plans, reclaim her life, and find her children. With a host of characters caught up in thrilling circumstances, the storyline comes alive at breakneck speed as readers are taken on a wild and unexpected journey from the quiet backcountry of Greenwich, the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, the magnificence of the Eternal City of Rome and to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. With alarms sounding off around the world, hero and villain alike twist and turn in and around each other, encountering threats suspiciously similar to current world events.


Chapter 1

Greenwich, Connecticut


POCK!” The distinctive sound of a plastic bat driving a Wiffle ball into the outfield triggered shrieks from children as they ran and played. My ten-year-old daughter Chrissy dropped the bat and raced toward first base, actually a luminous orange Frisbee.

“Run, Chrissy,” I shouted as she rounded first, heading toward second. Auburn ponytails, woven with my fingers, flew in her wake. Theo, my twelve-year-old son, played shortstop. Chrissy watched his face.

“Go!” he telegraphed. I clasped my hands, hoping that she would not slide face first into base. Scratches and cuts were no deterrent when she was so focused.

It was Easter weekend, a time for relaxation and family in Greenwich, Connecticut. Neighbors, friends, and local dignitaries filled our park-like estate. We had room for a ball field where neighborhood kids could congregate. Private security personnel were out of sight.

It was an annual celebration of faith. Parents and grandparents sat all around, absorbing the beautiful sunshine and mild weather. They brought coolers of drinks, soda pop for the kids, beer and wine for the adults. It was my version of a neighborhood tailgate party. My dream of family and community had come true.

“Throw the ball,” the other team yelled as the outfielder cocked his arm.

“Down, Chrissy!” Theo yelled.

Their father had taught her to ignore the ball and watch the coach.

 “Your agility will always give you an edge,” he said.

Small thin legs churned as the ball was launched. I cringed watching her dive. Dust flew from the infield side of the base. The second baseman caught it just as the little fingers touched safety, and the catcher’s hand smacked her hip.

“Safe!” the father serving as umpire shouted, crossing outstretched arms in exclamation.

I jumped for joy. Theo stood back, pride on his face. Chrissy brushed grass and dirt from her bottom, beaming at her brother. She gave me a thumbs up. No blood. I was relieved. Taunts from the other boys about coddling his sister only amused her proud big brother.

Neighborhood kids enjoyed the afternoon Wiffle ball game on the lawn between our pool and tennis courts. I organized the games just as I had played them as a child. My dad called it “scrub.” As a player made an out, she would go to right field and the catcher moved up to bat in the prescribed rotation.

“Jaspar, when will Trevor get home?” my best friend Crystal Jamison asked about my husband. I took my seat, still reveling in the joy of observing my children care for each other. She sipped a glass of Sancerre, basking in the sun and relaxing in a rocking chair brought from the pool.

“Trevor is so good at teaching passing techniques,” she said watching her own son. “Joshua will be a senior this year, so he needs to make a strong showing for college scouts. Trevor is his hero.”

I remembered Trevor dropping back to pass on the sacred turf of Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, then stepping forward to deliver his trademark bullet to a receiver streaking across the goal line to seal a national championship. The memory was so strong. I longed for him to be back at my side. Before departing, he told me of his fear that his fabled career on Wall Street had been a fraud. Our conversation had to be completed.

POCK!” brought my attention back to the kids on the grass. They all raced to field the ball. Chrissy was on her way around third as the batter ran to first, the wobbly ball flying just over the head of Theo. He ran after it, looking over his shoulder at Chrissy racing toward the plate. Reaching the ball, he turned and launched a strike to the catcher, doing his best to nail her.

“Run Chrissy,” I yelled rising again. She jumped on home base in triumph as the floating ball was caught too late.

“Batter up,” Theo yelled as I returned to my seat.

“Trevor’s on his way home from London,” I answered my friend’s question.

Crystal and I first met when we came to New York after college. Her husband Raymond played football with Trevor at Notre Dame. They were quite a team. A fleet, sure-handed receiver, Raymond caught the passes that Trevor threw. Trevor’s career ended in a national championship game. Raymond came to New

York drafted by the Jets. Trevor took an entry position on Wall Street. I dated Raymond early in college before I met Trevor or he began dating Crystal. She and I were kids just off campus coming to the big city. Neither of us had any real preparation for the strange new world. We found jobs in finance, me at the Federal Reserve on Wall Street and Crystal in a research office of a secretive private equity firm owned by an Indian tribe. Similarity of situation and background facilitated fast friendship. Her drawl from rural Georgia complimented my odd mixture of Australian Outback and Northern Indiana twang. As our husbands succeeded, we searched for a place where we could live in relative obscurity. Greenwich was perfect. Our children grew up together, like the extended family of my dreams.

“He’s gone so much now,” Crystal responded. “You seemed excited when he went down there. Almost as if he were answering a call to duty.”

“He’s been seeking European agreement for the president’s stimulus plan.”

Trevor took to Wall Street. He began as a runner for energy traders and became fascinated with learning to anticipate market movements. His skill expanded in a master’s program at Columbia, propelling him to a position where he implemented a strategy to take advantage of an inconsistency in risk pricing. Successful exploitation brought us success.

Trevor’s firm, Westbury Madison & Co., became the pre-eminent Wall Street investment bank, profiting whether the economy flourished or crashed due to what Trevor believed was his own strategy. When the financial world crashed, President Hamilton Henrichs asked him to lead the effort to resurrect the economy of America and the world as secretary of the Treasury, a position once held by Alexander Hamilton. The financial press criticized the appointment. “Wolf Hired to Rebuild Hen House?” asked

headlines in the financial and popular press.

“I am proud of him,” I answered, anxiously twisting the everpresent bangles at my left wrist. They were gifts I’ve treasured from my Indian friends. “He works hard and travels constantly trying to plug holes in the economic dam of the world.”

Inside, far different feelings had germinated. Something was wrong. What happened to you, Trevor? He was distant, ignoring me in ways that I had never experienced. He seemed to avoid me. Is he having an affair? I wondered, fearing that a slowly ebbing sex life could be a marker of something more than job stress. Have I become less desirable or is there something troubling in his new life in Washington that he cannot find words to tell me?


“You seem distant, honey” I finally said as he was leaving days earlier. “Have I done something?”

“I know,” he answered, with an unusual tone of resignation in his voice. “It’s not you, sweetheart. Please don’t think that. I’m sorry. I’ve discovered treachery that you may be able to understand better than me. I need your help,” he blurted out, taking me in his arms with a grip that felt desperate.

“Is it something at Treasury?” I asked, relieved that his distance was due to business. But his distance troubled me. It was so unlike anything I had experienced in our life together.

“Yes, it’s there and also in the White House. It’s unbelievable,” he answered in a voice that trembled as his hands shook. “I’ve been used by people I trusted. It began at the firm.”

“At Westbury?”

“Yes. I’ve tried to piece the story together. We can discuss what to do when I return.”

My relief soon gave way to fear. Trevor was afraid; I had never seen that in him. Was my intrepid hero cracking?

* * *

“Hey Mom, come pitch,” Theo yelled as one player jumped into the pool. The scrub game was more fun with full teams in the field and at bat. The kids liked me to pitch because I threw softly. “Like a girl,” Theo would say, happy that he could always whack my pitch. His friends tried to throw curves or fastballs with the plastic sphere with holes on one side. I learned from my dad how to pitch so the ball hung right in Theo’s sweet spot. Of course, I did the same for all the kids; unfortunately I usually struck out as batter. My father was a missionary. After my mother died when I was just three he raised me. For many years we lived in the Australian Outback. When it was time for college, we moved to South Bend,

Indiana. I was the first member of my family to go to Notre Dame on a scholarship. Dad was proud. He lived long enough to express his pride. His greatest joy, he often said with breaking voice, was that I had grown as a woman of faith: “Your mother’s heart would burst with thankfulness.”

“Gotta go,” I responded to Crystal, touching her shoulder and grabbing my mitt. Theo was the next batter. I picked up the ball as I marked my territory around the luminous strip of plastic that served as the pitcher’s mound. Theo looked like pictures of my dad at the same age.

My son stepped to the plate, pointing the bat at me. “Gotcha, Mom!” he declared for the entire neighborhood to hear. I had to play the role. Glove on my knee, I leaned forward with the ball behind my back as if I were looking for a signal. I glanced at runners on base, then the batter.

“Strike the turkey out!” Crystal yelled.

“Yeah, yeah!” our friends echoed.

“Strike one!” the umpire shouted as Theo’s bat slapped the back of his shoulder, so intense was the swing.

“Mom?” his lips mimed, looking at me.

“Strike two!”

The words roused cheers from parents ringing the field. Beer and wine had flowed long enough to produce a boisterous mood. Adults always lost in these games, so the prospect of me striking out the best of the kids triggered excitement.

I gripped the Wiffle ball, knowing where to place my fingers for an underhand throw. It could be a screwball, twisting into the right-handed batter, as I had done on the first strike then reversed for the second. Or, I could push the ball with my knuckles, and it would drop as he was getting ready to swing. Theo’s focus was like his father’s. He looked straight into my eyes, curious. I was jolted back to the moment. In throwing strikes, I had allowed my anxiety to overcome Theo’s needs.

“POCK!” The sound rewarded me as the ball sailed over the head of the left fielder. Theo winked as he ran to first. It would be a home run. I had thrown his pitch. Maternal pride filled my soul.

“Yeah, Theo!” Chrissy yelled in a squeaky voice. He also leapt on home plate in triumphant exclamation, ending the game. My boy led them all to the pool with Chrissy at his side.

* * *

After the game, Crystal and I organized the food brought by our friends and neighbors. Fathers and older boys unloaded tables from a rental company trailer in our driveway, arranging them in a horseshoe around the pool so we could eat and talk.

 “Have you seen the kids?” I asked her when Theo and Chrissy seemed to have been absent for a long time.

“Oh, come on, calm down,” Crystal responded. “What could happen here?”

We joined our neighbors at a tent erected on the ball field. One of our traditions was to have entertainment as the late afternoon set, so the children would not be so impatient for darkness and the fireworks. I had arranged with the local Mohegan tribe to have a troupe perform traditional dance routines of celebration. Crystal and I worked for many years with the tribe. Our project was developing job opportunities, which had evolved into a business of creating replicas of art, apparel, and pottery from their rich cultural heritage. Our work was gratifying and successful. Members of the troupe mingled in the crowd entertaining the kids. On stage, each child was outfitted with handmade costumes complete with colorful feathers and leather trim. Tribal artists applied face and body paints to duplicate markings from the proud history of the Mohegan people. We were all lost in the magic. It became difficult to separate child from tribal dancer.

“This is amazing?” Raymond declared, enjoying the collage of color and laughter. His career with the Jets ended suddenly when a vicious cross block broke his ribs and punctured his heart muscle. He became a youth counselor in the Greenwich school system, close to home and family.

I searched the faces of dancers and children trying to find Theo and Chrissy, ignoring the conversation surrounding me. I had not seen either since the game ended. Always in the midst of the children, they should be playing and laughing. I tried not to panic, but was failing. When the exhibition was at an end, darkness began to envelop the scene. “Crystal, they’re not here!”

“Raymond, get the officers,” she directed, taking my arm.

“No child has left the grounds,” the head of security detail assured me, deploying his team to search. As the fireworks display began, the Greenwich police, as well as the Connecticut State Police began checking cars, trucks, and the equipment of the Mohegan troupe. No one was allowed to leave. Backup security teams arrived as the dark sky was illuminated by a kaleidoscope of color.

I barely heard the increasingly anxious discussions of friends and security people. Chrissy did not like chaos and always curled up in my lap at such times. “Where are you, sweetheart?” I asked pacing back and forth.

Neighbors were herded onto the driveway as officers checked each person. Police cars with emergency lights blocked the entrance to our property. Flashlights illuminated fence lines as the search broadened.

“Who delivered the tables?” the senior security officer asked, trying to confirm all who had come and gone.

“I, I, I don’t know,” I stammered, my mind not able to focus on even a simple question.

“Where are they officer? They can’t be hiding this long. They wouldn’t run off. Who would take them?” I asked.

“Ma’am, we’re trying to . . .”

“Mrs. Moran?” a man in a suit asked politely, interrupting the security officer’s response. In the midst of the chaos, a dark sedan had been allowed to enter the driveway.

I was drifting into shock.

“Mrs. Moran, I need to speak to you,” the man repeated gently taking my arm.

“Who are you?” the security officer asked.

“I am Peter McGuire with the FBI,” he said, holding out identification.

“What’s going on here?” he asked, looking at dozens of flashlights sweeping grounds and trees. Neighbors stood by the garages. The Indian troupe clustered by their vehicles.

“My children have disappeared,” I blurted out.

Crystal had called my priest, Father Michael O’Rourke. He was the priest in the rural Australia diocese of my childhood and my dad’s best friend. When I got to Notre Dame, Father Michael was there as a youth pastor. “I am your guardian angel,” he often declared. The image was an essential element of my faith. He had been present throughout my life. He came at the first hint of trouble or joy. Father Michael explained the situation as the security leader departed to check how the search was going.

Something passed over the FBI agent’s face. “Mrs. Moran, is there someplace we could speak in private?”

“Let’s go in the house,” Crystal suggested as she and Raymond led us inside.

We stepped in the front door. The FBI officer motioned for Crystal and Raymond to sit on either side of me on a sofa.

“May I get you anything, Mrs. Moran,” he asked.

“No, what is it?”

He knelt and took my hand. “Mrs. Moran, we regret to inform you that Secretary Moran’s plane en route from London has apparently crashed into the ocean near Iceland. Search planes are on their way. It will take several hours. The conditions are horrendous in the remote area where the plane disappeared.”

I barely heard the words. The rest of the evening was a blur. Friends took turns staying with me throughout the night. Father Michael was at my side when I awoke to the distinctive cathedral chime of my phone.

“Theo or Chrissy at last!” I said grabbing for a ray of hope.

“They must have gone to a friend’s house.”

The chime continued. My mind cleared enough to sit up, hold

Father’s hand, and look at the phone.

“It’s Trevor!” I blurted. His name was on the caller ID. My mind jumped to the conclusion that he was safe after all. “Thank God!”

“Honey, where are you?” I asked. He’ll take care of this.

Long moments elapsed in silence as I pressed the phone to one ear then the other. “Trevor? Honey?”

“A text message will arrive momentarily,” a mechanical voice enunciated slowly. It sounded as if the words were spoken from underwater. The connection terminated, leaving only a cold dial tone.

I looked at the phone.

“Jaspar, what is it?” Father asked, standing next to Crystal and Raymond. I looked up at each of them. Their eyes narrowed with questions. Anxiety blew through me like a chill Arctic wind.

“I . . . I don’t know. The caller ID said ‘Trevor Moran.’ Then there was this scary voice.” I startled when the chime for a text message sounded. My eyes riveted on the words:

Your children are gone because you asked about something not your business.

Your husband started to answer and is being digested by sharks.

If what he believed becomes public, your children will also become ocean shit.

Your silence is their only path to life.


Published by: Rosemary Beach Press
Publication Date: April 2014
Number of Pages: 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9914913-0-8



media muscleMLMLOGO

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Apr 232014




Sue William Silverman’s new memoir is The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. Her two other memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, which is also a Lifetime TV movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You,which won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book is Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir.  As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on The View, Anderson Cooper 360, and more.  She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Just Thought You Should Know:

Sue William Silverman is also the author the memoirs Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You and Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, which was made into a Lifetime Television original movie. She also wrote Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir and the poetry collection Hieroglyphics in Neon.
Connect with Sue at these sites:



Guest Post

Who Is That Masked Memoirist?

After my first memoir was published, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, I received e-mails from readers who wrote things like, “Sue, I feel like I know you.” I received similar e-mails after publishing Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction. Both memoirs frequently elicit this response – I feel like I know you – even as both books are very different.

With one, readers know who I am as a girl growing up in an incestuous family. With the other, readers know me as an edgy sex addict seeking yet struggling with recovery.
Of course, I’m enormously grateful for these e-mails: I had portrayed my self – or one aspect of myself – the way they perceived me.

Now, with my new memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, readers might see me as a Pat Boone groupie. Or, as a girl who wanted to be Christian growing up – wanting to be adopted by Pat Boone – because the very Christian pop star seemed safer than my Jewish father who abused me.
Isn’t that my goal, after all: to take the flesh and blood me and craft myself into a real, breathing person on the page?


But Who Is the Real Me?

While readers of each book might think they know me, how can they know the whole me? As I move from book to book, I wear different masks searching for identity – no, identities. Plural.

Who or which persona is the real me?

As a real person I “contain multitudes” (as Walt Whitman said); we all do. Until written, however, these various facets remain murky. It is only by writing, by carefully selecting relevant details, that I myself become fully able to understand these different aspects that suggest, but do not encompass, the whole person I am.

And, dear writer of memoir, this is the point: don’t limit yourself. Any given memoir is a slice of a life, not a whole life, because every life is multi-faceted. We are daughters, sons, teachers, hobbyists, extroverts, introverts, Democrats, Republicans, feminists, spouses, guitar players, shopaholics, marathon runners, gardeners, foodies, and much more. And each facet is worthy of your writerly attention!

A Core Self

But isn’t there still an essence of me? Of you? Some core? Something—some characteristic or trait that we simply are, that we can’t escape, that will show up in everything we write?
The answer is “yes.” And “no.” Let me explain.

After publishing the first two memoirs, I wanted to write from a more ironic, even humorous perspective. This dovetailed with a desire to explore my feelings toward Pat Boone, a Christian and politically conservative man so squeaky clean he hasn’t even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite the millions of records he’s sold. (In his hay-day, he often out-sold Elvis Presley.) Initially, I figured I could write about Pat Boone without mentioning my father: a sort of light-hearted, baby-boomer coming-of-age story.

That only worked in part.

After all, my feelings toward the wholesome Pat Boone arose in large part because of what happened with my father. I had to introduce that into the new book for context and motivation.

At its heart, the book revolves around three separate times I met Pat Boone and how, ultimately, he did see me in positive ways that my real father never did. In our last meeting, for example, and referring to my childhood, he said he saw me “as a flower growing up through concrete.” In other words, his image of me is that of how a father should see a daughter.

So did Pat Boone see me with my mask, or without it?

I think he saw me with a mask that revealed if not “the” whole, true me, then at least “a” true me – a “daughter,” a flower – who experiences the world through the filter of Pat Boone as an image of safety.

In the new book, additionally, there are other ways I depict myself, which are revealing masks as well: I’m a Jersey girl, a hippy, a temporary Israeli, a dissatisfied wife, and more.

What these masks have in common, in addition to their transparency, is how they form a mosaic of a self, of many different personas that comprise me. Don’t we all – over the course of a lifetime – become different “selves” looking for a common characteristic to tie them all together?

As writers of memoir we get to have our masks and wear them, too.

In short, there are masks that reveal, masks that conceal. What part of your life is a revealing mask? What underlying part of you, the whole person, does that illuminate?



Gentile reader, and you, Jews, come too. Follow Sue William Silverman, a one-woman cultural mash-up, on her exploration of identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?

Picking apricots on a kibbutz, tramping cross-country in a loathed Volkswagen camper, appearing in a made-for-television version of her own life: Silverman is a bobby-soxer, a baby boomer, a hippy, a lefty, and a rebel with something to say to those of us—most of us—still wondering what to make of ourselves.


Genre: Memoir
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Number of Pages: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 0803264852
ISBN-13: 978-0803264854






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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.


Apr 222014



Preston Lang is a freelance writer, living and working in New York City. The Carrier is his debut novel.
Connect with Preston at these sites:


Q&A with Preston Lang

Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Definitely. Anything curious that’s happened to me is going to find its way into the work eventually. And for crime fiction writers, the news is like a faucet for ideas—just turn it on and see what kind of foul, sediment-flecked liquid pours out.

Once I read something in the news that was nearly identical to what I was writing at the time—scams involving parrots. I had to change some details around so it wouldn’t seem so obviously pilfered. It ended up not making sense and I junked the whole thing.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

Sometimes the conclusion is clear from the start, but it doesn’t always work out that way. It’s much easier when it does.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My room is very cold in winter and very hot in summer. So either I’m wearing a fleece or my bathing costume.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
At this point I consider all of the various writings my fulltime job, but I do supplement my income with other work. I’ve taught math and symbolic logic, moved furniture, and played lounge piano. Feel free to contact me if any of those services are needed.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
I answer this question differently every time someone asks. There are so many right answers: James Cain, Herman Melville, George Eliot, Mindy Hung, Richard Stark.

What are you reading now?
Clean Break by Lionel White.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’m working on a few things right now. I’ve got an idea for a book about a man who fakes his own drowning. He’s pursued to Brazil by a suave but sketchy detective working for an insurance company, and by an even shadier Quebecoise working for a drug cartel.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Maybe I’d go old-timey with it: Barbara Stanwyck for Willow and Robert Donat for Cyril. I’m sure he could have pulled off the American accent.

Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Mostly keyboard, but if I’m out of the house I bring pen and paper.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Music. Pretty soon I’ll have a book about musicians who are up to no good.

Favorite meal?


A Debut Novel in the vein of Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiaasen and Laurence Shames

It’s a bad idea for a drug courier to pick up strange women in roadside bars. Cyril learns this lesson when the girl he brings back to his motel room points a gun at him.

But Willow isn’t the only one after the goods that Cyril’s been hired to pick up. A fast talking sex-offender and his oversized neighbor are also on the trail, as is Cyril’s sinister brother, Duane.

Willow and Cyril soon form an uneasy alliance based on necessity, lust, and the desire for a quick payday. But with so many dangerous players giving chase, will they nab their package?


Cyril hadn’t given another thought to the boy in the baseball hat. He assumed the kid had gone back to play pool with his friends or drink beer directly from the pitcher. Cyril turned to the bar and tried to read the scrambled captioning for Monday Night Football. The players hit each other too hard, so he decided to go back to his motel room. He was halfway to the door when the girl stopped him.

“Do you have a second?” she asked.

She was dark-haired with quick, vital eyes, and she had a voice—low and tangy.

“What’s on your mind?” asked Cyril.

“That frat boy and two of his brothers are waiting for you outside.”

“The frat boy?”

“I just thought you should know.”

“Thank you.”

They stood for a moment together, neither one ready to end the conversation.

“Why did you call him a fuck monkey?” the girl asked.

“He was acting… like a fuck monkey.”

“I’m sure you’re right, but what do you gain from pointing it out?”

“It may have been a mistake,” he said.

The frat boy had banged on the bar with a spoon and made two loud yips at a shampoo commercial on the TV screen. Cyril hadn’t raised his voice; he’d politely told the boy to stop acting like a fuck monkey. He thought the boy had taken his suggestion and that all was well.

“So what do you think I should do?” Cyril asked the girl.

“Well, if you really want to impress me, you’ll go out the front and kick all three of their asses with a really cool expression on your face. But if I were you I would probably go out the back way.”

“Where’s the back way?”

“You have to go through the kitchen. Just walk straight through. The dishwashers will probably yell at you; by that time you’ll be out the back door.”

“I’ve got a third option.”

“What’s that?”

“We could sit down and you could tell me your life’s story. By the time you’re done, the boys will probably have called it an evening.”

“Don’t you have somewhere to go?” she asked.

“Not really.”

“You were leaving.”

“I was just going to go back to my motel room, maybe watch TV, maybe steal some soap.”

“You shouldn’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“They find you and they make you pay.”

“Tell me more about this,” Cyril said, motioning to a table.

The girl sat facing the bar, and Cyril sat across from her. He had a view of the door in case angry frat boys charged in, tired of waiting out in the chilly Iowa night. She told him her name was Willow and that she wasn’t with anybody.

“Is there a college nearby?” asked Cyril.

“Graham College. It’s not exactly Princeton. If you can pay tuition, they’ll probably let you in… I go there.”

“What do you study?”

“I’m undeclared,” she said, “You know, I could have told you that Graham College is the best school in the country. Then you would have thought that I was a genius.”

“Well, I have met some of your classmates,” he said, gesturing out towards the open room.

“That’s true. Did you go to college?”

“I’ve taken a few pottery courses.”

Students drank with young energy and bounced around the room; townies sat at the bar and corner tables. Willow and Cyril drank slowly and talked about themselves for an hour.

“It’s getting late,” she said.

“You have an early class tomorrow?”

“You have a motel room?”


“I think that I would like to see it.”

“It’s about a 15 minute walk.”

“You didn’t bring a car?”

“I don’t drink and drive.”

“You’re a really good example.”

They had been walking almost a minute when they saw the Fuck Monkey approach with two of his frat brothers.

“Hey, you. Asshole, you,” he slurred his words, but he seemed reasonably steady on his feet. His brothers were bigger than he was. Cyril was average-sized and a few years older than an undergraduate.

“Go home,” said Willow to the boys.

“Okay, darlem. You just step back. I’m going to tear up your boyfriend here.”

“What’s darlem?” asked Cyril.

“I think he meant darling,” said Willow.

“I don’t need you to get hurt,” the boy said, still to Willow.

He stepped closer to Cyril. His brothers moved in a bit, but it looked like they were going to let the Monkey do what he could on his own before they stepped in. Cyril did a quick check of the two big guys, and the Monkey shoved him backwards.

“Come on, Les,” said one of the brothers, “Don’t play. Bring the warrior to him.”

“Warrior,” said the other brother in his deepest bass. It wasn’t clear that he respected Les.

Les came at Cyril with a big wild punch. Cyril stepped aside, and Les cursed and spun. Cyril grabbed a hold of Willow and tried to hurry her away, but the brothers blocked their path.

“Fight me,” cried Les.

“Look guys,” said Cyril, “This doesn’t make any sense. You’re all going to get thrown out of school. Think of—“ Suddenly the brothers began to edge away, holding up their hands and stepping backwards. Cyril watched, puzzled, and then he turned to see that Willow had drawn a gun.

“Go home,” she said.

“Bitch is crazy,” said a brother, but they had now turned and were leaving at a jog.

That left Les.

“Go home, Les,” said Willow.

Cyril was not without sympathy for Les’s evening: the unavenged insult, the traitorous brothers. Les’s eyes were drunk and scheming. He hadn’t given up yet.

“If he rushes you, don’t shoot him,” said Cyril.

“I might shoot him,” said Willow.

“Please, go home,” said Cyril.

“You don’t know who you’re messing with,” said Les.

“Do you understand that right now, she can shoot you and not go to jail for it?”

Les said nothing. The insane idea that had careened through his head seemed to have moved on.

“We’re going to walk away now. Please, don’t follow,” said Cyril.

And that’s what they did. Les slumped against the side of a building.

“Is it normal at your school for a coed to walk around with a handgun?” Cyril asked about five minutes later.

“A coed? What is that?

“A female college student?”

“Why is that a coed?”

“I guess when female college students were not all that common, the girls at coeducational schools were called coeds.”

“Well, that’s stupid. These days there’s a lot more girls than boys in school. They should call the boys coeds. Seriously, this place is like 70/30 girls. It’s horrible. And dicks like those guys can get women left and right, because what choice do we have?”

“And that’s why you carry a gun?”

“I’ve got a gun. I mean, aren’t you glad?”

“I suppose.”

“What were you going to do, make a little speech to the fraternity—You’re going to get in soooo much trouble.”

“There might have been more to my plan than that.”

“Well, I didn’t want to risk your pretty face.”

They kept walking, past the main business district and into the darker residential streets. Cyril’s motel was off a side road somewhere close by. He hoped he could find it in the dark, but everything looked very much alike. First he led Willow down the wrong street that ended at an empty lot.

“This is where you’re staying?” she asked.

“I think I’m on the next street.”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were leading me down a dark alley on purpose.”

“Why, so you could shoot me?”

Willow smiled. They found his motel, a cheap little two-story chain: the Firstway Inn. He led her to his door, and she watched calmly while he opened it and turned on the light. The room smelled flat and dusty, and only one of the three overhead light bulbs worked.

Willow jumped on Cyril, wrapping her legs around him, toppling him onto the bed. She kissed his face and his neck then worked inside his mouth, biting his inner lip. They tore off their clothes quickly and tumbled off the bed, fucking like they were the only humans left in a world full of zombies. It was a fantasy Willow had sometimes—there’s nothing else out there except mindless death, and we are probably infecting each other. Cyril seemed to get it.

She felt a little lost afterwards—a base note of pleasure under a single shot of panic. Jesus, she thought, I could fall for a guy like this. And then she put on her clothes. When she got to her shoes, Cyril sat up.

“Where are you going?”


Cyril started to get dressed.

“You don’t have to get dressed,” she said, “I just like to have clothes on.”

“That’s too bad.”

“Thank you.”

Willow put on her jacket, and then she pointed her gun at Cyril.

“I’m going to need all the money,” she said.


Genre: Crime Fiction
Published by: 280 Steps
Publication Date: March 2014
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 978-82-93326-18-2
Purchase Links: Coming Soon


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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Apr 182014



Cate currently lives in Tennessee with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County.  Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for 12 years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, three years later, I’m working on my seventh novel, Saving Sophie, and I’m an Amazon best selling author.  I’m very grateful for the support and success I have had.  – Cate “
Connect with Cate at these sites:



The Inspiration Behind Justice For Abby

Justice For Abby is one of my favorite stories in The Bodyguards of L.A. County series (Okay, they all are, but I really love Abby and Jerrod!). I truly enjoyed writing their adventure. Oftentimes I found myself caught up in Abby’s rollercoaster ride as she heals from her experiences as a survivor of the Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring. At times I cried with her, and at others, I laughed. She’s so strong and sweet, but she’s vulnerable and struggling. Enter Jerrod Quinn, the perfect man to provide her protection and help her overcome her ordeal in his own quiet way.

Although Abby’s story is one of fiction, sex trafficking is a very real crisis for millions of young women, men, and children all over the globe. My idea for this novel came after a night in front of the television watching crime television. A segment showcasing the mysterious disappearance of a young woman named Amy Bradley bothered me greatly. She vanished from a cruise ship in March of 1998 while vacationing with her family. Unfortunately, Amy has yet to be found, but she is believed to be alive, stuck in the horrific world of human sex trafficking. I immediately began my research into this very troubling epidemic and shortly after wrote Forever Alexa, the story of Abby’s sister dealing with the aftermath of Abby’s disappearance. My readers have requested Abby’s story, and I felt the need to share her experience.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Abby and Jerrod as much as I enjoyed writing these two fantastic characters.


The Unofficial Justice For Abby Soundtrack

Music always plays a huge part in my writing process.  With two boys and two dogs in the house, music helps me “get lost” in my story.  I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube and put together a playlist of songs that I feel represent the characters or the situations they face as the novel unfolds.  Here are a few of the songs that I had on “repeat” while I created Jerrod and Abby’s story!  You can listen to them on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Justice For Abby:

  • Applause by Lady Gaga
  • Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
  • She Is by Ben Rector
  • I Should Go by Levi Kreis
  • The Other Side by Jason Derulo
  • Why Don’t You Love Me? by Hot Chelle Rae ft. Demi Lovato
  • We Owned The Night by Lady Antebellum
  • Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw
  • Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol
  • Come Back by Pearl Jam
  • By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
  • Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift ft.Ed Sheeran



Nowhere to hide

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police.  The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn.  Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn.  Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

Read an excerpt

The black bag was ripped from her head, along with several strands of her hair. Abby blinked against the bold light of the naked bulbs hanging from the low ceiling. She glanced around the dingy space in shock as her gaze traveled from girl to girl—six young teens, dirty, bruised, and malnourished, staring up at her through bland eyes while they sat or lay on filthy mattresses on the dirt floor. “What—”

“In.” Victor shoved Abby into a small, windowless room, slamming the door, locking her in with a rusty scrape of something sliding against the heavy metal barrier.

She walked on shaky legs to the wooden chair in the corner and collapsed to the uncomfortable seat, clutching her arms around her waist, shivering as she bit hard on her bottom lip while tears rained down her cheeks. Where was she? What was this place? She shuddered, remembering six sets of listless eyes holding hers. Nothing good was happening here.

She covered her face with trembling hands and gave into her sobs, relieving the worst of her dread, wishing for nothing more than to be home with Lex and Livy. Thinking of her sister and niece, she forced away her tears, taking several deep breaths of stale air. If she wanted to see her family again she needed to pull herself together. She couldn’t get herself out of this—whatever this was—if she didn’t think. There had to be a way out. Her eyes darted around the barely lit space, searching for a weapon, another exit, anything.

The door opened, and she rushed to her feet as a tall, well-built man stood haloed in the beam of light from the room beyond. Abby blinked as he stepped forward. “Renzo?” She bolted from the corner and fell against her friend’s firm chest as a wave or relief flooded her. “Oh, thank god.”

His strong arms wrapped around her.

“I’m so glad you’re here. I don’t know what’s going on. I need help. Can you help me?”

“What happened?” He eased her back some, but she refused to release him from her grip.

“My family—we were on our way home from Virginia Beach. We stopped at a rest area, and two men grabbed me and brought me here.”

“You were with your sister and niece?”

“Yes, Alexa and Olivia. I think they’re okay, but I need to call and make sure. Will you get me out of here?”

“Of course.”

She could hardly believe she was leaving. “Thank you. Thank you.” She hugged Renzo again as tears of gratitude flowed free. “I knew this had to be some sort of mistake.”

“Come on, let’s get you home.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and walked with her to the door. “Oh, wait.” He stopped.


“I can’t let you go.”



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I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.