Guest Author JOHN LANSING showcase & giveaway

Today I have the pleasure and distinct honor to introduce you to today’s guest as he begins his VBT with Partners In Crime Tours.  I ask for your help in welcoming Mr. John Lansing to CMash Reads.  Welcome John Lansing!!!


John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. “The Devil’s Necktie” is his first novel.
Connect with John at these sites:

John will be appearing, today, on Suspense Blog Talk Radio, 10am PST/1pm EST.  Tune in here.

Q&A with John Lansing

Many thanks to Cheryl Masciarelli for hosting me on her blog.

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
I borrow liberally from my personal experience, the local news, books, magazines, things I overheard in a diner or bar, and occasionally, my own creative juices.

I’m a big proponent of writing what you know. That’s why my retired Inspector, Jack Bertolino, moved from NYC, to Marina del Rey, California. I can bring a sense of realism to his environment and surroundings because it’s the move I made, and the Marina is where I live.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
When my partner and I wrote a television episode or MOW, or feature film, we always had a concise outline in hand. You needed a strong map because there were times writing network television that you had to knock out a script in a week. There wasn’t time for changes, because of production constraints.

The Devil’s Necktie is my first novel. And for the first time in my career, I was flying without a net. No outline. I started with a simple premise – one night of passion for retired Inspector Jack Bertolino sends him on a deadly collision course with his past – and I let it fly.

I ultimately had a powerful beginning in mind that would propel me forward, and that informed what had to occur by the end of the book. But for the life of me, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there. It was a total exercise in trust. Not for the faint of heart. Your readers can tell me if it worked out.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
When I’m knee deep in a first draft it’s a 24/7 experience. It’s impossible for me to shut if off at the end of the day. I go to bed trying to problem solve and wake up in the middle of the night worrying it, and jump out of bed in the morning with the answer, or least an approach that might lead me to the answer.

Then I sit down at the computer for an hour or two, walk the dog, eat some breakfast, and get back in the trenches, reworking my first ideas of the day. Then it’s off into unchartered territory.

I just keep cranking it out the same way, every day, until I’m finished. I’m very goal oriented and can’t really relax until,  “I have written.”

Is writing your full time job?
Yes it is. I’m very fortunate to be able to dedicate myself to my projects on a full time basis. I spent many years working in television to be able to afford myself that luxury.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
It’s a lengthy list, but here goes. Walter Mosley, Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Robert Crais, John Sandford, Lee Child, T. Jefferson Parker, Susan Grafton, and James Lee Burke, in no particular order. If these men and women are releasing a book, I pre-order it for downloading on my Kindle.

What are you reading now?
I just finished John Sandfords, “Silken Prey, Dennis Lehane’s, “Live by Night and Ian Rankins, “Standing in Another Man’s grave. I’m a few chapters into Harlan Coben’s, “Six Years” and enjoying the read.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us about it?
I’ve spent the past nine months completing a first draft of my next book in the Jack Bertolino series. It’s entitled, “Working the Negative.”

Jack Bertolino grew up on a Staten Island where there were more wise guys than good guys. His neighborhood was populated with “made men,” and friends of the Mafia. He cut all ties with the dark side when he entered law enforcement and thought he’d left his past securely behind when he moved out to California.

But now that he’s retired, Jack finds himself owing a favor to a local mob boss who may have saved his son’s life.

It’s a matter of honor for Jack, and a request he just can’t refuse.

Fun Questions:
Your novel will be a movie, who would you cast?
Jon Hamm is Jack Bertolino. Penelope Cruz is Mia.

Would you rather read, or watch TV/Movie?
Read a great book.

Favorite food?

Favorite beverage?
Eighteen-year-old Macallan.

Thank you John for stopping by today!


Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered, and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Columbian drug cartel, Jack delves deeper into the seedy world of drug dealers and Murderers. Jack is torn between fearing for his life and seeking revenge for his slain lover… either way the body count will rise.


Jack Bertolino stood on the balcony of his loft in Marina del Rey, tending a dry-aged New York steak on his prized possession, a top-of-the-line Weber gas grill. He didn’t miss winter, not one little bit. Here he was manning the barbecue in his new uniform, a black T-shirt and jeans, while his cousins were chasing heart attacks shoveling snow off their Staten Island driveways. That image never ceased to put a smile on his face. That and the salty ocean breeze that floated in over the marina.

Jack nursed a glass of cabernet and watched the long line of bright white FedEx trucks return home from their final deliveries and park in neat rows in the lot next to his building. It sure beat the sight of patrol cars jammed onto the sidewalk in front of a precinct house.

Early evening was Jack’s favorite time of day. The sun was just starting to paint the clouds a muted orange. From his fourth-floor vantage point, Jack could see a string of jumbo jets in the distance, silently making their final approach to LAX. Stacked eight planes deep, their slim silver bodies glinted in the setting sun. For the first time in Jack Bertolino’s life, he felt at ease.

His cell phone chirped, snapping him out of his reverie. He tossed some Japanese eggplant onto the grill, closed the lid, and checked his cell phone screen for the name of the caller.


“How’s my Italian stallion?”

“Mia . . . ,” he said instantly, his tone neutral, giving away nothing. “All the planets are aligned, Jack. It’s time for you to man up and make an honest woman out of me.”

Jack couldn’t help but smile. Mia’s throaty voice and light Colombian accent had the power to make a grown man weep. More important, it could make a bad man give up his secrets. He hadn’t really been surprised when he received her text. He knew it was only a matter of time. Payback’s a bitch.

“What can I do for you, Mia?”

“It’s what I can do for you, papi. My lips . . . they’re still magic.”

“I love it when you talk dirty.”

“Only for love or money.”

Although Jack was enjoying the back and forth, he was no longer in the business. “Why are you calling, Mia?”

Mia dropped her act as well. “We need to talk.”

“It’s not a good time,” Jack said as he opened the lid of the grill and pressed his fork against the steak, checking for doneness.

“Face-to-face, Jack.”

“I’m not in New York.”

“That’s why I’m in Los Angeles.”

Jack didn’t reply right away. He did a quick analysis of how Mia could know he was living in L.A., what kind of trouble she might be in, what kind of blowback he was going to suffer just from having this conversation. He came to the instantaneous conclusion that however this new wrinkle in his life played out, it would definitely have an impact on his newly found state of bliss.

Mia answered some of his unspoken questions. “I’m still connected, Jack, and you’re still on the radar screen. There are certain people—who will remain nameless, because I’m not on your payroll anymore—who are not convinced you’re out of the game.”

“I’m happily retired,” Jack fired back, wondering if his response sounded forced, wondering why he cared.

“And happily divorced?”

Jack didn’t respond. His private life was none of Mia’s business. He had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants, a line in the But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. Jack had never taken the bait, but had to admit he’d been tempted.

Mia was one of the best CIs in the business, and she and Jack had done groundbreaking work together.

With the help of Mia and DEA agent Kenny Ortega, Jack and the team of NYPD narco-rangers he headed up had put away a heavy hitter in the cocaine trade. Manuel Alvarez was the head of a Colombian drug cell that had been importing a thousand keys of coke into Florida on a weekly basis, and the poison was dripping into New York City. Jack and his group had put away a major cartel scumbag, and Mia had gotten rich. The feds had a financial equation in place when dealing with CIs. The greater the quantity of drugs an informant was responsible for delivering, the more money it was worth to the United States government. They were happy to give to get. Mia did very well for herself at great personal risk. Informants had a short shelf life. Once a major domo got busted, the cartels worked very hard to discover where the “sickness” had come from. If your name ended up on the short list, you turned up dead.

Jack had made a promise to Mia that if things ever got too hot to handle, he would do whatever he could to help her out of the jam.

Mia was turning in her chit. “Meet with me in an hour, after I get settled in.”

“I’m about to have dinner, Mia.”

“Vista Haven Road, 3468. You owe me, Jack.”

“It was a two-way street,” he reminded her.

“And I don’t want it turning into a dead end.”

Jack was about to protest, but she clicked off. He turned back to his grill, but now he was unsettled. Mia had always been a cool customer, but there was an edge of panic in her voice. Jack let out an irritated groan. He shut off the grill with a hard snap. He wouldn’t be able to eat anyway until he found out what the hell was wrong.


Genre: Crime/Thriller
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 12/31/12
Number of Pages: 295
ISBN: 1451698348



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Mr. Lansing is giving away one kindle for this tour.  Complete Rafflecopter form below.

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4 thoughts on “Guest Author JOHN LANSING showcase & giveaway

  1. John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was Good Cop Bad Money , a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. The Devil’s Necktie is his first novel. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles. For further insights read an interview with the author .

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