Guest Author JC GATLIN showcase, interview, giveaway

Prey of Desire

by JC Gatlin

on Tour at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours October 2014

Book Details:

Genre: New Adult Mystery-Suspense

Published by: Blurb, Inc.

Publication Date: February 2014

Number of Pages: 230

ISBN: 9780615961057

Purchase Links:


They said the disappearance of two high school students over 25 years ago was mystery that couldn’t be solved.

No one ever said it shouldn’t be.

Following the abrupt end of a relationship, college student Kimberly Bradford finds comfort in the friendship with her over-the-top neighbor, Mallory. And, Mallory encourages her to get back out there. She would of course if it weren’t for the thrilling little love notes and gifts she’s been receiving.

Kim thinks they’re from her ex-fiancee, not realizing he’s been murdered. Worse, whoever is sending her all the extra attention is not only in her inner-circle, but has a connection to that unsolved murder some 25 years ago. That connection puts her life in danger, and exposes secrets better left buried around her closest friends and family.

Read an excerpt:

“That was close.” Mallory laughed, pushing Kim out the diner doors and onto the sidewalk. They crossed the intersection against the light and headed back to Mallory’s parked Miata. Making it clear that she was not pleased, Kim walked several steps ahead. She crossed her arms, swinging her purse. Mallory caught up to her, telling her to slow down.

Kim picked up her pace. “I can’t believe you tried to set me up with that old psychologist again. You just don’t know when to quit, do you?”

“He’s a psychiatrist, and…” Mallory grabbed her arm to slow her down. “Stop being so melodramatic.”

“Melodramatic?” Kim whipped around to confront her friend face to face. “Not only did you ambush me, but this is the second time he’s stood me up – second time in a row!”

“He just got detained with another crazy patient, that’s all.” Mallory punctuated that with a light, throaty chuckle. “The whole town is freaked out over the Congressman’s murder so it’s understandable.”

“You’re changing the subject.” Kim turned and stepped off the sidewalk into the street. She headed toward the car parallel parked in front of a meter. Mallory followed her into the oncoming traffic.

“Would you just wait?” She grabbed Kim’s arm again. Mallory stopped her in the middle of the street. A car honked and swerved around them. Oblivious, Kim pointed a finger at her and leaned forward.

“You sandbagged me with another blind date. You know I’m involved.”

“Ross went M.I.A. on you, what, six weeks ago? He’s gone.” Another car blared its horn. Mallory waved it away. “I just wanted to get your mind off it. Besides, Dr. Whitman has lined up a very exciting date.”

“You just don’t give up, do you?”

“Listen to me, Kim. He’s really been putting a lot of pressure on me lately. He’s talked about you for ages and he’s been asking me to set you two up for a long time. Ever since…”

Breaks squeaked on a truck as it swerved to miss them. Kim ignored it. “Ever since what, Mallory? Since Ross dumped me?”

“No – since Ross disappeared.” Mallory paused. Her eyes softened and a faint smile crossed her lips. “Kim, he’s not coming back.”

Kim was about to protest. It was a knee-jerk reaction to tell Mallory how wrong she was. For a moment, Kim considered explaining about the mysterious poems and the invitation for dinner on Friday night. She wanted to tell Mallory about the phone calls. All those cryptic messages and notes – it had to be from Ross. It just had to be. They were meant for each other.

Instead Kim looked down at her feet and sighed. “I’m just not in the mood to be sweet and sociable. You know what I mean? I’m angry. And I want to hit something. I want to rip something apart and stomp on it and crush it and…”

Another car honked and the driver screamed obscenities as he whizzed past. The girls were unfazed standing in the center of the road.

“Exactly my point.” Mallory snapped her fingers, seemingly very pleased with herself. “That’s why this handsome, debonair psychiatrist suggested a double date at a mock war camp.”

“A what?”

“A mock war camp,” Mallory repeated. “Instead of miniature golf or going to a movie, we’d play weekend warrior.”

Kim hesitated, watching her a moment, then followed. “What kind of date is that?”

“The kind that’ll get you over Ross!” Mallory headed toward her Miata parked at the curb. Unlocking the car door, she paused and leaned against the hood. She turned back toward Kim.

“It’s the kind of date where you can be tank girl and rip men apart and blow them away and stomp on them… only with paint pellets.” Mallory’s eyes enlarged and she took a breath, as if waiting for Kim to protest. When she didn’t, Mallory continued. “He’s a head shrink, Kim. He knows about these kind of things.”


Author Bio:

JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. In addition to regular fishing trips, he wrote a monthly column for New Tampa Style Magazine, then began penning several mystery/suspense stories. His first novel, The Designated Survivor, was released in July 2013, and Prey of Desire followed in February 2014. Both are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition.

Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC grew up in Grapevine — a small Texas town just outside of Dallas.

Catch Up With JC:


Q&A with JC Gatlin

  -Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Not consciously, but to some degree, all writers build from personal experiences. I’m sure if my psychiatrist read one of my books, she’d find a lot of me in it.

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

I create a very detailed outline before I even put down the first word on the first page. Since I writer murder mysteries, which are essentially puzzles, you could say I start with the end in mind. I generally have the elaborate murder in mind, and all the drama that goes with its motive, means and opportunity. Then, comes the amateur sleuth who shows up to solve that murder.

-Your routine when writing?  Any idiosyncrasies?

It seems like a lot of writers like to have that quiet, private alcove, but I like loud and busy. I go to the food court at the mall, sit down with my laptop and write a few scenes or a chapter. Sometimes I go to a restaurant to write. I’m often more productive in that environment than in a quiet study.

  -Is writing your full time job?  If not, may I ask what you do by day?

I don’t write murder mysteries full time… yet. I have a 9 to 5’er writing manuals in the home building industry.

-Who are some of your favorite authors?

Dean Koontz is probably my favorite, but I’ve read about everything written by Mary Higgins Clark and grew up reading Sydney Sheldon. I just finished “Cell” by Robin Cook.

-What are you reading now?

I’m reading Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso. It won the 2012 Florida Book Award and is well deserving of that award. I want more people to discover this incredibly talented young adult author!

-Are you working on your next novel?  Can you tell us a little about it?

Yes! Yes! Yes! And I can’t wait for it to come out. It’s about a woman named Tori who returns to her home town to attend her childhood friend’s funeral. Tori’s been out of touch with everyone for over five years and is bitter about her ex-fiancee ending their relationship. Before the final services though, she discovers that her friend was murdered by her ex-fiancee. However, no one believes her because they think she’s just angry at him.

Fun questions:

  -Your novel will be a movie.  Who would you cast?

Oh, man. That’s a tough one. I had a fan write me to say that she saw Kimberly Bradford looking like an actress named Jessica Khoury. The character and her best friend Mallory are actually based loosely on two girls I knew in college.

  -Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?

Most of it is written by keyboard, but I do like to print out a chapter to read it, and will make notes in the margin.

-Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Love fishing, and I’m great at eating. But then, who isn’t? I just want to get to a place where I have leisure time for an activity or a hobby.

-Favorite meal?

I love anything chicken — grilled, blackened, fried — it’s all good.

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