Category: Misc

Happy Easter

HappyEaster-1

From our house to yours, have a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

 

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Friday: (03/26/21)
My Little Girl by Shalini Boland~ Kindle from Bookouture via NetGalley

MURDER ON THE METRO by Jon Land | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

Murder On The Metro Banner

 

 

 

Murder On The Metro

by Jon Land

March 1-31, 2021 Tour

Synopsis:

Murder On The Metro by Jon Land

Israel: A drone-based terrorist attack kills dozens on a sun-splashed beach in Caesarea.

Washington: America awakens to the shattering news that Vice President Stephanie Davenport has died of an apparent heart attack.

That same morning, a chance encounter on the Washington Metro results in international private investigator Robert Brixton thwarting an attempted terrorist bombing. Brixton has no reason to suspect that the three incidents have anything in common, until he’s contacted by Kendra Rendine, the Secret Service agent who headed up the vice president’s security detail. Rendine is convinced the vice president was murdered and needs Brixton’s investigative expertise to find out why.

In Israel, meanwhile, legendary anti-terrorist fighter Lia Ganz launches her own crusade against the perpetrators of that attack which nearly claimed the lives of her and granddaughter. Ganz’s trail will ultimately take her to Washington where she joins forces with Brixton to uncover an impossible link between the deadly attack on Caesarea and the attempted Metro bombing, as well as the death of the vice president.

The connection lies in the highest corridors of power in Washington where a deadly plot with unimaginable consequences has been hatched. With the clock ticking toward doomsday, Brixton and Ganz race against time to save millions of American lives who will otherwise become collateral damage to a conspiracy destined to change the United States forever.

Praise :

“Jon Land is one of the best thriller writers in the business, and the Capital Crimes series is in superb and skilled hands with him. Nobody does pacing better than Land, and MURDER ON THE METRO starts with a bang and keeps on going at breakneck speed. If you haven’t read this excellent series, start with Land’s MURDER ON THE METRO.” —Lisa Scottoline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: February 16th 2021
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1250238870 (ISBN13: 9781250238870)
Series: A Capital Crimes Novel, #31
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Jon Land

JON LAND is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty books, including eleven in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the most recent of which, Strong from the Heart, won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Best Thriller and the 2020 American Book Fest Award for Best Mystery/Suspense Novel. Additionally, he has teamed up with Heather Graham for a science fiction series that began with THE RISING (winner of the 2017 International Book Award for best Sci-fi Novel) and continues with BLOOD MOON. He has also written six books in the Murder, She Wrote series of mysteries and has more recently taken over Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series, beginning with Murder on the Metro in February of 2021. A graduate of Brown University, he received the 2019 Rhode Island Authors Legacy Award for his lifetime of literary achievements. Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Q&A with Jon Land

What was the inspiration for this book?

My desire to reboot a legacy series. Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes is one of the most recognizable brands in the mystery-thriller field. But it seems to have been floundering for the last five or so books, as if struggling for its identity and definition. So I wrote MURDER ON THE METRO by imagining how Margaret herself would have had she begun the series today.

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

Wow, that’s a great question! I’d have to give you two which are interrelated: remaining relevant as a writer and making enough money to pay the bills. This is such a tough business in the sense that you’re a prisoner of your numbers, no matter how great the books you write are. You have to roll with the punches and not be afraid to redefine yourself. I live by the mantra, “The answer’s yes. What was the question?

What do you absolutely need while writing?

Ah, an easier question to answer! A great story to tell. If I’ve got that, the only other thing I need is a working Mac.

Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

Another great question! If you don’t adhere to a strict routine, you’re an amateur, not a professional. Name me another profession where you need to to have ideas flowing just to show up. Ideas flow because you need them to flow. You don’t sit around and wait for them. Professionals show up every day and get the work done. If you want to make this a career, you need to be a professional.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Normally, I have a sidekick or foil character who’s my favorite. But in the case of MURDER ON THE METRO, it’s the hero Robert Brixton, because I really enjoyed honing and pruning his character to be more active and proactive. He takes matters into his own hands. He doesn’t wait for things to come to him. And he’s driven by a past tragedy in his life that sets him on a downward spiral this book gives him a chance to reverse. MURDER ON THE METRO is actually about something in that respect and that’s why I chose Brixton as my favorite.

Tell us why we should read your book.

Well, I’m not exactly objective and it depends on your tastes. But if you like thrillers in general, political thrillers in particular, and you want to lose yourself in a book that you can’t put down, this is for you.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?

Hah-Hah! That’s a tough one. But the first thing that comes to mind was some of the settings I found around Washington I didn’t know about. Like a trolley system that was in the process of being expanded underground when the Metro came along and all construction was halted. People might read the action scene set on one of those ancient trolley platforms and think I made it up, but I didn’t.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for continuing to come along for the ride, wherever it takes us!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I wrote my first book as a senior thesis at Brown University, and it taught me two crucial things about myself as a writer: first that I was a thriller writer and, second, that I could finish a book. If you can’t finish a book, you’re not really a writer.

What’s next that we can look forward to?

Maybe a whole bunch of stuff, the most exciting of which I don’t want to talk about because it’s not definite. I have a sense I’m in one of those transitional periods where my career is taking me to a different place. Other than that, and until I can be more specific, MURDER AT THE CDC, my second book in the Capital Crimes series, publishes a year from now.

Catch Up With Jon Land:
jonlandbooks.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

 

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Washington, DC; the next morning

Not again . . .

That was Robert Brixton’s first thought when his gaze locked on the woman seated across from him in the Washington Metro car. He was riding into the city amid the clutter of morning commuters from the apartment in Arlington, Virginia where he now lived alone, his girlfriend Flo Combes having returned to New York.

Former girlfriend, Brixton corrected in his mind. And Flo’s return to New York, where she’d opened her first clothing boutique, looked very much like it was for good this time.

Which brought his attention back to the woman wearing a hijab and bearing a strong resemblance to another Muslim woman who’d been haunting his sleep for five years now, since she’d detonated a suicide bomb inside a crowded DC restaurant, killing Brixton’s daughter Janet and eleven other victims that day. He’d seen it coming, felt it anyway, as if someone had dragged the head of a pin up his spine. He hadn’t been a cop for years at that point, having taken his skills into the private sector, but his instincts remained unchanged, always serving him well and almost always being proven right.

But today he wanted to be wrong, wanted badly to be wrong. Because if his instincts were correct, tragedy was about to repeat itself with him bearing witness yet again, relocated from a bustling café to a crowded Metro car.

The woman wearing the hijab turned enough to meet his gaze, Brixton unable to jerk his eyes away in time and forcing the kind of smile strangers cast each other. The woman didn’t return it, just turned her focus back forward, her expression empty as if bled of emotion. In Brixton’s experience, she resembled a criminal who found strange solace in the notion of being caught after tiring of the chase. That was the suspicious side of his nature. If not for a long career covering various aspects of law enforcement, including a private investigator with strong international ties, Brixton would likely have seen her as the other passengers in the Metro car did: A quiet woman with big soft eyes just hoping to blend in with the scenery and not attract any attention to herself.

Without reading material of any kind, a cell phone in her grasp, or ear buds dangling. Brixton gazed about; as far as he could tell, she was the only passenger in sight, besides him, not otherwise occupied to pass the time. So in striving not to stand out, the young woman had achieved the opposite.

He studied her closer, determining that the woman didn’t look tired, so much as content. And, beneath her blank features, Brixton sensed something taut and resigned, a spring slowly uncoiling. Something, though, had changed in her expression since the moment their eyes had met. She was fidgeting in her seat now, seeking comfort that clearly eluded her.

Just as another suicide bomber had five years ago

If he didn’t know better, he would’ve fully believed he was back in that DC restaurant again, granted a second chance to save his daughter after he’d failed so horribly the first time.

***

Five years ago

What world are you in? Janet had asked a clearly distracted Brixton, then consumed by the nagging feeling dragged up his spine.

Let’s go.

Daddy, I haven’t finished!

Janet always called him “Daddy.” Much had been lost to memory from that day, forcibly put aside, but not that or the moments that followed. It had been the last time she’d ever called him that and Brixton had fought to preserve the recording that existed only in his mind resolvedly ever since. Whenever it faded, he fought to get it back, treating Janet’s final address of him like a voicemail machine message from a lost loved one forever saved on his phone.

Come on.

Is something wrong?

We’re leaving.

Brixton had headed to the door, believing his daughter was right behind him. He realized she wasn’t only when he was through it, turning back toward the table to see Janet facing the Muslim woman wearing the hijab who was chanting in Arabic.

Janet!

He’d started to storm back inside to get her when the explosion shattered the placid stillness of the day, an ear-splitting blast that hit him like a Category Five wind gust to the chest and sent him sprawling to the sidewalk. His head ping-ponged off the concrete, threatening his grip on consciousness. Parts of a splintered table came flying in his direction and he threw his arms over his face to shield it from wooden shards and other debris that caked the air, cataloguing them as they soared over him in absurd counterpoint. Plates, glasses, skin, limbs, eyeglasses, knives, forks, beer mugs, chair legs and arms, calamari, boneless ribs, pizza slices, a toy gorilla that had been held by a child a table two removed from where he’d been sitting with Janet, and empty carafes of wine with their contents seeming to trail behind them like vapor trails.

The surreal nature of that moment made Brixton think he might be sleeping, all this no more than the product of an airy dream to be lost to memory by the time woke. He remembered lying on the sidewalk, willing himself to wake up, to rouse from this nightmare-fueled stupor. The worst moment of his life followed the realization that he wasn’t asleep and an imponderable wave of grief washed over him, stealing his next breath and making him wonder if he even wanted to bother trying for another.

Brixton had stumbled to his feet before what moments earlier had been a bustling café filled with happy people. Now, bodies were everywhere, some piled on top of others, blood covering everything and everyone. He touched the side of his face and pulled bloody fingers away from the wound. He looked back into the café in search of his daughter but saw only a tangle of limbs and clothing where they’d been sitting.

“Oh, my God,” he whispered, his senses sharpening. “Janet!”

Washington’s Twenty-third Street had been crammed with pedestrians at the time of the blast, joined now by people pouring out of office buildings and other restaurants nearby, within eye or earshot of the dual blasts. Brixton’s attempts to get closer to the carnage, holding out hope Janet might still be alive, were thwarted at every turn by throngs fleeing in panic in an endless wave.

“My daughter! My daughter!” he kept crying out, as if that might make the crowd yield and the chaos recede.

***

It wasn’t until Brixton reached the hospital that he learned Janet hadn’t made it out, had been declared one of the missing. Having served as an agent for a private security agency out-sourced to the State Department at the time, he knew all too well that missing meant dead. He had another daughter, Janet’s older sister, who’d given him a beautiful grandson he loved dearly, but that was hardly enough to make up for the loss of Janet. And the guilt over not having dragged her out with him when she’d resisted leaving had haunted him to this very moment, when instinct told him many on this crowded subway car might well be about to join her.

Thanks to another woman wearing a hijab, but it wasn’t just that. Brixton had crossed paths with an untold number of Arab women in the five years since Janet’s death, and not one before today had ever elicited in him the feeling he had now. She might’ve been a twin of the bomber who’d taken his daughter from him, about whom Brixton could recall only one thing:

Her eyes.

This woman had the very same shifting look, trying so hard to appear casual that it seemed she was wearing a costume, sticking out to him as much as a kid on Halloween. Brixton spun his gaze back in her direction, prepared to measure off the distance between them and how he might cover it before she could trigger her explosives.

But the young woman was gone.

Brixton looked down the center aisle cluttered with commuters clutching poles or dangling hand-hold straps. He spotted the young woman in the hijab an instant before she cocked her gaze briefly back in his direction, a spark of clear recognition flashing when their eyes met this time.

She knows I made her, Brixton thought, heavy with fear as he climbed to his feet.

He started after her, heart hammering in his chest, the sensation he was feeling in that dreadful moment all too familiar. He couldn’t help but catalogue the people he passed in the woman’s wake, many of whom were either his late daughter’s age or younger. Smiling, gabbing away on their phones, reading a book, or lost between their earbuds without any knowledge of how horribly their lives might very well be about to change. If he needed any further motivation to keep moving and stop the potential suicide bomber though any means necessary, that was it. Doubt vanished, Brixton trusting his instincts in a way he hadn’t that tragic day five years ago when he was still a de facto agent for the US government.

Janet . . .

In Brixton’s mind, this was no longer a Metro car, but the same restaurant where a suicide bomber had taken a dozen lives and wounded dozens more. And he found himself faced with the chance to do today what he hadn’t done five years ago.

Stop!

Had Brixton barked that command out loud, or merely formed the thought in his head. Other passengers were staring at him now, his surge up the aisle disturbing the meager comfort of their morning routine.

Ahead of him, the woman wearing the hijab had picked up her pace, Brixton spotting her dip a hand beneath a jacket that seemed much too heavy for the unseasonably mild Washington, DC spring. His experience with the State Department working for the shadowy SITQUAL group, along with that as a cop, told him she was likely reaching for the pull cord that would detonate the suicide vest concealed under bulky sweatshirt and jacket.

If you could relive the day of your daughter’s death, what would you do?

I’d shoot the bitch before she had the chance to yank that cord, Brixton thought, drawing his Sig Sauer P-226 nine-millimeter pistol. It had survived his tenure with SITQUAL as his weapon of choice, well balanced and deadly accurate.

He could feel the crowd around him recoiling, pulling back, when they saw the pistol steadied in his hand. Several gasped. A woman cried out. A kid dropped his cell phone into Brixton’s path and he accidentally kicked it aside.

“Stop!”

Shouted out loud for sure this time, the dim echo bouncing off the Metro car’s walls as it wound in thunderous fashion through the tube. The young woman in the hijab was almost to the rear door separating this car from the next. Brixton was close enough to hear the whoooooshhh as she engaged the door, breaking the rule that prohibited passengers from such car-hopping.

“Stop!”

She turned her gaze back toward him as he raised his pistol, ready to take the shot he hadn’t taken five years ago. Passengers cried out and shrank from his path. The door hissed closed, the young woman regarding him vacantly through the safety glass as she stretched hand out blindly to activate the door accessing the next car back.

And that’s when she stumbled. Brixton was well aware of the problems encountered by this new 7000 series of Metro railcars after federal safety officials raised repeated concerns about a potential safety risk involving the barriers between cars that were designed to prevent blind and visually impaired people from inadvertently walking off the platform and falling through the gap. The issue initially was raised by disability rights advocates, who argued the rubber barriers were spaced too far apart, leaving enough room for a small person to slip through.

The young woman wearing the hijab was small. And she started to slip through.

Brixton watched her drop from sight an instant before an all-too familiar flash created a star burst before him. He felt light, floating as if there was nothing beneath his feet, because for a moment there wasn’t. The piercing blast that buckled the Metro car door blew him backward, the percussion lifting him up and then dropping him back down, still in motion sliding across the floor amid a demolition derby of commuters crashing into each other, as the train barreled along. Separated now from its rear-most cars, what remained of the train whipsawed through the tube with enough force to lift this car from the rails and send it alternately slamming up against one side and then the other.

Brixton maintained the presence of mind to realize his back and shoulders had come to rest awkwardly against a seat, even as the squeal of the brakes engaging grew into a deafening wail and his eyes locked on the car door that to him looked as if someone had used a can opener to carve a jagged fissure along the center of its buckled seam. The car itself seemed to be swaying—left, right, and back again—but he couldn’t be sure if that was real or the product of the concussion he may have suffered from the blast wave or upon slamming up against the seat.

Unlike five years ago, Brixton had come to rest sitting up, staring straight ahead at the back door of the Metro car currently held at an awkwardly angled perch nearly sideways across the tracks. He realized that through it all he’d somehow maintained grasp of his pistol, now steadied at the twisted remnants of the Metro car door as if he expected the young woman to reappear at any moment.

Janet . . .

A wave of euphoria washed over Brixton as, this time, he thought he’d saved her, making the best of the do-over fate had somehow granted him. The Metro car floor felt soft and cushiony, leaving him with the dream-like sense he was drifting away toward the bright lights shining down from the ceiling.

And then there was only darkness.

***

Excerpt from Murder on the Metro by Jon Land. Copyright 2021 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!



 

 

Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on March 1, 2021 and runs through April 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Mailbox Monday

winter_mailbox3

Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Monday: (02/15/21)

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock~ Kindle from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley
Three Missing Days by Colleen Coble ~ Kindle from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz~ ARC from Celadon Books

Wednesday: (02/17/21)

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens ~ Kindle from St. Martin’s Press via Edelweiss
Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams~ Kindle from William Morrow

Friday: (02/19/21)

The Family Plot by Megan Collins~ Kindle from Atria Books/S&S via NetGalley

Saturday: (02/20/21)

Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry~ HC from Harper Collins

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Sunday: (02/07/21)

His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke~ Kindle personal purchase

Monday: (02/08/21)

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman ~ eBook from Ballentine Books/Random House via NetGalley

 

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads.

Thursday (01/28/21):

Lethal Intent by Cara Putman~ TPB from Thomas Nelson

January 2021 Wrap Up

 photo afdf054b-208a-4056-8e65-a98cce16a08d.jpg

January Books Read


Collage_2021-01-24_13_14_30

Sorry….I just had to join in with the Bernie meme!!!!

As for my reading, not good, AGAIN!!! I don’t know if I’m in a minor slump or it’s just that we are super busy with tours for Partners In Crime Tours. Just 2 books this month, both good, but only 2!

Also, if anyone is interested in the Bookly app that I have been using to track my reading and the graphics, let me know because I have a 30% discount for the Bookly Pro.

And a shout out to Gina @ Hott Books for giving my blog a facelift!!!!

My review for The Betrayal was posted on January 13th, which can be seen HERE.
My review for The Perfect Daughter will be posted on April 21st, a 5 star read!!!

THE THINGS THAT LAST FOREVER by Peter W.J. Hayes | #Showcase #Interview #Giveaway

The Things That Last Forever by Peter W.J. Hayes Banner

 

 

The Things That Last Forever

by Peter W. J. Hayes

On Tour: January 1 – February 28, 2021

Synopsis:

The Things That Last Forever by Peter W. J. Hayes

After a house fire hospitalizes his partner and forces him onto medical leave, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detective Vic Lenoski starts a desperate search for the woman who set the blaze. She is the one person who knows what happened to his missing teenage daughter, but as a fugitive, she’s disappeared so thoroughly no one can find her.

Risking his job and the wrath of the district attorney, Vic resorts to bargaining with criminal suspects for new leads, many of which point to North Dakota. He flies there, only to discover he is far from everything he knows, and his long-cherished definitions of good and bad are fading as quickly as his leads. His only chance is one last audacious roll of the dice. Can he stay alive long enough to discover the whereabouts of his daughter and rebuild his life? Or is everything from his past lost forever?

“The mystery plot itself is riveting…a captivating and emotionally intelligent crime drama.” — Kirkus Reviews

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery: Police Procedural
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 294
ISBN: 978-1-947915-56-5
Series: A Vic Lenoski Mystery; Pittsburgh Trilogy #3 || Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Sometimes you walk into a room and what’s inside changes your life forever. That sense stopped Vic just inside the doorway. A woman with skin the color of dark amber lay on the only bed, her bandaged arms shockingly white among the shadows. She was reflected in a large window in the far wall, the outside sky as black and still as the inside of a tomb. He smelled disinfectant and blood. Numbers and graph lines flared on grey-eyed medical monitors. Somewhere in the vast empty spaces of the hospital a voice echoed.

He’d never visited a burn ward.

Never had a partner so close to death.

Never thought a room could seem as hollow as he felt inside.

The feeling was so disembodying that when he reached the bed and looked into the woman’s face, he half expected to see himself. But it was Liz, her forehead and knobby cheekbones smeared with ointment, eyebrows and eyelashes burned away. A bandage covered her left earlobe where her favorite earring, a small gold star, usually sat. It seemed like every breath she took pained her.

He wanted to take her hand but the bandages made it impossible. “Liz,” he said softly, her name almost lost among the beeps and clicks of the monitors. Liquid dripped into a tangle of IV tubes at the back of her fist.

Her eyelids fluttered.

“Liz. Doctor told me I could talk to you.”

Her eyes opened. He watched her pupils widen and narrow as they absorbed the distance to the ceiling and distinguished shadows from feeble light.

“Vic?” A hoarse whisper.

“I’m here.”

She turned her face to him. “You got me out.”

Relief rose in Vic’s throat. “Yeah. But the house didn’t make it.”

“Cora Stills?”

Vic squeezed his eyelids shut and rocked on his heels. He didn’t know where to start. Cora Stills. The one person who knew something—anything—about his missing teenage daughter. Liz on her way to arrest her. Instead, Liz, handcuffed to a radiator pipe as flames lathered and stormed through Cora’s house. Cora’s burned-out car found two days later on a crumbling stone dock next to a deserted warehouse, the Allegheny River emptying westward.

Cora, alive and moving through that tomb of darkness outside the window. Free.

“Vic…” Liz said something more but he couldn’t make it out.

He bent closer.

She forced her words from somewhere deep inside, and as she spoke, he knew this was what she saved through all the fear and pain to tell him. “Someone told Cora I was coming.”

***

Excerpt from The Things That Last Forever by Peter W. J. Hayes. Copyright 2020 by Peter W. J. Hayes. Reproduced with permission from Peter W. J. Hayes. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Peter W. J. Hayes

Peter W. J. Hayes worked as a journalist, advertising copywriter and marketing executive before turning to mystery and crime writing. He is the author of the Silver Falchion-nominated Pittsburgh trilogy, a police procedural series, and is a Derringer-nominated author of more than a dozen short stories. His work has appeared in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, Pulp Modern and various anthologies, including two Malice Domestic collections and The Best New England Crime Stories. He is also a past nominee for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) Debut Dagger Award.

Q&A with Peter W.J. Hayes

What was the inspiration for this book?

Given that The Things That Last Forever is the third book of a trilogy, I had several plot lines to tie off. That said, the book starts with the search for a fugitive, and when I thought of placing the fugitive in North Dakota (her birth state), the pieces fell into place. I then travelled to North Dakota to get a feel for the fracking fields south of Williston, and knew almost immediately I had the right location for the novel. That first night in North Dakota I started sketching out the book’s scenes.

What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?

I think keeping a fire lit for all the years it took to work myself into a place where I had the time to work on a novel. I knew in eighth grade I wanted to be a novelist, but work and family intervened. At different times I did spend a number of years as a journalist, business writer, and advertising copywriter, and spent a fifteen-year stretch in a weekly writing group for fiction writers. However, as work demands increased I had to give that up. Toward the end of my business career, with some planning, but I was able to retire early to pursue writing.

What do you absolutely need while writing?

Coffee and a regular time to write each day. I’ve found that habit is the best predictor of success.

Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?

Yes. I try and write every afternoon. Some days are more fruitful than others. The best ideas, for me, come while I am writing. Waiting around for inspiration to strike doesn’t work for me.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Vic Lenoski, my protagonist for the three books of the Pittsburgh Trilogy. I like the complexity of his emotions and his doggedness. He also has a quiet instinct to teach the younger members of the police department, and absolutely does not suffer fools gladly.

Who is your least favorite character from your book and why?

For a long time it was Vic Lenoski’s commander, Tomkins Davis, who is better known as Crush. I disliked him because he was a bit of a caricature of a boss who only cares about his career. That bothered me enough that in The Things That Last Forever, I turned him into a more nuanced character who puts his detectives first (in the end).

• Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
When I was visiting North Dakota to research the book, I was stopped by the side of the road looking at a map. A North Dakota State Policeman stopped and asked if I needed assistance. I explained what I was doing, and was inspired to ask him if he knew of anywhere nearby where a fugitive might hole up. He gave me two suggestions, and one of them is the exact location where Vic Lenoski finally tracks down the fugitive he is chasing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

When I started to write, I thought it was about me getting a story on paper. I’ve learned since that writing a book is about much more than that. I’ve been stunned at how supportive and energized the entire ecosystem of booksellers, editors, publishers and readers are. Everyone wants writers to be successful, and I am very thankful of that. It’s completely changed how I think about my readers as I write.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve travelled quite a bit in my lifetime. I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England, and my entire family is English by heritage (with some Irish, Scottish and Viking thrown in—a predictable mix for northern England). My father’s work took him to Paris, France when I was small, and I attended French schools for a few years before moving to the ASP (American School of Paris). My father was then offered a job in Pittsburgh and we emigrated to America. Following college, I lived in Taiwan for a year and backpacked extensively in mainland China (in those days, I was reasonably fluent in French and Mandarin Chinese). I was a marketer by profession, rising ultimately to spend six years as Chief Marketing Officer for one of America’s largest companies, with responsibility for the company’s worldwide marketing activities. In those years business travel took me throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

What’s next that we can look forward to?

I’m currently rewriting the first draft of a standalone PI novel. The PI is named Levon Grace, and he appears in all three books of the Pittsburgh Trilogy. He is good friends with Vic Lenoski, the protagonist of those books, and has taken up with Vic’s partner, Liz Timmons. Once that book is delivered, I have a contract with Level Best Books to deliver three more Vic Lenoski books, turning the trilogy into a series.

Peter can be found at:
www.peterwjhayes.com
Goodreads
BookBub
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Sometimes you walk into a room and what’s inside changes your life forever. That sense stopped Vic just inside the doorway. A woman with skin the color of dark amber lay on the only bed, her bandaged arms shockingly white among the shadows. She was reflected in a large window in the far wall, the outside sky as black and still as the inside of a tomb. He smelled disinfectant and blood. Numbers and graph lines flared on grey-eyed medical monitors. Somewhere in the vast empty spaces of the hospital a voice echoed.

He’d never visited a burn ward.

Never had a partner so close to death.

Never thought a room could seem as hollow as he felt inside.

The feeling was so disembodying that when he reached the bed and looked into the woman’s face, he half expected to see himself. But it was Liz, her forehead and knobby cheekbones smeared with ointment, eyebrows and eyelashes burned away. A bandage covered her left earlobe where her favorite earring, a small gold star, usually sat. It seemed like every breath she took pained her.

He wanted to take her hand but the bandages made it impossible. “Liz,” he said softly, her name almost lost among the beeps and clicks of the monitors. Liquid dripped into a tangle of IV tubes at the back of her fist.

Her eyelids fluttered.

“Liz. Doctor told me I could talk to you.”

Her eyes opened. He watched her pupils widen and narrow as they absorbed the distance to the ceiling and distinguished shadows from feeble light.

“Vic?” A hoarse whisper.

“I’m here.”

She turned her face to him. “You got me out.”

Relief rose in Vic’s throat. “Yeah. But the house didn’t make it.”

“Cora Stills?”

Vic squeezed his eyelids shut and rocked on his heels. He didn’t know where to start. Cora Stills. The one person who knew something—anything—about his missing teenage daughter. Liz on her way to arrest her. Instead, Liz, handcuffed to a radiator pipe as flames lathered and stormed through Cora’s house. Cora’s burned-out car found two days later on a crumbling stone dock next to a deserted warehouse, the Allegheny River emptying westward.

Cora, alive and moving through that tomb of darkness outside the window. Free.

“Vic…” Liz said something more but he couldn’t make it out.

He bent closer.

She forced her words from somewhere deep inside, and as she spoke, he knew this was what she saved through all the fear and pain to tell him. “Someone told Cora I was coming.”

***

Excerpt from The Things That Last Forever by Peter W. J. Hayes. Copyright 2020 by Peter W. J. Hayes. Reproduced with permission from Peter W. J. Hayes. All rights reserved.

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!



 

 

Giveaway!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Peter W.J. Hayes. There will be 4 winners for this giveaway. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and two (2) winners will each receive one (1) physical copy of The Things That Last Forever by Peter W.J. Hayes (US Only). The giveaway begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through March 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours