Whenever someone asks me what well-known author has influenced my writing most, I tell them the late Robert B. Parker. Parker in turn had been greatly influenced by Raymond Chandler. So, I’ll assume some of his style rubbed off on me, too. Characters like Spenser and Marlowe are good role models for any all-American boy.
In January of 2010, Parker passed away in his Boston townhouse. I was then attending an on-line writer’s workshop called thenextbigwriter.com. News of Parker’s death made the rounds of the daily forums and elicited many sad comments and kind words. A lot of people, me included, would miss him and the characters he created.
I hope you will enjoy my podcast on Speak Up.
When the members of the Golden Agers Club learn that their volunteer art instructor, Alex Trotter, is a professional tour guide, several of them urge her to arrange a river cruise down the Rhine on one of the long ships.
Concerned about physical limitations and mental confusion that beset some ot them, Alex asks her husband, Detective Arlie Tate, to come along to help out. He assumes his role will be to carry luggage and keep track of everyone on land excusions. What he couldn't have imagined is that he'll need to use his skills as a homicide detective before they're out of the first port of Amsterdam.
While Arlie pursues forensic analyses of clues, Alex uses her keen powers of observation and deductive reasoning to target suspects.
Along with discovering European treasures in old world cities on the Rhine, Alex and Arlie will uncover a dangerous and powerful murderer right on board.
© June 29, 2017
Readers will envision the emotions of a 14 year old boy as he tries to comprehend the tragic circumstances of the attempted murder of a newborn baby. Throughout the book, Dave’s 58 year search for the missing child intertwines with his personal family life. The story unpacks the struggles that Dave’s family faced with autism, poverty and divorce. It travels through Richmond’s history as the city where the first motion picture was viewed in the late 1800’s, and how the city became the focal point of the hot jazz revolution and center for audio recordings during the early 1900’s. Readers will learn of a love story that began in 1917, the year the United States declared war on the German Empire. They will read with compassion the story of sacrifices made for the sake of survival during the Great Depression of 1929. As you are drawn deeper into the story, you can imagine yourself growing up in the quieter, gentler times of the 1940’s.
The holidays are over. No more shopping until Valentine's Day. BUT THE GIFTS KEEP COMING. Here's a FREE copy of my award winning first novel in the Sam Jenkins Smoky Mountain mystery series. Simply click on the link and follow the directions to down load your free mobi version (for the Kindle eReader.) If you would like a different version (ePub for Nook and most other eReaders or PDF for PCs and all other devices) just send me an email (the address is provided on the "freebie page") and I'll send it to you.
I hope you enjoy A NEW PROSPECT and plan on visiting Sam Jenkins and all the boys and girls of Prospect PD often.
The evolution of my newest book, "Father and Sister Radish and the Rose-Colored Glasses", is somewhat circuitous. When my wife was very young, she had pet chickens, two of which were named Father and Sister Radish, because of their red feathers.
A couple of years ago, we were at my sister's house and Suzanne was telling stories about her pet chickens, including the problem of aggression among members of the flock. My brother-in-law found an article (on the internet, of course) about goggles for chickens that were used to minmize the aggression. The goggles were red, which of course meant the chickens were wearing rose-colored glasses.
From that came the notion of a little girl who, when she sees how well the glasses work in her little flock, wonders if the same thing would work on a new kid in her class who bullies the other children. And so the story was born.
The illustrator, A. B. Walker, is someone I've never worked with before but will certainly work with again. I found her (on the internet, of course) through contact with her father, a graphic designer.
We approved the proof yesterday, and the book will be listed on Amazon on my author's page (amazon.com/author/jimhartsell). If you want to see the proof, I'll have it along with my other books at Ijams Nature Center on this Sunday, December 4th, from noon to 5 pm for their Holiday Market. Hope to see you there; there will be many fine artists and craftspeople, and I have heard rumors of food trucks and a beer garden.
Every book I've had published contains a caveat on the copyright page stating something to the effect: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between this story and/or characters contained herein is a figment of the author's immagination and bears no resembalance to anyone living or dead. Well HOGWASH. Everything I write has some basis in fact. I'll readily admit that I have more of a memory than an immagination. My stories are based on real police cases I investigated, supervised, or just knew a lot about. Then I fictionalize and embellish them, and transplant them from New York to Tennesee. Real police work is not always a thrill a minute. So real police stories often need a little added pizzazz to make good fiction. Also, I'll paraphrase Jack Webb and his weekly opening statement on the old TV show DRAGNET; I change the names to protect the guilty...And keep me out of civil court.
My latest Sam Jenkins mystery (#6) A CAN OF WORMS, is a prime example of fictionalized police incidents that were strange enough to turn into fiction. Here's the gist: What began as a simple appointment of a local man to the Prospect Police Department, turned into a nightmare of epic proportion. A phone call from a citizen rekindled a three year old rape accusation against this probationary policeman. The investigtion went far beyond revisiting a routine rape case. Falsified reports from a local detective were uncovered. A mishandled rape complaint and what appears to be malfeassance on the parts of the investigating detectives from another jurisdiction became very embarrassing. The prosecuting District Attorney's office lost the entire case folder. A shady private investigator is sent to intimidate the complainant and a material witness. The chief at Prospect PD is threatened with scandal unless he drops the investigation. And it goes downhill from there. In short, A CAN OF WORMS. This book is a composite of two incidents originally investigated in the mid-1980s.
HINT: don't read the author's notes which follow the ending until you finish the book.
Here's the summary from the book jacket:
© 2016 / Wayne Zurl
Bobbi Phelps did it again, another wonderful book.
What would you do if you found a scrawny kitten clinging to a ladder high up in an old barn? Why, you would rescue it and bring it home! And that's exactly what happened. SAVING FRANKIE is a nine-chapter text and coloring book that will delight readers of all ages. The unusual format and nonfiction text is a children's classic in the making. In this inspiring memoir, award-winning author, Bobbi Phelps, tells of her bond with a cast-off kitten who brought countless funny stories and untold happiness to her family and friends.
For more Details click here.