Friday, October 6, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Mark S. Bacon

Dear Reader,

A life-and-death chase across the Nevada desert in the middle of August highlights the action in this complex mystery spread across the southwest.  Desert Kill Switch was written to appeal to both your head and your heart.

I love mystery/suspense books that have challenging plot twists and multiple suspects that keep me guessing until the end.  But I also like fast-moving stories that put the main characters in peril making me worry that something bad might happen to them.  I wrote this book to combine both elements of a mystery/suspense book.  I wrote this to appeal to your head and your heart.

Some suspense books are full of action, but you know whodunit without hardly thinking. Then there are mysteries with lots of clues and suspects that plod along almost free of excitement until the last few pages.  Raymond Chandler had disparaging words to say about mysteries that saved the best for last.  He thought a book should be exciting and engaging throughout.

Desert Kill Switch challenges your deductive powers and takes you on one fast-moving ride after another as the two amateur detectives struggle to unravel multiple murders.

The name of the book comes from insidious little devices that some car dealers put in automobiles they sell.  GPS trackers and kill switches are sometimes put in cars sold to people that dealers consider to be higher risk borrowers.  Miss a payment—sometimes by as little as a few days—and your car is dead.  In this novel, maybe you are, too.

My main characters are Lyle Deming, a stressed-out ex-cop now driving a cab in a northern Arizona theme park, Nostalgia City (yes, it’s that big) and Kate Sorensen, Nostalgia City’s director of public relations and a former college basketball star. 

The story travels from Nostalgia City to Reno to Las Vegas and back.  Blackmail, desert chases under the hot August sun, and a sprawling classic car - rock and roll street fair are some of the elements you’ll find in the story.

Kate and Lyle must exonerate Kate who is accused of murder, catch a blackmailer, save a witness’s life, and help find a missing corpse. 

Hope you enjoy it.

Mark S. Bacon

P.S. I forgot to tell you about the setting:   Nostalgia City theme park is a meticulous re-creation of a small town from the 1970s.  It’s complete with period cars, clothes, food, shops, rides, music, fads, hair styles, restaurants—the works.


Mark S. Bacon began his career as a southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing when he became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the freeway from Disneyland. Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park. 

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including  one for John Wiley & Sons Publishers that was printed in four languages and three editions, named best business book of the year by Library Journal, and selected by the Book of the Month Club and two other book clubs. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post,Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News,Denver Post, and many other publications.  Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Desert Kill Switch is the second book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with Death in Nostalgia City, an award winner at the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival. The third book in the series will be published soon.
Bacon is the author of flash fiction mystery books including, Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words. He  taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, University of Redlands, and the University of Nevada - Reno.  He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.   
Find out more on Amazon    
Website and social media:
Twitter: @baconauthor

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Galia Oz

Dear Reader…

When I was a child, I loved fairy tales about growing up (or refusing to grow up), like Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. I was drawn to the humor and rebellion in the works of Astrid Lindgren. I also read a lot of nonsense that has no literary value. Happily, in the environment where I grew up, there was no one who put the books I read under a microscope, or tried to impose on me texts that would expand my vocabulary, or develop my social skills, or moralize me. Books are for the soul. And at the eight years old, I already had a soul. All children do.
My children's book, Dog Trouble, was recently published in the United States, after it was originally published in Israel and in France, Spain and Brazil.
The book describes realistically the escapades of a group of children, all good friends (except for one unlucky bully who is not their friend), and the journey of one little dog.

Usually, when you describe books, you do so by using plot features as a way to define the content. This is certainly true when it comes to children's books, and more so when it's a book with a detective story. And there are indeed adventures in the stories of Dog Trouble: The dog goes missing and needs to be found; there is a running competition that demands the protagonist take a side; and there is a new girl in school whose popularity threatens to drive a wedge between the protagonist and her friends.
But I want to write specifically about how the story is delivered - as a monologue. Julie is the narrator, and she expresses herself in a raw and realistic manner. She jumps between subjects, remembering anecdotes from the past, quoting her mother, going back and forth between facts and feelings. However, this young heroine is also responsible for exposing the reader to the point of view of the other characters, and her offhand and amusing chatter is also meant to advance a minor detective storyline. Such that, although this stream of consciousness may look light, it is packed and charged.
This choice of this format is intentional. Looking at the world through a child’s eyes means giving up the position of the omniscient narrator and didactic aspirations. My intention is to enlighten the soul. Of course, I wanted to tell a captivating story but it was important to me that through the action, a specific, unique person could be seen - the protagonist. And the others: Effy, her cousin who knows how to run fast but suffers from low self-esteem and social anxiety; Brody, the lonely bully, who annoys others just to get some attention; Adam, the stutterer with an artist’s soul, who is ready to be laughed at as long as he’s heard.

I was nervous while I was writing: I didn’t know if my writing would pass the test of that seven or eight year old that we all know, the impatient video game master, the instant gratification addict. According to my readers, it works. In the past decade, I have met thousands of my readers in schools and libraries across Israel, and many of them have told me: “Hey, what you wrote, it’s about me…"
The readers – and this is a kind of miracle – open the book and meet themselves.

I invite you to read Dog Trouble together with your children, but even if you decide to skip over it, do not give up thought-provoking, imaginative and emotional books that both challenge and entertain. Trust your children, they’re soulful creatures.

Galia Oz was born in Kibbutz Hulda, Israel, in 1964. She studied film and Television in Tel Aviv University 1984-87.

Her award winning series of 5 books titled DOG TROUBLE was published in France, Spain and Brazil – and recently in the US by CROWN BOOKS Random House. The series is a steady seller in Israel for over 10 years (selling over 150,000 copies). 

Oz has directed several documentaries, all screened in international film festivals, and in Israeli leading television channels.

Over the years, Galia Oz has been meeting thousands of readers in Israeli elementary schools, and taught creative writing and classic children's literature to kids in public libraries.

Galia Oz is married and has two kids, a dog and a cat, and they all live in Ramat Hasharon, just outside Tel-Aviv.

About the Book:

Author: Galia Oz
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 144
Genre: Children's book for young readers, ages 8-12


Readers who have graduated from Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean will fall head over heels for feisty Julie and her troublesome new dog.
Julie has only had her dog for two weeks, but she is already causing all sorts of problems. For starters, she is missing! Julie suspects the school bully Danny must be behind it. But it will take some detective work, the help of Julie’s friends, and maybe even her munchkin twin brothers to bring her new pet home.

Wonderfully sassy and endlessly entertaining, the escapades of Julie and her dog are just beginning!

Julie’s adventures have sold across the globe and been translated into five languages. Popular filmmaker and children’s author Galia Oz effortlessly captures the love of a girl and her dog.

"A funny exploration of schoolyard controversy and resolution.” –Kirkus Reviews 

"Will resonate with readers and have them waiting for more installments.” –Booklist  


Amazon | Barnes & Noble


My puppy, Shakshuka, disappeared. It happened when my dad was away on a business trip and my mom was in one of her worst moods ever because Max and Monty had both just had their vaccinations and they both had reactions and they didn’t sleep all night. Max and Monty—­I called them the Munchkins for short—­ were babies and twins and also my brothers, and every­ one knew that if there were two babies in the house, no one was going to pay any attention to a dog, even if she was only a baby herself.
At night, I lay awake in bed and I was cold, and I remembered that once on TV I saw pictures of a hun-gry dog that was really skinny whose family went on

a vacation and left him tied to a tree. And they said that the SPCA couldn’t take care of all the dogs that were abandoned by their families. And I thought about Shakshuka, who was gone and might be tied to a tree at that very minute, hungry and missing me.

The next morning in class, Brody told me there was no way that Shakshuka had been stolen. “No way, ­Julie!” he said. “Why would anyone bother? You could get five dogs like her, with spots and stripes, for less than ten dollars.” Or maybe he said you could get ten dogs like her for less than five dollars. Brody said things like that sometimes, but most of the time he was okay. When Max and Monty were born, he said that was it, no one at home would ever pay attention to me again, and when I cut my hair short, he said it was ugly.

I turned my back on Brody and pretended to listen to Adam. He sat at the desk next to mine and spent his whole life telling these crazy stories.

Adam said, “My father won f‑f-­fifty thousand, do you get it? In the lottery. He’s g‑going to buy me an i‑P‑P . . .” People didn’t always listen to Adam because he stuttered, and they didn’t always have the patience to

wait until he got the word out. This time Brody tried to help him finish his sentence.

“An iPod?”

“N‑not an i‑P-­Pod, you idiot. An i‑P-­Pad.”

Brody called Adam “Ad-­d-­d-­dam” because of his stutter, and because he liked to be annoying. But he was still my friend, and that was just how it was, and anyway, there were lots of kids worse than he was.

I cried about Shakshuka during morning recess and Danny laughed at me because that was Danny, that was just the way he was, and Duke also laughed, obvi-ously, because Duke was Danny’s number two. But at the time I didn’t know that they had anything to do with Shakshuka’s disappearance and kept telling my-self that maybe they were just being mean, as usual.

That Danny, everyone­ was afraid of him. And they’d have been nuts not to be. It was bad enough that he was the kind of kid who would smear your seat with glue and laugh at you when you sat down; that he and his friends would come up and offer you what looked like the tastiest muffin you’d ever seen, and when you opened your mouth to take a bite you discovered it was really a sponge. But none of that was important. The problem was, he remembered everything­ that anyone had ever done to him, and he made sure to get back at them. The day before Shakshuka disappeared, Mrs.

Brown asked us what a potter did, and Danny jumped up and said that a potter was a person who put plants in pots, but Mrs. Brown said that was not what a potter did. And then I raised my hand and said that a potter was a person who worked with clay and made pottery.

Danny, who sat right behind me, leaned forward and smacked my head, and I said, “Ow.” It wasn’t too bad, but the teacher saw him and she wrote a note he had to take home to his parents. That shouldn’t have been so bad either, but later, when school got out, he grabbed me in the yard and kicked me in the leg. I went flying and crashed into the seesaw, where I banged my other leg as well.

Danny said, “If you hadn’t said ‘Ow’ before in class, the teacher wouldn’t have given me a note. Now because of you I’m suspended. That was my third note.”

Our school had this system that every time a kid hit another kid, he got a note he had to take home to his parents, and if it happened three times his par-ents had to come to school and the kid got sent home. My mother said it was mainly a punishment for the parents, who had to miss a day of work and come to school.

I could have told on him for kicking me in the yard as well. My bag flew off my shoulder and landed right

in the middle of a puddle, and Mom was really angry at me when I got home because we had to take out all the books and leave them out to dry and we had to wash the bag. I really could have told on him, but there wouldn’t have been any point. It would just have meant another note for him, another kick for me.

Thanks but no thanks.

In the evening, when the Munchkins went to sleep, Mom took one look at me and burst out laughing and said she wished that you could buy a doll that looked just like me, with scratches on her right knee, black dirt under her fingernails, and a mosquito bite on her cheek.

“It’s not a bite, it’s a bruise,” I told her. “And any-way, who would buy a doll like that?”

“I would,” said Mom. “But what happened to you? Take a look at your legs—­how on earth . . .”

“Ow! Don’t touch.”

“You look as if you were in a fight with a tiger.” That was so close to the truth that I blurted out the whole story about what happened with Danny. And I was really sorry I did that because that was the reason Shakshuka disappeared. Mom spoke to Mrs. Brown and she must have told her I was black-­and-­blue after Danny pushed me because the next day at school Mrs. Brown took me aside and told me that I had to let her know whenever something like that happened because otherwise Danny would just keep on hitting me, and other kids too, and we had to put a stop to it. Mrs. Brown meant well, but I knew that when it came to Danny, I was on my own.

Later, at the end of the day, Danny caught me again, this time when I was right by the gate. Maybe someone saw me talking to the teacher and told him. Suddenly I was lying on the ground with my face in the dirt. I must have shouted because Danny told me to keep quiet.

Then he said, “Tell me what you told Mrs. Brown!” “Let me get up!” I yelled.

“First tell me what you told her.”

“Let me get up!” My neck was all twisted, but somehow I managed to turn to the side and I saw two first graders walking out of the building toward the gate.

Danny must have seen them too because he let me go, and when I stood up he looked at me and started

laughing, probably because of the dirt on my face, and I decided I’d had enough of this jerk. I saw red, no matter where I looked I saw red, and without think-ing about what grown-­ups always taught us—­that we shouldn’t hit back because whoever hit back would be punished just like the one who started it—­I threw a plant at him.

At the entrance to our school there was this huge plant. The nature teacher once told us that it grew so big because it always got water from this pipe that dripped down into it, and also because it was in a pro-tected corner.

It was a shame about the plant, it really was. And it didn’t even hit him. It crashed to the ground halfway between us. Then Mrs. Brown came. And without even thinking I told her that Danny knocked me down and then threw the plant at me.

“But it didn’t hit me,” I said, and I looked Danny straight in the eye to see what he’d say.

Danny said I was a liar, but Mrs. Brown took one look at my dirty clothes and she believed me. And be-cause of me he got into serious trouble. They didn’t only make his parents come to school and suspend him for a day—­after the incident with the plant they also told him he’d have to start seeing this really horrible counselor every Wednesday. The kids who knew him said his office stunk of cigarettes and he was a real bore.

That was why Danny found a way to get back at me. He said, “Just you wait.” That was exactly what he said: “Just you wait.” And I did wait because I knew him. But Shakshuka didn’t wait and she couldn’t have known how to wait for what ended up happening to her.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Dear Reader, Love Jennifer Chase

Dear Reader,

As you begin my novel, I realize that I immediately threw you right in the middle of the action and it can be a bit jarring. You are probably wondering why. I’m not going to apologize—you have to just tighten your seatbelt a little bit more. You see, I’ve been a huge fan of fast-paced thrillers for as long as I can remember and I wanted to share my love for these types of books with you.  If you’ve picked up my book because of the storyline, I would bet that you like the thrill ride as much as I do. It’s something that we both have in common.

I wrote this book to share with you because I actually experienced, what could be only described as a terrifying encounter, from a real textbook psychopath intent on killing me. Instead of making it just a terrible memory and an experience in my life, I decided to create a character that covertly hunts down serial killers and then emails anonymously the investigative details to the police in charge of the case. We shouldn’t forget about horrible experiences in our life, we should share them, put them right out in the open, and grow from them. That’s what I did.

I bet by now you’re wondering what makes the character Emily Stone tick. She lost her parents when she was barely a teen. They were murdered and the killer has never been found. This experience is what drives her to find killers. In some way, she expects to find the man that killed her parents hoping that it will give her peace. The more she confronts these monsters, the more she can cope with her own demons. Her biggest fear is not saving a victim in time—it’s something that she lives with every day. 

My special reader, I hope that you can forgive me in just throwing you into the action; instead, sit back, and enjoy the ride until the very end. Don’t forget, I’m right there with you as you jump on this roller coaster. Hang on tight!


Jennifer Chase

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.



About the Book:

Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller


What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dear Reader, Love, Anna del Mar

Dear Reader,

My stories have always been with me. I grew up in a house full of books and my family had its share of colorful storytellers. My earliest memories include snapshots of me falling asleep to the cadence of the yarn I was already weaving in my mind. Sometimes the stories morphed into dreams. To this day, I like to work in my sleep.

These days, I write hot, smart romances about strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who fight with all they’ve got to protect the women they love. My writing philosophy? Brawn + brains + heart = hot, unforgettable, irresistible heroes. My novels are journeys of the heart combined with thrilling adventures, where passion, sex, and love heal all that is broken on the way to a happy ending.

I write hot romantic suspense like The AssetThe Stranger and my latest, The Guardian. The Guardian is the story of Matthias Hawking, an ex-SEAL turned game warden, engaged in a fierce battle to end poaching in Africa. When Jade Romo, a beautiful, fiery journalist defies the poachers, Matthias will do everything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

I’m so excited to introduce you to Matthias and Jade. Traveling is a huge source of inspiration for me, so perhaps I should’ve known that a setting as dazzling as the Serengeti would spawn an epic love story in my mind. But during a laptop-free trip to Africa, Matthias and Jade caught me by surprise. Their passion set my imagination on fire. Fans of romantic suspense are going to love this sexy, combustible pair.
I’m very thankful to the many people in my life who have supported me in this amazing journey. But above all, I’m grateful to my amazing readers. They are my traveling companions in this grand adventure. Writing is my greatest joy, but writing for readers like you is by far my greatest privilege.
PS: Would you like to see the images that inspired many of the pivotal scenes in The Guardian? Click here to see my pictures of Africa.

To learn more about The Guardian:
Read the first few chapters of The Guardian for free:
Buy The Guardian:



Contact Anna: