Showing posts with label novel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label novel. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Markdown Deal

l've marked down the price of the Kindle format of my new romantic suspense novel, A Reservation for Murder, to 99 cents!  What a deal! You could pay up to $4.99 for one of James Patterson's Bookshots. Why not get a full length novel at 20% of that price?  Just click here: A Reservation for Murder

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Reservation for Murder is Now Available on Amazon

I just wanted to let everyone know that my new Lieutenant Morales mystery novel, A Reservation for Murder, has just been published and is now available for sale on Amazon in paperback and in ebook format for Kindle.
Set on a small island on the Southwest coast of Florida, it is what I like to call a romantic suspense novel. If you like mystery novelists like Harlan Coben, I hope you will read and enjoy A Reservation for Murder.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lieutenant Morales Series

A number of you have inquired about the next Lieutenant Morales novel in the series following "Dead in the Water.".  I just wanted to alert everyone that I am working on it right now and hope to have it available for sale in the Fall. Before then, I will publish an excerpt as soon as I feel it is ready. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Free New Mystery/Thriller Excerpt: "Dead in the Water"

In my most recent post of December 20, 2014, I wrote about my soon-to-be published mystery/thriller, "Dead in the Water." Dead in the Water is about the disappearance of a new bride on her honeymoon while on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Who was responsible for her disappearance?  Was it her new husband or her boss, a wealthy automobile dealer? And what roles do the Chinese government and a prominent Miami attorney have to play in her disappearance? Lieutenant Mario Morales, the head of security aboard the ship, investigates and discovers that her disappearance is not exactly what it seems.  You will be as surprised as he was when you learn the shocking truth about her disappearance..

While the novel is still being finalized for publication, I thought that I would share with you an excerpt from the book.  I hope you will enjoy reading it.

                                                        DEAD IN THE WATER

Lieutenant Morales, Lieutenant Morales, please wake up, sir. Hurry. We need your help right away. Lieutenant Morales, please sir".

I rolled over in bed and pulled the alarm clock closer to my face so that I could read it better.  The clock's dial glowed 5:00 in a sickening green color. Was that a.m. or p.m.?  I really had no idea. It seemed like I had a hard time remembering things lately. In fact, I wasn’t even too sure how I had ended up back in my own cabin.  Or at least I thought it was my own cabin.

“Lieutenant Morales, please answer me if you are in there.  We need your help right away.  We think there may have been a murder on board the ship.” The voice sounded to me like a roar, even through the thick cabin door.

After a few seconds, I got my bearings and was finally able to recognize the voice as belonging to one of the new security guards I had recently hired to replace two guards who had been fired for drug smuggling shortly before I was hired as head of security on board the Mardi Gras.

 “Roman, Roman, something or other,” I mumbled as I rolled over onto my back, as I finally remembered the name of the man whose voice I heard outside my stateroom door. “What the hell does he want at this time of the morning,” I wondered. “Goddamn him, just when I was starting to fall asleep after being awake all night.”

The pounding on my door continued but all I wanted was to be left alone.  I had a throbbing, migraine headache, and I felt like I might throw up.  I did recall that the Captain’s welcoming party the night before had gone on for a lot longer than usual and I had drunk way too much tequila. I did not particularly like tequila, but there was a certain young woman at the party, who I was drinking with and she loved tequila. Lots of it.  I could barely keep up with her as we downed tequila sunrises together at dinner and later at the bar in the ship’s lounge. Truth be told, I hadn’t had a drink in over a year since I left LA. Little wonder I felt so lousy now.

“What was her name? I’m not sure that she even told me.”  I thought that she was Asian----Chinese, or Vietnamese or maybe, Korean, but I wasn’t even sure about that.  But I was certain that she was quite beautiful. She wore her long black hair down to her waist and her eyelashes seemed almost as long. She had on a black, silk, split leg dress that was slit to her hip and showed off her surprisingly long brown legs. I thought she looked incredibly sexy. “I must look her up this morning.”

“Get me some coffee. Black, no sugar,” I yelled as I started to climb out of the narrow single bed. “I’ll be right out.” I climbed slowly out of bed and stood up and immediately I realized that the ship was not moving. Usually, when the ship is moving, I feel a little unsteady when I first get out of bed or stand up from a chair. When I was being interviewed for the job as head of security aboard the Mardi Gras, I had told the interviewer that I had lived my whole life in California and had never been on a ship before. He assured me, “Don’t worry; you’ll get your sea legs in no time.” He was wrong. It had been six months and I still seemed to feel woozy half the time.

Once out of bed, I walked over to the far side of the cabin and looked out the small porthole. The ship was enveloped in a thick, black fog. I couldn’t tell where the water ended and the sky began, it was so thick. We must be stopped in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.  I hoped it was only the fog and not some mechanical problem that had caused the ship to be dead in the water.

There had been a rash of mechanical problems recently on all of the Mariner cruise ships. A few months before I came on board, there had been a suspicious fire in the engine room of the Mardi Gras, which had required the evacuation of the ship. Passengers aboard all four of the Mariner ships also had gotten violently ill from the norovirus. The cruise line’s public relations department had issued press releases claiming that all of these intestinal problems were caused by the passengers themselves. But, because of these problems, the cruise line had become fodder for the late night, television talk show hosts almost every night. Bookings were definitely down as a result and Mariner had recently filed for bankruptcy.

I had been chief of security on the Mardi Gras for almost six months. I had found life aboard the Mardi Gras to be quite pleasant.  Since I had come on board, I and my deputy, and our crew of eight security guards had investigated several robberies and assaults on board the ship. Most of these were of a petty nature.  I made sure that security aboard the ship was quite tight because it is well known that some passengers on cruise ships are affluent and travel with a considerable amount of cash and jewelry. For that reason, a variety of petty criminals and a few well-trained thieves stalk the cruise ships to prey on those passengers. But murder? I quickly dismissed the thought that there had been a murder on board my ship. Not that I wasn’t familiar with murder.  I had seen plenty of murders while working homicide out of the Ramparts Division west of downtown Los Angeles, where there were frequent homicides in that most-densely populated part of the city.

But, undoubtedly, I said to myself, this supposed murder on board the ship, will turn out to be nothing but a false alarm. It was early March and there were hundreds of college kids aboard the ship for spring break, many of whom got quite drunk on the mai tais and other drinks that freely flowed aboard the ship. I thought that this “murder” may just be one of those college pranks that those kids loved to play on the crew just for the hell of it.

 I convinced myself that Roman had failed to examine all of the facts. The facts do not lie, I said to myself. For me, Roman was just a little too excitable and I may have to reconsider his hiring, Little did I know how wrong I would turn out to be.

“I hear you, you idiot. I hear you. Now just keep quiet.  You’ll wake up the whole damn ship.”  The last thing that I wanted to happen was to have Roman create a panic among the passengers on the ship with these cries of “murder.”  Some of the passengers who were awake were probably already wondering why the ship was stopped in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Now, if they heard about a murder on the ship---well, who knows what might happen.

         Every week, the Mardi Gras sailed between Miami and Cozumel, Mexico, with a short day stop in Key West, Florida. The four and five day cruises ran between early January and early May. At one time, the Mardi Gras had been a state of the art cruise ship, but now it had seen better days. Several times during the last year or so, it had stopped dead in the water due to mechanical problems.

The Mardi Gras generally had almost 2000 passengers on board as well as a crew of at least 1000. The logistics of providing food for those 3000 people were astounding. The logistics of interviewing those same 3000 people about a potential murder or disappearance were even more frightening to me.

Yet each of those 3000 people was a potential witness who might add something to the puzzle if indeed there was a murder. On the other hand, we were still a day’s sail away from Miami.  The last thing we needed was to stir up mass hysteria among the passengers and crew if they thought a murderer was loose among them.

 “I’ll be right out, goddamn it. And quiet down, for God’s sake,” I yelled through the door.

 The last thing I did after getting dressed and before leaving my cabin was to put on my St. Michael medal which I wore on a silver chain around my neck.  I never went anywhere without it. St. Michael was the patron saint of police officers and I believed he had saved my life more than once. I had been an altar boy when I was a kid and even thought about becoming a priest.  My mother would have loved it if I had been ordained a priest, but I knew that I was not cut out for the religious life. But I still believed and tried to get to Mass as often as I could. When I was still on the LAPD, some of the other cops would call me “St. Mario” because I went to Mass so often. I sort of liked the nickname.

“So, where is this so-called murder?,” I said as I stepped out of my stateroom into the narrow hall.  I was surprised to see not only Roman, but also Sergeant Virginia Boudreaux, my deputy and, most surprisingly, Captain Antonio Vivaldi, the captain of the Mardi Gras.  The Captain was wearing his immaculate dress white uniform, which always looked as though it had just come back from the dry cleaners. I had been told that some crew members sometimes joked about Vivaldi because his name was the same as the famed Italian composer and they had heard the Captain playing Vivaldi’s music in his cabin long into the night. I myself preferred Herbie Hancock’s jazz albums.

“This must be serious to get you out of bed this early, Tony” I joked to the Captain. But Vivaldi did not laugh and said nothing in response.

“Lieutenant, I think you should take this matter seriously,” said Sergeant Boudreaux. “We believe a woman may have been murdered on her honeymoon.”

“So, you believe a woman has been murdered,” I said. “And on her honeymoon, no less. Well, tell me, where is the body?”

“Well, sir, there is no body,” piped up Roman.

“No body, but a murder has been committed.  Very interesting.   This is an impossibility. Why are you wasting my time? Are you sure this is not just one of those spring break pranks?”  I was still irritated at being awakened so early in the morning and I was almost ready to turn back and return to my cabin to sleep off this powerful hangover that was gripping me.

“It is very complex” said Captain Vivaldi.

 “Murder is always complex, Tony. But you must have a body.” I continued, “And who is this woman who has been murdered.”

Captain Vivaldi again responded, “Her name is Linda Weigand. She is on the cruise ship with her new husband, Robert. It was her husband who called to report that she was missing and that he suspected she may have been murdered.”      

 Suddenly, this disappearance took on a totally new flavor. Maybe this was something more than just a sophomoric, fraternity brothers’ prank.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

New Mystery/Thriller Novel

If you are a fan of the late great mystery writer, P.D. James, or the late French mystery writer. Georges Simenon or even, John Grisham, have I got a treat for you. My mystery/ thriller, "Dead in the Water," is in pre-production right now. The lead investigator, Lieutenant Morales,  is sort of a combination of James' Adam Dalgliesh and Simenon's Inspector Maigret, with a twist of Lieutenant Columbo thrown in for good measure. Partly set on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and in Miami, including Little Havana, the plot also features a trial attorney with some unusual clients.

As "Dead in the Water" comes closer to publication, I will include an excerpt in this blog. So, keep your eyes on this blog in the next few weeks. I know you will enjoy the book when it becomes available on Amazon and Kindle and in your favorite bookstore.

P.S. An excerpt is now available on this blog.