Tag Archives: crime fiction

Author Interview with Gary Guinn ~ New Release: Sacrificial Lam

Please help me welcome Gary Guinn who is sharing a little about himself and about his new release, a thriller mystery that sounds like my kind of read!


  1. Where did you get the idea for Sacrificial Lam? Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Fairly early in my career teaching at the university, a disturbing incident occurred. Three of my colleagues at the university, who were all liberal, progressive professors like myself, received anonymous threats couched in violent terms. The university was a small, conservative, southern place, and liberal professors like ourselves were in a real minority and sometimes found teaching there an uncomfortable fit. At the same time, we felt a sense of purpose in being the source of divergent, more open, views in the areas of politics, social issues, and religion. The threats created a tense environment, and though nothing could be proved, there was a pretty strong suspicion of who was responsible. As it happens, the threats stopped, and nothing further came of them, but that situation became the kernel for developing the series of mystery/thrillers featuring English professor Lam Corso, a liberal who teaches at a small, conservative southern college. Sacrificial Lam is the first in the series. The second, which I am about halfway through, has the working title A Lam to Slaughter.

  1. Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

All my previous writing had been literary fiction, usually historical. But my writing had begun to feel stale, and I found myself doing a lot of revising of older work rather than creating new work. So I decided to break out of the mold altogether and do something totally different. I’ve always loved reading mystery/thrillers, but didn’t think I could pull one off. National Novel Writing Month was just around the corner, so I spent a couple of weeks outlining the story and then cranked out fifty-five thousand words in November. It was great fun and really seemed to open my creative juices again and let them flow. After a year of revising with my writing group and editing with my publisher, it was ready to go.

  1. What was the most difficult thing about this novel in particular?

Probably the most difficult thing about writing this particular novel was that I was using a setting that all my friends were familiar with, and I was basing some of the characters in the novel on people who would be recognizable. I had to make the place and the characters believable as fictional characters in spite of the fact that they would be recognizable to many readers. I wanted readers to read the story, not think about the biographical background and connections.

  1. What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich. When I read that novel, I fell in love—with the book and with Louise Erdrich. The sense of mystery, bordering on magical realism, and the rich characters made me want to cry half the time. And her beautiful treatment of the Native American culture in the novel was just delicious. There’s no other way to describe it. Delicious. And the novel was full of surprises. A really engaging narrative. Erdrich’s language just overwhelmed me at times, like music, like the language of love. I’ve read the book again and loved it as much the second time—a sure sign that it’s true love.

A close second in answer to this question would be The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. That is the only novel I have ever finished reading and then gone right back to page 1 and started reading again. Loved it. I think I’m seeing a pattern here—Love Medicine, The History of Love.

  1. What do you want readers to come away with after they read Sacrificial Lam?

Sacrificial Lam pits liberal, progressive, humanistic ideas against radical, fundamentalist, religious/political/social ideas. But it doesn’t preach a particular ideology. In fact, the sympathetic characters have to confront their cherished beliefs in light of the immediate threat of violence and death. The novel presents the very real complexity of what it means to believe, to have real commitments, passions, that are challenged by reality.

I want readers to come away with a sense of the problem of extremism, of radical belief that drives us to put the lives of, the dignity of, other human beings at minimal value. That puts theology of any kind above the humane treatment of people.

  1. Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

The bane of most writers is marketing and promotion. We love to write. We love our books. But we hate to spend a huge chunk of our lives marketing. But it is marketing that we have to do. And one of the most important promotional tools is the book review—lots and lots of book reviews! When I first started learning how to promote my books, like most people I thought, “Good reviews, good. Bad reviews, bad.” So I might have answered the question then as I’d rather have no reviews than a bad review. But I’ve learned that even bad reviews bring attention to your book. And more importantly, they bring balance to all those 5-Star reviews that your friends and family write. If you have fifty reviews, and they are all 5-Star, a smart reader will be a little suspicious. But if the average of your reviews is 4.5 Stars, then a reader will think that you have received a few negative responses but that the great majority of people loved the book.

  1. Your favorite…

Movie: Smoke Signals, based on a short story by Sherman Alexie titled “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” A wonderfully quirky and funny movie that will make you cry for the compassionate treatment of the main characters.

Music: Well, I love Bluegrass. And I love 1940’s Big Band. And I love Classical Guitar. But if I had to name an artist that I want to sit down and drink brandy or beer and listen to all night, it would be Norah Jones. Tom Waits would be a close second. Paul Simon a close third.

Place you’ve visited: The village of Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. My wife and I spent our 25th anniversary there, hiking in the mountains, having dinner at sidewalk cafes, watching the moon set over the mountain from bed, with a glass of wine.

Place you’d like to visit: Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ve been to some beautiful Mayan ruins in Central America, but those sky-high ruins above the clouds at Machu Picchu just seem like the ultimate Mayan experience.

TV show from childhood: Gunsmoke. Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty and Chester and Doc. What could possibly be better?

TV show from adulthood: Humans, Jack Taylor, Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders.

Food: Italian Chicken Spaghetti with red wine.

Loved your answers, Gary…interesting! Very wise words on the review situations.


When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off.  A liberal activist at a small Southern conservative college, he’s used to stirring up controversy on campus.  It’s just part of the give and take of life.  Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it must be a mistake.  He can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs.

When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, Lam is forced to face the truth. His wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. The police can’t find a single lead. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan are forced to examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by his own set of beliefs.

What will it cost to survive?


In the silence immediately after Susan screamed, Simon’s high wail came from upstairs. Billy’s voice broke through, “Mom? What happened, Mom?” His voiced moved to the top of the stairs. “Mama, I’m scared. Where are you?” Simon was sobbing.

Susan grabbed the flashlight and scrambled to her feet. The darkness of the room pressed in on her, weighted with threat, the silence in the downstairs smothering her voice. She shined the flashlight toward the stairway, heading that way, and yelled, “Boys, can you see the light from the flashlight?”

She flicked the light around the room, and seeing nobody, she yelled again, with less panic this time, “Nothing to be afraid of, Billy. I’m sorry I scared you. You and Simon come on downstairs right now.” She shined the light on the stairway steps, fear crawling up her spine from the darkness behind her.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Sacrificial-Lam-Gary-Guinn/dp/1509213058/

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sacrificial-lam-gary-guinn/1125460487?ean=2940157292218

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/sacrificial-lam

TWRP http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4887-sacrificial-lam.html



Gary Guinn lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with his wife, Mary Ann, and their lab mix, Seamus, and their Corgi mix, Peanut. He writes both literary and mystery/thriller fiction. His first novel, A Late Flooding Thaw, was published by Moon Lake Publishing in 2005. His poetry and fiction have appeared in a variety of magazines, and his short fiction has appeared in several anthologies, the latest being Yonder Mountain, from the University of Arkansas Press. His mystery/thriller novel Sacrificial Lam, released by The Wild Rose Press March 3rd, is set on a small Southern college campus. His favorite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling, and brewing beer (and of course, drinking it).

Contact Links:

Website https://garyguinn.com

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/garyguinnwriter/

Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Gary-Guinn/e/B01N4GPT7P

Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/585203.Gary_Guinn

Twitter https://twitter.com/@gmguinn

Email gary.guinn@gmail.com



Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

No Brakes: On the Wing – New Release and Book Giveaway!

I am very pleased to introduce Ellen Ann Callahan and her brand new release, No Brakes: On the Wing. I had the pleasure of editing this story, and it’s fantastic. An engaging novel with unique characters. You won’t want to miss this one.

*** Ellen is giving away a print copy of her book to one lucky commenter (U.S. Residents only). Winner will be draw on June 19th.



Lucy Prestipino has only minutes to deliver a lawsuit to the Baltimore City courthouse. She’s a twenty-one-year-old bicycle messenger on a mission—saving a crying lawyer from missing the statute of limitations. She’s promised to file the lawsuit before the court closes, no matter what

No matter what propels Lucy into a horrific crash with handsome and charismatic Romero Sanchez.  She becomes romantically entangled with Sanchez until Rick McCormick, the chief of the new gang unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, warns her of the depth of Sanchez’s criminality. Her relationship with Sanchez violently disintegrates. A brutal murder draws her into a ruthless vendetta between Sanchez and McCormick. She’s convinced the police are on the wrong track and launches her own murder investigation. The long-kept secrets Lucy unearths during her hunt for a killer force her to confront choices that may destroy her.


Lucy passed the morning browsing inside Surveillance Spyware, the largest spy-equipment retail store in the world, according to the ad she saw in the Los Angeles Times. She wanted to buy a tiny, covert camera so she could secretly record her conversations with Romero.

The store was massive. There were nanny cams in coffee pots and clocks, recording devices tucked into everyday household items—air fresheners, computer flash drives, and tissue boxes. She considered buying the baseball hat with the pinhole-sized recorder implanted above the rim. No, Romero’s not dumb. He’ll have me searched.

The personal protection department was by far the largest. Stun grenades and pepper blasters. Taser guns disguised as pens, key chains, and lipstick cases. Three aisles over, Lucy found her heart’s desire: a Flashbang bra holster. The holster attached to a women’s bra, between the breasts, concealing the gun. Even under a T-shirt.

Lucy debated buying it. Wearing the holster in LA was out. Romero would find it in a second. Besides, she’d left her gun in Baltimore. She decided to buy the holster anyway—sometimes a woman needs to spoil herself.

“With practice, you can draw your gun in under three seconds,” the saleswoman said.

“I’ll take it.”


And now, let’s get to know the author…this is her first ever blog interview, so make her feel welcome!

Where did you get the idea for No Brakes: On the Wing?

Three years ago, I retired from the practice of law to become a writer. My book was inspired by a client who consulted with me over a terrible dilemma. My story takes the dilemma to an extreme.

Why did you choose this genre?

I need to give credit to my father.  While I was a growing up, my father liked action movies (he called them “shoot ‘em ups”). My mother didn’t care for them, so my father took me to all the shoot ‘em up movies.   I spent my formative years watching Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Gene Hackman movies.  I loved the car chases and the fights.  I later developed an interest in crime fiction novels.

One of the first things I learned from my writing classes was “write what you know.” Crime fiction is what I know, so that’s what I decided to write.  I have a chase scene in my book, but it’s on a bicycle and not in a car. Of course, there are fight scenes and a “shoot ‘em up.”

What’s the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, it was making the basic decisions about how to tell the story.  Each decision triggers a story path that leads to another and another. Sometimes, after writing many pages, I decided I didn’t like the path the book was taking and changed the decision that triggered the path. For example, what should be the occupation of the protagonist, Lucy Prestipino?  She started out as a reporter.  After I wrote fifty pages, the story just wasn’t working. It was boring. Once Lucy became a bicycle messenger, the story speeded up. I went through the same decision-making process with every scene.    

What was the most difficult thing about this book in particular?

I found it challenging to write the romance scenes. My parents were old-school Irish-Catholic and I was raised in that tradition. Sexuality was not discussed. PDA’s consisted of little kiss-pecks. I knew my book needed romance, but the idea of writing it was very intimidating.  I took a romance-oriented writing class and studied romance novels like they were textbooks. Reading Fifty Shades of Grey helped (a lot!). Once I found my comfort zone, the writing flowed. A male reader described my book as “saucy.” I never imagined I could ever write anything saucy.   I had a blast adding sauce to No Brakes: On the Wing.

How did you develop the protagonist, Lucy Prestipino?

I like books about female protagonists who prevail over obstacles through resourcefulness and intelligence.  Since I was writing a page-turner, Lucy needed to be a risk-taker.  She seemed to develop her quirky personality all on her own. She’s savvy, but naïve; strong, but vulnerable; attractive, but a hot mess.  The bundle of contradictions made her fun to write.   

What’s your favorite scene in No Brakes: On the Wing?

I loved writing the courtroom confrontation between Lucy and the prosecutor. It’s also the favorite scene of lawyers who’ve read my book. Any trial lawyer who claims she/he has never had a similar courtroom experience is fibbing.  It happens to all of us, no matter how prepared we are for court.  

What surprised you the most while writing the book?

I was surprised how the characters took on lives of their own. I’d heard other writers talk about the phenomenon, but I didn’t understand it until I wrote my book. Lucy, Rick, and Romero became very real to me. Whenever I typed a false word, the character would shout inside my head, “I wouldn’t say that! I wouldn’t do that!” It was a little spooky.

Are any of the characters based on real people?

Most of them are, in one way or another. Every character has the personality, appearance, or traits of someone I know.   Most of the vignettes in the book are based on true stories. The bichon frise is modeled on my dog, Davy.  The character of Dr. John Michaels is based on my brother of blessed memory, John Michael. He owned a dog named “The Old Gentleman.”

Are any characters based on you?

I share a lot of traits with one of the characters, but I won’t say which one. It’s not Lucy’s mother.  

What do you want readers to come away with after they read No Brakes: On the Wing?

My goal was to write an entertaining story about an important issue, with elements of humor and romance. If readers come away feeling the book was well-worth their time and money, I’d be happy. That’s my personal standard for spending my time and money on something—whether it’s a seminar, meal, movie or book.  I want to come away feeling, “Yeah, that was well-worth it.”

What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

Persistent.  It took me longer to write No Brakes: On the Wing than to go to law school, study for the bar, and pass it! I wrote every day, knowing that one day it would be finished. The next book will go much faster.  

Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story?

I write a lot of random scenes in my head while walking Davy. After the walk, I write them down.    

Your favorite…

Movie: Witness. It has everything I love in a movie—conflict, romance, a compelling story, even a shoot ‘em up.  Harrison Ford is a bonus.

Music: Anything that makes me want to dance. My current favorite song is “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon. 

Place you’ve visited: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s the only museum where I’ve spent eight hours straight—twice!  

Place you’d like to visit:  I’d love to go on road trip across the United States.

TV show from childhood: The Fugitive.

TV show from adulthood: HBO’s The Wire. My guilty pleasure is Say Yes to the Dress.

FoodChesapeake Bay soft-shelled crabs. Yummy!  

Sports team:  This is a tough one. I grew up in the Washington, DC area. My favorite teams are the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. I dream that one day they’ll oppose each other in the World Series, but I don’t know who I’d root for.  Talk about a dilemma.

Recreation: I like going to rock concerts, especially those featuring bands of my youth. Strangely, I’ve noticed the audience keeps getting grayer.

CallahanE.photograph (1)

Author Bio:

Ellen Ann Callahan is an author and freelance writer. Her articles and essays have appeared in Maryland Life Magazine, The Washington Post, Washington Family Magazine, and Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul. She was an adoption attorney until she retired to pursue the writing life. She lives with her husband in Deep Creek, Maryland.

Buy links:


Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/kcaytbr

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/p34alhe


Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X6FSMRE
Nook: (Nook): http://tinyurl.com/kcp7fp6
Apple iBook: http://tinyurl.com/oodjsxz

Contact links:

Follow Ellen on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/ECallahanAuthor

Like Ellen on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EllenAnnCallahan

Visit Ellen at http://www.ellenanncallahan.com


Filed under For Writers, New Release

The Wild Rose Press New Release Spotlight – A Paranormal & A Crime Story…

I am pleased to host two new releases on my blog today. I’ve read Tequila Dirty, and it’s a fun read. You should definitely check it out. Heart Shifter looks wonderful as well. Read on to learn about both of these stories and please follow the authors on Twitter, Facebook, etc. 



Charlotte Copper with Heart Shifter, Paranormal romance novella

Hot summer. Cool water. Dark secrets

Fun fact:

I once spent a week sailing in the North Channel – the location for Heart Shifter. It’s absolutely beautiful!

A few favorite lines:

“Oh, this is nothing,” he said with a chuckle. Putting the pie plate down, he leaned forward and rested his elbows on the counter. “Would you like a piece?”



Find Heart Shifter here: (Only $1.99)

The Wild Rose Press:  http://bit.ly/XgytwB

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1pjJZ14
Find Charlotte here:

Email:  charlottecopper.author@gmail.com

Website:  http://charlottecopperauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.copper.52

Twitter:  @CharlotteCopper


Mickey J. Corrigan with Tequila Dirty, romantic crime comedy novella  

Detective Liam Donell is in trouble when he lets Rita Deltone, a hot chick from the sticks, have her say on a Dusky Beach murder case.

Fun fact:

I wrote the first half of the novella as a short story. It ended with Rita Deltone still “trussed up” in the hospital bed, hitting on the man who is interviewing her. I brought the story to my writing group and they laughed out loud while reading it. But it felt incomplete. So I decided to explore what might happen if the detective on the case untied Rita to give her the chance to prove her innocence. That’s how Liam Donell entered the picture. Although he had been there all along, the silent brooding cop on the case. Observing her. Falling for her.

A few favorite lines:

When he said, “How would you like to make ten K in a single night, no strings attached,” you can’t blame me for sinking into a fake leatherette booth while he fetched us a round. Ten thousand dollars? Might as well be a million. What I could do with that kind of dough. I could change my freaking life.



Find Tequila Dirty Here: – (Only $1.99)

The Wild Rose Press:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tequila-Dirty-Stuff-Mickey-Corrigan-ebook/dp/B00NES910U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411328971&sr=1-1&keywords=tequila+dirty

Find Mickey here:






Filed under Entertainment, For Writers