Serial Podcast

If you haven’t listened to the podcast Serial, and you’re a fan of murder-mysteries, you’re doing yourself a disfavor. This is by far and away the greatest podcast that I’ve listened to. Serial is about Adnan Syed, a teenager accused of and convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. Serial tackles the case against Adnan, who declares his innocence, with interviews, forensics, and case analysis.

Quick summary: Syed and Lee were dating in high school until late 1998 when they broke up. On January 13th 1999, Lee went missing and her body was found (by a strange character) a few weeks later on February 9th. After a police investigation, Syed was arrested on March 1st and charged with her murder. The reason they arrested Adnan? His buddy Jay Wilds told the police Adnan confessed to killing her.

(Spoiler alert)

My Questions:

  • Timeline – The prosecution says that Adnan killed Hae in the Best Buy parking lot by 2:36pm. Class let out at 2:15pm and this was a school of 1500 kids so it takes a little while to actually leave the school. As Serial discusses and tests, in my opinion, there is no way that Hae can grab a snack, leave the school, drive to Best Buy, and be strangled by Adnan in 21 minutes.
  • Pay Phone – Shady character Jay said that Adnan called him from a Best Buy pay phone to come get him because he just killed Hae. Numerous people have said that there was no pay phone at Best Buy and the police never went to Best Buy to validate the existence of a pay phone.
  • Jay’s stories – Jay had told numerous conflicting stories about the conversations with Adnan, conflicting stories about his whereabouts, and numerous stories about the events leading up to the death of Hae. Jay said that Adnan told him he was going to kill Hae. Adnan was going to purchase a gift for Jay’s girlfriend and I think Jay was jealous. He is not trustable and frankly a number one suspect.
  • Alibi – Adnan has no recollection of his whereabouts the day Hae disappeared. This is disturbing. How do you not know where you were the day your friend/ex disappeared? He was apparently at the library according to his friend Asia who wrote to him in prison. This is one of the reasons for his appeal. Adnan was supposed to be at track practice while Jay and he buried the body but the coach cannot remember if he was there. The coach cannot recall if he was there? Huh?
  • Discovery – The man who discovered the body in Leakin Park said he stopped to urinate and stumbled upon it. The body was a couple hundred yards from the road. Who stops to take a leak that far from the road? The investigator was inches from the body and still could not see it. How does this guy see it?
  • Cell phones – Activity between Jay and Adnan’s cell phones are the main reason for a possible retrial. Some point to Adnan being at Leakin Park when Jay says they are burying the body. But the cell phone company specifically says that incoming calls cannot be verified for an exact location.
  • Drugs – Both Jay and Adnan say they were high that day. This makes their stories even more difficult to believe.
  • Hae’s car – After Jay confessed to the police that Adnan killed Hae, he led them to her abandoned car. This is something I cannot get over. Jay knew something. Jay was either telling the truth that Adnan killed her or Jay had actually killed her. There is no way he had knowledge of where her car was a month after she disappeared without knowing how she died.

So where do we stand? I have listed a 1-page summary of the case but the case itself is thousands of documents and years of trial and error. Adnan is serving a life sentence and hoping for a re-trial. He actually had his first trial end in a hung jury before his second trial ended in a murder conviction. He is currently waiting for his appeal to be heard on the grounds of inadequate representation. His attorney never called the witness Asia, who confirmed his alibi that he has at the library when the prosecution said the murder took place.

Where do I stand? If I was on the jury, there is no way I could have convicted him. There is plenty of reasonable doubt here. Did he do it? Why would he? I don’t see a strong enough motive and Adnan seems to be a decent human being. But if he didn’t who did? If you force me to decide, I’d say he’s innocent.

Check out to learn more.

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Hidden Tides

Sorry, haven’t posted in quite some time. I lost my URL due to billing issues with an expired credit card and I didn’t realize it for quite some time.

My newest novel in the Detective Cutter series is now live on Amazon. This is book two with book three about 60% complete.  Here is the blurb, compliments  of Bryan Cohen.

When a teenage girl disappears in Wildwood, New Jersey State Detective Brendan Cutter takes the case. As Cutter digs deeper, he learns the immigrant girl wasn’t out for a simple stroll. She was part of an illegal operation and her life ended in murder.

Cutter’s significant other, local Detective Vicky Glass is called back home to investigate a robbery. With two simple sheets of paper, one man has taken down multiple banks and walked out with tens of thousands in cash.

Unlikely culprits and even less likely allies join Cutter and Glass to protect the Garden State from corruption, theft, and ruthless crime.

Pick up a copy today!

Hidden Tides

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The Changing of Television

Remember the days of watching a sitcom; Growing Pains, Family Ties, The Cosby Show, Cheers, and then waiting a week until the next episode?  And the next episode was nothing about the previous one?

TV as we know it has changed.  Now, you can view a show that was premiered a month ago or even a year, or even five years ago and catch up on the whole series  Is this a good thing?  I say yes.

I’ll explain in a future blog about how I ditched cable and watched these shows, but right now, I’ll talk about the top 5 television events I’ve seen in the past 12 months.

Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, The Wire, or Game of Thrones.

#5 – Omar’s Demise

The Wire character, portrayed by Michael K. Williams, is killed by a 9 yr old boy.

#4 – King Joffrey

The 17 yr old King of the Seven Kingdoms is poisoned.

#3 – Motorcycle Mayhem

The killing of a boy on a dirt bike during the train heist – Breaking Bad.

#2 – Death of Tuco

The scene in which Tuco cooks dinner for Walter White and Jessie.

#1 – Imp

The champion dies after fighting for the imp.

What are your favorite scenes??

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Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to say Happy Holidays to everyone out there!  Couple of important announcements.

My newest book, Hidden Motive, is now available in both paperback and as an ebook.

In honor of the release, my books Deep Rough, The Chemist and The Lost Journal are only $.99, today only!

Also, my book, Foxworth Academy, is now available in audio format on iTunes.

I wish you and your family have a great holiday season and an even better 2015!


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Interview with Allison Cosgrove

Tough question, but describe your books in 5 words:
Edge of your seat ride.
How long have you been a writer and what inspired you to become an author:
I have been writing since I was in grade school however I have only seriously started writing after a long hiatus. My return to writing was prompted by my best friend asking me what one thing that I wanted to accomplish as a child but never did was. Next thing you knew I had a book underway and a whole pile more waiting in the wings.
What is the Stan Brookshire Series about:
The series follows Detective Stan Brookshire of the Lake City PD and his partner Det. Jane Trinity on many crimes that occur in and around Lake City. It also follows his progress as a recovering alcoholic back into favor with the people around him.
What other authors would you compare your books to:
If I had to pin down on authors books I would have to say it would be closest to James Patterson’s Alex Cross series.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2014:

Finish books three and four! I have them slated for release in Feb 2015 and July 2015!

Thanks Allison.

You can find all of Allison’s books here:

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Interview with D.D. Marks

Tough question, but describe your books in 5 words:

A reader once described my works better than I’ve ever managed, so here it is: Bullet-proof kevlar bodice rippers.

How long have you been a writer and what inspired you to become an author:

I’ve been writing fiction for 11 years, but I became a full-time professional author in 2011. I think I wanted to be an author as early as six years old, thanks to my Dad reading me The Hobbit every night before bed. Telling stories has always been in my blood, and I’m just grateful I have the chance to do it for a living.

What is the Olesia Anderson Series about:

Olesia is a corporate espionage specialist who does dirty work for multinationals – stealing patents, kidnapping and extortion, blowing up manufacturing plants and everything in between. Her life changes when she encounters a home-grown terrorist cell stealing, murdering and extorting their way across the globe. With Olesia in their sights, her simple job turns into a fight for her life and a search for truth in a business built on lies.

The Olesia Anderson series are pure pulp spy novellas, packed from cover to cover with explosions, gunfights, car chases, betrayals and a healthy dose of sex.

What other authors would you compare your books to:

Readers have compared the series to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, or Ian Fleming’s Bond… if Bond were a woman with less tact and a bit of a vengeful streak.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2014:

I’ve tried to release two Olesia Anderson novellas every year since I started writing them, but this year I’ll only be releasing one… but it’s a double-length adventure, so everything balances out! It sees Olesia and a team of mercenaries jetting off to Venezuela in an all-or-nothing bid to prevent… well, I shouldn’t spoil anything. But it’ll be out in time for Christmas!

Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog, Chris. It’s been great chatting with you.

All of his books can be found here:

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Interview with Author Sabrina Flynn

1)Tough question but describe your books in 5 words:

Barbary Coast murder and mayhem.

2) How long have you been a writer and what inspired you to become an author? I have always had an overwhelming urge to write stories. As a teenager, I filled notebook after notebook, and continued writing daily throughout my life. I can’t imagine not writing.

I never intended to be an author. I started writing my first serious book after reading a long string of depressing books that completely obliterated my desire to read. But it was all for my own enjoyment. I never thought of publishing the books. Years later, a professional editor who I met through an online fanfiction community asked me if she could read something of my own. She loved my book. And that’s when I began to think seriously about publishing.

3) What is the Ravenwood Detective Agency about? ‘From the Ashes’ takes place in San Francisco at the turn of the century. Atticus Riot is a gambler turned detective who worked along side the legendary Zephaniah Ravenwood for twenty years. After his partner’s murder, Riot isn’t the same. He has every intention of hanging his hat up for good, but curiosity gets the better of him, and he accepts a final case. Or so he thinks. The case, that of finding an abducted heiress, takes an unexpected turn and so does his life.

The premise for the series began with a thought (as books often do): What if the legendary half of a detective duo was murdered? What would the remaining (and not as brilliant) half do? The series explores guilt, regret, and new beginnings in a fascinating place and time.

One reviewer summed the setting, San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, up very well by saying, ‘We see the grit, grime and danger in a city that was part modern, part frontier seaport, but we also experience the city’s glamor, the beauty of it incomparable setting, and its exotic lure.’

4) What other author would you compare your books to? I would be honored if my books were ever compared to Laurie R. King and Elizabeth Peters. I try to write with the same mix of suspense, adventure, and humor.

5)  What’s the plan for the rest of 2014? Along with my mystery series, I also write high fantasy. The second book in the Legends of Fyrsta series, King’s Folly, will be released in November. After that, I’ll switch gears, and start writing the second book in the Ravenwood Detective Agency series. And in November, I’ll be attending Bouchercon 2014 where I’m scheduled for an Author Focus Panel on the 15th.

You can check out my website for release dates and author news:

Thanks Sabrina!

Here is a list of all of Sabrina’s books:

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On a cold night in the suburbs of Philadelphia, an attorney returns home from a long day at work only to be gunned down getting out of his car.  Two hours later and twenty miles away in southern New Jersey, a truck driver is shot while making a late night delivery. When the sun rises the next morning, many more unexplained homicides plague the Tri-State area.
With no connections between the crimes, at first they are assumed to be unrelated.
New Jersey State Detective Brendan Cutter, joins local Detective Vicky Glass to investigate one of the murders. When Cutter discovers that his case may be linked to many others, his theory on who is behind the killings terrifies him.   But before they can produce a suspect, another body is found. Then another…then another…



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Interview with Author Judi Coltman

Below is a quick interview with Amazon Breakthrough Novelist of the Year, Judi Coltman.
Tough question, but describe your books in 5 words:
Real Life Shredded By Evil
How long have you been a writer and what inspired you to become an author:
I’ve written professionally for twenty years for newspapers, magazines and within other industries.  I was inspired to become an author at a very young age, 14.  I did not act until I was in my late 40s – the impetus being a forced professional change.  It was a gift, in retrospect, because it was the push I needed.
My stories come from my life experiences that I file under, “You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up”.  Thus, the thrillers were born from true events.  The settings are authentic to the stories and often become part of the character of the book. My last thriller, “No Such Thing” is rooted in the very real abductions and murders of children in the area where I grew up.  I was at ground zero for the last victim, Tim King, and that has had an unending effect on me even almost 40 years later.  The fictionalized tale I tell was the only way I could bring these unsolved killings forward and keep them in the public eye.  I am proud to say it was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter Finalist in 2012. We can never forget.
What is “Is it Just Me or Is Everyone a Little Nuts” about:  Really?  A departure from the mystery thriller genre, “Is it Just me. . .” is a compilation of essays from my blog.  Writer me is deep, dark and daring, real me thrives on the humor in everyday life.  That book was the “dipping my big toe” in the publishing game book.  It did quite well, making Amazon’s Hot New Releases as well as the Top 10 in Humor.
What other authors would you compare your books to:
I think that’s a tough question.  I suppose it’s a cop out but I find it a little to boastful to compare myself to anyone.  I let my readers make that decision.  Give me a break though, I did the 5 word challenge above and that was just as painful!
What’s the plan for the rest of 2014:
Well, we had some major life events occur over this past year.  We sold 35 years worth of belongings as well our house a year ago and moved from the midwest to the west coast.  We also be came grandparents! I’ve spent the better part of this year just trying to find my fit in life here; a daunting task after 35 years in one small town in Illinois.  So, my plan for the rest of 2014 is to start percolating story ideas and face 2015 with renewed vigor.
Thanks, Chris!
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Need something to read??

Check out my buddy’s novel, Regret.  I’ve read it and it’s fantastic.  Here’s the blurb and a preview:

Dan blamed himself for his wife’s untimely death… at first, that is.

Dan, a newly published bestselling author, has just begun to taste the good life: Money in the bank, house in a quiet neighborhood, beautiful wife. His monster of a fictional character–a wealthy, handsome, womanizing murderer–is the catalyst for Dan’s good fortune, intriguing millions of readers. But when Dan sleeps with his agent on a business trip, and then confesses the whole thing to his wife in near tears, he sets off a chain of events that cause him to lose his wife and his grip on everything, including reality.

Fleeing his hometown in an attempt to outrun tormenting memories, Dan lands himself in a nearly forgotten small town in Oklahoma, taking up indefinite refuge in a Bed and Breakfast. While here, Dan’s demons begin to prey on his mental instability, and the character that he’s thrilled his readers with begins to come off the page and out into the flesh, sending shockwaves through the otherwise peaceful town, and giving Dan some interesting and horrific ideas on how to cope with his pain.

Video Trailer –

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