lethaljourneyfinal-333x500A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York…waiting. A district attorneys’ journey into the past makes her a target and anyone she has ever loved.



September 1997

Rain pounded down.

Lauren squinted through the windshield, a backwash of water battered the glass. She flicked the wipers on high, and then tightened her hands around the steering wheel. With a quick glance in the rear view mirror, headlights inched from behind. Miles had gone by since she’d seen another vehicle on the dark road.

The vehicle appeared to speed up, fall back, and speed up again.

Her muscles tensed. “That driver behind us seems to be in big hurry.”

Her father leaned forward in the seat and peered into the side mirror. “He’s all over the road. Might be drunk or something.”

“He’s crazy driving like that in this weather. I’m letting him go by.” She downshifted the Jaguar and steered off onto the side of road and rolled to a stop.

As the van raced by, a giant wave of water pelted across the side of the car.

“Christ, he’s really flying.”

Taillights flickered and quickly faded ahead into the blackened night.

With a quick glimpse in the mirror, Lauren steered the car back onto the road, her grip relaxed around on the wheel. “That’s better.”

Her father repositioned himself in the leather seat and stretched his legs. “The Law Society’s dinner is next week. You going?”

God, the dinner. She’d bought a four hundred dollar dress for the occasion, a navy blue Lagerfield, and even toyed with the idea of having her long hair cut into something more
sophisticated―polished for a New York district attorney. “I’ll have to check my schedule.”

“Not good enough. I want you there, Lauren. My chance to show you off. Do some bragging, big time.”

She couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, dad. Okay.”

“And don’t forget to bring a date for protection. There’ll be dancing after dinner. Don’t want a bunch of drunken seedy lawyers groping you on the dance floor.”

Her smile faded as she remembered the annual dinner years before. She’d never forgotten a single detail of that night―how Eric held her in his arms, his lips gentle against hers, how his mouth devoured her willing lips, then pulled away and left her mouth burning for more…

“What else did you hear about Eric?”

“Not much. Christ, can’t even remember where I heard the news. Thought you didn’t want to talk about Brennen?”

“I don’t. I just wondered when he got back.”

She noticed her father straightened himself in the seat, his jaw tight. “Don’t know.” His voice turned hard. “Just heard he’s back.”

Probably nothing more than just a rumor.

He’d begged her to come with him and start a new life in Florida. She didn’t have the courage to start over, leave her father, leave her job. At the time, her career was at a crossroads, ready to take off.

Now three years later, she was taking on the most important case of her career—prosecuting Gino Valdino, boss of New York’s Valdino crime family, just like her father had done a decade before.

The heavy rains turned into drizzle. The sky split, lightening lit the road ahead.

In the distance Lauren eyed the exit sign to Hyde Park.

The whining squeal of an engine roared from behind.

She glanced over her shoulder.

“God, that van is back.” She clicked on the turning signal, slowed and steered the car onto the off ramp. Her eyes darted back to the side mirror.

Headlights raced behind them, close, swerving from side to side.

She grasped the wheel with a shiver of panic.

“I’m calling the police.” Her father grabbed his cell phone out of the glove box and turned it on. “Damn it, I can’t get a signal.”

“Keep trying.”

From the mirror, she watched.

The driver gunned the engine.

The van’s grill came into view, massive and powerful.

Close. Too close.

Metal connected, scraped against the bumper.

The van shoved the Jaguar ahead on the road.

Hit the brakes.


The car pushed forward under the van’s control.

They had to escape. Somewhere. Anywhere.

High-beams blinded her.

Lauren blinked and turned her head. Her fingers dug deeper into the steering wheel.

The van rammed the back of the car.

Metal popped and squealed as the back window disintegrated into the back seat.

The seatbelt snapped across her shoulder, her head slammed back on the head rest, then forward. “Oh my God!”

The cell phone flew from her father’s hand. “What the―”

“Dad!” Like a sling shot, the Jaguar shot down the slick road.

She slammed on the brakes. The car slid a half circle, then spun out of control. A massive tidal wave of water washed over the car roof.

Her father grabbed the dashboard. “Watch out! The tree!”

Wood splintered. Metal buckled, popped and cracked. The air bag stuck her body like a fist, and smacked her head against the side window. She shoved at it, viciously. With every move, fiery pain shot through her face, down her neck.

The sickening sweet stench of gas and smoke filled her nostrils. Her head clouded. The world darkened.

Lauren heard her own voice, pinched and muffled, cry out. “Dad!” until her words drifted into silence.

Lethal Journey © 2013 by Kim Cresswell

Where in the World is Kim?

It’s been another super busy week and things aren’t slowing down. You just never know where you will find me!

Friday, May 24 – Today I’m guest blog11954322131712176739question_mark_naught101_02.svg.medging on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers! Hope you stop by!  

 Sunday, May 26 –  I will be visiting Lorries Flowers and Thorns Blog! 

Friday, May 31 -I’ll be guest blogging at MUSETRACKS! Hope to see you there!


The True Crime Serial Killer Anthology – Indiegogo Campaign has launched! I’m so excited about this project. To learn more and to donate, click here!

reasons to donate6

~ KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY (Contest ends May 31st!)

There is still time to enter! The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only), Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International), Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).


Only 3 days left to win lots of cool books, giftcards, and more! Click here!


NEW! 4 Stars! “I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

NEW! 4 Stars! “A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

NEW! 5 Stars! “A pulse-pounding opening…Completely captivated with this romantic suspense, I could barely take a breath before reaching the high-octane climax. Cresswell masterfully ties up the major plot points while leaving the door open to revisiting these characters again. I, for one, hope she does.”- Lori at Lusty Penguin Reviews

BOOK COVER CONTEST:  If you haven’t had a chance to rate my book cover for REFLECTION, I’d really appreciate if you would stop by. It would make me sparkle with joy. http://www.authorsdb.com/book-cover-awards/mystery-thriller-suspense?page=2#category


Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

Book Talk Tuesdays: Guest Interview with J.D. Brown


Please welcome J.D. Brown, urban fantasy author of Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaision

Dark Liaison 200x300darkheirloom_200x300

What are your book about?

Dark Heirloom follows the misadventure of a young woman named Ema Marx as she stumbles fangs-first into the world of vampyrism. She has no idea how she became a vampyre, but she’s convinced the guy who kidnapped her is to blame. Yet, he keeps asking her how it happened, as if she has any clue. Just yesterday she was happily living life not knowing they even existed. Dark Liaison (which comes out next week!!!) is the sequel where Ema has to fight a major baddy that she accidently unleashed in the first book.


What inspired you to write this particular story?
I really love vampires, ever since I read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, but more recent works (well, they’re not so recent any more. Think pre-Twilight) always seemed to focus on the clumsy fragile human and I was tired of it. I wanted to read a book there the vampire was the main character, and all the other characters where vampires too. Really, I just wanted to give my readers an “up close and personal” look at what I thought the vampire world might be like.


Describe your writing in three words.
Sarcastic, exaggerated, dramatic.


Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Oh God. You know, I used to preach about outlines and organization, but at this point in my creative career, I just hand the pen over to my main character without even putting up a fight. I just sit back and watch the chaos happen and then try to clean up the mess later. Haha. I don’t recommend it.


Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?
No. There may be a few bits and pieces of people I know mashed in there, but individually my characters are 100% their own.


Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?
No, but I did feel horrible for killing them only because I feel so emotionally close to my characters. I’ve spent so much time with them, it’s hard not to cry when they die.


If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?
Mila Kunis would play Ema Marx. I adore Mila and she has the right looks and personality to pull off Ema. As for the guys, I really have no clue. My sister and I talk about it sometimes just for fun and neither of us can ever come up with an actor right for the part. Some of my fans have suggested Ian Somerhalder, but I think it’s only because he’s so hot right now.Some of my fans have suggested Ian Somerhalder, but I think it’s only because he’s so hot right now.


Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?
My critique group is made up of different people who get to read it at different stages. My alpha readers are my two best friends and authors, Charlene Wilson, and Anastasia Pergakis. They’re the ones that keep me on task through the first draft and revisions. Then I send it off to my beta readers – my fans! Some of them are authors and editors, like Kay Dee Royal, but a couple others are just normal reader folks who I met online and have grown to love because they’ve been so supportive! I really love my readers and I really value their feedback.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?
Umm…I really rather not say….


What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on writing the third book the Ema Marx series titled Dark Becoming. I’m also working on a prequel novella titled Athena’s Oracle that stars two of the side characters from Dark Heirloom and takes place in ancient Athens. I’m hoping to make it a web series, but at this early point everything is still up in the air. I’m also working on YA Paranormal Romance tentatively called Crescent Hill High School.


Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
Be kind, rewind. Follow your dreams, and all that good stuff.


Where can readers find you and your books online?

Tag Line: She wasn’t bitten. She’s not undead. So how did Ema Marx become a vampire?

Blurb: “You’re a vampire” is so not what Ema Marx wants to hear when she wakes from a two-day coma in a cryptic yet exquisite castle in northern Finland. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like why she’s able to see in the dark and walk through solid objects. What she doesn’t understand is why the other vampires expect her to have all the answers. It’s their fault she turned into one of them…right?

Jalmari’s hatred for his old-man intensifies when he’s ordered to bring that troublesome girl to their castle. He has a clan to run, there’s no time for babysitting newborn vampires no matter how they were converted to their culture. But when a two-thousand-year-old premonition threatens to take the crown and his life, Jalmari sees no other choice than to take out the catalyst. Ema Marx. Fortunately for Ema, she could also be the clan’s only savior.

The race to figure out her vampiric origins is on. And maybe she’ll get the hang of the blood-drinking gig along the way…

Buy Links:

Chapter One

A scream tore from my throat. The rapid slap of my sneakers against asphalt echoed through the alley. Wind ripped my hair and coat back as if trying to halt my escape. A chain link fence rose in the distance as I neared the end of the alley. Shit. I could have sworn this one opened to Clark Street.


I froze. My heart pounded in my ears. Tears fell as I closed my eyes. Please, please, God…

His heinous laugh drowned out my ragged breath. Caught at a dead end, I had no choice but to turn and face him. He stood in the shadows, the darkness of his attire blended in with the night. Only the glow of his emerald-colored eyes gave him away.

Think, I shouted to myself. What does he want? My purse? My money? With a shaky hand, I pulled my wallet from my bag and flung it at him. He shifted his weight, dodging the wallet in one simple move. I stared like an idiot as it landed in the gutter behind him. Why is he chasing me if he doesn’t want my money? What else could he want?

He grinned, bearing a set of abnormally sharp, fluorescent-white teeth. Who the hell is this freak? He stepped toward me. My fists clenched as I stepped back. He took another step forward. My back pressed against the cold metal of the fence. Tears blurred my vision and fell as ice melted through the back of my coat. Chills rolled down my spine, sending a quiver to my lip. I swallowed the lump of panic building in my throat. “Leave me alone!”

He kept advancing, his eyes locked on my face, his gait slow with one foot in front of the other, like a cat. I shoved a trembling hand in my purse in search of my pepper spray. He snatched my wrist and yanked me to my knees. The contents of my purse spilled and scattered.

“What makes you think I want anything from you?” he sneered.

My chest heaved as I pushed myself up. From the corner of my eye, I glanced at the mouth of the alley, now behind me.

He scoffed. “You think you can run? Go ahead, mouse. Run.”

I did.

I was almost to the street when a thick shadow dropped from the sky. Two rock-solid fists shoved my chest. I fell backward. My head hit the pavement. Stars danced in the periphery of my vision as I struggled to sit up, but my limbs moved in slow motion.

Two hands, each finger adorned by a silver ring, gripped my shoulders and lifted me. My back hit something solid and cold—a brick wall. My feet dangled above the ground. He held me at eye level; his sour breath churned my stomach as his face inched closer to mine.

“I know what you’re thinking.” His voice was deep, smooth, as he rolled his R’s. “You’ve done nothing wrong. Nevertheless, once you kill one rat, you have to kill them all. Even a little mouse like yourself.”

My blood drained at the utterance of the word kill. I squirmed in his grasp. “Please, don’t hurt me.”

He clenched my jaw with one hand as his fingernails dug into my skin. I cried not from the pain, but from fear.

“Would you like to know a secret?” His hot breath caused bile to rise in my throat. “Only you disgusting rats can see our eyes glow. I’m sure you knew that already. I’m sure your mother told you the stories. I’ll bet you didn’t listen to her. I bet you thought they were just fairy tales and bad dreams, hmm?”

I had no idea what he was talking about. I concentrated on finding a way out of his grip, hoping his guard would slip while he continued his monologue.

“You know, when you find one rat, there are a dozen more in the nest.” He tightened his grasp. “Where’s your rathole, eh little mouse?”

“Let me go!” Pain manifested in every inch of my face. My jaw throbbed and my head spun. A stiff ache cut through my spine. Fear and cold shook my core. Exhaustion weighed down my struggling limbs. I just wanted it to end.

He studied my face for a moment, a frown tugged at his lips. “Very well.”

He released my jaw then reached back under his jacket. The sound of sharp metal being unsheathed pierced the night as he drew out a long silver dagger. My eyes widened at the emblems engraved on every inch of the blade and handle. I recognized them as Norse in origin. I also recognized the precise way in which he held the dagger level with my left rib cage. He’s going to stab me in the heart.

Author Pic 2012

J.D. Brown writes Urban Fantasy for MuseItUp Publishing, as well as a monthly “how-to” newsletter column for PDMI Freelance Publishing. She graduated from The International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. She is a self-proclaimed expert in vampire and Greek mythology. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D. enjoys helping her fellow writers and interacting with her fans and leads an active life on the web.

Author’s Social Network Links:

Video Trailers:

No Strings Attached Blog Hop

no strings MayThe No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop is here!

I’m giving away 3 eBook copies of my award-winning debut romantic suspense, REFLECTION, to three lucky winners!


Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner! (2004)

WARNING: This book contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.


Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before it’s too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.


The trailer for REFLECTION was recently featured in Robin Covington’s, Happy Ever After, Special for USA TODAY!  Click here to check out the book trailer!

USA today~

“I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

“A brilliant mixture of action, romance and mystery. Well worth a read…a very tough book to put down.” Jeep Diva

“Five-star page-turner! A truly edge-of-your-seat, never-a-dull-moment read! Reflection has a dramatic start and just never slows down.” Ellen Fritz at Books4Tomorrow

“Fast-paced…gripping…riveting!” -Bestselling True Crime Author, RJ Parker

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace


****Enter the Giveaway!****

Don’t forget to visit all the wonderful bloggers and authors participating!


My Top Ten Favourite Novels


1. Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon

“She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she’s a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth.” Mr. Sheldon was one of the master “story-tellers” of all times.

2. The Immortals by Michael Korda

“Jack Kennedy – the American hero. Marilyn Monroe – the love goddess. Their affair has been whispered about for thirty years. Now, at last, the story we have only been able to imagine is brought to vibrant, stunning life – a passionate, tragic romance played out against a background of deadly intrigue, power politics, and Hollywood glamour on a grand scale.” A fantastic historical and fictional read!

3. Waiting Wives: The Story of Schilling Manor, Home Front to the Vietnam War by Donna Moreau

“In 1964, as the first B-52s took flight in what would become America’s longest combat mission, an old Air Force base on the plains of Kansas became Schilling Manor — the only base ever to be set aside for the wives and children of soldiers assigned to Vietnam.” An incredible read about strength and love!

4. Lucky by Jackie Collins

“With the sensual grace of a panther, Lucky Santangelo prowled her Las Vegas casino, restless, ready, eager for action. That night began a dazzling odyssey, filled with dangerous passion and sun-drenched sex, sadistic vengeance and breathless suspense.” Epic and sexy. A great beach read!

5. This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

“Paddy de Courcy is Ireland’s debonair politician, the “John F. Kennedy Jr. of Dublin.” His charm and charisma have taken hold of the country and the tabloids, not to mention our four heroines: Lola, Grace, Marnie, and Alicia. But though Paddy’s winning smile is fooling Irish minds, the broken hearts he’s left in his past offer a far more truthful look into his character.” One of the most charming and emotional books I have ever read!

6. Black Ice by Anne Stuart

“Living paycheck to paycheck in Paris, American book translator Chloe Underwood would give anything for some excitement and passion–even a little danger. So when she’s offered a lucrative weekend gig translating at a business conference in a remote chateau, she jumps at the chance to shake things up.” Bastien Toussaint from Black Ice is my #1 pick for best hero/anti-hero!

7. Die For Me by Karen Rose

“The first victim is found in a snow-covered Philadelphia field. Detective Vito Ciccotelli enlists the aid of archaeologist Sophie Johannsen to determine exactly what lies beneath the frozen ground.” Suspense at its finest!

8. The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

“It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy–a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.” A scary thrill-ride!

9. Bonnie by Iris Johansen – Eve Ducan Series

“When Eve Duncan gave birth to her daughter, she experienced a love she never knew existed. Nothing would stand in the way of giving Bonnie a wonderful life – until the unthinkable happened and the seven-year-old vanished into thin air. Eve found herself in the throes of a nightmare from which there was no escape.” Must read suspense series!

10. Victims by Jonathan Kellerman

“Unraveling the madness behind L.A.’s most baffling and brutal homicides is what sleuthing psychologist Alex Delaware does best.” Kellerman’s books are like a bad habit. I’m a addict and I’m not giving them up!  



The book cover for REFLECTION is one of this week’s semi-finalists in the Creme de la Cover Contest! If you have a minute, please vote. <shameless begging> 🙂

reflection333x500 “I was looking forward to reading about Whitney and Blake. I anticipated a Booth and Bones relationship (from the Bones TV Series) and I wasn’t wrong…this book is definitely worth reading.” –Quality Reads UK Book Club

Where to Buy
MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Sony

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

The Romance Reviews

REFLECTION is featured on USA TODAY!

The trailer for REFLECTION is featured in Robin Covington’s, Happy Ever After, Special for USA TODAY! I’m thrilled Reflection was choosen. Check out the other two fantastic book trailers! A huge thank you to Robin!

USA today


April showers bring May flowers! It’s spring and I’m excited to be one of the sponsors of this months Kindle Fire Giveaway!

May Kindle Giveaway


Kindle Fire HD 7″ Giveaway

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Girls with Books
  4. Just Bookin’ Around
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  6. Books, Beauty and Bodacious Deals
  7. Author Emma Michaels
  8. Page Flipperz YA
  9. Lori’s Reading Corner
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  11. Author Josh Baker
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  13. Eve’s Fan Garden
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  15. Chapter Break
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  17. Molly & Mel’s Obsessions Book Blog
  18. Author Jennifer Laurens
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  22. Author Lena Sledge
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  24. Leisure Reads
  25. Libby’s Library
  26. A Bookish Escape
  27. Ramblings of a Diva Book Nerd
  28. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
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Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

Ends 5/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

***Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!***


WARNING: REFLECTION contains graphic language, sexual situations, and violence.

MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | AmazonUK | Bookstrand | Smashwords | CoffeeTime Romance | Omnilit | ARe | ibookstore | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Available in paperback at Amazon & Createaspace

Book Talk Tuesdays: Guest Interview with David Swykert


Please welcome David Swyket author of The Death of Anyone!


What is your book about?

The underlying theme in my latest book, The Death of Anyone, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? I developed this story around an impulsive homicide detective, Bonnie Benham, who wants to use Familial DNA, a search technique not in common use in the United States. Only two states even have a written policy regarding its use, Colorado and California.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I first heard about the use of Familial DNA working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with officers working a case. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone.

Describe your writing in three words.

Very straight forward.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I begin a story idea by first developing characters in my head. Then I put them into a situation which creates the conflict. I write a story like you’d watch a movie, all the chapters are scenes that point towards the resolution of the conflict I’ve created.

Are your characters in the book based on anyone you know?

Often my characters are based on people I’ve met or seen. Bonnie Benham in this book is modeled after a female officer I worked with. I remember watching a very large man resist being arrested by her and taking off. She chased him down the street and tackled him like a linebacker. That impressed me. Bonnie describes herself as a blond with a badge and a gun. She could tackle someone.

Have you ever had difficulty “killing off” a character because she or he was so intriguing and full of possibility for you?

This will sound very strange, but the most difficult characters I have ever killed off in a story were the wolves in Maggie Elizabeth Harrington and The Place Between. I got teary just writing the scene where they are shot by bounty hunters. Usually, as I know it is just fiction, I am not so quite affected by own writing.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, which actors would you choose to play your main characters?

This is easy, Scarlett Johansson would be Bonnie Benham and Dermot Mulroney as Neil Jensen.

Who gets to read your drafts before they’re published?

My girlfriend, Donna, besides being girlfriend, lover, confidant, and friend, is also my editor. She’s edited every book (5) that I have in print.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?

Antimatter. I’ve long had a fascination with physics. Mathematically, I can’t balance my check book, but I’ve long had a fascination with our origins, and those of the infinite.

What projects are you working on now?

I have a book in the final editing stages that will be published this spring that is somewhat about the infinite. It’s a story about the broken relationships and addiction of a dropout physicist who has been reduced to cleaning swimming pools, or “infinite ponds” as he refers to them titled: The Pool Boy’s Beatitude. The book should be released by a small Indie press out of Detroit, Rebel e Publishing in another month. I’ve also begun a story about a retired soldier-cop whose wife has died and he’s retreated to a family cabin on a mountaintop to try and recover his zest for living. The book has a working title: Counting Wolves. I have no idea when it will be finished, or published.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

Stay in touch with what’s going on in our world, but then turn the TV off and read a good book. Reality TV, or “unreality” TV as I prefer to call it, isn’t worth the electrical energy to keep the flat screen on not to mention flat lining a brain cell with.

Where can readers find you and your books online?





Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

Benham arrived first, no sign of Russo or Jensen. She got a table and told the maitre de to send them over when they arrived, and that there would be a third party, a Detective Lagrow. As he seated Benham, the maitre de informed her, “The show starts at about 12:30 pm. We have a couple of new dancers.

Benham screwed up her nose, gave him a curious eye. “Dancers?”

The maitre de nodded. “Yes, belly dancers. We have a new one I’m sure your friends will appreciate. She’s very good-young, friendly.”

Benham just shook her head. ”I’m sure they will,” she said as she sat.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

Whoa, the brake in her head told her. You know you, you know your history. You know what a slip can do to you. Doctors, psychologists, treatment, rehab, counselors, AA, each and every one of them flashed across her head as her mind absorbed the offer. “Just a coke, or, actually, would you just bring me a black coffee.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Benham sipped her coffee and looked through her brief notes of the case. They were very brief, there was little to put in them. A young girl, perhaps ten, dead, strangled, almost for certain assaulted, lying in an alley for a few hours. And it had only been a few hours—Pierangeli seemed pretty sure she hadn’t been there long. She was found at around nine-thirty am, so she died maybe around eight am.

She lay there, choked, defiled, beautiful, and dead, and nobody was looking for her. She had to have been taken pretty early this morning, so it’s been about five hours she’s been gone, and nobody loves her enough to miss her. Benham could feel the anger rising from within, from the source where feelings come from, from deeper but inclusive of the stomach, from the birthplace of emotion.

A hand touched her shoulder and startled her. “Me and Jensen are here, bring on the dancing girls,” Dean Russo bellowed, joyous almost, and that irritated Bonnie a little. There was nothing to be happy about this day.

“You’ll get your wish. The belly dancers will be here in a few,” Benham said, with a bit of obvious disdain that Russo picked up on.

“You picked the place.”

“Yeah, I know,” Bonnie answered, feeling a little sorry now she sounded so disapproving. “Yeah, I picked it. Didn’t think about belly dancers, but, hey, we’re here, and I love pastitio, and they have the best. Sorry if I sound pissy, it’s only because I am. Once you see the girl you won’t be dancing in the street either.”

Russo quit laughing. “How long you been in homicide, Benham?”

Bonnie could see she rubbed something, “A couple of months.”

“You were in narcotics?”

“Yeah, I was in narcotics. I was in it and it—I was narcotic.”

There was a pause. Jensen looked across at Russo, glared a little, trying to shut him up with a look. And out of the corner of his eye let Bonnie know he saw her, too. He wanted her to keep this cool.

But it was a little late, and Bonnie was a bit volatile. “You know fucking well I was in narcotics. And you fucking know why I’m in homicide. I got myself transferred out for becoming more narcotic than narc. Quit beating around the bush. What’s your point?”


DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors& Spackle, Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, a novel from Cambridge

Books; Alpha Wolves, a novel from Noble Publishing, and The Death of Anyone is his third novel, just released by Melange Books. You can find more about him and how to buy his books on the blogspot: http://www.magicmasterminds.com, they are also available on Amazon and at select mystery bookstores. He is a wolf expert.