Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review of Leprechaun Lament

Wayne Zurl’s Leprechaun Lament
(Sam Jenkins Mystery)
Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

TV’s Law and Order, Castle, and Bones - look out here comes a Sam Jenkins’ mystery TV series, my opinion. I’m too old to play Sam’s part, but I’d love to give it a go.

All four endeavors are police work at its finest, using cognitive and deductive knowledge to unravel a mystery that landed on their door steps. Whatever the criminal case it is to decipher, each series methodically go about the business of getting the job done.

In Leprechaun Lament, Wayne’s small town police chief with big city detective training, encounters an administrative problem he must complete to comply with the federal government’s requirements – security clearance for all town’s employees that work close with the police force.

It’s easier said than done, when it comes to one long time employee, who isn’t up front with his background. Sam, the chief, is up against the wall when the mayor overrules him and lets the employee be reinstated even though his history is not collaborate on any level – he doesn’t have a driver license for God Sake and he’s the town’s mechanic.

A body is found and it’s this leprechaun liar, a short elderly man of dubious Irish background. Now, Sam has more than a security clearance to approve. He has a criminal case to solve.

Sam’s personality, street knowledge, and his connections help him in his ability to follow leads another may over look. He is not Sherlock Holmes, but logic is his trade mark in resolving the mystery at hand.

Mr. Wayne Zurl writing with its home grown Tennessee humor mixed with NYC sarcasm will have you laughing. But when it comes to police procedure, his writing is on spot, according to me a police TV series nut case.

His links and more detail of his novels are below in his interview: http://bit.ly/1mscyNm

Interview with Wayne Zurl

Interview with Wayne Zurl,
Author of A Leprechaun's Lament 
(Sam Jenkins Mystery)

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Shortly after World War Two I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Although I never wanted to leave a community with such an efficient trolley system, I had little to say in my parents’ decision to pick up and move to Long Island where I grew up.

Like most American males of the baby-boomer generation, I spent my adolescence wanting to be a cowboy, soldier, or policeman. Those aspirations were based on perceptions fostered by movies and later television. The Vietnam War accounted for my time as a soldier. After returning to the US and separating from active duty, the New York State Employment Service told me I possessed no marketable civilian skills. So, I became a cop. 

That was as close to military life as I could find. Now that I’m retired from the police service, I still like the cowboy idea, but have interrupted that aspiration with an attempt at being a mystery writer.

Years ago I left the land of the Big Apple, to live in the picturesque foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee with my wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of my Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. Ten (10) of these novelettes are now available in print under the titles of A MURDER IN KNOXVILLE and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries and REENACTING A MURDER and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries.

My first full-length novel, A NEW PROSPECT, won Indie and Eric Hoffer Book Awards for best mystery and best commercial fiction in 2011 and 2012, and was a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. My other novels are A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT and HEROES & LOVERS. A fourth book, PIGEON RIVER BLUES, is under contract and tentatively scheduled for release around June 1st, 2014.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

As a schoolboy, probably something about what I did on my summer vacation. But as a newly retired adult, I volunteered at The Fort Loudoun State Park and wrote non-fiction magazine articles relative to their living history program. The first one published (where I got paid by the magazine) was about how a detachment of New York volunteers from Rogers’ Rangers fought in the Anglo-Cherokee War of 1761 after the massacre at Fort Loudoun in what today is Vonore, Tennessee.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I wrote non-fiction for ten years, was lucky enough to get twenty-six articles published, and I thought getting paid for writing was pretty cool. When I couldn’t conjure up any new and thrilling ideas on the 18th century French and Indian War in Tennessee, and experienced that old burned-out feeling, I passed the torch to another volunteer. But I had time on my hands and liked the idea of having a creative outlet. I thought if I could sell articles to magazines, how difficult could it be to get a novel published? That was in 2006. I was sixty, but obviously, in the world of big-time publishing, I still thought like a child. I had just read Robert B. Parker’s first Jesse Stone novel, NIGHT PASSAGE. 

Stone was a former L.A. detective who became a small town police chief. I liked the premise. I liked how Parker wrote. I thought: Parker was never a cop like me, why can’t I make a retired New York detective a Tennessee police chief? I grabbed a yellow pad and pen and started writing—incorporating elements of my old cases and assorted vignettes into a fictionalized and embellished police mystery. Originally, I called it MURDER IN THE SMOKIES, but when I decided it should be different than the average murder mystery where I needed a body and the start of an investigation by page three, I changed the title to A NEW PROSPECT and tried to sell the book as a character driven police procedural.

What do you like about writing a story?

There is a lot of ego involved with me. I readily admit, I’ve got a better memory than a vivid imagination. I based all of my early stuff on cases I investigated, supervised or just knew a lot about. Police fiction that veers far from reality or even plausibility drives me crazy. I stop reading when it’s too incredible to possibly happen. I’m all for suspension of disbelief, but some writers should abandon the mystery genre and call their work cop fantasy. I enjoy taking the reality of true police work and adding those little necessities to make a good story and tell readers like it really was. I first envisioned my target audience as cops or ex-cops or hardcore fans of police fiction. I figured if any one of those readers said, “Hey, this guy got all the details right and told a good story,” I’d be happy. 

Can you tell us about your book?

A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT is based on the most frustrating and bizarre case I got involved with during my twenty years of doing investigations. It started out innocently enough, but soon escalated into something no one saw coming. In the book, I incorporated the modern Patriot Act to provide a reason for doing a background investigation on an employee who worked for the city of Prospect for almost thirty years. In reality, it began when a man’s budget position was changed from General Services to the Police Department. Most of the dialogue and action is as I remember it actually occurring. That disclaimer on the frontispiece about “Any similarity to real persons or events is purely coincidence,” is hogwash. 

This is what happened. I transplanted it from New York to Tennessee, added a little spice, and because Sam Jenkins is who he is, I thought a beautiful girl would keep him interested and on his toes. Paraphrasing Jack Webb’s statement from every episode of Dragnet, “Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty—and keep me out of civil court.” Here’s the dust jacket summary. It tells all the basics:

A stipulation of the Patriot Act gave Chief Sam Jenkins an easy job; investigate all the civilians working for the Prospect Police Department. But what looked like a routine chore to the gritty ex-New York detective, turned into a nightmare. Preliminary inquiries reveal a middle-aged employee didn’t exist prior to 1975.

Murray McGuire spent the second half of his life repairing office equipment for the small city of Prospect, Tennessee, but the police can’t find a trace of the first half.

After uncovering nothing but dead ends during the background investigation and frustrations running at flood level, Jenkins finds his subject lying face down in a Smoky Mountain creek bed—murdered assassination-style. 

By calling in favors from old friends and new acquaintances, the chief enlists help from a local FBI agent, a deputy director of the CIA, British intelligence services, and the Irish Garda to learn the man’s real identity and uncover the trail of an international killer seeking revenge in the Great Smoky Mountains.

What genre best fits for the book?

This one is pure police procedural with more than its share of thriller tossed in.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I’m expecting a full-length novel, PIGEON RIVER BLUES to be published around June of this year. It’s Sam’s first foray into the world of country and western music. He certainly doesn’t perform on stage, but reluctantly accepts an assignment of acting as bodyguard for a beautiful singer who’s received threats from a group of right-wing weirdoes. More of Sam’s back-story comes out when he meets up with characters he worked with in the Army.

A new novelette, THE SWAN TATTOO, has just been recorded and will be produced as an audio book and soon published as an eBook. That one is about Chinese/Malaysian organized Crime in the southern US. Also in the works for the future is a novel called, A TOUCH OF MORNING CALM, about Korean organized crime in Knoxville and  Prospect, Tennessee.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Having my stories produced as audio books taught me a lot about the sound and cadence of what I write. I would suggest that everyone read what they consider a finished product aloud—as if you were acting the parts. If what you wrote SOUNDS good, you should be okay. If you experience awkward moments in the narrative or dialogue, revise it until SOUNDS smooth. If there are any bumps, smooth them out. If everything sings to you, you’re there. For a guy who doesn’t dance very well and can’t sing a note, I’m very concerned with rhythm.

Where can people go to read your work?

My stuff is available from all the usual sellers in print, eBook formats, and some in audio. Here’s a list of links where you can find me and the books on the Internet.
Author website:  http://www.waynezurlbooks.net 
Mind Wings Audio author page: http://mindwingsaudio.com/?s=wayne+zurl

Do you have anything to add?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll again mention my obsession with the reality of police work. If you’re looking for Sam Jenkins to pull a ‘James Bond’ and shoot an arrow attached to a steel cable from his wristwatch while he’s chasing a felling felon, you won’t find it in something I write. I try to incorporate all the elements of a good story, but avoid mindless conflict, meaningless action, or any senseless fantasy element used only to dupe a reader. 

Real police work includes frustration, sorrow, regret, tension, action, fear, and lots of humor. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tracey Edges Presents Author Roy Murry to the UK.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time

Review of Wrong Place Wrong Time

Written by David P Perlmutter

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

When we were young, our thought processes sometimes got confused either by lack of knowledge, by our emotions, or by some drug-induced states we put ourselves in. It was our up bring that brought us back to reality and got us through those befuddled state of affairs.

In Mr. Perlmutter’s Wrong Place Wrong Time, David is just about to mature into an executive with all his future laid out for him. Working hard in a profession he enjoys, an error in judgment he makes leads to the disruption of that life, leaving him on the outside looking in.

To comfort himself, he goes to a Spanish resort area to get away from it all and to reorganize his thinking, looking for a new future. All is going well for a short period of time until more conflict enters his life. What is one to do – go with the flow even if it is not where you want to go?

David does that but lands where no one wants to be in a foreign country – on the wrong side of the law because he thought he was doing the right thing. And no one was listening, other than his family back home.

This true story by the author has some misadventures to get into detail. What I will say is that David did the right thing in coming clean with his family, thereby freeing him from any guilt and allowing him to go forward with his life albeit not being a rosy situation.

The story was well written and gripping. It was somewhat of a cliffhanger at times that the reader will keep on going until the end. Good job for David P. Perlmutter’s first endeavor.

I have also read his My Way and got some great tips on marketing a book on the internet. Thank You, David. We have many of the same friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review of What It Takes

Review of WHAT IT TAKES,
Author Terry Tyler

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

“Love goes by haps; Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps” Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing. 

Ms. Tyler’s contemporary drama weaves an intellectual story of love on many different levels. Some are common and up front and others are hidden behind the masks people use when courting the person they desire.

Deep seated emotions motivate the main character’s mating rituals. Karen, the youngest of three sisters, is looking for her ideal man, but falls for a common man, who doesn’t quote Shakespeare. Doubts run a muck in her over educated head with underdeveloped security issues, which leads to a break up.

Her lover, Danny, one good looking bloke, is broken up over the matter and tries his best to put their love affair back together. He and all the on-lookers can’t understand Karen’s attitude.

His strengths are not what she is looking for. She is looking for the perfect image of what she wants and he may be closer than one would think.

This is where the underlying current takes over the story that will keep the reader wondering what is going on. Will they get back together? Both hope they will at different times in their break up, giving each some comfort in that they may return to their loving ways.

But is cupid shooting arrows in the wrong direction or are there traps being set to control the situation. You’ll only find out by reading What It Takes, a well written relationship drama.

If you looking for a romantic drama that will keep your mind entertained with emotional twists, I recommend this novel for a weekend read at the beach.

See Terry's interview with links below: http://bit.ly/1gMlQ0z

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Interview with Terry Tyler

Interview with Terry Tyler, author of

What It Takes 

and other contemporary dramas  

Questions: R. Murry

Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’ve published six contemporary drama novels on Amazon, and a collection of short stories.  I have a personal blog, and also one on UK Arts Directory which is about self-publishing.  I live in the north east of England with my husband.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?
No, but it was probably something extremely embarrassing when I was a child!

Were you inspired by someone or something?
I can’t remember; probably by the stories I read myself at that age

What do you like about writing a story?
I find that hard to answer.  I suppose I just like to be able to read what I have in my head.  I don’t know why I write, at all!

Can you tell us about your book?
What It Takes is a family drama about three sisters, and it explores the issues of obsession, jealousy and insecurity, and the lengths to which people will go to win the heart of the person they love.

What genre best fits for the book?
Romantic suspense/contemporary drama.

Are you working on something new at the moment?
I’m currently writing a light Christmas novella.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Probably a little too many for an interview answer!  I wrote an article with dos and don’ts for first time novelists, here:

Where can people go to read your work?
Here is my Amazon.com page:

And Amazon UK:

Do you have anything to add?
Just to my past and current readers – thanks so much for all your wonderful reviews and messages to say that you enjoy what I write, and thank you for continuing to read my books!  To anyone who has not read something of mine, if you would like to try my
short stories first, they will be free for four days from March 20th.

Many thanks, Roy, for featuring me on your excellent blog!