Category Archives: Writing

All 4 Jake Longly Comedic Thrillers On Sale Until the End of the Year

Need a Christmas gift for that reader in your family or circle of friends? Maybe some humor for the holidays to cap off this strange year.
All 4 Jake Longly comedic thrillers are on sale from 11-15 thru 12-31 at all major ebook outlets for only $1.99 each.


Ex-professional baseball player Jake Longly adamantly refuses to work for his father, to enter Ray’s PI world. He prefers to hang out at his beach-front bar/restaurant and chase bikinis along the sugary beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. But Ray could be persuasive so Jake finds himself staking-out the home of wealthy Barbara Plummer, suspected of adultery by her husband. Seems simple enough. Hang around, take a few pictures, sip a little bourbon. Except Barbara gets herself murdered right under Jake’s nose. Jake launches into an investigation of the homicide, aided by new girlfriend Nicole Jemison, actress, budding screenwriter, and the progeny of Hollywood A-list parents, and Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers, Ray’s redheaded, behemoth employee who has crazy computer skills. 

Jake quickly runs afoul of Ukrainian mobster Victor Borkov, his henchmen Joe Zuma and Frank Boyd, cartel hitman Carlos, and the hitmen wanna-be Wilbanks brothers. Was Borkov behind Barbara’s murder? If so, why? What could he possibly gain? As Jake and Nicole peel away the layers of the crime, more murders pile up, and the intrepid couple must somehow escape being deep-sixed from Borkov’s massive yacht.


#2: A-LIST

Jake Longly and girlfriend Nicole Jamison are still recovering from their ordeal with Ukrainian underworld boss Victor Borkov and life on the Gulf Coast is returning to normal. Then Nicole’s producer uncle Charles Balfour calls asking them to head to New Orleans where his mega-star, A-list actor Kirk Ford, has awakened with the corpse of a college co-ed in his hotel bed. Ford, in the Big Easy for a location shoot, remembers little of the evening and nothing of the murder. As if things couldn’t get worse, the girl is the niece of local mafioso-type Tony Guidry who will do what is necessary to avenge his niece’s death.

As Jake and Nicole attempt to put the pieces together, they butt heads with Tony’s muscle, his near-do-well yet aggressive nephews (the dead girl’s brothers), as well as drug dealers Ju Ju and Ragman. Of course, Ray and Pancake arrive to help sort things out with the help of Ford’s  beautiful co-stars in the multi-billion dollar Space Quest franchise, Tegan and Tara James (aka The Twins), who vehemently support and defend Ford. 

But something isn’t right. The facts don’t fit. Who would want Kristi Guidry dead, or Kirk framed for murder? And why? Everyone has an opinion, including Kristi’s friends, her ex-boyfriend, homicide detective Troy Doucet, and even local fortuneteller Madam Theresa. It’s up to Jake and Nicole to decipher who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, and exactly who schemed to murder Kristi Guidry. 

Nothing is easy in the Big Easy.



Bizarre doesn’t quite cover it. In SUNSHINE STATE, Jake Longly and girlfriend Nicole Jamison are hired, through an anonymous benefactor, by serial killer Billy Wayne Baker to prove that two of the seven murders weren’t actually his work. Yet, he confessed to all seven and his DNA turned up at each scene. Is Billy Wayne simply trying to tweak the system, garner another fifteen minutes of fame? Or is there a killer out there getting away with murder? If so, who, why, and, most importantly, how? Nothing is as it seems in the Sunshine State.



First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope. Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. But, when Emily doesn’t appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake’s radar goes on high alert. When her body, along with that of Jason, one of two guys she has been dating, are found murdered, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray and the pursuit begins. Who would have done this? The soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi, the other guy Emily is seeing—jealousy being a motive for harm, or do the drugs found in Jason’s pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed.


THE OC, Jake Longly #5, is coming next fall.

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Posted by on November 15, 2020 in Writing



NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT is coming and it’s filled with fun stories:


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Posted by on November 2, 2020 in Writing


RIGGED, Jake Longly #4, Kindle Book Deal

RIGGED, Jake Longly #4, is a Kindle Book Deal $1.99 October 26 thru November 1.

First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope. Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. But, when Emily doesn’t appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake’s radar goes on high alert. When her body, along with that of Jason, one of two guys she has been dating, are found murdered, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray and the pursuit begins. Who would have done this? The soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi, the other guy Emily is seeing—jealousy being a motive for harm, or do the drugs found in Jason’s pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed. 

Publishers Weekly:

In Lyle’s fast, fun fourth Jake Longly thriller (after 2019’s Sunshine State), Longly describes himself as an “ex–major league baseball stud, restaurateur, defender of frivolous lawsuits, lover of women, well, one in particular, and for sure a world-class avoider of work.” He reluctantly helps out at his father’s Alabama PI firm, where his girlfriend, Nicole Jamison, and his best friend, Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers, work as operatives. Pancake is assigned to the financial side of the divorce of a woman he last saw in grade school, Emily Patterson. He’s looking forward to meeting Emily again, but she fails to turn up for their appointment and is later found murdered, along with her friend Jason Collins. Drugs found in Jason’s pocket and the gangland-style killings lead the local police chief to suspect a turf war between rival dealers. Emily’s brother hires the Longly team to bring her killer to justice. The characters are fresh and well-defined, but it’s Jake’s snappy patter and amusing riffs, often focusing on his monumentally annoying ex-wife, that drive the narrative to its Glock-blazing conclusion. This series just keeps getting better.

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Posted by on October 26, 2020 in Writing


PRIOR BAD ACTS, Cain/Harper #2 Now Available Plus Author Reading

PRIOR BAD ACTS, Cain/Harper #2 Now Available Plus Author Reading





“Prior bad acts predict future bad acts.”—Harper McCoy

Fear grips an isolated mountain town after drug dealer Dalton Southwell kills a rogue dealer and his entire family. Score settled, message delivered. But, Dalton’s best-laid plans go awry when his brother Dennie takes a bullet in the gut. In a panic, Dr. Buck Buckner is kidnaped from the local ER, a pharmacy is robbed and the owner murdered, and the killers melt into the rugged Tennessee hills. Buck’s physician father calls in Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy to rescue his son from killers who would have little use for him after he saves Dennie, or worse, the wounded man dies. But, which direction and how far did they run? What hideaway did they burrow into? For Cain and Harper it’s a race against time to locate the killers, safely retrieve Buck, and settle their own score.

“A born storyteller”—Peter James, UK #1 Bestselling Author of the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Series

Prior Bad Acts moves like a runaway freight train, thundering along from beginning to end and picking up speed until the very last page. D. P. Lyle’s second effort to feature Bobby Cain and Harper McCoy finds his stalwart heroes on the dark side of the American Dream, as they attempt to right wrongs that turn small-town Americana into a Shakespearean tragedy. This is a crime thriller of the highest order and an absolute must read.”—-Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author 



Bobby Cain stood at the wall of windows in the St. Germain Place penthouse condo he shared with his sister Harper McCoy. Near two a.m. He enveloped a firm rubber ball in each fist, squeezing them in a to-and-fro rhythm. Right-left-right-left. The action made little inroad into the tension that gripped his shoulders, his entire body, but at least it was adding to his hand strength. The key, according to Uncle Mo. Whether climbing a tree, pulling off a second-story B&E, or attempting to survive a mano-a-mano fight to the death, grip strength offered the make-or-break advantage.

Rain streaked the glass and muted his view over the SoBro area and the lights from Broadway, a block away. Lower Broadway, the Bourbon Street of Nashville, rich with food, drink, and country music, was winding down. Lights winking off, drunks staggering home, musicians packing up, another gig finished. The city stumbled toward slumber.

Not so for Cain. The fourth night in a row fitful sleep had dragged him from bed to stand in this very spot. Not an uncommon occurrence. His dreams came off and on in no predictable pattern. Lately more on. Even during restful nights, they appeared as not- so-gentle nips along the edge of his dreamscape, coiled to flare up full-blown. When they did, sleep became impossible. 

“Bad night?” Harper moved to stand next to him.


“Which one?”

She meant which dream. Cain possessed a catalog to choose 

from. Not that the choice was his. Never his. Sometimes it was the traitorous Iraqi commander whose throat he had sliced just so. Dark room, third floor, dead of night. Never saw his face, but felt the warmth of his departing life ooze over his hands. Other times it was the Al-Qaeda bomb maker who earned Cain’s blade up through his diaphragm and into his heart for dispatching three Marines with his roadside devices. Or one of the other two dozen sanctioned missions he had completed. 

Sometimes an unsanctioned mission reared up. Like the three Mexicans, the ones who had killed his parents in Tyler and fled, thinking the border and the cartel they worked for would protect them. He and Harper tracked the trio to Juarez, dead of night, in and out, no shadow of their visit left behind. Only the three corpses.

Tonight? The Taliban scumbag who stood sentry while a pair of his compadres raped a young woman, her screams and cries still jangling in his head. Cain and the other assigned operatives— Seals, Marines, and Harper as the CIA controller—had completed their mission, the silent elimination of an enemy asset, and were hunkered down in a basement, waiting to hump it to the desert extraction site. But, the sounds of the girl’s misery and fear had frayed his nerves to the point that sitting by was no longer an option. Harper had been there—the night of their reunion after a fifteen-year separation—and had helped. Without hesitation. 

Their actions were unsanctioned, no permission granted, or sought. Risky move. Could have crashed both their careers. Turned out that was a moot concern. 

Harper caught the sentry’s attention. Cain over-powered and bled him through a deft puncture of his femoral artery, clutching him tightly, hand over his mouth, feeling his struggles wane as his vital energy faded. He and Harper then introduced the two rapists to their virgins. The girl scurried to freedom. If there was such a thing in that desert hellhole.

“You were there,” Cain said. No other words needed.

Harper nodded.

“Want some tea?” she asked.

“Couldn’t hurt.”

They sat at the kitchen table. Cain placed the stress balls on 

the surface, settling them against the metal napkin holder. He cradled the warm cup, took a sip. The chamomile infused his nerves, softening the invading images.

“We need a job,” Harper said.

He looked at her over his cup.

“Idleness makes you fret,” Harper continued. “Drags up your 


That was true. They had had a month to unwind from their 

last job. Cain could do a week, even two, but a month? Too much downtime allowed the past to dig in its claws. Pull him from bed to the window where he watched the sleeping city, and fought internal battles. 

It wasn’t guilt. He never allowed that to enter the equation. Each of his sanctioned missions had been righteous. On point. A problem that he could best resolve. Even if they were off the books. Way off. No written orders, no records. It’s the way it had to be. 

And the others? The ones since he and Harper left military service behind? The three who had killed his parents? Never guilt over that one. 

No, it wasn’t guilt. It was simply images. A series of pictograms, movies no one should have to store in their memory banks. His were filled with such. 

“You’re right,” Cain said. He stood. “Want some more?”

“I’m good.”

He refilled his cup. His cell chimed. From the living room 

coffee table where he had left it. Caller ID read “Milner.” Well, they wanted a job. 



The gun appeared from nowhere, materializing at the end of an unsteady arm, the black hole of its muzzle searching for a target. Then the flash-bang of sudden, remorseless violence. The shock momentarily locking the scene like a still-life. 

Who keeps a gun stuffed between sofa cushions? 

For Dalton Southwell the answer was simple. A punk-ass little shit is who. A punk-ass like Tommy Finley, jacked up on his own stash. Wired to the point of implosion, leaving him no way to make a smart move. A desperate one, sure. It didn’t save him and didn’t save his family. Not that anything could have. Their shared fate had been sealed the moment Dalton arrived in town. 

Everything had been so smooth. Exactly as Dalton had set it up. He had choreographed every move that his brother Dennie and Jessie Parker, a member of his crew, would make. His sources indicated that there would be four people inside: Tommy the punk, along with his father, mother, and sister. Dalton had hammered into their heads that they were to flank him so that they would have clean lines of fire if needed, and that they were to remain silent, leaving the talking to him. That’s how it went down. He had been in total control, right up until he wasn’t. 

His knock on the door had been answered by the father. John,
if Dalton remembered correctly. If not, so what? He didn’t really give two shits.

The curious look on the father’s face as he swung open the 

front door and asked what Dalton wanted was quickly replaced by shock when Dalton’s Glock pressed against his chest. 

Gathering the family in the den, Tommy, his sister, and his mother on the sofa, the father in a wing-backed chair at one end of the coffee table. Some stupid sitcom played on the big screen along the far wall. Dalton ended it with a single round spit from his silenced weapon. 

That got their undivided attention, Tommy flinching, his mother covering her open mouth with one hand, only partially smothering her gasp. His father’s face paled, his breathing quick and raspy, head swiveling, obviously seeking a way out, a way to defend his family. The father asked again what the three men who leveled guns in his direction wanted.

“You want to tell him who I am?” Dalton asked Tommy.

Tommy’s gaze danced quickly to his father and then back to Dalton but he said nothing. As if his throat was clogged. Probably was. Dalton offered a half-smile. 

“Then allow me to enlighten your family,” Dalton said. “Bring them up to date on your recent activities.”

The mother and sister stared with big eyes as he dumped the bad news on them. That he and his crew were there to settle a score, and to deliver a message. That dear old Tommy had tried to flex his own muscles, go out on his own. That was something that couldn’t be allowed. Not from Tommy, not from anyone.

“I don’t understand,” the father said.

Dalton scratched his chin with his free hand. “You see, Tommy made a bad move. He tried to cut us out of his sales. He tried to hook up with another supplier and build his own crew.” Dalton pointed the weapon at Tommy. “He’d been warned. He chose not to listen.”

“Are you talking about drugs?” the father asked. He glanced at his son. “Tommy isn’t into that anymore. He went to rehab and put it all behind him.” He now slid forward on his seat and stared at his son. “Tell him. Tell him you’re clean.”

Dalton laughed. Clean? Not Tommy. His large, black pupils were only partly due to fear, the rest from the meth that swept 

through his bloodstream. Dalton’s meth.

“Tell him, Tommy,” Dalton said. “Tell him what a good boy 

you’ve been.”

“Listen, Dalton,” Tommy said, “I didn’t screw you or anyone 

else. I was simply trying to expand my operation and make us all more money.” 

The father now appeared to be in full panic mode. As if his worst nightmare had materialized. No longer relegated to the darkness of restless sleep but rather standing right in front of him. Dalton loved this. That brief slice of time when a victim realized that their personal apocalypse had arrived, that Dalton was the personification of their every fear. Heady stuff.

“Tommy, what’re you talking about?” the father asked, his voice wavering.

“It’s not what it seems, Dad.”

Dalton laughed. “Actually, it’s exactly as it seems.”

Tommy’s fingers fidgeted with the edge of the sofa cushion, 

then he wiped his hands on his jeans as he shook his head. “Dalton, I didn’t go around you. I swear.”

“What about the guy over in Knoxville? The one who’s cooking for you?” 

Tommy’s left knee began to bounce, and his voice ticked to a higher pitch, the words coming quickly as if saying a lot was saying the right thing. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What guy? I don’t know anyone over there.”

Dalton took a deep breath and puffed out his cheeks as he exhaled. “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. Don’t you know me? Don’t you know you can’t bullshit me? Don’t you know we work inside a very small community? That every time a new cooker pops up, we know the who, the where, the what, and, most importantly, the how much before he even cranks out his first batch?”

“Listen to me…” Tommy began.

Dalton cut him off. “Shut the fuck up. This isn’t a negotiation.” He now waved his weapon toward the two women. They recoiled, wide-eyed. “And now you’ve dragged your family into this.”

“What is it you want?” the father asked.

“I told you. To deliver a message.” 

The father nodded. “We’re listening.” 

Dalton smiled. “The message isn’t for you. It’s for anyone else who might be tempted to follow in old Tommy’s footsteps.”

That’s when the gun appeared. Tommy had shoved a hand between the cushions and came up with the .357. He managed to snap off a single round before Dalton punched a hollow point into his forehead. Then two into the father’s chest, the man attempting to rise, his butt never clearing the chair’s cushion before death arrived. The women released a chorus of screams, voices stretched to the snapping point, hands raised for protection. A pair of shots from Jessie’s gun silenced them. The mother took it through her left eye, death following immediately; the daughter to the chest, now moaning and clutching at the red blossom blooming near her left breast. Dalton stepped toward her and ended her struggles with a single shot to the forehead.

He walked to where Tommy lay, crumpled on the sofa. The entry wound in his forehead was surprisingly clean. Very little blood surrounding the black hole. Of course, the back of his head and his brain were splattered over the sofa and the lamp that stood behind. Dalton searched Tommy’s pockets. He found a wad of money, which he took, and two phones. An iPhone and a burner. The former he left, but the burner he slid into his own pocket. 

Then Dalton saw his brother Dennie. He was on his knees, clutching his belly, left side, blood flowing between his fingers. 

Goddamn it. This entire operation had just morphed from quick, easy, and smooth to screwed, blued, and tattooed.

The truly infuriating part was that Dalton knew it was his fault. He should have forgone the speech and taken out Tommy straight up. But for him, the preamble was the payoff. His victim’s rising fear with its coppery taste, the look in their eyes, the begging and bargaining. God, he loved that. Like waves of electric current enveloping his entire body. The killing was simply the exclamation point. 



Cain’s phone lay on the coffee table. He sat on the sofa and punched it to speaker. Harper settled next to him, leaning forward, brow creased, head cocked slightly. 

Marcus Milner. Attorney at law. Senior partner at one of Nashville’s most high-dollar firms, he was also Cain’s and Harper’s go-between for cases. He fielded the calls, set up the accounts, and made the deals. Then, turned them loose to do the fixing. That’s what they did. Fixed things. Made things right. Or at least even. 

For Milner to call at this hour, the job had to be time critical. Something that couldn’t wait for sunrise. 

“It’s a kidnapping,” Milner said. “Tanner’s Crossroads. Over near Knoxville.” 


“The son of the client. A Dr. Frank Buckner. Runs a clinic near Charlotte, North Carolina.” 

Milner continued, filling in some details. Truth was, he didn’t know much.

“When did this happen?” Harper asked.

“Around six or seven p.m. Say, seven or eight hours ago.” 

“Was he harmed?” Cain asked. “The son? When he was taken?” 

“I don’t think so.” 

“What else you got?” 

“That’s it, really. Are you on board?”

“We are,” Cain said.

“Good. I’ll tell the father. He’ll be waiting for your call. He can fill you in. I’ll text you his number.”

“We’re heading out in fifteen minutes tops,” Cain said. “We’ll 

get loaded up and call him from the road.” He disconnected the call. “We’ll take The Rig,” he said. 

The Rig was their black Chevy Suburban, modified for their needs. A cranked-up engine, extra fuel tanks, bulletproof glass and tires, and a satellite communication system. Because you never knew when a simple situation could shape-shift into something more dangerous.

“I’ll gather the duffles,” Harper said.

The duffles, eight in total, varied in their contents. Cain and Harper kept them ready to go at all times. For situations such as this. Where every minute created a colder trail, and a greater chance for a bad outcome. Some of the bags were packed for surveillance, some for full-on warfare, most somewhere in between. 

A kidnapping could go in many directions. From a simple rescue to a hostage situation to a hellfire shootout.

Ten minutes later, they lugged four duffles to the elevators and descended to the basement parking area. 



Dalton wasn’t panicked. Panic was not in his nature. But he was furious, and such fury had always been embedded in his DNA. Even as a kid, his switch could flip on a moment’s notice, and with little provocation. That constantly simmering anger was probably the reason he did poorly in school and why he now did what he did. Dirty work for Frankie. Things like sending messages and settling scores. His fury never left room for panic. He always did what was necessary and completed the job. No matter what. That’s what Frankie paid him for. He had no doubt that he would have to earn his keep before this night was over.

Dalton twisted and turned the black Lincoln Navigator through several of the quiet neighborhood streets. Jessie rode shotgun. Dennie lay in the cargo area, moaning. They had folded the rear seats forward so Dennie had room to stretch out.

“How bad is it?” Dalton asked.

“It’s bad,” Dennie said. “Hurts like a bitch.”

“What’re we going to do?” Jessie asked.

Dalton considered the question as he turned west onto Main 

Street. What could they do? This was supposed to be a clean hit. As simple as one, two, three. Take out the family, walk away, message sent. But now? Dennie’s blood left at the scene, a huge
stain on the light gray carpet. Tommy’s un-silenced gun going off with explosive intensity.

Did the neighbors hear anything? Had they called the police 

already? The houses in the neighborhood were spaced a couple of hundred feet apart so they might’ve gotten lucky, but Dalton knew anything was possible and counting on luck was never an acceptable strategy. Sure, luck could smile on you, like drawing to an inside straight when the pot was piled high, but in Dalton’s experience, it more often offered an unfriendly face. Like a gun appearing from nowhere. Fucking Tommy.

If they were in Memphis, he’d know where to go. The boss had a doc on retainer for just such emergencies. He could fix things off the radar, no record and no one the wiser. 

But here? In Fucktown, USA?

“I don’t know,” Dalton said.

He rolled past the hospital on his right, and to the left, the 

town’s park, quiet this time of night. Main Street became Highway 57, a narrow two-lane blacktop that wound into rural darkness. Dalton glanced back at Dennie. His bloody hands clutched his side and he winced with each bump in the road.

“Think you can make it to Memphis?” Dalton asked.

“No. I need a hospital now.”

“That ain’t going to happen.”

“Come on, brother. Memphis’ll take hours. It’s on the other 

side of the fucking state.”

Dalton’s knuckles whitened on the steering wheel. “A hospital’s 

out of the question. We might as well drive to the local PD and let them cuff us.”

“You gotta do something,” Jessie said. He spun in his seat to look back at Dennie. “He’s losing a lot of blood.”

The highway led them through what was mostly farmland punctuated with wads of trees. There was no real traffic. In fact, they passed only two cars, each headed in the opposite direction. A few miles out of town, Dalton saw a church. On the left, set back from the road a ways, it was a white frame structure with a wide gravel parking area. Empty at this hour. He wheeled into the lot and circled to the back, the chapel blocking them from the road. 

“What are we going to do?” Jessie asked. “Pray?” 

Dalton gave him a look, then pushed open the driver’s door. 

The interior lights popped on.

“Somebody’ll see us,” Jessie said.

“Not here.” Dalton climbed out and tugged open the rear door. 

“Let me see.”

Dennie rolled out of his fetal position, and onto his back. He 

lifted his blood-soaked shirt.

It was bad. No way to sugarcoat this. The bullet had entered 

the left side of Dennie’s abdomen. It had to have damaged some important shit inside. Dalton rolled Dennie to his right side, drawing a deep moan. He searched for an exit wound but found none. 

“Hand me that towel,” Dalton said to Jessie. He passed it to Dennie. “Hold pressure on the wound. The bleeding is slowing and that’ll stop it.” 

“We’ve got to do something,” Jessie said.

Dalton stood and looked up at the night sky. “Give me a second. I’ll figure it out.” 

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Posted by on October 20, 2020 in Writing



Didn’t your parents tell you that nothing good happens after midnight? They were right. Check out this stellar collection of down and dark short fiction.

Links To Order Your Copy Are Here:

From the Introduction:

In D. P. Lyle’s “Tonic” a couple of good old boys in rural America are cruising the backroads in an ancient pickup and simply pursuing the American dream of trying to make a living. Who could blame them? And, a more cogent question, what could go wrong? Oh, a thing or two, especially when they decide to explore a new business model and attract a little more attention than is wise. The cast includes a great small-town sheriff and a medicine man you won’t soon forget, try though you might. 

Jeffrey Deaver, Editor, Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

What others are saying about NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT

“Something very good happens after midnight…just pick up this brilliant book and be transported—and very afraid!” —Peter James, UK #1 Bestselling Author of the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Series 

NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT is a treat— dark, chilling, and delicious. Grab it.” —Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award-Winning Author of The Dark Corners of the Night 

NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT proves that the witching hour still has the power to haunt in this suspenseful collection of stories by luminaries in the literary world. Inventive, twisted, and downright chilling, here is an anthology to be savored— well past midnight and into the dead of night.” —James Rollins, #1 New York Times Bestseller of The Last Odyssey

“This anthology showcases some of the best talent in the thriller genre—or in any genre. Whether quirky or creepy, each story displays the talent and uniqueness of its author. And since all are so good, this collection is a delightful read.” —Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times Bestseller of Thick as Thieves

NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT is loads of fun. The stories from this lineup of all-star authors are a blast to read, with plenty of neck-snapping twists and heart-stopping thrills that will keep you turning pages way past the title’s witching hour.” —Boyd Morrison, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 

“If you like intrigue and suspense, you’ll love this salmagundi of tense tales from some of today’s short story masters. This book is guaranteed to keep you awake until midnight and beyond.” —Steven James, Bestselling Author of The Bowers Files

“Readers rarely get a gift such as this—a superb collection from the giants of mystery and suspense.”—Robert Dugoni, Bestselling Author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series 

“Midnight is the magic switch. Safe becomes dangerous, good becomes evil, quiet turns raucous. When the clock strikes twelve in NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT, a talented crew of writers unleashes a maelstrom of thrills so intense, you will never sleep again. Unputdownable!” —K.J. Howe, International Bestselling Author of SKYJACK 

NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT is a treasure chest of novelties, curiosities and gems. From Kevin O’Brien’s ‘Cell Phone Intolerant’ to Shannon Kirk’s ‘Tonight is the Night’ and Jon Land’s surprisingly heartfelt ‘ATM,’ you’ll never step outside at night in quite the same way.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Nick Heller Series 

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Posted by on October 19, 2020 in Writing


SUNSHINE STATE and RIGGED On Sale at Chirp Audiobooks

SUNSHINE STATE and RIGGED On Sale at Chirp Audiobooks

From 9-23 thru 10-22 SUNSHINE STATE (Jake Longly #3) and RIGGED (Jake Longly #4) are on sale at Chirp Audiobooks


Bizarre doesn’t quite cover it. In SUNSHINE STATE, Jake Longly and girlfriend Nicole Jamison are hired, through an anonymous benefactor, by serial killer Billy Wayne Baker to prove that two of the seven murders weren’t actually his work. Yet, he confessed to all seven and his DNA turned up at each scene. Is Billy Wayne simply trying to tweak the system, garner another fifteen minutes of fame? Or is there a killer out there getting away with murder? If so, who, why, and, most importantly, how? Nothing is as it seems in the Sunshine State.


First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope. Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. But, when Emily doesn’t appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake’s radar goes on high alert. When her body, along with that of Jason, one of two guys she has been dating, are found murdered, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray and the pursuit begins. Who would have done this? The soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi, the other guy Emily is seeing—jealousy being a motive for harm, or do the drugs found in Jason’s pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed.

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Posted by on September 24, 2020 in Writing


Criminal Mischief: Episode #41: Writing Great Thrillers


Criminal Mischief: Episode #41: Writing Great Thrillers




My dear friend Gayle Lynds recently posted an excellent article on the Rogue Women Writers blog titled “10 Rules For Writing A Best-selling Thriller.” Gayle offers many useful insights every writer should take to heart. In this show I want to expand and offer my views on a few of her points. 

10 Rules For Writing A Best-selling Thriller by Gayle Lynds:

Rogue Writers:


Coming 10-20-20



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Posted by on September 22, 2020 in Criminal Mischief Show, Writing


SUNSHINE STATE and RIGGED Available on Chirp Audiobooks

My two latest Jake Longly books, SUNSHINE STATE (#3) and RIGGED (#4), are now available on Chirp Audiobooks.

And they are narrated by the author—-which would be me. Take a listen if you feel so moved.








More Info on each:



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Posted by on August 15, 2020 in Writing


Guest Blogger: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush: Behind the Story: Cold Cases

Behind the Story: Cold Cases
By Jennifer Graeser Dornbush, author of Hole in the Woods 

It’s no secret that cold cases draw a lot of entertainment and media interest. From podcasters, thriller novels, to true crime TV, viewers and readers can’t get enough! 

And I’m no different! My new thriller, Hole in the Woods, is based on a cold case I followed for twenty-five years. The specific cold case was that of Shannon Siders of Newaygo, Michigan. Shannon was brutally raped and murdered the summer of 1989 and her body was left for three months at the Hole in the Woods, a local party spot deep in the Manistee National Forest. 

Her story inspired my fictional version but also spurred my deeper interest in partnering with the Cold Case Foundation, a non-profit focused on solving the hardest, most forgotten violent crime and missing persons cases. 

Once I started researching Shannon’s case and eventually was led to the CCF, I was eager to get a behind the scenes look at cold case solving. So… what do we actually know about cold cases? Why do they grow cold? How many cold cases are there in America? Why did Shannon’s case go cold for so long? And how is CCF tackling cold cases differently? 

What is a cold case? 

A case is considered cold if the crime has not been solved after one year of when the offense occurred.

Why did Shannon Sider’s case grow cold? 

From what I know and have learned about Shannon’s case, I can point to a couple reasons why it went cold. 

First, Shannon’s body was not found until three months after her murder. Most of the biological evidence, even her own, was very deteriorated. Of the very small traces of DNA found her remains, none was able to be linked to anyone but Shannon. And of course, when she was killed in 1989, DNA science was very new and you needed a lot more of it to test for DNA than you do nowadays. But even when the samples were retested in 2012 with better technology, they were given inconclusive results. With no physical evidence present, it was impossible to make a connection to Shannon and her killers. 

Second, investigators spent hundreds of hours interviewing Shannon’s friends, family, and those last seen with her. Over 460 interviews! At the time there was never any probable cause to make an arrest. Investigators could not find any direct or circumstantial evidence that would give them the ability to make an arrest in Shannon’s killing. Even police examinations of the killers’ vehicle yielded no such cause because by the time the car was examined, the killer had weeks, if not months, to dispose of any evidence and clean up their car. 

Third, the lead investigator on Shannon’s case believed for a short time after her father reported her missing that she might still be alive. There were reports of another Shannon, who looked similar to Shannon Siders, and was seen in a store at a neighboring town. Police also had reason to believe she had run away and was in hiding. Weeks of time that passed after Shannon went missing that investigators just didn’t give her disappearance the credence it deserved. 

Fourth, the county where Shannon was killed is not densely populated and does not have access to a large police budget. Basically, it’s rural and middle class. The police department is small. There is a minor sheriff’s post. And there is absolutely no cold case unit. And wasn’t in the whole state of Michigan until 2011. It all goes back to lack of resources. 

Why do other cases grow cold? 

There are many factors that might render a case to remain unsolved. Maybe there wasn’t enough evidence surrounding the crime or victim? Maybe the victim was found weeks, months, or years after the crime was committed? Maybe the case was not investigated properly at the onset? Maybe all the leads pointed to a false direction where time and energy was used up, allowing other leads to disappear or cover their tracks. 

On the law enforcement side, the main contributors to a case growing cold are time, resources, and commitment to these cases. 

By commitment I mean the amount of time and the priority a law enforcement agency and investigators are able to allot to cold cases. Police priority gives focus on present and future crimes so as to deal with today’s events and prevent tomorrow’s. Continuing investigation on crimes in the distance past naturally takes a back seat, simply out of daily task priority. 

Lack of funding is another big obstacle facing police departments when it comes to the investigation of cold cases. There isn’t enough money to invest in old cases, and only about 18 percent of the nation’s 18,000+ police agencies actually have a cold case unit. 

Lack of resources, meaning both lack of investigators and cold case protocol is the third challenge. Only 20 percent of those 18 percent of cold case units actually have proper protocols in place to guide them through the process in the most effective way. 

Since 1995, the national average of solved homicides is 64%; leaving about 36% of homicides nationally unsolved every year. (FBI Uniform Crime Report.) Every year, 5,737 killers get away with murder. This paints a bleak picture for crime solving across the country. 

And this is exactly where the Cold Case Foundation can fill the gap! 

What exactly is The Cold Case Foundation? 

The CCF is what I call the Avengers of cold case solving! CCF was founded in 2014 and is currently run by Greg Cooper (former FBI) and Dean Jackson (former law enforcement). The CCF is an NPO and employs an all-volunteer board and staff of law enforcement experts from the FBI, police branches, and investigators and forensic experts from around the country. Most are retired and all are eager to lend their decades of experience to keep fighting crime. 

Each new cold case brought to the CCF is assigned to a super power team of these seasoned professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to those hardest to solve cases. They use a technique called Victimology, which seeks to study the victim’s life and relationships. With these clues, investigators can more effectively and efficiently find clearer and cleaner trails to the killer. 

What Kinds of Cases Does the CCF Help Solve? 

Homicides Missing Persons Unidentified Bodies Rape/Sexual Assaults 

Is There A Cost for Using the CCF? 

No. Applicants can apply through the CCF website. There is no cost to police departments or victims and their families for the CCF support services. 

Why are you partnering with The Cold Case Foundation? 

As a crime fiction writer, I view crime solving for its story and entertainment value; but I’ve always felt that it is essential to give back something positive to the real-life crime fighting world and the real life crime fighters (aka the TRUE heroes and heroines). I chose the CCF because they share my personal mission “to shed hope and light into the darkest recesses of the human experience.” 

My work with the CCF primarily involves being a public ambassador for them and working as an educator for their Victim Prevention Training, which teaches people in all walks of life how to significantly lower their risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime. 

I am also donating a portion of the sales from Hole in the Woods to the CCF. 

Where Can I Learn More? 


Connect: CCF Facebook page

Reduce Your Victim Risk! Take and host a CCF Victim Prevention Training Event for your school, business, community group, church group to learn how to lower your risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Their new victim avoidance program is scheduled to be rolled out on December 1, 2020. 

What is Hole in the Woods About?

In 1989, in a sleepy Michigan town, missing high school grad Nina Laramie’s skeleton is found near a remote party spot in the forest. Fear and anger ripple through this tight- knit community when the case goes cold. Thirty years later, Riley St. James is assigned to the case, despite her similar past to the victim, and must face the killers who want their secret to stay in the Hole in the Woods. This true crime thriller is based on the 1989 true-life murder case of Shannon Siders, in which the author’s father was the medical examiner. 

Jennifer is a screenwriter, author, international speaker, and forensic specialist. As she says, “I grew up around death.” The television or movie screen is the closest most people will ever come to witness in the forensic world. But Jennifer was raised in it, as the daughter of a small town medical examiner whose office was in their home. Her latest novel, Hole in the Woods, released August 4th and can be found online where ever books are sold. Connect with Jennifer and join her newsletter at

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Posted by on August 5, 2020 in Police Procedure, Writing


The Story Blender Interview

I had a great time with Steven James on his excellent podcast The Story Blender talking about story and storytelling and getting the words down on the page.
Also a bit about RIGGED, Jake Longly #4, now available, and PRIOR BAD ACTS, Cain/Harper #2, coming in October.
It’s always fun chatting with Steven.

Listen in:





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Posted by on July 27, 2020 in Writing

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