Monday, March 31, 2014

Queen's Gambit - 1st Newspaper Article (Breeze Courier)

For those of you in Christian County area, the local newspaper, the Breeze Courier, did an article on the release of Queen's Gambit. It is in the March 30th, 2014, Sunday edition.

Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Queen's Gambit - Now Available at Amazon

Queen's Gambit is now officially available at Amazon.

Please remember, this is book two in the James Maguire series. If you have not read Perfect Pawn, I highly recommend you read that one first as it provides the foundation for the sequel.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support. I would ask that you share this with your family and friends that enjoy good mystery / thriller books.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Smashwords Author Interview - Andrew G. Nelson

Did an interview over at "Smashwords" - Little more indepth then most and covers a variety of topics. Hope you enjoy the insight into what makes me tick. 

(Warning: The side effects from reading about what makes me tick  are most likely NOT covered under the Affordable Care Act.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Queen's Gambit - Chapter One


Northeast New Hampshire
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 – 12:14 p.m.

Hunting Keith Banning was like trying to catch a ghost.

It had been nearly six months since the two men had battled it out with each other. The fight had effectively ended in a draw, with Banning fleeing, a knife wound to his leg, and Maguire racing to defuse the explosive vest Banning had strapped to Melody Anderson’s chest. Since then, Maguire had dedicated every resource at his disposal to pursuing the man.

He crouched down on the rocky outcropping and peered out into the valley below him. Anticipation and frustration seemed to be Maguire’s constant traveling companions lately.

In the beginning, the New York State Police investigators assigned to the Banning Task Force had been reluctant to share the information they had compiled. Maguire understood their apprehension, even if he didn’t agree with it. They had lost two of their own and didn’t want to risk anything jeopardizing their investigation. However, as the leads began to dry up they reluctantly came to accept that the case had gone cold. At that point, it didn’t seem as if they had anything to lose. 

Maguire brought a wealth of investigative experience to the mix, along with certain financial assets, which gave him a lot more resources at his disposal. He also wasn’t encumbered by the same jurisdictional restrictions that they were.

A gentleman’s agreement was reached that dictated if Maguire uncovered anything; he would not take any action without notifying the state police, unless there was an imminent threat to Maguire, Tricia Browning or any innocent bystander.

While Maguire had agreed to the conditions, he certainly had no intention of complying with them.

In the end, Keith Banning was a killer, living in a twisted fantasy world where he viewed the conflict between himself and Maguire as part of some deranged chess game. It was a game that Banning would never quit playing until one of them was dead.

Maguire fully intended to provide that closure to him via a well-placed shot to Banning’s head.

It might have sounded cold and ruthless to some, but the reality was that Banning had long ago crossed a line from which there was no coming back. Maguire had seen it before; some people just developed a blood lust. During the fight at Melody’s house he had seen that same look in Banning’s eyes; the absence of any compassion or empathy. People had ceased to exist to him. They had devolved into nothing more than game pieces to be used, moved, and sacrificed for nothing more than his enjoyment.

There would be no rehabilitation for him. A prison cell simply held no meaning. For Keith Banning it would be a place to plan his next move, waiting for the opportunity to strike. Maguire could not accept that risk. As long as Banning breathed air he was a threat to the people Maguire loved.

Banning had already been linked to the deaths of five people, including Maguire’s parents, and he was considered the prime suspect in the deaths of at least a dozen others. Tricia Browning, Maguire’s old high school girlfriend, still had not been found and it was unclear whether she was alive or dead.

The investigation had proven to be both physically and mentally exhausting.

While they all still referred to him as Keith Banning, for the sake of investigative consistency, it seemed that no one knew who Banning really was. In all, they had uncovered at least seventeen different identities, but the vast majority proved to be nothing more than wild goose chases. As if the personas he had created were designed, not for his benefit, but to sidetrack anyone looking for him.

The state police had gone to great lengths to plaster Banning’s photograph all throughout the North Country. In the beginning the leads came in droves. He had been seen from Canada to D.C. and as far west as Indiana. In each case investigators were sent, but it was either a case of mistaken identity or they arrived too late. It had become readily apparent to those on the task force that Banning was toying with them.

The latest sighting had brought Maguire up to this remote hunting cabin in northeast New Hampshire.

He had slipped in under a waning crescent moon, taking advantage of the minimal ambient light, and set up an observation post about three-quarters of a mile from the cabin. The cool weather helped to create a nice contrast for the thermal imaging goggles. He had kept it under observation for two days, but there had been no movement in or around the place. When he was sure that there was no one watching him, he made his way slowly down the mountainside to the small rustic cabin.

An examination of the building’s interior, and the surrounding area, revealed indications that someone had been there recently, but nothing that would specifically link it to Banning. It was either a case of mistaken identity or just another game of cat and mouse that he was playing.

Maguire reached into his jacket pocket, retrieving his cell phone and calling the now all too familiar number.

“Please tell me you found something, anything,” said the voice that answered.



Lieutenant Dennis Monahan sat at his desk, at the New York State Police, Troop B Substation in Keenseville, New York and clasped his forehead with his hand.

“There are signs that someone has been here, but nothing that indicates it was Banning,” Maguire replied. “I’m guessing it was just someone who may have taken a wrong turn.”

The lead had sounded promising when it had first come in. A local resident had been out mowing his lawn and observed an old pickup truck with New York plates heading up the mountain. He thought it was suspicious because there were only two other houses farther up the road, one of which he knew was supposed to be vacant.

Maguire had been in Nashua, New Hampshire conducting some re-interviews when the call had come in. Being so close he had offered to do a quick sneak and peek. Given his background as a former U.S. Navy Seal, he certainly had the capability to do it covertly. No one had wanted to generate any more attention than absolutely necessary in order to avoid the risk of possibly spooking Banning.

Monahan rubbed his weary eyes.

How much longer will this go on? he wondered. Something had to give eventually, didn’t it?

“What’s happening on your end?” asked Maguire.

“Nothing. Everything has pretty much dried up. In fact I’m beginning to get pressure from Albany to start releasing personnel back to their units. The feds pretty much pulled all of their people out after the TV cameras left. In fact, all I’ve got left now is a U.S. Border Patrol agent to act as an intermediary with DHS.”

“Not to sound too pessimistic, but he’ll probably be gone after the first week in November.”

Monahan grimaced on the other end, because he knew Maguire was right. Everyone did the right thing when their political reputation was on the line, but once the votes were cast next month things would go back to normal soon enough.

“What are you going to do now?” Monahan asked.

“I’ll take a second look around the perimeter and see if I can pick up anything,” Maguire said. “Then I’ll do a follow-up interview with the witness. Maybe he can remember a bit more of what he saw.”

“Ok, well call me if you find out anything else.”

“I will,” Maguire replied and ended the call.

He sat looking out over the picturesque valley in front of him.  Below him a crystal clear blue lake sat nestled in among the trees, reflecting back the image of the white clouds that hung in the sky, above the water. The fall colors were beginning to take hold with splotches of red, orange and yellow mixed-in with the green leaves. It was like an autumn painter’s pallet. In just a few short weeks it would all be gone, replaced with a blanket of snow that would last until spring.

He felt a sense of weariness now as he looked out at the foliage. The beauty he saw belied the truth, which was that death was coming soon. Somewhere, Keith Banning was waiting for the right moment to strike.

Would he be ready for the coming battle?

“Not like this,” he said out loud.

The hunt had been taking its toll on him lately. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been back home or the last time he had felt the warmth of her skin on his. 

He looked down at the phone, selected a number and waited for it to connect.

 “Hey, cowboy,” Melody said when she answered. “When are you coming home?”

“I was just thinking about that.”

“Don’t think about it too long, I need you back here in my arms.”

“Where are you?” he asked.

“Maryland right now,” she replied. “I couldn’t take being cooped up in that fortress you have created for me, not knowing when my brave knight was going to come rescue me.”

Maguire had not wasted any time after the attack at Melody’s house. He had overseen the complete overhaul of the security arrangements. In addition to the physical security changes at the home, there was now a twenty-four / seven protection detail that accompanied Melody and her executive assistant, Genevieve Gordon, wherever they went.

At first Melody pushed back on the increased security, but Maguire held his ground and she ultimately relented. Well that wasn’t exactly accurate. After the incident she had purchased the land on the other side of Meadow Lane and had a pier constructed. She conceded the new security arrangements on the condition that Maguire relocate his houseboat from the other side of the Shinnecock Bay to the new dock.

Maguire protested, but they both knew it was only a token attempt. It still afforded him a certain level of autonomy, at least for now. Plus he also enjoyed being closer to her.

“It’s not that bad,” he replied. “Is it?”

“We’ve reached a modified agreement,” Melody said.

“Like how modified?”

“The bedrooms are off limits, along with the gym.”

Maguire thought about that for a moment. He knew just how intrusive a protection detail could be, but at the same time there was a very good reason for having them there. Both women possessed Melody and Genevieve were two very strong willed personalities. He knew that it was best to pick and choose which battles he fought with them.

“That’s fine,” Maguire said. “What’s left for you to do down in Maryland?”

 “Nothing, it’s just a pit stop actually. Gen and I went to the R&D facility in Montana for a visit. I left her out there for a few extra days while I came back to do some paperwork and a bit of lobbying in D.C.,” she replied. “I’m just waiting for her to get back here and then we will fly back to Long Island together. We should be home tomorrow afternoon. What about you?”

“I’m finishing up here and coming home.”


“Yep, as much as you have missed me being in your arms, I’ve missed holding you in mine as well, angel.”

Melody leaned back in the burgundy leather wingback chair, swiveling in it until she was staring out the panoramic window in her office at the rolling hills of eastern Maryland in the distance. She found herself biting her lip at the image that was playing in her mind.

“For how long?” she asked.

“Well if you’re kicking the security people out of certain parts of the house, I guess you’re going to need someone to keep a closer eye on you for a while.”

“Then again, you’re the kind of bodyguard a girl could get used to.”

“My place or yours?” he asked.

“You sound tired, James,” she said. “Come over to the house when you get back. Let me watch after you for a while.”

“Okay, I’ll call you when I get into the city.”

“Be careful, cowboy.”

“Always, angel,” he replied.

Maguire stood up and walked back toward the cabin. He would take one last look around and call it a day.

Fifty feet away, and mounted about half way up the trunk of one of the innumerable red spruce trees, a camouflaged wireless security camera sat nestled among the branches. Like a silent sentinel, it sent its signal to a transmitter which then broadcast the feed through the airwaves.

A little over one hundred miles away, the man, known simply as Keith Banning, sat in front of laptop computer watching the image in real time.  It was the first time since that fateful evening in May that he had laid eyes on his adversary.  In a way he felt a sense of relief. He had begun to worry that the state cops had shut him out.

He reached down and grabbed the pack of cigarettes off the desk. Banning withdrew one, lighting it up and inhaled deeply.

He had toyed with the cops for months hoping to instigate a response. Finally, he saw a glimmer of hope that their game could begin anew.

It’s good to see you again old friend, he thought.

Banning leaned back in his chair, propping his feet up on the desk, and looked out the window of the cabin. He took a drag on the cigarette and tapped it on the ashtray that sat on the desk.

Maguire had finally initiated the first move in their latest game. Now it was his turn to repay the favor.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Author Interview over at Falafel Jones' place

Recently I brought you an interview with mystery writer, Falafel Jones. Jones' was kind enough to repay the favor, and by that he put me through the ringer with his go to guy, PI Extraordinaire, Max Fried.

Hope you enjoy it:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Countdown to Queen’s Gambit book release

Well, the countdown to the release of Queen’s Gambit has officially begun. We are in the final stages of editing, formatting and jacket design and expect to be done before the end of the month. We are anticipating the e-book launch on, or around, March 25th, with the print version out shortly thereafter.

It is a very exciting time and I wanted to share some of the updates with all of you. So we are giving you a glimpse of the book cover and the jacket introduction.

If you haven’t read Perfect Pawnthis is a great opportunity for you to do so. There is a lot of background story that won’t be repeated in Queen’s Gambit. So if you really want to immerse yourself in the story, then now is the best time to get caught up.

Queen’s Gambit

Hunting Keith Banning was like trying to catch a ghost.

In the six months since the two men had first battled to a stalemate, James Maguire has spent countless days chasing down leads and sightings of the elusive killer, only to watch them fade away at the very last moment.

When Maguire’s old friend, Richard Stargold, is appointed as the new NYPD police commissioner, he offers him the opportunity to return to the department he loves.

While the specter of Banning remains ever present, now an even greater danger looms just ahead on the horizon, a threat which will put more lives at risk.

In a game driven by revenge, how much will be sacrificed to win?

The clock is ticking.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Author Interview: Robert K. Lewis (Critical Damage)

I recently had the opportunity to sit down (in a virtual sort of way) with Robert K. Lewis, author of UNTOLD DAMAGE and, the soon to be released sequel, CRITICAL DAMAGE.  

Me: Describe your debut novel, Untold Damage, for the readers in 25 words or less.
Robert K. Lewis (RLK): A recovering heroin addict, ex-undercover cop, goes after the murderer of his best friend.

Me: How on earth did you ever get dragged into the seedy world of being a professional writer?

RLK: I’m a born masochist, I guess. I was a painter for a long time, and hit the wall with that. Then, like a child who moves from pictures to words, I turned to writing screenplays, then after a tough bunch of years, started writing fiction. Took me about ten years of writing before I got published. I love a challenge, and writing (and not sucking) is one of the huge challenges out there.

Me: More often than not, today's writers seem drawn to the “good guy with the white hat” protagonist.  Your main character, Mark Mallen, is quite the opposite. What made you go against the grain and choose a very flawed individual?

RLK: I’m flawed. We’re all flawed. It’s what we all know, if not on a conscious level, then on an unconscious one. Beyond that, flawed characters are just more fascinating. Who wants to read a character that doesn’t need to be fixed? Overcoming ourselves is one of our great challenges in this life.

Me: I agree. The reality is that people do have issues. I think flawed characters are not only interesting to write, but interesting for readers. Almost like rooting for the underdog. Which brings me to another question: Mystery writers are an odd bunch. Alcoholic beverages aside, what, or who, would you say has influenced your work the most?

RLK: Well… this could be a long list. There are lot of guys who DIDN’T, or DON’T write mysteries on it. However, sticking to mystery writers, I would say “the old crew”: Chandler, Hammett, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald… to name a few.

Me: In that respect you are like me. My influences span the literary spectrum, from Frank Herbert (Dune) to Frederick Forsyth (Day of the Jackal). I think it helps to have a variety of influences. Most people pick up a book and don’t realize just how much WORK actually goes into writing. What would you say was the hardest part in writing Untold Damage?

RLK: Writing it in a vacuum. I don’t have a writers group. I don’t have readers. By the time I wrote what was to become this book, I’d had been writing screenplays and mystery fiction for over ten years. I go with with my gut when I write, and that is ALWAYS very risky and very hard. (I would NEVER recommend this way of doing it to anyone, at anytime, by the way). 

Me: Did you have any inside help, from professional cops, when you were creating the background story of Mark Mallen?

RLK: No, I didn’t. I did need their help though on understanding procedures, etc, and called the Tenderloin station a bit to confirm procedure, but that was about it. Whenever I called, the officer on the other end of the phone was always helpful, and patient. 

Me: When I was writing my first novel, I had this vision of ‘and they lived happily ever after’ playing out in my mind. That didn’t work out quite so well. Did your original idea for the ending actually survive until the end or did you alter it along the way?

RLK: It survived. It was a very important, organic, aspect of the entire story, and it had to happen the way it happened.

Me: I know your fans are anticipating the release of the sequel, Critical Damage, which comes out in April. Can you tell us what the premise of this novel is going to be?

RLK: Ha! I HOPE people out there are anticipating the sequel. All I can really say about Critical Damage is this: It’s like what “The Empire Strikes Back” was to “Star Wars”.

Me: It’s funny you say that. I remember walking out of the movie theater, after seeing TESB, and thinking what the hell just happened. It was so unexpected that it drew out some emotions I didn’t expect to have. As much as I think readers like to know where a story is going, they appreciate the unexpected. Maybe not at first, but after it sinks in they go ‘wow, never saw that coming….’ So, I would think that you must have a plan for a third book? Hopefully without any Ewoks (That’s a Star Wars joke for those not into the Sci-Fi genre).

RLK: I just turned it over to my editor. It will be out April 2015.

Me: That should keep them chomping at the bit. Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?

RLK: Well, I say this all the time, however, I feel strongly that it’s true: you have to prepare for the long haul, and work hard if you want to be published. I’ve never been one to say, “Well, I only write when I’m inspired.” Um… no. You write all the time, inspired or not. This is work. And once you get a publishing contract, it becomes a job. A hard job. There are revisions to deal with, ideas for the next book, promotion, appearances, your family (if you have one), your day job (you probably have one). The list goes on and on. You have to love it, or you won’t make it. It’s really that simple. And if you DO love it, and DON’T make it? That’s ok, too, because you’re spending your time doing something you love, and that is a very rare gift.

Me: Truer words were never spoken. I think that good writing is a double edged sword. The reader never sees the nights of writer’s block, when you are struggling to make that critical transition from one part of the book to another, or the endless revisions and edits to make the finished product feel as polished as possible. The better the writing, the more effortless it appears to the reader. It really is something you have to be passionate about because, for the majority of writers, it is the most underpaying ‘job’ there is.  We all dream about being the next James Patterson, but you have better luck playing the Powerball.

Robert I want to thank you for taking the time to share some insight about you and your novels. I wish you much success and hopefully you WILL be the next James Patterson and I can say I knew you when. Just for the record, if that happens, the drinks are on you!!

Pick-up his book, UNTOLD DAMAGE, available now in both print and e-book.

For those of you fortunate to live in the bay area of California, you can check out Robert’s appearance schedule on his website (under the news category):

If you want more information on the author you can check out these great sites:

Twitter: @robertklewis

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Perfect Pawn (Book) - Goodreads Contest - Round Two

As a lead up to the upcoming release of Queen's Gambit, I have decided to host another giveaway for a free print copy of Perfect Pawn over at Goodreads.

The contest runs until March 17th (maybe a little luck of the Irish will be with you !) and the winner is selected by the fine folks at Goodreads.

To enter, click on the link below. This contest is open to Goodreads members, but it is free to join and is an excellent community for those who love to read.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Perfect Pawn by Andrew G. Nelson



          Perfect Pawn

          by Andrew G. Nelson


            Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

      Enter to win

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Author Interview: Falafel Jones

I thought I would have some fun today and do something a bit different. I recently had the opportunity to interview my good friend, Falafel Jones. Okay, we aren’t really ‘good’ friends, but I lost a bet over a bottle of tequila and some questionable humus, and, well, a bet’s a bet.

So, without further ado, I present the transcript of The Falafel Jones Interview: The Lost Tapes.

Me: Okay Falafel, we know your brother Sweet Pickles Jones has a legitimate ‘paying’ career in construction so, as an ‘author,’ are you considered the black sheep of the family?

Falafel: I'm the black sheep in a family of black sheep. What's that called?

Me: My Cousin, I think.

Me: You’re quite a prolific writer now with three books (Kewpie Killer, Life’s a BeachThen You Die, Payback’s a Beach, and Press One For Yes) under your belt. Has the fame and fortune gone to your head?

Falafel: Actually, that's four but if fame and fortune ever arrive, I'll let you know.

Me: Who’s says that public school educations are worthless?

Me: Mystery writers are an odd bunch. Mediterranean food aside, what, or who, would you say influenced your work the most?

Falafel: My biggest influence is my desire to be productive while sitting at home in my pajamas. Well, they're not really pajamas but I understand that this is a family blog. I actually have a Florida state issued private investigator's license but I'm too lazy to work so I make up stories about what could happen if I wasn't spending all of my time on the beach.

Me: In my learned opinion, work is highly overrated.

Me: Most people pick up a book and don’t realize just how much work goes into writing. What would you say is the hardest part?

Falafel: punctuation; And speling

Me: Huked on fonics werked fer mee two.

Me: I imagine you are hard at work on your next tome, care to give the audience any clue as to what we can expect?

Falafel: Things can change but right now, I just started work on Max Fried Mystery #3. It's a locked room murder tentatively titled "Son of a Beach." Here's a summary. 

It's a warm, sunny morning when Cabana Chuck parks his windowless, concession trailer on the beach. As he attempts to set up shop on the sand, he's surprised to find the trailer locked from the inside. His mood improves when a nearby Beach Patrol officer finesses it open for him but neither Chuck nor the cop like what they find inside. Dead in the trailer is Chuck's competitor, Bungalow Bill. Someone shot Bill and he’s got a head wound too but there aren’t any weapons in sight. As Chuck's sunny day gets cloudy, he turns to P.I. Max Fried to keep his hope for freedom from sinking with the tide.

Me: I like the way you lighten up a serious subject. Why let something like murder upset an otherwise lovely day at the beach.

Me: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?

Falafel: Yes, thank you. Things are buzzing in Falafeland.

Me: Uhm, that’s usually a good indication that it’s trash day Falafel.

Falafel: Now that you mention it, wait, I digress. I just meant that Life's a Beach Then you Die is coming out soon in a Spanish language edition titled Playa de Arenas Movedizas and that has given me some codes for free copies of the audiobook edition of Payback's a Beach.

I'm giving them away for the asking or until I run out. Instructions for claiming a free code are at

Me: Well, there you have it. If you’re looking for some fun, slightly irreverent, reading then look no further than Falafel Jones’ books.

For more information on the author, and a few leads to collect the bounty, visit:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NYPD Sergeants Assoc. Article

Perfect Pawn got a nice mention in the current issue of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) magazine. Thought I would share it !!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Importance of Reviews

As an author, you are always looking for feedback from your readers. But equally important to an author are reviews. The reason for this is that reviews drive interest and that interest translates into increased visibility on sites like Amazon.

Ever get the "you might also be interested in" suggestions? This is how Amazon links products and the chance of becoming one of those suggestions is driven by your popularity.

So remember, if you read a book and like it, take a moment to give the author a review.