Monday, June 12, 2017
It’s my pleasure to introduce James Moushon, author of mystery, murder, intrigue and politics. Today, James is sharing his new release, Operation No Sanctuary, A Jonathan Stone Mystery Short Story. He's provided us with a fabulous excerpt for this title, which is now available at Amazon for only 99 cents!
Title: Operation No Sancturary
Author: James Moushon
Published: June 2017
A Short Note about James: Author James Moushon is the self-published Mystery Author of the Jonathon Stone Mysteries. Also, he is a Short Story writer and an Author Advocate. James is the creator of the industry blogs: The eBook Author's Corner, the HBS Author's Spotlight and the HBS Mystery Reader's Circle.
A gang war erupts in East LA between neighborhood gangs and the notorious MS-13 gang from San Salvador and a Mexican cartel from Tijuana is right in the middle of the conflict. Drug trafficking, gang shootings and politics all play a role as Jonathon Stone battles the sanctuary city LA which seems to protect the innocent and the guilty.
Excerpt from Operation No Sanctuary:
Twenty-One. My favorite words unless the dealer is looking at her hole card. I was on a great run which doesn’t come too often. The dealer kept busting and I kept raising my bet and the Jack and Cokes kept appearing at my elbow. The Ocean Queen Casino was my sanctuary.
Being an at-large agent for the CIA had its perks. Of course, tomorrow I could be anywhere in the world. Actually, tomorrow was the day for our weekly phone conference so I was safe until 0900. My boss, Russ Evans, would be prompt.
I liked the freedom but I liked the action more. I am a part of the DOT division which is the domestic unit of the CIA. We handle terrorism matters that originate outside the country.
And you are asking me if that is legal? It’s not. And it’s not a well-kept secret either. Yet here I am in the Long Beach area living in the shadows.
I motioned to the cocktail waitress for one more. This would have to be my nightcap. Jill was back in a flash. “Here you go, Jon,” she said, taking a long look at the stash of chips in front of me. I put a five dollar chip on her tray as she brushed against me.
I had about two thousand in black and green chips so she had higher expectations. “Not tonight, Jill,” I said to myself. I was going to cut and run shortly.
The next morning came quickly. I made it to the back patio with my coffee just in time to catch the first ring of my cell phone. Wiley was controlling the calls, taking roll and passing along the weekly code word. Sometimes I got confused with this process but Wiley had my back. The regular agents used the code regularly. Me, not so much.
“Good morning, gentlemen,” Russ said in an authoritarian voice. “Before I get too far into the briefing, I want to talk directly to Agent Stone.”
That comment got my immediate attention. I could hear him asking Wiley if I was there in the background.
Russ continued. “Last night we had two murders in East LA. I know that’s not very unusual but the LAPD and now the FBI are trying to identify the deceased. The victims had false ID’s on them and the documents were excellent forgeries. In fact, they were so good that the FBI got called in and they traced them back to one of our old ops. The ID’s were made by the Romero Cartel in Tijuana. They are a merciless group of thugs and they are right in the middle of a drug war with a gang in LA.”
He paused for a second. “Agent Stone, this is the group you were chasing several years ago in Mexico. The Feds have a meeting to setup a task force at the FBI office downtown LA at two this afternoon. I want you to get involved. We have to stay to the sidelines on this one. Oh, and Agent Jodi Shannon is in charge of the FBI portion.”
I could hear someone on the other end chuckling. That damn Wiley. He knew about Jodi and my history.
“I would love to snag Raul Romero,” I said.
I remember Romero, I thought to myself. In 2006, I was involved in a gun sting. We were selling guns through straw purchases, trying to trap Romero’s Cartel into using the guns for their illegal activities. Unfortunately, the op went sideways and the guns wound up back in the states. We concluded that Romero got tipped off someway about the sting and resold the weapons to gangs in Southern California. This deal in LA could give us another shot at Romero.
That afternoon I checked through security at the LA Federal Building and was directed to a conference room on the second floor. I slowly opened the door to find at least a dozen people already seated. I saw Jodi in the front with a man dressed in a LAPD uniform and another guy in a suit. Probably FBI.
It sounded like Jodi was taking roll. She saw me and smiled. I halfway raised my hand in acknowledgment and took a seat in the back of the room. Except for Jodi, I didn’t recognize anyone.
On the side wall was a map of LA with a big red ‘X’ and a bigger map of Southern California next to it. After studying the LA map a little, I noticed an area painted in blue and another area with a green ‘X’ that I recognized as the City of Whittier.
Also there were two rows of pictures next to the maps. The first row had only two pictures which I assumed where our two victims from the murder yesterday. The second row had four pictures. The last one caught my eye. It was Raul Romero, the cartel kingpin. I turned in my seat to face the front as one by one people introduced themselves. We had the whole alphabet here. We had people from the ATF, a guy from ICE, a DEA guy and, of course, the LAPD and the FBI. I sat there trying not to make eye contact with anyone. I was there for observation but that didn’t last long.
Jodi had the floor. “I want to thank everyone for attending on such a quick notice. The quicker we get on these murders the better chance we have to resolve this case.”
Then she turned and looked straight at me. “We have a new member of the task force I would like to introduce.”
I shook my head slowly no.
“Agent Jonathon Stone from the CIA will be joining us. We think his involvement with the Romero Cartel can be invaluable especially south of the border. Everything we know now points to the Romero Cartel from Tijuana.”
A man at the front table raised his hand.
“Yes, Agent Lopez,” Jodi said, acknowledging the man.
“Are we sure that we want the CIA involved in this? I know from the DEA’s point of view, we can handle the Mexicans. Besides we already have people in place there that can give us live intel. We are all setup to handle both sides of the border. Besides, the CIA can’t work domestically.”
Agent Lopez had a good point in a perfect world. With my division involved, that changes the game but Lopez didn’t know that. I wish Jodi had let me sit by myself in the back.
Jodi got a big frown on her face but didn’t say a word. I had to jump in on this and try to keep my cover.
“I need to say something about my role. I am here to just add information if it’s needed. I will not be a part of the active task force. I was involved several years ago with the Romero Cartel in a gun sting so I know the players in the cartel, that’s all.”
Now it was Lopez’s time to frown. He wasn’t going to give up.
“Mr. Stone, I think that the DEA can handle this. We don’t need someone coming in and blowing everything that we have going against the cartel.” “I understanding what you’re saying, Agent Lopez,” Jodi said. “We will be careful not to expose the DEA’s position on this. I would like to introduce LAPD officer, Jerry Martin. He will explain our working theory on what we’re faced with. Officer Martin.”
A tall officer with a large brown hat stood up from the table and took Jodi’s place at the podium. “Thanks Agent Shannon. I am in charge of the LAPD gang unit. We believe we are in the middle of a gang turf war. The Romero Cartel has become real aggressive in the last six months. There MO for years has been to supply drugs and guns to the small, individual gangs in Southern California. The gangs, in turn, distribute their drugs in their own neighborhoods.”
I surveyed the audience. Lopez was staring directly at me. Something was up with this guy. He must feel I’m going to intrude on his turf.
“We believe two things happened. The MS-13, the Salvadorian gang, has started taking over various areas in LA and eliminating the gang members. We understand from informants that they want the drug trade all to themselves,” The LAPD officer continued.
That sounds like a regular gang war to me.
“The other thing that happened was the establishing of the sanctuary areas in the state. That’s where Romero comes in. He is taking advantage of it by crossing people from Mexico with forged documents and getting them into safe zones. These guys are setting up businesses and using those as fronts to distribute drugs, guns and false documents. Also, because of the sanctuary status, we have a problem getting warrants for wire-taps to try to pin them down. As long as these guys stay squeaky-clean, they are home free.”
James Moushon is a Mystery writer and an Author Advocate.
Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.
In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.
He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: 'Black Mountain Secrets', 'Game of Fire', ‘The Cajun Ghost’ and 'Operation Alpha Dog', a collection of short stories all featuring Jonathon Stone, CIA undercover agent.
He is currently wearing two Hats. He is a mystery writer and a book publishing blogger. You can find his blogs at:
HBS Author's Spotlight
The blog's purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 450 authors to date.
HBS Mystery Reader's Circle
The HBS Mystery Reader's Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.
eBook Author's Corner
The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today's ever changing world of book publishing.
He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.
How To Contact James:
Website: James Moushon - Mystery Writer
Author's Blog: eBook Author’s Corner
HBS Author's Spotlight
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight
Amazon Author Profile
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
When you think back on your childhood, what are some of your favorite memories of summertime? If you’re anything like me, some of those memories include reading stories, which you may have done on the beach, by the pool, or under the shade of your favorite tree. Summertime brings with it a certain enchantment, an enchantment that stirs the imagination and spurs the beauty around us to life. Indeed, stories and summertime are a powerful combination. Not only can they cure the winter doldrums, but they can take you inside a world of fantasy you never dreamed was possible!
As a child, I enjoyed going to the library during the summer, and choosing stories to borrow, not because my teacher had assigned them but because they were the ones that I liked, the ones that I considered the be the most fun. I enjoyed the mysteries solved by the Boxcar Children, the crazy life of Ramona and Beezus and the excited adventures had by Nancy Drew and her friends. I graduated into my teen years with the drama at Sweet Valley High. Then, life got in the way. Schoolwork and SAT prep, college courses and school activities all took away from the time that I’d spent reading, even during summertime. Like many people, I became too caught up in the daily routine of life to make time for this sort of leisure and if asked what I was reading, or what I enjoyed reading, I’d answer that I was too busy to “read for pleasure.” Though I did enjoy the occasional magazine article, (pictures optional, of course!)
When college graduation neared and I was considering a career in writing, I realized that it had been some time since I had picked up a novel to simply read for my own enjoyment. Though I’d done plenty of reading in college virtually none of it had centered around my favorite subject and true genre of choice—romance. With the burden of school work now behind me, I set out to make up for the lost summers past and as I rode the train to my summer internship I cracked open my very first romance novel and fell head-over-heels in love. Romance had always been my genre of choice but now I knew it, and that changed everything.
Once I understood my preference as a reader, the imaginative world opened up for me. I quickly made up for lost time, reading every romance novel that I could get my hands on in every sort of sub-genre, contemporary romance, historical, romantic suspense, paranormal. It was the lost world that had always been there but that I’d never taken the time to really notice. I changed all that and what better time to do it than best time of year for reading, summertime. There had always been something magical about reading during this most relaxing time of year but the experience of reading a romance novel beside a lake, under a tree, near the ocean seemed to get even better. Perhaps that is because I’m a reader who chooses to immerse myself completely in my romantic fantasies, and I appreciate that the setting in which I read can only enhance the experience. Whatever genre you’re reading this summer I hope that you experience total escape while you’re doing it! Books are the ultimate escapism, and summer is the best time to read them of all!
Would you like to spend an exciting night at the theater this summer? How about several exciting nights? I’m thrilled to share that A Passionate Play [The Rabourn Theater Series #1] is now available in paperback! This suspenseful story is set in summertime and is certain to make this year’s vacation even more fun!
Available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Passionate-Rabourn-Theater-BookStrand-Publishing/dp/1640103902/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Available at Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-passionate-play-the-rabourn-theater-1-jessica-lauryn/1125270883?ean=9781640103900https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-passionate-play-the-rabourn-theater-1-jessica-lauryn/1125270883?ean=9781640103900
Happy Anniversary, Dangerous Proposal!!! To celebrate, Siren BookStrand has discounted it and ALL titles in the Pinnacles of Power Series to $2.99! Did you miss a story? You can enjoy it now for a fantastic low price!
Friday, March 31, 2017
When I started writing, I considered where my own books might be classified. I love writing suspenseful stories, but not exactly the kind I was finding that many other authors did. Fights, kidnapping and the occasional murder fueled my creative fire but villains with very obscene thoughts and totally depraved fetishes never had. Was I breaking the unsaid rules? Or had I discovered that suspense has a softer side?
Villains-to-reform are hardly the only potential element that might differentiate such a story from the grittier version of romantic suspense so many of us are used to. Each writer brings her own unique flare to the table in this respect but I tend to appreciate more and strive to write stories in which the suspense makes the heart race, but rarely produces a queasy stomach. A villain who likes to cut up his victims with an x-acto knife makes my skin break out in goosebumps but a cleverly plotted scheme orchestrated by a villain who keeps up a steady chase, perhaps abducts the heroine in a critical moment in which only the hero can save her is right up my alley. Such danger fuels the romance between the hero and heroine as their fear for the other's life comes with it, and in the turn, the deepest secrets of their hearts are brought to light.
I have the greatest respect for authors who can write the scariest of the scary--your writing takes talent, guts and tremendous creativity to pull off! But to those of you who dislike the sight of blood as much as I do, (or the description of it!) suspense has a softer side, too. It just might take you on your most exciting adventure yet!