New Release Announcement: Blood Red Ivory

“Some Cases You Solve. Some Cases You Survive.”

Really excited to announce the pending release of my seventh novel, and the first in a series, following Special Agent Tyrone Benhoff, Blood Red Ivory.

Initially, I came up with Ty. Tyrone Benhoff, Special Agent, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Why NCIS? My former agency has a global presence. In my time with them, I traveled to nine different countries. I figured the wide range of locations would provide a great backdrop for a variety of exciting plots. Another aspect of NCIS that fit was the spectrum of cases an agent has the opportunity to work. Everything from fraud to homicide, to personal protection assignments, makes for a deep catalog of investigations I can touch on in my books.

Ty himself is kind of an amalgam of characters I’ve met over the years. Some of the most fun and frustrating traits from all the cops I’ve ever worked with went into his character. He’s a tenacious investigator, has developed a dark, and more often than not offensive level of humor. Like most cops, he’s been overrun by worthless bureaucracy so much that he has not even the slightest bit of patience for empty suits or weak leaders. That makes him really popular with management by the way. He’s dedicated to getting the job done no matter what the cost. That last part is probably the most common thread I’ve seen not just from the men and women I worked with at the state, federal, and local levels of law enforcement but cops, in general, want to serve and do their job the best they can. That’s Ty Benhoff.

As far as setting goes I picked Zimbabwe after reading about the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. A group of anti-poaching park rangers, all female, protecting endangered species in Africa. Their story is inspirational. Also, I’ve wanted to get back to Africa since I finished a deployment to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti in 2011. The people there are great, the geography is great. Now that I have little kids, I don’t get to travel much anymore so for the time being, if I can’t go there, I can at least write about it. Someday I will get back to Africa though.

Anyway, I put Ty and these Rangers together, mixed in bad guys to include, ivory smugglers, poachers, some Chinese organized crime, and even a couple of terrorists-extremists for good measure. All this and a homicide investigation gives you, Blood Red Ivory. I hope you like it.

Big thanks to my publisher WildBlue Press. Check out their catalog of great true crime and fiction titles if you get a chance.

And more to come. Meanwhile don’t forget to check out the rest of my titles here.

Tweakers and their Vibrators

In Adelaide, Australia, four people got locked up for kidnap and torture. And it all started with the theft of a sex toy. This quote from the article is priceless:

“The court heard the incident began when Janise (name redacted to protect the moronic) who was an ice user, wanted revenge on the victim after he took her vibrator.”

Janise was an ice user? [🤔]. For those of you who aren’t in on the lingo, Ice is just another term for meth. A very strong, potent form of meth. It looks like clear-ish crystals, hence the name Crystal Meth or Ice.

Janise enlisted the help of her brother and father in her crack plan to rescue her vibrator and punish the poor dumb bastard who stole it. The article never explains why he stole it. Which to me is just as important to the story as the fact four people kidnapped and tortured the dude and not one of them thought at some point that they were going a little overboard. Janise convinced her dad, brother, and random family friend (Guaranteed the guy was either banging or trying to bang Janise. That’s the only non-ice reason I can see for him going along at all with the plan). Regardless, as I was reading this article, I could not help but wonder: How does the conversation about her stolen vibrator even get started?

If this was America, I would say this whole incident had to start in a trailer park. Given that this happened in Australia I’m kind of at a loss. For the sake of my own entertainment, this scene has a decidedly American-Redneck bent to it.

Here we go.

***

Janise stomps out of her room in her slipper boots. She has her pink, “I survived Daytona Bike Week 2020” hoodie pulled up over her head, an unlit Newport cigarette clenched in her trembling fingers. She paces back and forth across the living room where her brother Carl and her dad Carl Sr. are trying to watch a re-run of Storage Wars.

“What?” Senior asks once Storage Wars finally goes to commercial.

“Billy-Tom!” Janise squares off and fishes around in the pocket of her cut-off jeans for a lighter, “Son of a bitch!”

“Who?” asks Carl Jr.

Janise stomps her foot, “Billy-Tom!” she yells.

Carl Jr. cocks his head, “Yeah but which one, Billy or Tom?”

Janise growls, “Billy-Tom you dumb shit!”

Junior looks at his dad, “Well fuck,” he says.

“What the hell happened? The commercial’s almost over for god’s sake.” Demands Senior.

“Bastard stole my vibrator, son of a bitch.”

Junior snarfs his Cheerwine and breaks out laughing.

Senior looks at him with nothing but disdain.

Junior stops laughing, “What?”

Carl Senior’s voice is low, “That son of a bitch stole from you?” he asks.

“Uh-huh,” Janise answers.

Senior retracts his recliner and groans to his feet, “Nobody steals from my baby.” He declares, “Nobody! You steal from one of us, you steal from all of us!”

“Damn right!” echoes Janise.

“Yeah but…” Junior stops when he sees the look in his father’s eye.

“Where is he?” asks Senior.

Janise shrugs, “I dunno, probably with his skank wife I guess.”

“He’ll wish he was never born.” Senior declares.

Janise lights up her Newport and holds it up in front of her for emphasis. She blows menthol smoke out of the side of her mouth and squints her eyes, “I got an idea for that.” She says, “We need duct tape, some dog food, and a kitchen knife.”

Without missing a beat Senior is walking to the kitchen, “Done.”

Junior watches the two of them break off to other parts of the trailer like the A-Team after an ops briefing, “Dad, do you even know what a vibrator is?” he asks.

“Don’t matter son,” says the elder Carl, “Get your shit, let’s go.”

***

I still have a couple of questions about the case of Janise and her stolen vibrator.

  1. Who steals a vibrator? What kind of weirdo is the tool she kidnapped?
  2. Do you think Billy-Tom kept it for himself or was it a gift for his skank wife?
  3. How great must ice be?

Reference:

https://www.9news.com.au/national/adelaide-news-four-people-jailed-over-bizarre-hostage-drama-stolen-sex-toy-victim-forced-to-eat-dog-food/1f8e206a-89d7-4f4b-bf28-9cd9c0496840

On another note. What do you guys think of Acquisitor?

Detective Miles Otis pointed, “That’s an arm…”

Detective Jackson Cole sighed, “Yeah.”

Otis studied the random severed limb for moment, “You ever miss the good old days, dope and drive bys…?”

You catch one strange case and suddenly they call you the Freak Police behind your back. If the case is even remotely weird Cole and Otis get the call. Now they find themselves in a vacant lot staring at a forearm.

Fingerprints give them a name. Hardnosed police work generates a suspect. She’s a witch, so was the guy who’s forearm sits in a cooler at the coroner’s office. The witch says a hellhound killed her friend. And its hunting the homeless of Charleston.

Witches, magic, and a…hellhound?

Any other two detectives would laugh at a story like that. But Cole and Otis have faced the supernatural before. It almost killed them.

There’s a reason they call them Freak Police.

But can they face the darkness again?

Here Kitty Kitty

I think it’s important to start off by saying this didn’t happen in Florida. Wisconsin either has really cool cat toys or is in serious need of some gun safety training.

A 19-year-old named Jashanti (common spelling) in Kenosha, Wisconsin decided to use the laser sight fixed to the frame of a 9mm handgun as a cat toy. A 21-year-old man, we’ll call him Lucky, the guy who brought the weapon to the apartment, and was subsequently shot by Jashanti told police he thought he had removed the magazine before leaving it unsecured in Jashanti’s apartment. The report also mentioned that Lucky was violating terms of his bond while he was in possession of the gun if that tells you anything about what depth of the gene pool we’re in here.

So, we’ve got Jashanti, a woman so lacking in common sense or for that matter basic intelligence that she saw a gun with a laser sight and immediately thought of her cat. And Lucky, a 21-year-old criminal (alleged) who A-can’t clear his own illegally possessed weapon, and B- doesn’t recognize how bad an idea Jashanti is following through with until he takes a round through the leg.

My biggest question in reading this story is what’s the cat thinking this whole time? Do you think he fell for it and started chasing the light? Or did he just give Jashanti that look all cats have? That, I can’t wait till you die so I can eat you look. In my mind I see this cat, a dude named Mittens, sitting off to the side, bored. He’s licking a paw while this moron, I’m guessing the kind of girl you see roaming around Walmart at 1am wearing pajama pants (cat themed), fuzzy slippers, and a wife beater, dancing around the apartment, waving the gun around, to make the laser dance in front of him. Mittens narrows his eyes, insulted by the fact he depends on this woman for food. Then…

BAM!

Mittens watches as Lucky, whose existence Mittens has refused to acknowledge until now is bleeding and rolling around on the floor. In fact, he is bleeding really close to Mitten’s climbing tower which is the only reason Mittens is vaguely interested in him. Because if the fool messes up his cat tower he dies. Mittens watches the man start to cry while gripping his leg. His worthless owner drops the gun to the floor and starts running in place while she screams so loud Mittens wishes he had big enough paws to pick up the gun and finish them both off.

Disgusted with every human in the room Mittens turns his back on them and strolls over to hide patiently behind the curtain next to the front door. Next time that thing opens I’m out, he tells himself. Rather take my chances out there than spend one more minute with these mouth breathers.

Mittens seems like a smart guy.

Don’t forget to lock the slide back kids.

Reference:

https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/teen-charged-after-accidental-shooting-allegedly-trying-to-get-cat-to-chase-guns-laser-sight/article_6c979d0c-4926-54af-84bb-545652534f4e.html

Don’t forget to check out my new release Aqcuisitor, the second in my Jackson Cole Series.

Detective Miles Otis pointed, “That’s an arm…”

Detective Jackson Cole sighed, “Yeah.”

Otis studied the random severed limb for moment, “You ever miss the good old days, dope and drive bys…?”

You catch one strange case and suddenly they call you the Freak Police behind your back. If the case is even remotely weird Cole and Otis get the call. Now they find themselves in a vacant lot staring at a forearm.

Fingerprints give them a name. Hardnosed police work generates a suspect. She’s a witch, so was the guy who’s forearm sits in a cooler at the coroner’s office. The witch says a hellhound killed her friend. And its hunting the homeless of Charleston.

Witches, magic, and a…hellhound?

Any other two detectives would laugh at a story like that. But Cole and Otis have faced the supernatural before. It almost killed them.

There’s a reason they call them Freak Police.

But can they face the darkness again?

New Book Release! Acquisitor-A Jackson Cole Novel

I know this is supposed to be a crime blog. But I got a new book coming out!

Acquisitor, A Jackson Cole Novel, preorder now (https://amzn.to/3zhtIGj) arrives September 3rd, 2021. Just in time for a long Labor Day weekend. Acquisitor picks up about a year after the events of Shattered Circle. In Shattered Circle, Detective Jackson Cole came face to face with supernatural evil. A blood cult sacrificing women and using powerful demonic forces to wreak havoc around the City of Charleston. He put a stop to them. It almost cost him his life.

In Acquisitor, something is killing the homeless around Charleston, SC. Cole, and his Partner Miles Otis’ only witness is also their only suspect in a bizarre homicide. She says she’s a witch, and that a hellhound is hunting people. Any other two cops would laugh and lock her up in a padded room. Unfortunately, Cole and Otis have seen a hellhound at work before. Something tore a suspect apart in his own interrogation room a year earlier. Cole and Otis want nothing to do with evil like that again. They just want to work cases and solve crimes like normal police. But if they don’t take it on, who will?

Acquisitor blends the gritty police procedural with a dark urban fantasy. Trying to make sense of the supernatural through the lens of pragmatic police work creates something unique to both the crime and the fantasy genres. These two books have been an absolute blast to write. I don’t want to say any more because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say though, I am thrilled to introduce Natalie King to the Shattered Circle universe. She’s the witch I was talking about earlier. I think your going to like her.

Here is the back cover blurb about Acquisitor:

Detective Miles Otis pointed, “That’s an arm.”

Jackson Cole sighed, “Yeah.”

Otis studied the random severed limb for moment, “You ever miss the good old days, dope and drive bys…?”

You catch one strange case and suddenly they call you the Freak Police behind your back. If its anything even remotely weird, Cole and Otis get the call. Now they find themselves in a vacant lot staring at a forearm.

Fingerprints give them a name. Hardnosed police work generates a suspect. She’s a witch, so was the guy who’s forearm sits in a cooler at the coroner’s office. The witch says a hellhound killed her friend. And it’s hunting the homeless of Charleston.

Witches, magic…a hellhound? 

Any other two detectives would laugh at a story like that and lock that crazy witch up. But Cole and Otis have faced the supernatural before. It almost killed them. 

There’s a reason they call them Freak Police.

Here are what readers say about Shattered Circle :

“Although this book is crime thriller, it has a supernatural twist to it. If you like a crime triller and/or like supernatural, you cannot go wrong reading this book.”

“Shattered Circle This is an excellent book. I want more. I want to see it on the big screen!! John Stamp is a wonderful author, who takes you with him on a journey into an amazing world that did not allow me to put the book down.”

“Your attention to detail and knowledge of the occult is wonderful and spelling binding. Thank you for a great read.”

Can’t wait to hear what you all think of Acquisitor. More to come.

Author Spotlight: Alison McMahan

Hey Everybody, Alison McMahan has a short story in R.L. Stine’s new Anthology, Scream and Scream Again! Her contribution is called, “Kamikaze Iguanas.”

About the Book:

A harrowing array of scary stories that all have one thing in common: each either begins or ends with a scream!

R.L. Stine—the godfather of Goosebumps—and some of the most popular authors today bring an unrivaled mastery of all things fearsome, frightening, and fantabulous to this terrifying anthology of all-new scary short stories.

Scream and Scream Again! is full of twists and turns, dark corners, and devilish revenge. Collected in conjunction with the Mystery Writers of America, this set includes works from New York Times bestselling authors telling tales of wicked ice-cream trucks, time-travelling heroes, witches and warlocks, and of course, haunted houses.

List of Authors:

Read it if you dare! With twenty never-before-published scary stories from some of the most popular authors today—including Chris Grabenstein, Wendy Corsi Staub, Heather Graham, Peter Lerangis, R.L. Stine, Bruce Hale, Emmy Laybourne, Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Morton, Ray Daniel, Beth Fantaskey, Phil Mathews, Carter Wilson, Doug Levin, Jeff Soloway, Joseph S. Walker, Alison McMahan, Daniel Palmer, Tonya Hurley, and Stephen Ross—it’s sure to leave readers screaming for more.

Excerpt:

I work my way around the pool fence, slowly, camera-phone at the ready, waiting for an iguana to run out.

A group of kids is huddled around one of the barbecue grills. I’m hoping they’re just trying to keep warm. It’s like, freezing, even though this is South Florida.

“Hey.”

One of the huddlers has seen me. I recognize him, vaguely, from school. He’s one of those guys, the kind that is good looking and knows it. He goes by Spike. So lame.

Where to Buy:

Give it a look. I like a good scare and thought I would share it with you.

As always don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or at any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

%d bloggers like this: