Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interview with Bob Hamer

It is my honor to introduce you to author Bob Hamer. Bob draws upon his vast experiences as a former undercover FBI agent to write realistic, fast-paced, action-packed books.

Who is Bob Hamer?  
I'm a husband, father, grandfather and now an author. I spent four years on active duty in the Marine Corps followed by twenty-six years in the FBI, all of them as a street agent and many of those years undercover. I was the undercover agent in twenty administratively approved undercover operations, some lasting a day or two, others more than three years. I've successfully posed as a contract killer, fence, drug dealer, international arms merchant, white collar criminal, even a pedophile. Both as a case agent and as an undercover agent, I worked organized crime, terrorism, gangs, and child exploitation. I retired from the FBI in 2006 and since that time have published three books (THE LAST UNDERCOVER, ENEMIES AMONG US, and TARGETS DOWN). I've written for television and consulted for such TV shows as THE INSIDE, ANGELA'S EYES, LAW&ORDER:SVU, and SLEEPER CELL.

Bob is being humble about his service as an FBI agent. He received numerous awards throughout his career including the FBI Director’s Award for Distinguished Service, five United States Attorney Awards for Distinguished Service, and numerous letters of commendation including one from then U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I try to dedicate one day a week to visiting our wounded warriors and their families in the hospital. I've developed some life-long friendships and have been truly blessed to be in the company of real American heroes, not athletes and actors, but young men who have sacrificed greatly for this nation. We've shared lunches, dinners, and holidays. It is truly an honor for me to be welcomed in their brotherhood.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your characters? I draw from my twenty six years in the FBI. All of my characters are somewhat composites of people I've encountered throughout my career. There's a lot of  Bob Hamer in my hero Matt Hogan, he just is a lot better looking, younger, and has more hair.

What is your newest release?  TARGETS DOWN is the second novel in the Matt Hogan series. In this book Matt is tasked with determining who is responsible for the murder of two people and the critical wounding of an FBI Agent's wife. The undercover assignment takes him into the world of Russian organized crime, neo-Nazis, human trafficking and terrorism...all areas I worked at some point in my career.

What issues are the characters working through in your latest release? On a personal level, Matt struggles with his faith and is tethered to reality by his wife, Caitlin, a believer. On a professional level, he must battle bad guys and bureaucrats, something which I encountered throughout my career.

What kind of research, if any, did you have to do for the book? I did very little research for the book per se because most of the research was done while actually investigating the particular crimes I discuss in the book.

What are your favorite books to read and why? I read my Bible everyday but I am far from a deep thinker. I read some non-fiction, typically dealing with current events but always enjoy Vince Flynn, Ollie North, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, and others who tackle terrorism from a fictional perspective in a realistic way.

How did you get involved in writing? I can't sing or dance and after twenty six years of being a practiced liar working undercover I decided to share some of those experiences in books. I started late in life as a writer but now have written spec pilots for TV shows, spec featured films, children's stories for a text book, a true-crime memoir, novels, and current event articles for various blogsites.

What do you enjoy most and least about the writing process? I hate to write...I love to re-write. I love to get the basic story down and then go back over and over until I have a product I'm willing to share with the reader.

What advice would you offer an aspiring author? WRITE. When I'm disciplined I try to write a thousand words a day. When I reach my word count I can hit "save" and move on to something else. Some writers certainly write more, others less, but discipline and consistency are the keys.

What story ideas would you like to explore in the future? Can't give away my secrets. I just plan on drawing upon my undercover experiences and writing stories I hope others will enjoy.

What are you currently writing? I occasionally write articles for Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace and Big Hollywood usually when a current event issue moves me, often about Marines and their families. I am almost done with the first draft of my next novel in the Matt Hogan series. I am hopeful that it will be ready for the publisher by Labor Day.

You can read sample chapters of Bob's books on his website at:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review of Falls Like Lightning

Falls Like Lightning is another well written book from talented author Shawn Grady. Shawn draws upon his unique experiences as a Reno, NV firefighter and paramedic to paint a vivid image of not only the emotions his characters are feeling throughout the book but also breathes life into the element of fire. Readers will feel as though they are hanging suspended from a tree when a parachute jump goes askew and they will feel the heat from the fire as it encroaches upon them on its destructive path through the forest land. 

Silas Kent is a smokejumper who works doggedly to stop the raging path of fire that intends to kill every living thing in its path from the grass and trees to animals and humans. Silas’s childhood has left him afraid of trusting another person, of committing to a truly personal relationship. When Silas is reunited with his former love, he realizes that he must take the biggest risk of all and open his heart to loving her and her six year old daughter, Maddie.

Elle Westmore is a pilot who flies, with amazing skill, smokejumpers into the raging fires for parachute jumps into the danger so they can try to control the inferno. When Silas Kent reemerges into her life, she tries to keep her heart locked up tightly. Yet, Elle realizes that a glowing ember of love for Silas not only remains in her scarred heart but is also trying to evolve into a massive blaze.

Just as Elle and Silas are beginning to trust one another again, a suspicious engine explosion during a routine drop-off has them fighting to survive. Will Silas find Elle in time? Will Elle ever see her daughter, Maddie, again?  Is danger pursuing them? Will Silas and Elle get to explore their growing feelings for one another? To discover this amazing story of suspense, love, and God’s healing power, pick up a copy of Falls Like Lightning.

Title: Falls Like Lightning
Author: Shawn Grady
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-0597-2
Release Date: July 2011
Price: Varies by distributor
*e-format copies available from most distributors 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Interview with author Shawn Grady

I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce you to Christian author, Shawn Grady. Shawn is a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada. His professions provides an ability to create intricate details to his plots, characters and their emotions, and settings that will cause readers to feel as though they are standing inside a blazing building with a firefighter or racing with an adrenaline rush to save a patient's life with a paramedic.

Who is Shawn Grady?
I'm a man who loves Jesus, my wife and my children, my friends, who loves the outdoors, water, our mookie head lab Marlette and many other interests and activities as long as I can share them with the ones closest to me.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your characters?

Often times my characters are composites of people I've worked with or known or my family or friends. None of them is meant to be a depiction of that person in real life, but often they are inspired by them. Some characters are completely made up. For my protagonists I try to dig deep and approach their narratives as a method actor does a role.

What is your newest release?

Falls Like Lightning. Readers can check out the first five chapters for free here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55895980/Falls-Like-Lightning
And here's a peek at the back cover copy:

Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew in to battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevada.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.

What other books have you written?

Through the Fire –About Reno fireman Aidan O'Neill who has a gift for sensing the fire and is driven to solve the mystery of his father's death. There's a serial arsonist at large in Reno, a blossoming romance with one of the investigators, and an internal struggle the main character must wrestle with and overcome.

First two chapters online here:


Tomorrow We Die –About Reno paramedic Jonathan Trestle who revives a patient from cardiac arrest just long enough to be handed a crumpled note covered with indecipherable dashes and given the command, "Give this to Martin". With the simple desire to fulfill a dying man's last wish, Jonathan soon finds himself thrust into a maze of mystery and murder.

First two chapters online here:

What issues are the characters working through in your latest release?

Silas Kent is wrestling with guilt over having run from the only truly close relationship he's ever had- Elle Westmore. He is acting out his self destructive motivations by hurling himself into raging infernos, feeling as though he deserves to be cast down to the earth. When he is reunited with Elle after seven years, he sees opportunity for redemption.

Elle Westmore is a single mother struggling to provide for her six year old Maddie who has been suffering from increasing and inexplicable seizures. She is still haunted by the loss of her pilot father two years earlier when his plane crashed somewhere in the desolation wilderness, but has remained unfound. Old emotions are stirred again at the sight of Silas, but she is a much more guarded and cautious woman than before.

What are your favorite books to read and why?

All kinds. Literary. Adventure. Depends on my mood. If the premise is intriguing and/or if the voice is compelling I may be drawn to it.

How did you get involved in writing?

I've always loved it since a young age. In high school, I always figured I'd write a novel someday. As though it were a foregone conclusion. Does everybody think that?About seven years ago I started pursuing novel writing with a career focus and signed on with Bethany House in 2008.

Who has inspired your writing?

My wife. My family. My experiences professionally and personally. As far as literarily? Kerouac, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bradbury, Dostoevsky, Leif Enger, Marilyn Robinson…

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

The free creative expression. The satisfaction of completing something that I'm proud of.

What advice would you offer an aspiring author?

Read great writers. Attend writing conferences and network with aspiring authors and others in the industry. Read established books on writing.

What are you currently writing?

I have a few proposals in with my agent and am working on things related to those. As, God-willing, things develop I'll be able to share more.

What has God been teaching you lately?

Of His unique love for each of us. How it hasn't changes since the Garden. His passion for Ephraim- which means dust, or clay. He saw Israel as he saw Adam, his first man formed from the earth. It's how he sees us. He loves us. He wants to walk with us in the cool of the evening.

Thanks for having me here, Kelly! Readers can always contact me via shawngradybooks.com or at facebook.com/shawngradybooks

It was my pleasure, Shawn. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review of Law Man-In-Charge

Laura Scott’s characters jump off of the pages of her books and grab the reader’s hands, drawing them into a world of danger. Yet amidst the danger, hope and love bloom forth scattering away the darkness. Law Man-In-Charge will not disappoint readers as it offers page-turning suspense mixed with romance and the sweet hope of God’s love.

Megan O’Ryan is a crime scene investigator whose life has been in upheaval since the night she responded to a call and realized her very own sister was the victim at the crime scene she was processing. Still trying to cope with her loss, Megan has moved to Crystal Lake where she is once again called upon for her forensic expertise by Sherriff Luke Torretti. 

A young girl has been murdered in the small resort town of Crystal Lake. The evidence points toward the Sheriff teenage son, Sam. Sheriff Luke Torretti needs the assistance of crime scene investigator Megan O’Ryan to help analyze the clues and determine the truth before the killer finds another victim.
When the killer sets his sights on Megan, the danger mounts and Luke fears he may lose the woman he has come to love. 

Will Megan and Luke be able to prove Sam innocent? Will they find the killer before he kills again? Pick up a copy of Law Man-In-Charge by Laura Scott to find out!

The Law Man-In-Charge by Laura Scott is available at: Harlequin, Christianbooks, Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble 

*e-formats of the book also available at most of these distributors.

Title: Law Man-In-Charge
Author: Laura Scott
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Love Inspired a division of Harlequin
ISBN-13: 978-0373444465
Release Date: June 2011

Price: Varies by distributor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review of Through the Fire

Shawn Grady utilizes his expertise as a Reno, NV firefighter and paramedic to craft a remarkable story filled with intrigue, heart-pumping action, on the edge of your seat suspense, and tender romance mixed with God’s amazing grace. Through the Fire is filled with such vivid imagery that readers will feel as though they are in the midst of the thick smoke and swirling flames. Readers will also come away having a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices firefighters and paramedics make each and every day.

Aidan O’Neill’s a firefighter who takes precarious risks. One day, his arrogant attitude places a fellow firefighter in danger and Aidan is put on administrative leave. The events of that day haunt him: plaguing him with doubts about his abilities to do his job. 

When someone begins setting blazes that roar wildly to life with a voracious hunger that drives the beast making it difficult to tame, Aidan is called back to duty. Will Aidan be able to reconcile his past mistakes before the danger mounts to a deadly level? Will he be free to pursue the tender romance with Fire Investigator Julianne Caldwell, which God blesses him with in the midst of this storm? Or, will their past regrets and a vengeful arsonist keep their love from blooming? To find out grab your copy of Through the Fire by Shawn Grady.

To celebrate the new release of Shawn’s third book, Falls Like Lightning, Bethany House has made Through the Fire available for free download for a limited time. Be sure to check out Shawn’s other books as well.

Pick up your FREE e-copy of Through the Fire by Shawn Grady from the following distributors:

Borders KOBO
Barnes and Noble NOOK

(Please NOTE offers subject to change at distributors discretion so please review the price before checking out)

 Title: Through the Fire
Author: Shawn Grady
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN-13: 9780764205958
Release Date: July 2009
Price: Varies by distributor

*e-format copies available from most distributors 

Also available from Shawn Grady:
Title: Tomorrow We Die
Author: Shawn Grady
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-0596-5
Release Date: July 2010
Price: Varies by distributor

*e-format copies available from most distributors 

Just Released!

Title: Falls Like Lightning
Author: Shawn Grady
Genre: Fiction - Suspense
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-0597-2
Release Date: July 2011
Price: Varies by distributor
*e-format copies available from most distributors