Hiking trails running above Hollywood and West Hollywood inspired a setting for our fourth Tom Stone thriller novel. We’re working with a title in mind that we’ve chosen and will mention it soon.
The trail off Mulholland Drive is one thing that fascinates me (Don) about Los Angeles. It’s a mix of urban and forest, even within several miles of downtown. This is part of the Santa Monica Mountains and a setting for a … crime scene. Trails carved into the sides of the hills are quite a contrast to the crowded streets and densely packed neighborhoods of apartments and homes.
Just imagine, hiding in the brush and waiting … patiently … for — well, you’ll have to read the novel which will be out in a few months.
The First 3 Tom Stone Books
In the meantime, get in on the Tom Stone action with the first 3 books in the series:
… then welcome. Lon and I are glad to have you as we work on our 4th novel in the Tom Stone Detective series, which is really a crime thriller series. We’ve also created a thriller short story, A Deadly Path.
A bit about this site: we’d like to encompass a wider range of crime fiction entertainment from classic authors like we did on Edgar Allen Poe, to brief write-ups on TV shows that include the British drama Endeavour, plus the legendary Jack Webb and Dragnet and — from the late 1950s — Have Gun will Travel.
Stay tuned for contemporary authors like C.J. Box and more author interviews from today’s indie authors, plus crime updates on cocaine smuggling and other wild stuff.
So this site is a way to get to know our style and take in a wider view of thriller news and crime dramas.
If you’re not aware of it, our books are on our Crime Books page where you can read summaries and get a load of the fun covers.
If you like watching video, here I am discussing our crime novels on a San Gabriel Valley, California talk show on the Crown City Network.
In honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead, we’re offering our 3rd novel Tom Stone: Day of the Dead for free on Kindle (Amazon). In this fast-paced and gripping thriller novel, Detective Tom Stone is on the heels of wanna be drug king Anthony Angelino who’s also fighting the mob.
All 4 Tom Stone Detective Stories on Kindle only 99 Cents Oct 26 – Oct 29 2018
Burbank, CA — Crime thriller authors Don Simkovich and Lon Casler Bixby announce their four books in their Tom Stone Detective Series are on a special Halloween sale for readers starting Friday, October 26 and running four days through Monday night, October 29.
No crowds were spotted camping out in front of stores like Best Buy because the sale is digital and available through Amazon.
Ninja turtle costumes and now PJ Mask outfits for pre-schoolers mark the deep dive into autumn and Halloween, but don’t forget Dia de Los Muertos — Day of the Dead — celebrations, a perfect time for a thriller novel, Book 3 Tom Stone: Day of the Dead.
About Day of the Dead Celebrations
Like Halloween with families headed into the streets and shopping malls to collect candy, Day of the Dead on November 1st and 2nd is an extremely social holiday as described in this article from the National Geographic, Top 10 Things to Know About Day of the Dead.
indigenous cultures that preceded the Spanish didn’t want to just mourn the dead. They saw it as a natural phase in life’s journey. Today’s celebrations in Mexico and cities like Los Angeles mix the ancient rituals and beliefs with Catholic traditions.
An excellent website for finding out more about the cultural traditions is available through award-winning author Mary Andrade, Day of the Dead.com. She reveals how celebrations have subtle differences from one part of Mexico to another.
The Maya celebrate Day of the Dead with Hanal Pixán which “means ‘soul’ who gives life to the body. We will relive a millenary tradition with new eyes: ‘We will see that, as you see, I was, as I see, I see!’
Everything starts on October 31st. This day is dedicated to the little ones, the children. An altar must be prepared with a white tablecloth, fruit, traditional candies, desserts, and toys.
The next day is for the adults with tequila and beer while water and salt is used to purify the altar.
Drugs, violence, women all play a part and with Halloween fast approaching things are starting to get messy. Book review by Jill Burkinshaw
This is a fast paced page turner with suspense that starts at the beginning and keeps building right to the end. Action all the way through it is a great read.
We don’t adhere to specific Day of the Dead traditions but one of the passages in the novel that was so much fun to write was this — as the story was reaching its climax on the Santa Monica pier:
Along the pier’s right railing, a street musician crooned into a microphone while passersby tossed coins and dollar bills in to a guitar case. A Mexican flag flapped in the breeze above a vendor’s cart. An older woman draped in wrinkled skin sold sugar candy skulls surrounded by decorative skeletons wearing sombreros. Boys and girls adorned in traditional Mexican clothing prepared to perform their Ballet Folklorico. Day of the Dead was in full bloom. The Santa Monica pier was totally packed, worse than West Hollywood.
Stone moved slowly along the shops while Lightfoot covered the middle and Jake took the railing side with the beach spreading below. Suddenly, a rustle came from a T-shirt vendor at his cart. “Hey!”
Angelino knocked over a postcard rack and darted across the pier like a rat fleeing from a trap.
“Over there.” shouted Jake.
Confusion struck the crowd with gasps and people clutching children. Stone saw Angelino run toward the rides and push through lines. The hot, sugary smell of churros wafted across the deck and filled Stone’s lungs as he ran. Angelino headed toward the rides, passing the rotating Ferris wheel. He looked back quickly and then leaped over a short security fence surrounding the roller coaster.
For us, writing Day of the Dead is also about a new beginning. It’s our first complete storyline in the Tom Stone Detective novels and a new short story, A Deadly Path.
But also, the “bad guy” in the story line that begins in Book 1 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas, has some things to teach Detective Tom Stone as we see in the final chapter of Day of the Dead.
Los Angeles fascinates me with its diverse people and landscapes and I always felt that a great setting for a crime thriller story would be in the San Gabriel Mountains above LA.
I’m close to a popular canyon for day hikers and those taking a fire road up a couple thousand feet to a lookout point called Henniger Flats or hiking on to Mount Wilson, famous for it’s observatory and TV antennas visible across the LA basin. It’s Eaton Canyon.
When Lon and I conjured up the short story for Tom Stone: A Deadly Path, featuring Detective Jake Sharpe taking his son on a hike gone terribly wrong, I took some shots of Eaton Canyon’s entrance.
There’s a waterfall that runs down from the mountains and it’s a popular destination spot. But … this is part of Los Angeles County … so you never know what lurks behind the next corner.
So we let our imaginations run wild with the help of our cover artist Ben Southgate and came up with this rendition.
You can also get it for fuh-ree, that’s FREE, when you visit our page here and join our author newsletter list. We send it out about twice a month — the first week and third week — and announce our specials, promos, discounts and we respect your privacy the whole way.
If you’re new to our blog and our crime fiction books, then here’s a little guide of other posts to give you a taste of who we are and what we write: