If you’re new to our crime thriller blog …

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.

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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.

Writing and Editing Manual Typewriter

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.

 

Lon Sungalsses and HatAnd if you want to learn about my co-author, Lon Casler Bixby, here’s a brief interview with him: Author Interview: Lon Casler Bixby.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the independent authors we’ve featured include:

PHOTO S.N. BronsteinS.N. Bronstein who writes about Miami prominently;

 

 

 

 

Meghan Holloway
Follow Meghan online and learn more about her exciting projects.

Meghan Holloway who has a fluid style in her storytelling;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stewart Giles Author PhotoSouth African novelist Stewart Giles,

 

 

 

 

 

Author photoMurder at Midnight author Faith Martin.

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen M. Story CroppedAnd if you enjoy reading about the writing process here is a blog post from Colleen Story, wellness writer: Why Writing Crime Fiction, or Any Genre, Doesn’t have to Kill You.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy browsing our site. If you want to contribute a post as a guest author, please contact Don Simkovich at dsimkovich@gmail.com. Make sure you put “guest author post” in the subject line.

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Cover story for short story thriller A Deadly Path

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.

Eaton Canyon flowers

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.

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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.

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A Deadly Path is now live on Amazon so check out a free preview here.

You can also get it for fuh-ree, that’s FREEwhen 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.

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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:

Our crime fiction books page — Click here.

Covers for action thriller Tom Stone Detective Stories on Amazon
Racing through the streets of Los Angeles neighborhoods in pursuit of justice.

 

And there’s also a video of Don appearing on a local cable talk show to chat up our Tom Stone stories.

 

Have a look around … and enjoy!!!

 

Get Short Story Thriller A Deadly Path Free

We just released our short story thriller A Deadly Path — it’s live on Amazon (click here) — and we’re excited!

TS-SS-ADP-FrontCover-V3-Hero-500x313Detective Jake Sharpe decides it’s time to take his 12-year-old son Darrell hiking in the foothills above Los Angeles and get the kid out from behind the video games.

Detective Tom Stone and 9-year-old Andrew go along with them and get caught up in an unexpected — we’ll just say that it ain’t good!

How would you like to read A Deadly Path for free?!

And get a free chapter of Tom Stone: Day of the Dead?

Here’s all you have to do. Just scroll down a bit.

 

 

To get it free, plus a free chapter from Tom Stone: Day of the Dead, simply click here and enter your email. 

If you have questions, email Don at dsimkovich@gmail.com and put “Free Short Story” in the subject line.

Thanks! And Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal for A Deadly Path — Short Story Thriller

A Deadly Path is a short story thriller with a strong family theme like the Tom Stone Detective novels.

Detective Jake Sharpe wants to get his 12-year-old son Darrell out from behind video games and into the foothills surrounding Los Angeles. Jake chooses a hiking trail to a waterfall that he and his wife Tasha took the kids on when the children were younger.

Tom Stone and the boy he befriended in the foster care group home, Andrew, join the hike which is filled with the complaints of a pre-teen trying to go his own way in life and the antics of Andrew, a nine-year-old boy who still bears the emotional scars of a troubled home life in his toddler years.

If you live in the greater Pasadena area, can you guess what location inspired the cover for A Deadly Path?

Read this post that we wrote the other week and you can learn more about it.

The story will be on Amazon by late October.

Get A Deadly Path for free

Join our newsletter that we send out twice a month and we’ll send you a free pdf of A Deadly Path. Click here to access the url that looks like this:

Tom Stone enewsltr image

Your privacy is always respected.

Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“Aren’t we there yet?” moaned Darrell. “How much farther?”

“Not too far. Just enjoy it.” Jake undid his pack and pulled out a bag of trail mix. “Want some?”

“No thanks.” Darrell reached in his and grabbed an apple.

“I didn’t bring you here to torture you,” Jake sighed. “I thought we might have a nice time together.”

“Yeah, I know, Dad.” Darrell looked around.

“You guys begged to come here when you were little.” That was another world and another era.

“It’s cool.”

Jake put on his pack. “Glad to hear.”

“It’ll be cool to see the falls,” mumbled Darrell.

Suddenly, Jake had an idea. “Want to have some fun?”

“Sure, whatever.”

“We can beat them to the falls,” said Jake, smiling.

“How? They’re already ahead of us.”

“I know a short cut. It has some steep parts but it’ll save a lot of time.”

“Cool.”

“Can you imagine their faces,” laughed Jake, “when they show up, we’re already sitting there?”

“Yeah, that’d be fun. Let’s do it.”

“Okay.”

“Hopefully Andy won’t want to look for his stupid gold,” said Darrell.

“Be easy on the kid.”

“He’s just so, you know, retarded.” Darrell wrinkled his face in disgust.

“That’s not nice.” Jake headed up a clearing to his right, squeezing between boulders and on to a little used path.

“I know. He’s just too goofy.” Darrell followed along trying not to scrape against the rocks.

“So were you at his age.”

“No way.”

“He’s doing so much better. Just a couple of years ago he wouldn’t even go to a park.” Jake hurried his pace. “It’s partly his age. It’s partly what happened to him when he was little. But he’s growing up and doing better. Mostly.”

Andrew was a puzzle, one of the many thousands of kids who grew up with abusive families and were then put into foster care group homes. But Stone met him during a Christmas toy drive and decided he’d give him as much exposure to a family as possible.

“You and mom talked about that, huh?”

“What?”

“Taking in a kid like Andrew.”

“We did. We’ve wanted to help where we can, but our house is full with you guys. I know you can’t understand how good you got it, Darrell.”

They climbed up a steep grade. It was just a few more bends to the falls and Darrell got excited about getting there first and surprising Stone and Andrew. They went down to where the canyon widened into a clearing and several tall trees were clumped together like an oasis.

“Hey, didn’t we go this way when I was a kid?”

Jake agreed. “We actually did. And we all played hide and seek.”

Pop, pop, zing. The sound of a bullet that Jake knew all too well whistled off a rock behind them. “Down.”

“What the—?” Darrell panicked.

Another shot rang out and dust rose just a couple of feet away. Jake scrambled behind a boulder and pulled Darrell with him.

“Oh my, God,” cried Darrell.

 

Check out all our Tom Stone stories on our Crime Fiction Books page

Covers for action thriller Tom Stone Detective Stories on Amazon
Racing through the streets of Los Angeles neighborhoods in pursuit of justice.

 

 

Classic Crime Author: Edgar Allen Poe

Recognize this guy — a classic crime author born to struggling actors in the early 1800s? I’d give you three guesses, but his name is in the title.

Edgar Allen Poe

While Lon and I are busy with our works-in-progress including a short story Tom Stone: A Deadly Path and Book 4 in our Tom Stone novels, we’re going to keep the blog updated by focusing the first week of the month on Classic Crime Writers. We don’t have a specific order so feel free to suggest authors. But, Edgar Allen Poe, born in 1809, came to mind for me. I always thought he lived much later, like the late 1890s.

He was “the first writer of international stature to emerge from the US,” as noted in a write-up in the Guardian during his bicentenary. His stories and works have enjoyed a timelessness, evolving into various media like The Fall of the House of Usher.

 

Poe produced quality work, which is why the Edgar Allen Poe Society of Baltimore says we can’t get enough of him:

One reason Poe is read so widely is that there is something in his writings for everyone. His works span the range of human emotions — joy, passion, hope, rage, despair and, of course, fear. Also, he appeals to us on many different levels. His superb control of technique is often the most obvious and the most superficial level, one which the majority of Poe’s readers unfortunately never seem to get beyond.

To me, as I remember the little Edgar Allen Poe that I’ve read, his writings have a menacing quiet–like someone tip-toeing through a dark house, afraid of what’s around the next corner.

Poe wanted an audience for his stories and poetry and had an entrepreneurial side to him. The Poe Museum refers to him as “the first author to try to make a professional living as a writer.” He’s also called the “father of the detective story.”

The Murders in the Rue Morgue, published 1841, is considered to be one of the world’s first detective stories, focusing on the extraordinary analytical powers of Monsieur Auguste Dupin to solve a series of murders in Paris.

Here’s a brief excerpt after a murder has occurred:

The persons who first entered the house all agree that the door of the
room where the daughter’s body was found was locked on the inside.
When they reached the door everything was quiet. When they forced
the door open they saw no one. The windows were closed and firmly
locked on the inside. There are no steps that someone could have gone
down while they were going up. They say that the openings over the
fireplace are too small for anyone to have escaped through them. It
took four or five people to pull the daughter’s body out of the opening
over the fireplace. A careful search was made through the whole
house. It was four or five minutes from the time they heard the voices
to the moment they forced open the door of the room.

Read the short story by clicking here and downloading a .pdf.

Edgar Allen Poe remains a literary force more than 200 years after his birth. He has achieved a timelessness that many writers dream of achieving.

Now switch gears to crime thrillers tackling contemporary issues — the Tom Stone novels and the age-old desire to be one’s own boss and make huge sums of money.

Check out excerpts and more on our Crime Fiction Books page.

Covers for action thriller Tom Stone Detective Stories on Amazon
Racing through the streets of Los Angeles neighborhoods in pursuit of justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Story Thriller: A Deadly Path

Nothing wrong with a hike that you want to take with your son … especially when you’re not ephpjqxBlPAMxpecting it to become a short story thriller, joining our growing list of stories you’ll find on our crime books page.

But, alas, that’s what happens when Detective Jake Sharpe pulls his son Darrell away from his video games and takes him on a hike into the foothills above Los Angeles. Along come Tom Stone and Andrew on the jaunt to see a waterfall.

The boys get into some tussles and after Stone leads Andrew on up the path Jake tells Darrell that he knows a shortcut and they can beat Stone and Andrew to the waterfall.

What happens next is what you don’t want to miss in this story inspired by the trails that weave their way into the shadows of the San Gabriel Mountains, where the crevices are perfect for hiding all sorts of surprises.

 

We’ll be releasing A Deadly Path in a couple of weeks and we wanted you to have the opportunity to enjoy it for free, by signing up for the Tom Stone Detective stories newsletter. Click here on this link and you’ll see a page that looks like this:

Tom Stone enewsltr image

We’ll reveal the cover soon. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt:

Darrell was a good kid. He did his homework, hung out with friends at the mall, and didn’t take drugs. He just had that I-know-everything-and-I-don’t-care attitude, making the gap between Jake and his son about ten times wider than the canyon walls surrounding them.

“Aren’t we there yet?” moaned Darrell. “How much farther?”

“Not too far. Just enjoy it.” Jake undid his pack and pulled out a bag of trail mix. “Want some?”

“No thanks.” Darrell reached in his and grabbed an apple.

“I didn’t bring you here to torture you,” Jake sighed. “I thought we might have a nice time together.”

“Yeah, I know, Dad.” Darrell looked around.

“You guys begged to come here when you were little.” That was another world and another era.

“It’s cool.”

Jake put on his pack. “Glad to hear.”

“It’ll be cool to see the falls,” mumbled Darrell.

Suddenly, Jake had an idea. “Want to have some fun?”

“Sure, whatever.”

“We can beat them to the falls,” said Jake, smiling.

“How? They’re already ahead of us.”

“I know a short cut. It has some steep parts but it’ll save a lot of time.”

“Cool.”

“Can you imagine their faces,” laughed Jake, “when they show up, we’re already sitting there?”

“Yeah, that’d be fun. Let’s do it.”

“Okay.”

“Hopefully Andy won’t want to look for his stupid gold,” said Darrell.

“Be easy on the kid.”

“He’s just so, you know, retarded.” Darrell wrinkled his face in disgust.

“That’s not nice.” Jake headed up a clearing to his right, squeezing between boulders and on to a little used path.

“I know. He’s just too goofy.” Darrell followed along trying not to scrape against the rocks.

“So were you at his age.”

“No way.”

“He’s doing so much better. Just a couple of years ago he wouldn’t even go to a park.” Jake hurried his pace. “It’s partly his age. It’s partly what happened to him when he was little. But he’s growing up and doing better. Mostly.”

Andrew was a puzzle, one of the many thousands of kids who grew up with abusive families and were then put into foster care group homes. But Stone met him during a Christmas toy drive and decided he’d give him as much exposure to a family as possible.

“You and mom talked about that, huh?”

“What?”

“Taking in a kid like Andrew.”

“We did. We’ve wanted to help where we can, but our house is full with you guys. I know you can’t understand how good you got it, Darrell.”

They climbed up a steep grade. It was just a few more bends to the falls and Darrell got excited about getting there first and surprising Stone and Andrew. They went down to where the canyon widened into a clearing and several tall trees were clumped together like an oasis.

“Hey, didn’t we go this way when I was a kid?”

Jake agreed. “We actually did. And we all played hide and seek.”

Pop, pop, zing. The sound of a bullet that Jake knew all too well whistled off a rock behind them. “Down.”

“What the—?” Darrell panicked.

Another shot rang out and dust rose just a couple of feet away. Jake scrambled behind a boulder and pulled Darrell with him.

tbIq2nD

And, in the meantime, we’ve had some fun reviews for our latest novel Tom Stone: Day of the Dead, available on Amazon.

6x9_TS-DOD-FullCoverWrap-151wordsThis 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.

Tom is the main character and is a dedicated detective determined to get the bad guys and he works well with Jake. He is a friendly man and has a good relationship with his ex wife.

Angel is the opposite but there is something about him that is likeable even though he is someone that definitely shouldn’t be liked.

So what we have here is a fast paced, action packed thriller with well defined complex characters. It is well written and a very gripping read. Highly recommended for readers of Crime Fiction.

Thanks for reading and check back for updates.

Btw, Follow us on Goodreads

Don Simkovich

Lon Casler Bixby

Crime thriller short story in progress

After launching our crime thriller novel Book 3 Tom Stone Day of the Dead this month, we’re penning a short story that peeks into the dangers lurking in the foothill canyons near Los Angeles. An excerpt is below. Any guesses where this pic was taken? Hint: Don snapped it  near his home, and it’s a favorite spot of his for hiking.

Eaton Canyon flowersJake takes his son Darrell to get outside so the father and son duo walk toward a waterfall (another hint about where the picture was taken, for those of you familiar with the foothills around LA). Tom Stone and Andrew are along for the … fun?

 

Hmm … It was a fun story to write with the family clash and the surprise in the canyon. It also brings up one of the tougher social topics facing cities like Pasadena (another hint about the picture) and others in So Cal.

It’ll be out soon–of course, we’ll let you know.

Get the word first when you sign up for our enewsletter by clicking here and landing on a page that looks like this —- ok, we’re still perfecting things:

Tom Stone enewsltr image

EXCERPT

Enjoy this brief excerpt. For our novels, visit our Crime Ficion Books page.

A hike with just Darrell seemed the perfect thing to do early on a weekday morning in the summer. The trails were empty and this particular canyon had its own natural seclusion. Jake had scheduled time off so he could spend the time with his son and Stone had decided to join along with Andy. The canyon with its fortress-like walls and waterfall spilling into wading pools was a place for adventure. But Darrell was miserable and not even trying to cover over the fact.

Andrew was zigzagging, pulling on tiny tree branches and snapping them, whistling past Darrell’s face.

Darrell waved his hands. “Come on, man.”

“Andy,” Stone beckoned to the boy about fifty more yards up the trail. “Climb the rock with me.” A boulder had a crevice running through it.

“Oh, wow.” Andy shouted and scrambled up the opening.

Darrell stopped and took a breath.

Jake was annoyed. “You tired again?”

“No, I’m not tired again.”

The canyon walls narrowed and they faced a line of boulders that created a blockade on the right. The trail zigzagged left, leading through the stream.

Darrell studied his options. “I don’t want to get my shoes wet.”

Jake looked at his son’s feet. Unbelievable. He was wearing Air Nike’s that were less than two weeks old. Jake and Tasha had agreed to pay half and Darrell, complaining, washed friends and families’ cars to earn the other half.

“I don’t want to wear old shoes.”

Jake wanted to just—but he didn’t. He clenched his jaw. What was it with kids? Or his own kid? “There are times you just got to wear old shoes.”

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FREE PREVIEWS

For free Ch 1 previews of our crime thriller novels click on the titles and go to the Amazon page:

Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas

Tom Stone: Sweltering Summer Nights

Tom Stone: Day of the Dead