Our Thriller Book Sale: Four Books, Four Bucks, Four Days

Fans of authors like Lee Child and James Patterson sound the alert: the gripping Tom Stone Detective thriller novels and our action-adventure short story in ebook form are on sale today. Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 for 99 cents each.

Book 1: Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas

Book 2: Tom Stone: Sweltering Summer Nights

Book 3: Tom Stone: Day of the Dead

Short story: A Deadly Path

Fans of authors like Angela Marsons, L.T. Vargus and Stewart Giles will want to catch a peek, too.

Get to Know Detective Tom Stone and Friends — join our reading group, just enter your email by clicking here on this page.

About the Tom Stone Detective Stories

Follow the story of Detective Tom Stone and his partner Jake Sharpe chasing a wanna-be drug lord, Anthony Angelino, through the streets of Los Angeles as both men bond with friends and fight the mob.

Angelino wants to be his own boss and book reviews have noted that he’s a sympathetic character as an organized crime syndicate trips him up and takes over his life. His girlfriend desperately wants a way out of the lifestyle and becomes the first person in her family to attend college.

You’ll see the development of friendships while touching on themes like inter-racial relationships, foster care, and parenting teenagers. We take a real-life approach and have quirky characters running around Los Angeles.

Our Work-in-Progress 4th Novel Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill

Our sale comes as we’re in the editing and revising round of our 4th novel Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill.

Los Angeles is in chaos as someone is selectively killing the wealthy who finance the shipment and sale of cocaine and other illicit drugs. A cartel sees an opening to take control and overwhelm the police. Tom Stone must find a way to take control when his girlfriend, an accomplished defense attorney, refuses to represent one of the cartel members and her life is at stake.

Get alerts when it goes live and we offer it on discount.

Add your email address below and sign up for our reading group. We send out a newsletter from once to twice per month.

EXCERPT 1 for BOOK 4: TOM STONE: ONE SHOT, ONE KILL

The equestrian trail ran parallel and he slowed down when he spotted the wreath, flowers, and candles at the exact spot of the death. The crime scene was described so clinically: on the mount and fell toward the freeway. There was more to it. She would have been looking straight ahead and down the trail with her mind on so many other things. Perhaps business or chatting up her daughter’s schoolwork. The bullet struck without warning and she wouldn’t have had any time to react.

              He jogged on toward Travel Town. The locomotives and old-fashioned passenger cars had school-age boys and girls climbing in and out of them followed by doting moms and dads. No one at the attraction would have even heard the shot. One bullet fired in hiding held such power to change the course of a family’s life, the business dealings of a company, and even the fate of a nation.

EXCERPT 2 for BOOK 4: TOM STONE: ONE SHOT, ONE KILL

Kilbraide set the papers down and thought that money isn’t always a motive. There was something that Stone and Jake didn’t understand. You’re good and have the talent as a sniper and then you train day in and day out until the shot becomes an extension of yourself. Just like it was in the military with wind whipping dirt and sand in your face. You’re not there because you want to make a shitload of money. You’re there to do a job. Get it done. It’s your mission. You dedicate your life at that moment to bringing down the enemy.

Kilbraide picked up the evidence bag from his desk and inside was the patch. One Shot, One Kill. No Remorse. I Decide. The mindset of a sniper. Why should civilian life be different than the military? He thumbed through the numbers and thought two elite individuals are now gone. But in a city the size of Los Angeles, there were still plenty more.

Advertisements

Thriller Novel Update Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill

Typing the last scene and giving life to the character’s emotions in this thriller novel was satisfying and only now have I fully discovered the story that Lon and I will tackle in our Round of Revisions.

Perched above Los Angeles

Hey, want to be up on cool contests, giveaways, stuff like that? Join our newsletter / reading group. Click here.

Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill weaves a tale of power struggles and the quest for justice as Detectives Tom Stone and Jake Sharpe along with friends and colleagues fight a cartel invading Los Angeles and what appears to be a lone gunman taking down the cities wealthiest who have ties to the drug trade.

Characters from previous books and new ones — the caring and the evil — come to life in this gripping full-length action-adventure novel.

From the ridges above the Hollywood Hills to the beaches and sprawling Griffith Park the hunt for the killer takes place while an international cartel spreads mayhem and fear.

How can Stone and his team possibly stand against the onslaught of a gang and solve the mystery of a sniper?

Below is an excerpt from Book 4 but in the meantime, check out Books 1 – 3 on Amazon or on our Crime Books page.

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

EXCERPT

The medical examiner called out to them. “Hey, Stone. How you doing? Heard you guys were playing softball. Sorry to interrupt your game but here’s what we got.”

“Mind if I take a look?” asked Stone.

“Go ahead. It’s not pretty.”

Stone pulled the sheet back and Jake took a deep breath. The man’s face was nearly intact except for a hole just above the eyes. A closer look showed the power of what had struck him. The back of the head was missing so that the face was covering nothing. A mess of blood and brains splattered from below the chair to the area behind him.

“Jesus,” whispered Jake. “For once, I’ve lost my appetite.”

“Looks like one bullet. Obviously high caliber,” said the examiner. “A hell of a shot.”

Stone looked at Browell, the color had drained from his face. He acted shaky. “Do you know anything about this guy?”

“So far, just the usual. His name was Charles Scott, aged sixty-four. Was in good shape. Had a lot of money. The wife kept crying out that he was a good man. You might have seen her. She’s inside with their kids and friends.” Browell motioned to the house. “Apparently, Bennington was chairman of his own financial consulting firm.” Browell wiped his forehead. “Was chairman. Damn, that changed fast.”

“Did they know where the shot might have come from?”

“No, this place is secure. Like its own little fortress on a hillside.” Browell inhaled. “Hey, do you guys mind if I step to the front of the house for a change of scenery?”

“Go ahead,” said Jake, reaching in his pocket. “Here’s my card. Email me your notes, please.”

“Sure will.” Browell wobbled away.

Stone glanced around. The patio was situated partly behind the home and stretched east. It was perched on a level spot above a cliff. Looking further east, he saw the lights of Hollywood flowing like a carpeting toward downtown Los Angeles. There was no place for a gunman to run up to the fence and shoot. Behind the property a hillside rose toward a ridge that looked about several hundred yards away. A few small trees and scrub brush covered the steep grade. There was no trail or steps leading down.


CHAPTER ONE BLOG POST

Here’s a previous post on a Ch 1 Preview … click here to read it.

The Horror Story of What Lurks Below Your Street

We pause in our writing of Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill to bring you a story of sub-municipal havoc—a sewer creature preying on unsuspecting and red-blooded Americans like you – and me. This tale of tentacles reaching through residential and commercial plumbing was woven by the sludge-filled imagination of Lon Casler Bixby, who actually practices good hygiene.

Written in screenplay format, Sewer Creature is available on Amazon.

Cover art is from London-based artist Ben Southgate.

Just don’t read it when you are most vulnerable.

SCREENPLAY AS ART

Lon has written numerous screenplays, including one on Detective Tom Stone that we turned into the action-adventure, crime fiction Detective Tom Stone Series.

Often, screenplays end up in the inner recesses of production company desks and interns, held captive, and are never allowed to see the light of day.

So Lon has graciously released his creation for the public to purchase and enjoy.

LON’S HUMOR

Dark, light, and a bit off the wall is one way to describe Lon’s brand of humor. Black is his favorite color to dress in and yet he has a light personality along with a friendly and positive attitude. Go figure.

OTHER SEWER CREATURES

 Now, don’t discount the idea of sewer creatures. Consider the miles of moist tunnels, snaking beneath major cities in North America, Europe and Asia. And toss in Australia for good measure.

You’re telling me that a sewer creature couldn’t possibly exist?

Videos on YouTube beg to differ with your skeptical beliefs. And just like Facebook, if it’s on YouTube, then damn it, it must be true.

In fact, the public works department from Carlisle, PA ran an entire story on a sewer creature one Halloween. How can you have fiction without having fact since fiction is based on fact? Huh? Try to convince me.

So now indulge yourself in a little sewage humor and drama.

Take a free peek of Sewer Creature on Amazon.

The Quirky and Sane Heroes in Popular Crime Fiction

alice-hampson-5714-unsplash
Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

As we continue crafting our Fourth Novel in the Tom Stone Detective Story series–One Shot, One Kill–a realization struck me and Lon that Tom Stone is different than some other popular, fictional crime fighters.

He makes sense and he works to make sense of the chaos around him.

By the way, stay up to date with our adventures and click here to join our Reading Group.

TS-4pack-938x1500

You’ll get first notice on previews, discounts and more.

61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)

Jack Reacher – Entertaining and Socially Inept

Quirks, tempers, and gruff outsides mark many fictional detectives and thriller heroes. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is one of the most colorful characters I’ve known. In 61 Hours, Reacher is traveling on a bus that gets stuck in the snow in a town where the police are suspecting a prison break. He has no luggage and makes it clear to the people he meets that he travels light.

Reacher is a former military policeman and looks at every situation through the eyes of what crisis could erupt. He’s witty and lives with a wary eye, waiting for the bad guy to spring into the open at any moment.

And he’s a loner—just like a good thriller hero.

Detective Harry Bosch – The Tough Guy

Slightly different is Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles detective character. Bosch isn’t quirky like Reacher. But he’s cop-tough and gruff. He gives brief, deep guttural answers and is fairly much a loner except for his teenage daughter.

Everyone Nods: The Dragnet Style Files: "The Big Amateur ...

Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) – Dragnet – The Man of Few Words

One of our first blog posts on this site was about Jack Webb’s infamous character who showed little emotion and said few words. Webb played him neutral and said you don’t where he stands on topics like religion and politics.

Tom Stone: Day of the Dead (Tom Stone Detective Stories -  Book 3) by [Bixby, Lon Casler, Simkovich, Don]

Detective Tom Stone – Rational, Sane

Then there’s Detective Tom Stone. We realized after writing three novels so far that Stone is the calm one in the center of quirky and desperate characters, like the eye of the hurricane. The rational one who works hard to keep society heading in a straight line so people don’t destroy each other.

In Book One, Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas, Stone reluctantly accompanies his partner on the force, Jake Sharpe, and hands out Christmas presents at a group home. He befriends a boy, Andrew, who constantly fights the staff at the group home and can’t sit still. He sees the boy as growing up and heading right into the prison system which is the fate of so many kids in foster care. Through the novels, we see the relationship deepening.

He has two daughters who are middle and late teens and he has worked hard to remain on good terms with his ex-wife Kelly, realizing that both of them focused on their careers instead of on each other. Yet, he and his ex- have given them stability.

Being loyal to friends and family is important to Stone, just as its important to his girlfriend, a savvy black woman Alisha Davidson.

Davidson is the defense attorney for the man that Stone is originally pursuing, Anthony Angelino – a quirky and desperate character who both Lon and I enjoyed creating and shaping. But Stone sees her determination and how she approaches her work and develops deep respect.

Here are links to the books.

Click here for our Crime Books page

Click the titles to see the books in their outlet:

Book 1 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas

Book 2 Tom Stone: Sweltering Summer Nights

Book 3 Tom Stone: Day of the Dead

Our work in progress is Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill

If you like short stories, we recommend A Deadly Path – a father-son hike above the Los Angeles foothills turns tragic and uncovers the mystery of an unsolved murder.

Jake Sharpe and his son, Darrell, invite Stone and Andrew along for a hike.

Here’s an Excerpt

The mountains that ran west to east created a wall of wilderness between Los Angeles’ urban sprawl and the High Desert. Unfortunately, the cracks and crevices made great hiding places for crazies. Fugitives could crawl back in for miles, find a campground, or live among the coyotes and bears and surface along the homes and stores that ringed the wilds, stealing food or shaking someone down for money.

Another shot rang out.

Or shoot someone for sport.

Darrell was breathing heavily from panic. He slid across the dirt by his Dad. “What are we going to do?”

“Calm down, buddy,” whispered Jake. “We’ve got options.”

The boulder that protected them was several feet high and wide. Not bad. But Jake had no line of vision and if the shooter was creeping toward them, he could sneak up unnoticed. To the right and closer to the falls was a stack of large rocks that were stacked like a fortress. It was a good hiding spot. Getting behind it and keeping watch on the boulder would give them room to move back and forth.

Down the trail, just a little, was another stack of rocks. It would make sense for them to appear they were running back that way, like they were trying to escape.

Jake looked at his son. “I got an idea.”

“Yeah?” Darrell sounded hopeful as he pressed his back against the boulder. There were no more shots so either the gunman had gotten tired of the torment or else he was picking his way closer.

Jake knelt and locked eyes with Darrell. “See that rock?” A flat stone lay beside him.

“Yep.”

“I want to keep whoever’s doing the shooting distracted. Pick it up and throw it down the trail.” He pointed. “Low, so it hits near the rocks.”

“That’s it? That’s your idea?”

“For now. Yeah. I want us to have a little space so we’re not stuck together. Believe me, son, I’m not letting anything happen to you. Now, just toss that stone way down there.”

Revealing Our Title for Tom Stone Book 4 … The Thriller Novel is …

Above the mansions in Los Angeles that are cut into the steep hills are wind-swept grasses and ridges.

phpcFgUEhPMWhat can happen from this vantage point for someone set on revenge is how we introduce our new thriller novel that’s named:

One Shot, One Kill.

This is Book 4 of the Tom Stone series and continues the chase for drugs that began quietly in:

Book 1 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas, took a deadly twist in

Book 2 Tom Stone: Sweltering Summer Nights and turned into an explosive double-cross in

Book 3 Tom Stone: Day of the Dead.

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

Now, get ready for Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill.

This thriller of a novel shows that it doesn’t take much to throw entire crime syndicates into confusion and set some of the most powerful and twisted people in Los Angeles at each other’s throats.

Detective Tom Stone and his partner Jake Sharpe tackles an elusive case where they encounter characters tainted with guilt, but ones they could never fully apprehend.

One Shot, One Kill.

It’s our deadliest, most chilling thriller yet with twists and turns that will make your fingers raw from turning the pages and your eyes bleary from reading far more than you expected.

Take the ride. Heed the call. If you dare.

We’re working on this powerful Work-in-Progress and it will release in a few months. We’ll keep you up to date on the progress.

Keep tuned to this blog for more author interviews and crime news, including updates on some of the most notorious criminals ever to roam the earth.

One Shot, One Kill.

Remember the title: Tom Stone Book 4: One Shot, One Kill

Stay engaged and in the know by joining our Readers Group where you can get first notice on special promotions.

Want a free chapter from Day of the Dead and a free copy of our short story, A Deadly Path?

Click here to join our Reader’s Group.

And be on the lookout … summer 2019 …

Tom  Stone Book 4: One Shot, One Kill.

Chilling, thrilling, with blood spilling. Just enough blood to wreak havoc on the toughest and most reprehensible criminals in Los Angeles.

Crime fiction at its finest.

Drug smuggling at its nastiest.

5 Christmas Crime Novels to Tense Your Holidays

A crime story at Christmastime adds a layer of angst to what is always celebrated as a joyous time of year. These novels can make for dangerous reading. Go ahead and turn a few pages and see what dilemmas you’ll encounter.

Tom Stone Nitty Gritty Cover
A crime story that involves little-known neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas 

A puzzling, drug-smuggling caper written by Don Simkovich and Lon Casler Bixby. Since this is our blog, we just had to list it first.

 

 

 

 

Published in 1933, this story delves into the psychological side of murder. Take a peek at Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith.

Cheery, hmm?

Adrian Gray meets a terrible fate from one of his children.

 

 

 

The Secret of Annexe 3 — for Endeavour fans everywhere, featuring Chief Inspector Morse who normally steers clear of New Year’s Eve celebrations.

For a related blog post, see this one we wrote on Endeavour Series V.

 

 

 

christmas classic crime

A stalled train forces passengers to take refuge in a house where they become trapped. Chills and thrills for the holidays. Mystery in White.

 

 

 

 

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries by Otto Penzler “offers yuletide fun and crimes” according to a 2013 review from The Washington Post.

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries

So many Christmas crime books are from British authors, which is not surprising since Christmas traditions are strong and it’s a place where so many crime fiction novels have been written.

You might think that Sir Author Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame was the reason for crime fiction, but it’s actually American-born Edgar Allen Poe who is considered the father of the detective story.

By the way, if you’re new to this blog that’s based on our Tom Stone detective stories, Lon and I want to extend a warm welcome to you. We do feature other authors in the thriller and crime fiction genre as well as excerpts from our own stories.

Here’s a good place to start if you want to check out the blog in more detail. Read this post “If you’re new to our crime thriller blog.”

It contains links to other posts including interviews with Don and Lon.

Enjoy it and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday season and New Year’s celebration.

Also, take a few moments to look at our Crime Fiction Books page.

We’re working on Book 4 of the Tom Stone series and are quite excited about it. Stay tuned for discounts, deals and announcements about it by clicking here to join our reader’s group.

When you do, you can get a free chapter four of Tom Stone: Day of the Dead and a free copy of our short story A Deadly Path.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Child with No Family in Our Thriller Novel

Tom Stone Nitty Gritty Cover
A crime story that involves little-known neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Christmas is a bittersweet at the group home in our thriller novel and story, Book 1 Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas (only 99 cents Dec 21 – 25 on Amazon). Sure, the kids love getting presents but in our story there was one boy who acts up and realizes something is missing.

The story opens with Detective Tom Stone going with his partner Jake Sharpe to take presents to the kids and when Stone steps inside the group home, he notices a familiar setting:

Inside, there were a dozen or so long tables with a food service area in the back. A few women and men in hairnets were serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, plates of cookies and hot chocolate. It reminded Stone of the prisons he had seen when he had to interrogate inmates, but perhaps it was just a variation on an institutional theme.

He notices a boy who can’t sit still at a table packed with candy and who is creating a disturbance. The staff can’t figure out what to do with him.

“Sit down for Santa, Andy. Come on, man, be good.”

“I don’t want Santa. I want to go home.” Andrew grabbed the candy bar, ripped open the wrapping and stuffed it in his mouth.

A boy sitting across the table spoke matter-of-factly, “This is our home.”

Ivy Acres in the story is a clean place and the staff are friendly. But it’s not home and Stone recognizes this, nor can the boys go home.

Andrew is loosely based on a real life boy that I, Don, know — the oldest brother of my youngest adopted daughter. He grew up in a group home facility and his life after being emancipated has been one of moving in and out of adult group homes, hitting the streets, having a girlfriend and baby, then getting busted for drugs and armed robbery.

He’s gone into county jail, state prison, and now back in county jail but is really wanting to change. The abuse he suffered in his first few years of life and then lack of family has had a permanent impact on the choices he’s made.

He’s impulsive and his path through foster care and into an institutional setting has been his path to incarceration as a man.

The relationship with Andrew deepens in the next two Tom Stone novels and our short story, A Deadly Path.

During Christmas, getting presents from Santa isn’t a substitute for a family. And Detective Tom Stone sees this and makes a decision himself.

We hope you enjoy reading it and enjoy Tom Stone: Sweltering Summer Nights and Tom Stone: Day of the Dead.

We’re currently writing Book 4 so stay tuned for updates.