Jake is racking up the ⭐ Stars!


Jake is racking up the stars for his audiobook adventures! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reviews👁 🕵  💪:

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Lots of action and danger!…Fun yet full of twists and turns. … Colin Iago McCarthy does an excellent performance.”

Audible.com Listeners
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Would sit in car to finish chapters! … When a book leaves me wanting more, I know I’ve hit a winner!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I loved the internal repartee carried on in Jake’s head and his vulnerability, while being the tough noir PI. Very entertaining!”

Brian’s Book Blog
⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 “A thriller filled with twists and turns.”

Me Love Books
“If you are looking for a fast-paced and action-packed detective thriller that reads/sounds like a proper action movie, Secondhand Smoke is definitely a great choice.”

Erika Loves To Read
“I think this book would probably make an enjoyable movie due to the numerous action-packed scenes. P.S. This book made me wanna visit Portland!”



Where Jake Went: Books FTW

A BIG thanks to everyone who took Jake Brand PI on vacation with them.  We hope you had as much fun reading and taking funny photos as we did seeing where Jake ended up.   A compendium of photos is below for your viewing pleasure.

Reading books For The Win! 

And thanks to Jake Brand super fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for sharing the love! M. did a live video interview on the Books Go Social Readers Group last month – check it out on Facebook.

The NEWS:  BOTH Secondhand Smoke and Angel’s Devil are available as audiobooks!  #Yay!


Your commute is about to become WAY more FUN!

Your commute / workout / dog walking / cooking / boring job is about to become WAY more FUN!

Secondhand Smoke (Jake Brand PI 2) is now available as an audiobook!   Over 7 hours of danger, twists, turns and  smart alec repartee are now available to vastly improve some of the more hum drum parts of your life.  (Ok, well some people actually like working out but even so, a rollicking good story with thrills, laughs and a touch of romance is going to level up a workout from “like” to “love” right?)

Secondhand Smoke by M. Louis, narrated by Colin Iago McCarthy
Audible / Amazon / iTunes

Set on the espresso stained streets of Portland, a simple missing person case is just the beginning of a trail of danger & intrigue.

In the midst of peril, Private Detective Jake Brand still finds time to annoy his yoga instructor, and fall for the woman with more secrets than answers.
“…endlessly entertaining in any situation, especially the perilous kind.” -Kirkus 




Free Sample via YouTube Below

Take Jake with you and win! (new prize)

Jake is getting around!  Contest photos are streaming in from all over the place.  The Take Jake Book Tour Contest will be going the entire summer long so bring your favorite Jake Brand book with you on vacation (or even to the dog park), snap a photo and post it to Twitter or Instagram with #TeamJakeBrand in order to get in on the prize action.  OR you can just email us the photo and we will post it for you.   info@mlouisbooks.com

You could win a gift certificate from your local indie bookstore or from Amazon (your choice!) 

You can even get in on the ‘Take Jake’ Book Tour Contest by taking a screen grab of your device while listening to the audiobook of Angel’s Devil and posting on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand.

Here are some pics we’ve received from all over the place!

Maryland, Hawaii, New York, Virginia, Oregon, Washington DC and MORE!

Take Jake Book Tour Contest

M. is super busy writing the 3rd book in the Jake Brand Private Investigator series and watching Game of Thrones (which he calls “research”) so we at Team Jake Brand are taking things into our own hands to launch our latest crazy idea to get the word out about his fun and fast paced crime thrillers.  So, we bring you (drumroll)…

The Take Jake Book Tour Contest!

Jake Brand book one, Angel’s Devil and book two, Secondhand Smoke are going on a book tour with YOU!

All you need to do is take a photo of one or both books out there in the wild and post it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand or you can email it to us at  info@mlouisbooks.com

Extra credit for:

  • Both emailing a copy AND posting on social media
  • Letting us know where the photo was taken

There will be prizes!

Every month we will select a winner and award them either an Amazon gift card or a gift certificate for their local indie bookstore.

Follow M. Louis on Twitter @Jake_Brand_PI  |  Instagram @m.louis.author.guy and the hashtag #TeamJakeBrand to quadruple your fun!

So take your copy of Angel’s Devil or Secondhand Smoke with you out there in the wild world, prepare your selfie sticks and enjoy being a part of our latest crazy idea.

PS: Kindle / Ebook readers you can participate too! Just make sure that the cover of the book is visible on your reader when you take the photo.

Team Jake Brand Contest

And Some Other Stuff, Also on the Run

Wait for it…

there are donuts involved.


Secondhand Smoke – Jake Brand PI book 2 – by M. Louis – Available on Amazon (free on Kindle Unlimited / 2.99 ebook) and these fine Indie Bookstores:

Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street (on the Pearl St. Mall)
Boulder, CO

Boulder Bookstore Online

Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219


Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232


The Origins of Jake Brand, PI – Reluctant Hero & Lover

My parents were true believers in babysitting by TV.  I was the only kid in my neighborhood to have a TV in my room; heck we were the only family to have two TV’s.  As a result I spent decades watching television, and nothing has changed much since then.  I’m a passionate watcher.  I find human truth in TV shows.  Much of it is the viewpoint of the writer/director of what they believe the audience wants to hear or see at that moment in time.  For example, Dragnet was a police show intent on informing us of the demons of crime at the time of free love and hippies.  If you smoked marijuana, Friday was going to get you.  Or the second season of True Detective; all I saw was dark violence, a base attempt to appeal to our lesser selves.

I find that I am most attracted to the reluctant hero.  They stand out to me not because of the shows depiction of crime and conflict, but because of the character of the man confronted.  All of my favorites had several things in common.  First, the dude was a hunk.  Aren’t we all?  Second, the hunk could be a tough guy.  Don’t we all think we are?  Third, the tough guy never wanted to fight.  He wanted to talk his way out of it or even avoid it.  Fourth, the man was empathetic.  He cared about people and it was this concern for the wellbeing of others that was the hook that drug him into conflict. There are a lot of examples of these, but I have a few that especially stand out to me.

MaverickMaverick, filmed between 1957 and 1962, it is a black and white series about a gambler, Bret Maverick (there were other Mavericks but they were faded shadows of Bret), played by James Garner.  “Who is the tall dark stranger there, Maverick is the name.”  That’s right, I still know the words to the theme song.  Bret wasn’t a detective. He was a gambler who traveled from town to town, making a living playing cards.  Basically a loner, in each episode he became reluctantly (there’s that word) entwined in a weaker soul’s conflict.  His empathy forced him to abandon his self-interest in order to do battle for the weaker person. He’s witty and charming.  Women love him, but can’t corral him.  He’s a tumbleweed blowing in the wind (this sentence will never make one of my books).

Rockford-Files02Next up, The Rockford Files, airing from 1974 to 1980.  Starring James Garner (yeah I know, I’m a Garner groupie) as Jim Rockford, it was essentially Bret maverick driving a gold Pontiac Firebird instead of riding a horse.  There are two significant differences between Rockford and Maverick.  First, Rockford was anchored.  He lived in a trailer home on the beach instead of drifting from town to town.  Second, he had a team.  A very quirky, difficult to manage team, primarily his dad Rocky, and Angel, who always had a con going.  Doesn’t seem like much, but it was impressive to me.  The second line of the Maverick theme song is “Ridin’ the trail to who knows where…” makes Maverick seem sad.  Rockford didn’t seem sad.  He seemed happy in a dysfunctional way.

magnumpiIn the early to late 80’s there were two shows that hit my imagination, Magnum P.I. and Hill Street Blues.  Both of these shows had great ensemble casts that all took their turn being tough, serious and funny.  They mixed humor with anger, compassion, and passion.  It was the unity of tough guys, and gals, banding together to complete difficult tasks.  They fought with each other, but in the end, they were family and worked as a team.

MoonlightingIn the mid-eighties, one of my favorite shows of all times (for the first three-ish seasons) aired, Moonlighting.  Starring Bruce Willis as David Addison, and Cybil Shepherd as Maddie Hayes, it was hilarious.  It was Bruce Willis at his best.  It was romance, as David and Maddie went from thoroughly disliking each other to hubba-hubba.  And it didn’t happen overnight.  They took their time over several seasons before they, well you know.  Unfortunately the amazing chemistry with them bickering while harboring secret desires, couldn’t survive the realization of those desires.

Anyway, Jake is bits and pieces of these characters.  I see him as a reluctant hero and lover.  He’s careful and caring.  He sees the humor in everything around him and can’t keep it locked inside.  He wants to settled down but can’t find his soul mate.  He likes his clients less because they pay him and more because they value him.  He laments missed opportunities but doesn’t let them drag him down.  He’s a professional who appreciates the strength of a team.

Anyway, in my mind it all plays out like that.


Review: Ochoco Reach

Ochoco Reach
Ochoco Reach by J.R. Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ochoco Reach, by Jim Stewart, is the tale of half-brothers that battle dirty feds, banditos, and the elements. Set in the wilds of Mexico, spectacular Central Oregon, and Portland, Oregon, the brothers rely on more than just their experiences as special force veterans who served in Vietnam. They also draw heavily on their experiences growing up on a ranch with a rich native American influence. In fact Daniel is half Nimi’ipuu, or Nez Perce tribe. Both brothers are connected to the land and hear and rely upon the songs and battle cries of their shared heritage.

But it’s more than just a modern day battle between good and evil. Elements of the book reach back to the old west, reminding us of all of the movies and stories we’ve heard growing up. Plus, as all good books do, there’s a very enticing romance element to contrast against the stark violence.

Very enjoyable, 5 stars!

View all my reviews

Something unexpected about author M. Louis

M. Louis AuthorAn Interview with M. Louis, author of Secondhand Smoke from BooksGoSocial
Today we’re chatting with M. Louis, author of Secondhand Smoke

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

Prior to college, I was a football, basketball and baseball competitor and fan. At the beginning of my sophomore year at Oregon State University, having played one year of intra-murals, I was dared by friends to try out for the OSU soccer team. I did, made the team, and lettered for two years. Of course I was a goalie, so many might argue I wasn’t truly a soccer player.

Secondhand Smoke_Cover_web

Jake Brand PI book 2

What kind of books do you write?

I write books that attempt to be witty, romantic and exhilarating. I want the reader to be able to relate to the characters. That requires that the characters be flawed and change with events and the passage of time. I want the reader to be engaged; to find it hard not to turn the page and read the next; or to finish one book and be anxious to begin the sequel.

What inspired you to write?

I love to read. As I do, I often find myself critiquing books and I’ve noticed that even seasoned authors occasionally struggle with their craft. After reading a couple of books by acclaimed authors that weren’t up to their past standards, I concluded I could do just as well. I decided to challenge myself to write a single novel so that I could say I had. In the process of completing the first book, which was the second book published, Secondhand Smoke, I discovered that writing was cathartic. I am incredibly entertained by the journey of starting off with a blank white page and marking it with characters in an organized fashion. And I enjoy the intellectual challenge of crafting something that others might enjoy.

What makes your writing stand out from the crowd?

I am very fortunate to be married to my best friend. I see others that aren’t so lucky and are constantly looking for happiness, comfort, security, passion, etc., sometimes in all the wrong places. I think my characters are on the same path we all take. They make mistakes with the wrong people, but they keep looking and keep trying to find their partner. This is the story thread in my books that I enjoy the most and personally feel is the most important.

Author M. Louis even surprises himself sometimes.

Author M. Louis even surprises himself sometimes.

What is the hardest part of writing – for you?

I have to take care to share the right balance of me. I believe every book contains a bit of the soul of its writer. Successful writers include enough, but not too much, of themselves in each of their characters. Recognizing that line can be very difficult at times. Particularly if challenging events are happening in my everyday life.

Where do you like to write – what is your routine?

I like to write in the mornings in my office. I tend to get into the office early, before anyone else. It’s quiet, the phone isn’t ringing and my mind is free to roam. That having been said, when I’m in the middle of the heart of a book, I’ll dream about it. Sometimes my connection to the story is so close, that I’ll dream in enough detail that the next morning I’m just writing down what I dreamt the night before.

What do you do when you are not writing – do you have a day job?

I’m a CPA and own a public accounting company. I employ 13 fantastic professionals and together we provide tax and financial solutions.

Do you work with an outline or just write?

I tend not to write out an outline, though I always have one in my head. As a manuscript increases in length I begin to create an outline of sorts, but not much more than a table of contents. I find I want to flow, and an outline feels confining to me. An outline can feel like a required direction.

With enough copies of your book, you can build a fort.

With enough copies of your book, you can build a fort.

What advice would you have for other writers?

I imagine that every writer does so for very unique reasons. Each writer’s particular reasons would influence what I might say to them. For me, it is all about the experience. At first the experience was just about creating a single novel. The greatest advice I received at this point was to write every day and write to please myself. The second stage was to publish and market. The greatest advice has been to trust the professionals and to engage with potential readers. But at all stages, a writer should embrace criticism, constantly evolve, and take risks.

How important is marketing and social media for you?

I’m new to marketing and social media. My public accounting practice advances almost entirely by word of mouth. But the books are a different animal. I’m excited to learn how to succeed using modern technology and communication methods to sell my books. I’m so very new to it that each step is an intriguing learning opportunity. One that I’m enjoying.

What’s your next step?

I believe my first two books honestly advance the main characters. I’m currently working on a manuscript that will continue that trend and experiment with different methods of storytelling. I want to evolve as a writer and engage readers more so with each book. Each book needs to be better than the last. I don’t think there will ever be a “best”, but every book is an attempt at that.

Secondhand Smoke by M. Louis is available here It’s free on Kindle Unlimited.