My Summer Reads (so far)

Thanks for all of the great summer reading recommendations! Feel free to send more. Here are the books I’ve read this summer (so far anyway) and what’s on deck for the rest of the summer.

Use of Force, by Brad Thor
Part of the Scot Halvarth series.  Halvarth is a former navy seal, transformed into a spy.  Action packed, interesting insights into the biz of espionage and all the things we think are happening behind the scenes, but don’t want to ask.  4 stars.

Code Name Camelot, by David Archer
Part of the Noah Wolf series.  Noah is a tough dude, with no emotions.  This special characteristic allows him to act violently with no remorse.  But it’s a two edged sword.  3 stars.

Testimony, by Scott Turow
A legal thriller with interesting twists.  Bill ten Boom changes his life and takes a position as a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court.  His first case is the investigation of into the disappearance of a refugee camp.  5 stars

Camino Island, by John Grisham
A gang of thieves steal irreplaceable and priceless items from Princeton University.  An novelist, Mercer Mann, is pulled into the intrigue. 4.5 Stars.

The Stranger, by Albert Camus
An ordinary man, is drawn into a murder on an Algerian beach.  3.5 stars

On my  “To Read” stack:

The Tender Bar by JR Moerhinger – Thanks to Jake Brand PI subscriber Stephanie who suggested this book.

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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 
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Free Sample via YouTube Below

Angel’s Devil Gets 4 Stars from AudiobookReviewer.com

We are totally pumped about the first review of the audiobook version of Angel’s Devil from AudiobookReviewer.com!

4 stars!  Yay!

“M. Louis does an excellent job of making Jake likable by adding in Jake’s devil and angel side-kicks. . . .

The story flows well, keeping the listeners on their toes.  Fast paced but not rushed, Louis reveals just enough keeping the action riveting.  Masterful story-teller, Louis keeps the listener on the edge of his seat.

Colin Iago McCarthy is a wonderful narrator, keeping the action and emotions steady and peaking when it is. . . . ”

-AudiobookReviewer.com

You can read the full review here.

People are loving the audiobook and it’s been flying off the virtual shelves over at Audible.com, iTunes and Amazon.  Inspired by Jake’s enthusiastic welcome to the world of audiobooks we have just started production on the audiobook of Jake Brand PI book 2, Secondhand Smoke.  Stellar voice actor Colin Iago McCarthy returns as the narrator and you can look for this new audiobook to be out in the fall of this year.

We also have a new trailer with a free sample of the audiobook version of Angel’s Devil available on SoundCloud  and YouTube (or listen below and save yourself a click / tap).

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And Some Other Stuff, Also on the Run

Wait for it…

there are donuts involved.

(Promise.)

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
503-246-0053

http://www.annieblooms.com/

Broadway Books
1714 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232
503-284-1726

http://www.broadwaybooks.net/

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.


DoesJakeSolveTheCase