Tag Team Giveaway – Deadly Spirits by E Michael Helms @EMichaelHelms

 

taguritfinal2Welcome to my Tag Team Tag Team Events & Giveaways Page!

This is where myself (Sherry at fundinmental) and Laura at fuonlyknew tag team authors and their books.

We share our reviews and giveaways, giving you two views and two chances to win!

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I am a huge fan of E Michael Helm’s character, Mac McClellan and he is back in Deadly Spirits.

Check out this awesome cover!

Does it make you think of ghosts and hauntings?

Amazon  /  Goodreads

Cover:  Sabrina Sun

Publisher:  Camel Press

MY REVIEW

Mac and Kate are back in Deadly Spirits and this time we will be hanging out with the Palmetto Paranormal Society investigating the haunted Navarro Hotel.

I haven’t met Mac in person…yet, but seeing as how he hangs around the Florida Panhandle, it may happen. His investigations lead to danger and mayhem. His personality and the fact that he lives in a trailer always makes me think of the Rockford Files and Magnum PI. He’s a bit old fashioned where it really matters, loyal and trustworthy. Even a bit of a prude…He even has a Dobie, my favorite breed of dog. So much is familiar to me, marinas, woods, fire towers, lighthouses, hauntings…

Action and mystery abound and Mac is on the case. E Michael Helms always includes some humor and I do love chuckles with my murder.

The downside to his job, he has a hard time collecting payment before his clients kick the bucket.

Mac has a hard time taking the whole ghost thing seriously, until…the scream. I am a skeptic too. As they walk around with their ghostly equipment and asking the spirits questions, I would be hard put not to crack up laughing.

I loved everything about Deadly Spirits by E Michael Helms. He has included a lot of extras besides the mystery…a critter to fall in love with, a dash of the psychotic and a pinch of the paranormal…a recipe for success.

I love Mac and this is my favorite adventure…so far. Michael has brought him a long way, making him more complex in his simplicity. I can hardly wait for more!

It’s New Year’s Eve 2016 and between football and the year end fireworks, I cannot quit reading.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB

When PI Mac McClellan’s girlfriend convinces him to join the Palmetto Paranormal Society, he becomes embroiled in a case of whooodunnit. The society president, while investigating an old hotel, is found dead at the foot of the stairwell, his neck broken. The man’s secretary and current squeeze stands horrified beside his body. Authorities rule the death an accident. Mac has doubts—no one heard the man tumbling down the stairs. Then the secretary dies in an apparent suicide. Two deaths in two paranormal investigations, and not a peep out of either victim. Mac suspects there’s more going on than a vengeful spirit.
Book 4 in the Mac McClellan Mystery series, which began with Deadly Catch.

ABOUT E MICHAEL HELMS

E.Michael Helms

I was born in Georgia way back in the last century but grew up and lived most of my life on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Panama City (beautiful beaches, girls galore–ah, the memories!). In 2004 my wife and I moved to the Upstate region of South Carolina in the shadows of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, a land of stunning vistas and numerous waterfalls.
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I’ve been traditionally published since 1990 when my Vietnam War memoir, The Proud Bastards, launched. TPB chronicles my time as a combat U.S. Marine in 1967-68. It’s still in print after all these years, currently with Simon & Schuster/Pocket. I’ve since written a few novels in different genres. I’m also working on a collection of “Dinger, PI” short stories that are being published on Motive Means Opportunity, a crime/mystery blog I share with two other writers of the same ilk. Currently I’m writing the Mac McClellan Mystery series which is set along the coast of the Florida Panhandle where I grew up.
 

WebsiteFacebookGoodreads  /  Twitter  /  Amazon Google+  /  Mystery Blog

GIVEAWAY

Michael is offering a fabulous giveaway and we will have 7 winners:

  • 1st Prize – $25 Amazon GC (International, where legal)
  • 2nd & 3rd Prize – Print copies of DEADLY CATCH (U.S. only)
  • 4th – 7th – ebooks of DEADLY CATCH (International, where legal)

To enter, simply answer the question and leave your email, letting us know if you are US or International:

Do you want to come back as a ghost?

For another entry and review perspective, hop over to fuonlyknew and say hi to Laura.

Giveaway runs from 1.16.17 – 1.30.17.

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  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifLook on the right sidebar and let’ talk.
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Problem commenting, look for the twitter, facebook…buttons.
  • Thanks for visiting fundinmental!

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My Reviews for E Michael Helms:

E Michael Helm’s Military Novels:

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Tag Team Event Giveaway – Deadly Catch by E Michael Helms @EMichaelHelms

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Welcome to the Tag Team Tag Team Event & Giveaway!

This is where myself (Sherry at fundinmental) and Laura at fuonlyknew tag team authors and their books. We share our reviews and giveaways, giving you two perspsectives of the book and two chances to win!

~~~

Today, we will be sharing E Michael Helm’s Deadly Catch, a mystery novel set on the Gulf Coast of the United States.

17737094

Amazon  /  Goodreads

MY REVIEW

Everything about Deadly Catch by E Michael Helms talks to me, from the cover to the title to the setting on the US Gulf Coast to the murder mystery inside.

Mac McClellan had retired from the military and as he sat in the boat, fishing, and thinking, is this what my life will be like now…

“Thought I’d finally hooked my ‘gator’ trout…”

Kate, his love interest, works at the marina and knows her fishing.

Sheriff Bo, what other name would he have in the south, is a bully with a bad attitude. I can see him now, smirking, drawing his own conclusions before the evidence is even collected.

In a small town, everyone knows everyone and all their business, but Mac’s peeps love him and stand by him.

Small fishing villages, oysters, romance, lighthouses, gators, fried green tomatoes, drugs, corruption, murder and mystery are only a few of the things this story will share. I love that E Michael Helms mentions the stingray shuffle. I also have done the dance and anyone who has visited the Gulf Coast will know what he means. It’s those small details that make me want more of Mac.

I loved riding the waves with him, feeling the warm sun on my face, the wind caressing my body, having cocktails at the Green Parrot. Actually, I believe I live this life, so it’s very easy to walk in his shoes, except when it comes to murder. I haven’t hooked a dead body…yet. 😆

I thought I knew where this story was going, but planned on enjoying it anyway. Just because it’s predictable, doesn’t mean it can’t be a great read. I figured this was a cozy mystery, fun and easy reading. BUT…E Michael Helms caught me offguard when I was only a quarter of the way in. The direction of the story changed and it isn’t so cozy any more.

Summer is the perfect time to read this fantastic mystery series…so come one…let’s take a ride on Highway 98. Just follow the dead bodies…

I received a copy of Deadly Catch from E Michael Helms in return for an honest review.

 Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

GOODREADS BLURB:  “The first cast of the day turned my dream vacation into a nightmare. . . .”

After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is happy to be a civilian again. He is enjoying a leisurely fishing vacation in the Florida panhandle when he hooks a badly decomposed body.

Then, when a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat, he realizes someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling. Mac’s plans for a more laid-back life must be put on hold while he works to clear his name as the number one suspect.

Mac launches an investigation with the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina with whom he has struck up a promising relationship. Along the way he must butt heads and match wits with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs from the Eastern Seaboard to sniff out and bring the real smuggler and killer to justice.

ABOUT E MICHAEL HELMS

E.Michael Helms

I was born in Georgia way back in the last century but grew up and lived most of my life on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Panama City (beautiful beaches, girls galore–ah, the memories!). In 2004 my wife and I moved to the Upstate region of South Carolina in the shadows of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, a land of stunning vistas and numerous waterfalls.
.
I’ve been traditionally published since 1990 when my Vietnam War memoir, The Proud Bastards, launched. TPB chronicles my time as a combat U.S. Marine in 1967-68. It’s still in print after all these years, currently with Simon & Schuster/Pocket. I’ve since written a few novels in different genres. I’m also working on a collection of “Dinger, PI” short stories that are being published on Motive Means Opportunity, a crime/mystery blog I share with two other writers of the same ilk. Currently I’m writing the Mac McClellan Mystery series which is set along the coast of the Florida Panhandle where I grew up.

WebsiteFacebookGoodreads  /  Twitter  /  Amazon Google+  /  Mystery Blog

GIVEAWAY

Michael is offering a fabulous giveaway and we will have 7 winners:

  • 1st Prize – $20 Amazon GC (International, where legal)
  • 2nd & 3rd Prize – Print copies of DEADLY CATCH (U.S. only)
  • 4th – 7th – .pdf ebooks of DEADLY CATCH (International, where legal)

To enter, simply answer the question and leave your email, letting us know if you are US or International:

If you could be on any beach in the world, which one would you choose?

For another entry and review perspective, hop over to fuonlyknew and say hi to Laura.

Giveaway runs from 8/23/16 – 8/31/16.

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  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • If you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifLook on the right sidebar and let’ talk.
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Problem commenting, look for the twitter, facebook…buttons.
  • Thanks for visiting fundinmental!

The Deadly Catch stand alone series by E Michael Helms:

My Reviews for E Michael Helms:

Deadly Dunes

E Michael Helm’s Military Novels:

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Giveaway & Review – Deadly Dunes by E Michael Helms



By
E. Michael Helms
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Let’s meet them now:

Interview with Mac McClellan

 

Today we’re pleased to welcome retired U.S. Marine-turned-private investigator Mac McClellan to {name of blog}. Mac retired from the Marines a few years ago after a twenty-four year career. He has graciously agreed to answer a few questions that might be of interest to the readers of {Blog} and his Mac McClellan Mystery series.

{Blog or Interviewer}: Welcome to {Blog}, Mac.

Mac: Thanks for having me. Good to be here.

{B/I}: Tell us a little about your background. When and where you were born, your education, military service, what brought you to the Florida panhandle after your retirement, etc.

Mac: I was born and raised in Brevard, North Carolina. I played baseball and football, and loved to camp and hike in the nearby mountains. After graduating high school I joined the Marine Corps on my 18th birthday, August 8, 1990. My training ended just in time for me to participate as a rifleman in Operation Desert Storm. My unit was involved in taking the airfield at Kuwait City in late February of ’91. The Iraqis put up a good fight and it took us several hours to secure the area. I took a round through and through the left thigh during the battle and earned my first purple heart. Nothing bad, just a lot of blood.

After the First Gulf War I did a two-year stint with Division Recon until I blew out a knee during a training op. After rehab I transferred back to a rifle company. By the time President Bush Two decided to invade Iraq, I was a staff NCO. I served as platoon sergeant on my first deployment. Later I was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant and served as company gunny during my next two deployments. My second deployment to Iraq was in 2004. It included the Second Battle of Fallujah in November. Fallujah was a bitch. Enough said.

What brought me to the panhandle? A good buddy of mine used to brag about the area all the time. We made plans for a fishing trip when our deployment was up, but he was KIA at Fallujah. My last deployment to Iraq was extended because of Bush Two’s troop surge. When I got home my wife told me she was tired of playing both father and mother, and wanted out of the marriage. I knew she was seeing someone, but we agreed to stay together a couple of more years until our twins, Mike and Megan, finished high school. Shortly after I retired, they left for college. Jill wasted no time presenting me with the divorce papers. We signed before a judge, I bought a camper, and headed for Florida.

{B/I}: So, your Marine Corps friend and your divorce brought you to the panhandle; why did you decide to stay?

Mac: It’s complicated. The Corps had been my home for twenty-four years. I was newly divorced. My wife was living in “our” dream retirement home with her Navy chopper-pilot boyfriend. The kids had flown the nest. I came to the panhandle to fish, relax, and think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

One morning I snagged a badly decomposed body while fishing near Five Mile Island. It turned out to be a popular young local woman who was supposed to be honeymooning with her husband in the mountains of Georgia or North Carolina. She also happened to be the niece of the local sheriff. We butted heads and I was warned not to leave Dodge. Then a baggie of marijuana was found stashed aboard my rental boat. Just so happens a bale of the same strain of pot had washed ashore near where I discovered the body. I knew then somebody was setting me up to take the fall. One thing led to another and I was able to solve the murder and bust up a connected drug-smuggling ring. Oh, and Kate Bell had a little something to do with my staying. She works at the local marina. We hit it off right away. She was a big help in solving the case.

{B/I}: Interesting. So you enjoyed the “thrill of the hunt” so much that you decided to take it up as a vocation and become a licensed private investigator?

Mac: (Laughs.) Not exactly. You can thank Kate and her “Uncle” Frank for that. I’m an old movie buff. One night Kate and I were coming out of the theater when she got a quick look at who she claimed was her former boyfriend. Problem was, the guy had been dead for twelve years. I tried to get her to listen to reason, but she kept insisting it was the same person. I went with Kate to see Frank Hightower. Frank’s a very close friend of the Bells, a retired cop who now runs his own private investigative company in Destin, Kate’s hometown. Kate had kept Frank informed about the murder and drug case I’d solved. Frank thought I had the makings of a decent PI. Together they conspired to get me to snoop into Kate’s old circle of friends and find out if there was anything to the boyfriend’s reappearance or not. In exchange for my time, Frank offered to pay all fees while I worked on becoming a bona fide investigator and Kate’s case. Voila—Mac McClellan, PI.

{B/I}: What makes Mac McClellan “tick?”

Mac: I’d say a strong sense of duty, dependability, and responsibility.

{B/I}: Those are certainly admirable traits. Any faults?

Mac: (Laughs again; pauses … thinking.) I’ve put on a few pounds. I need to drop about ten to get back to my fighting weight. And Kate thinks I drink too much. I guess she’s right. Maybe.

{B/I}: Moving along, are you a religious person?

Mac: No, not really. I went with my parents to church and Sunday school when I was a kid. I don’t think it did me much good. I’ve seen too much crap to believe in a loving and benevolent God. How many times have you seen coverage of some natural disaster on TV, like a tornado? They interview some guy standing outside his demolished house and he’s saying, “The good Lord was really watching out for us today.” And down the street a mother and her two young kids were crushed to death or sucked out of the house and killed. Where was the “good Lord” when that was happening? Life is a crapshoot. Call me agnostic. I’m not saying there isn’t a god, but if he/she/it exists, he/she/it doesn’t give a damn about the human race.

{B/I}: What does combat-hardened, former Marine Mac McClellan fear most?

Mac: Letting someone down.

{B/I}: Short and to the point. I like that. Favorite food?

Mac: Steak and shrimp. And BLTs.

{B/I}: Drink?

Mac: You buying? (Laughs.) Scotch, beer, ice tea—lemon,no sugar—and water.

{B/I}: Tell me the first word that comes to mind when I say: women.

Mac: Pedestal.

{B/I}: War.

Mac: Peace.

{B/I}: Surrender.

Mac: No.

{B/I}: Very good. What are you especially proud of in your life?

Mac: My kids. They’re both good people. Kate Bell. I’m a better man for knowing her. And I like to think I’ve done my best, or given my all when it comes to interacting with people in general. The Marine Corps had a lot to do with molding me into who I am today.

{B/I}: A commendable answer. One last question: is there a code or creed that you live by?

Mac: Absolutely—Semper Fidelis. Always faithful. To me, that says it all.

{B/I}: Thanks for being with us today, Mac. It’s been a pleasure having you.

Mac: Thank you. It was a pleasure being had. (Laughs.)

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Review Banner
Everything about Michael and Mac speaks to me. We like a lot of the same things and I am eager to get this adventure on the ‘road’.
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Mac reminds me of Tom Selleck in Jesse Stone and Magnum PI. He’s not the perfect hero, but he gets the job done. I don’t mind a flawed character, in fact, it makes him seem real to me.
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I’m glad that he considers the Florida Panhandle the ‘Forgotten Coast.’ I love it here.
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A visit for Mac turned into a move and it was his good fortune to meet Kate, a feisty, fun gal who won his heart. His managerial tone of voice rang familiar to me. I have one of those at home.
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Michael Helms jumped right into the mystery Mac is hired to solve, when the professor of archaeology at Florida State University is murdered. I think we may be going on a treasure hunt.
As the bodies mount, greed raises its ugly head. Is anybody telling the truth…about anything?
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I love the fun and lively banter between Mac and Kate. Romance and mystery seem to go hand and hand for me and Michael Helms has a good supply of that. Their personalities shine through making me want more of them. The location is familiar to me and adds a little something extra to the story. I loved tromping through the ditches and climbing trees with Mac. There was so much going on, I had to wait for the package to be wrapped up for me. I love when I can’t figure everything out for myself. A perfect read the season.
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I recieved a copy of Deadly Dunes by E Michael Helms in return for an honest review.
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Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars
Loving the cover by Sabrina Sun…great name. 🙂
Hours after hiring Mac McClellan to investigate the supposed suicide of her archaeologist brother, single-mom Jessie dies in a car accident. Jessie had just showed Mac artifacts and a copy of a map Jake found, items that indicate Hernando de Soto and his explorers might have camped on Five Mile Island during the winter of 1539-1540. Studying the map, Mac determines the site lies in the middle of a planned resort, The Dunes. Declaring the area an historic site could shut the project down. Suspicions aroused, he forges ahead, even though he no longer has a paying client.
Everywhere Mac turns, greed abounds, and no one he interviews seems innocent, even Jessie’s closest friends the Deckers, who have adopted her teenage daughter. Ron Decker’s construction company is building the Dunes, and he is heavily invested in its success. Then there is the oily son and ex-stripper wife of an old curmudgeon who won’t sell the one lot the project still needs to acquire. Jake’s estranged wife Laurel had plenty to gain from his death, and as Mac continues to dig, he begins to wonder if Jessie herself had more at stake than he was led to believe.
No one is happy about Mac’s persistence, and someone is unhappy enough to crash his truck and frame him for yet another murder. But Mac isn’t giving up, no matter what the cost.


Inside, the Golden Pole was about what I’d imagined. Loud music, mirrored walls, and flashy neon lights of gold, pink and red dominating the joint.  A circular stage stood in the center of the room, with three polished brass dancing poles. Individual stools circled the stage front, with dozens of small tables backing them up. There were two U-shaped bars, one on either side of the room. Wide-screen TVs hung on the wall behind both bars, along with monitors so customers could keep up with the center-stage action without having to turn around to gawk. The joint was about half full, not bad for a Thursday night. . . .
The two dancers abandoned their poles, gathered their tips, and disappeared backstage as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey began to blare from the sound system. “Ladies and gentlemen,” a deep voice sounding like a ring announcer bellowed above the music, “fresh from wildly successful engagements in Baltimore, Charlotte, and Atlanta’s finest adult venues, please give a big round of applause for our featured performer, the beautiful, the luscious, the sexy . . . Miss . . . Kami . . .  Kae!”
Whoops and hollers and shrill whistles bounced off the walls as a gold sequined curtain parted and none other than Hot Pink herself pranced around the stage, throwing kisses to the audience with both hands. She’d completed two circuits when the music changed from the theme to a saucy Latino song I’d never heard.
Kami kicked off the high heels, swung the long robe she’d been wearing in a circle over her head a few times, and tossed it to the back of the stage. She was down to a tight powder blue midriff blouse and white mini skirt. The skimpy outfit lit up under the house lights like it’d been dusted with silver glitter. The mostly male crowd roared its approval as Kami leapt into the spotlight, deftly grabbed the pole with both hands and went to work.
For the next ten minutes Kami made sweet love to the pole, keeping perfect time with the music, spiraling and sliding and grinding. That pole wouldn’t need polishing for a month. To the delight of the crowd she slowly shed one article of clothing and then another, teasing the most vocal guys gathered around the stage with money in-hand, until finally only a wisp of a G-string separated Kami from her birthday suit. She made repeated trips to the stage edge and back, so many bills bulging from the strings of her tiny bottoms that she was forced to make a pile of greenbacks on the stage floor.
Finally the music began to fade. Kami treated the audience to one more seductive thrust and grind, and then gathered her pile of cash and strutted off the stage to wild applause, hips bouncing like a Victoria’s Secret model. Reaching the gold curtains, she turned and blew a final kiss and disappeared.

Mac McClellan investigates a young archaeologist’s death whose recent discovery threatens to kill a planned multi-million dollar Florida waterfront resort.











Kami made sweet love to the pole, sliding, spiraling, grinding. It wouldn’t need polishing for a month.













She gathered the money and strutted offstage to wild applause, hips bouncing like a Victoria’s Secret Model.





E. Michael Helms grew up in Panama City, FL, on the beautiful coast of the Florida Panhandle. He played football and excelled in baseball as a catcher. Turning down a scholarship offer from the local Junior college, he joined the Marines after high school graduation. He served as a rifleman during some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War until wounded three times in one day. Helms discounts it as “waking up on the wrong side of the foxhole.”
His memoir of the war, The Proud Bastards, has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written … a modern military classic,” and remains in print after 25 years.
The Private War of Corporal Henson, a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to The Proud Bastards, was published in August 2014.
A long-time Civil War buff, he is also the author of the historical saga, Of Blood and Brothers.
Seeking a respite from writing about war, Helms decided to give mysteries a try. The first novel of his Mac McClellan Mystery series, Deadly Catch, was published in November 2013 and was named Library Journal’s “Debut Mystery of the Month.” The second Mac McClellan Mystery, Deadly Ruse, premiered in November 2014. It won the 2015 RONE Award for “Best Mystery.” Deadly Dunes was published in March 2016 by Camel Press. Deadly Spirits is scheduled for release in January 2017.
With his wife, Karen, Helms now lives in the Upstate region of South Carolina in the shadow of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys playing guitar, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, and is an avid birdwatcher. He continues to listen as Mac McClellan dictates his latest adventures in his mystery series.
Represented by Fred Tribuzzo, The Rudy agency.
E Michael Helms is offering a $25.00 Gift card, four (4) ebook copies of Deadly Dunes in either .mobi, .epub, or .pdf (internationally, where legal), and one (1) autographed print set of the first three Mac McClellan Mysteries (Deadly Catch, Deadly Ruse, Deadly Dunes), U.S. & Canada only.
En Pointe Author Services

From Florida To Texas ~ Deadly Ruse by E Michael Helms Tour Giveaway


Deadly Ruse Tour Banner

 Welcome to my stop for Deadly Ruse by E Michael Helms.

A Mac McClellan Mystery that takes us from Florida to Texas.

So, let’s get started and see what Michael has to share with us.

Be sure and enter the fabulous giveaway at the end.

Genres: Mystery, Fiction

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BLURB

Mac’s girlfriend, Kate Bell, thinks she’s seen a ghost. Wes Harrison, Kate’s former boyfriend, supposedly perished twelve years ago in a boating accident. But now she swears a man she spotted in a crowded theater lobby is Wes. Mac has his doubts–it was only a fleeting glimpse. But to calm her shattered nerves, he starts making inquiries.

A clue leads him from his home in St. George, Florida, to a Texas orphanage. There he uncovers startling information that turns both his and Kate’s world upside-down. Diamond smuggling, sex, deceit, and murder are just part of the twisted tale that emerges from Kate’s earlier life. Using wit, grit, and the ingrained military training of a former Marine, Mac starts to fit the pieces of this scrambled puzzle together.

Further clues point to the Palmetto Royale Casino and Resort near St. George. He and Kate discover that the casino is a front for big drug deals. When they barely escape a murder attempt, Mac knows he’s on the right track.

But he better play his cards right–because losing this high-stakes game could cost him his life.

Praise for Deadly Ruse:

E. Michael Helms wrote a wonderfully paced mystery that is filled with all the deceitful things a reader can find good when reading a book. This is a story that will keep your attention and hold you on the edge of your seat.Night Owl Reviews

Deadly Ruse is set in the Florida Panhandle and briefly in Texas and Atlanta, Georgia, and Helms has a fine knack for blending real locales into his fiction. Si Dunn Books, Books, & More (New) Books 

EXCERPT

From Chapter 1:

I’d never been a big believer in coincidence until the night Kate Bell and I strolled out of O’Malley’s Theater after watching Dead Man Walking.

O’Malley’s shows classics and other oldies from yesteryear; and instead of row after row of conventional seating, tables and chairs occupy most of the auditorium where couples or small groups can enjoy dinner while viewing the night’s offering of cinematic magic.

Not that I considered 1995’s Dead Man Walking a true oldie, but to the teens and twenty-something’s in the audience I suppose the flick qualified. After all, I’d served with several old salt Vietnam vets during my career with the Marines, and to me the Vietnam War was ancient history, much like World War II and Korea had been to them. It’s all relative.

I’m not much of a Sean Penn fan, although I think he’s a fine actor. I guess it’s his politics that rub me the wrong way. But Kate’s a big fan, and any excuse to spend time with her is good enough for me. We enjoyed grilled grouper sandwiches with the trimmings and a pitcher of beer while I suffered through the movie.

When R. Lee Ermey, a career Marine himself who played the rape/murder victim’s father, tossed do-gooder Sister Helen out of his house I almost cheered, while the scene brought Kate to tears. Ugh. And when they finally strapped Matthew Poncelet’s no-good lying ass into Gruesome Gertie and fried the bastard, I did let slip a rather loud “Oorah!” From the look she gave me, I thought Kate was going to slap the taste out of my mouth.

“You just don’t get it, Mac,” she said, still dabbing at her eyes with a napkin as we left the theater and stepped into the cool, early spring night air.

“Sure I get it,” I countered as we strolled down the sidewalk toward my Silverado. “He raped that girl and murdered her and her boyfriend. Then they fried his butt. What’s not to get?”

Kate reached over and pinched my arm. “You’re about as sentimental as Godzilla. I don’t know why you even—

“Dang,” she said, interrupting herself, “I forgot my purse.”

Kate turned and rushed back into O’Malley’s, leaving me several steps behind. Just as I stepped under the marquee I sidestepped a tall, dark-haired man and bumped head-on into an attractive redhead clutching his arm. She was wearing a tight black pantsuit that did nothing to hide a knockout figure.

“Sorry,” I muttered, standing aside as they hurried down the sidewalk. I forced my eyes back into their sockets and hurried through the door after Kate. She had stopped dead in her tracks between the concession stand and the doorway leading into the auditorium and was shaking like she’d been pole axed. I double-timed to her side, hoping she wasn’t having a heretofore unmentioned epileptic fit or some similar medical malfunction.

“What’s the matter?” I said, quickly wrapping an arm around Kate to steady her. She’d turned as pale as the mound of popcorn in the theater’s popper.

“That man,” she said, just as her legs buckled. I caught her with my other arm and pulled her close. She trembled against my chest, her ragged breath coming in rushes. “That was . . .” and just like that she fainted.

Buy Links:

Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Books-A-Million

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helms 1

E. Michael Helms is a USMC combat veteran. His memoir of the Vietnam War, The Proud Bastards, has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written . . . a modern military classic,” and has been in print for over 20 years.

His work has also appeared in the books: Semper Fi: Stories of U.S. Marines from Boot Camp to Battle (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); Soldier’s Heart: Survivors’ Views of Combat Trauma (The Sidran Press, 1995); and Two Score and Ten: The Third Marine Division History (Turner Publishing, 1992).

Book One of his two-part saga of the Civil War, Of Blood and Brothers, was released in September 2013, with Book Two following in March 2014. The first of his Mac McClellan Mysteries, Deadly Catch, was published in November 2013. Deadly Ruse, the second in the series, launched November 2014. The Private War of Corporal Henson, a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to his memoir, The Proud Bastards, was published in August 2014.

Helms lives with his wife in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Upstate region of South Carolina, where they enjoy canoeing, hiking and bird watching.

See his interview feature in the November issue of “The Big Thrill,” the International Thriller Writers e-magazine here.

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GIVEAWAY

Five winners!

Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards (Open Worldwide)
Three Autographed Print Copies of the first Mac McClellan Mystery Deadly Catch (Open to Residents of the USA & Canada)

This giveaway will run 11/25/14 – 12/23/14.

Enter through Rafflecopter.

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