‘A Game Called Dead’ : Harriet Waddley-Jones’ Me-Too moment

In the Frank Nagler Mysteries, there are victims of crimes who are “wrong-place, wrong-time” victims, characters who die blameless.

Others carry deeper troubles, and in trying to purge those demons, deliberately act, and as a result, become targets of the story’s villain.

In the third book of the series, 2017’s THE WEIGHT OF LIVING, one such character is Calista Knox, physical therapist and companion for Leonard, the blind bookstore owner, who is Detective Frank Nagler’s best friend.

She frustrates Nagler by offering several versions of her murky past.

Her response: “Not versions, Frank, pieces. Old habit for survival. Tell just enough to stop the questions, and if it doesn’t work, make stuff up. Never, ever, get anywhere near the truth, because the truth hurts like hell.”

 

In the second book of the series, 2016’s A GAME CALLED DEAD, such a character is college administrator Harriet Waddley-Jones.

She is old character, surviving from the first-ever draft  of the story, written when I was 24, and didn’t know anything. In that draft she was overbearing, doing everything possible to protect her college from a police investigation.

In A GAME CALLED DEAD, the tables turn. She is revealed to be  STUDENT A, the lead plaintiff in a years-old lawsuit over campus sexual assaults against those very same overbearing college administrators. The suit settlement came with a gag order.

This issue of sexual assault has in 2017-18 become defined as the “Me-Too” movement. This a version of that movement, circa 2012-14, when the A GAME CALLED DEAD was being rewritten.:

 

This scene is the set up:

 

On the way back to the college, Waddley-Jones was silent, withdrawn.

“A lot to think about,” Nagler said. “I hope you have some idea what was going on back then when Adams roamed the city.”

She shook her head slightly and blinked twice, as if waking. Then she glanced at Nagler.

“Yes, a lot to consider.  I was thinking about the last victim, Michelle Hanson, and how similar our lives as teens would have been.  It’s…remarkable.” Then she stared at her folded hands.

“You don’t have a sister, do you, Harriet, so she couldn’t have been raped.”

She looked up and gasped.  “How did you know?”

“I looked you up as well,” Nagler said. “So either that story has become a convenient rhetorical devise, or…”

“I was raped when I was fifteen,” she said softly.  “I, like Michelle Hanson, used to sunbathe in the nude behind a tall fence.  I never heard him…he was my father’s business partner.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.  “You don’t…”

“And I don’t.  It is the place I go when troubled to hide. It is my shield against the world, just as Martha’s death is your shield. I say it was my sister because it is an act of denial. It is more convenient to invent a sister I never had than it is to relive the pain and shame and to hear my cries in the dark.  Just as it was easier for you to bury the pain of Martha’s death…buried so deep that even a woman like Lauren Fox, who loved you so deeply, could not extract you.”

 

 

This scene is the reveal:

“… Nearly twenty years ago on this campus, such cowards were in charge. When faced with allegations of rampant crimes at this school, they could not admit they fostered and even participated in the crimes.  They drove the victims away and rewarded the criminals. Reports were made and hidden. Even a lawsuit could not bring these crimes into the open.

“This is a shameful past, and I am here today because I was part of it, here today because I allowed the silence to descend.”

She paused and breathed deeply.  Some of the students, trapped in their seats by the size of the crowd were texting more than paying attention. The administrators stared at the floor or cast sideways glances at one another.

“You may have read a news story about the old lawsuit, and maybe you doubted its veracity,” she began again. “Don’t. It all happened, and perhaps more that eluded the investigators. But I know it was true.” She paused, having planned the impact, having waited for seventeen years, nearly half her life, to declare her identity.

“I am Student A.”

Harriet Waddley-Jones dipped her head, closed her eyes and gripped the sides of the podium. She was shaking, crying, trying to hold her emotions in check but wanting them to soar; wanting the words she had just spoken to grab ahold of the pain and guilt and wrench it from her soul. She wanted to be weightless, but instead was anchored. Free me, she thought. Please free me.

Some in the room gasped; some stood and applauded. Many sat in surprise, stunned a moment before they began to furiously text out the message.  The administrators unfolded their arms, and quietly begging pardon, sidestepped out of the rear door, where Jimmy Dawson caught Harriet’s eye before he pursued them for a comment.

“How does this occur?” Harriet continued.  “It happens when those in authority feel they have all the rights to act, and everyone else only has the right to be acted upon.”

A voice from the back: “Ah, lady, you asked for it. Getting nailed by some top professor probably helped your career.”

“Would you want to be raped, sir?” she shot back. “To be held down while something hard was shoved up your ass?   Or maybe watch as your girlfriend was pinned on a bed and your friends took turns?  Did I ask for that, sir?”

The crowd stirred by her challenge.

In that moment she chose to talk about the one thing she had never discussed. It is time to be free if this….

She began again. “I was nineteen, thrilled to have been chosen for a big project in Washington, D.C.  I had never been there before. The Capital, the monuments, museums, the helter-skelter traffic, the excitement and noise and life.  What an experience. And then to be working on a minority voting project with the leading educator in the field. Imagine my excitement.”

She glared at the athlete who had challenged her. Her voice grew stronger.

“Yes, imagine my excitement when my professor came to my room with a bottle of wine and told me it was time to celebrate.  And first we cheered with wine the work and the community response. Then we toasted the program. Then he told me how beautiful I was, and drank to it, and how all the young volunteers were drawn to me because I was such a leader and so beautiful.  Then we drank. A song came on the radio and he pulled me to my feet and said, ‘Dance with me,’ and I said I was tired. And he said, ‘One dance,’ and then held me tightly.”

Her voice softened with fear and confusion and became childlike, and her eyes filled with pain as if she was shedding the years between and taking on the persona of the woman she was at nineteen.

“And I said, ‘One dance,’ and we swirled around the room, my head dizzy, and he kissed my neck and I said, ‘No,’ and he unzipped my dress and I said, ‘no, no,’ and then it fell to the floor, and then he unhooked my bra and thrust his tongue in my mouth and put one hand between my legs, and then I was naked and he was inside me and I was crying, eyes closed. Then he pulled out, fumbled with his pants, finished the wine from the bottle, threw it on the floor and left me there.”

Waddley-Jones stared at the floor and when she looked up her eyes were fierce and her face hard.

In a voice like a hiss: “Everything I was died at that moment in the dirty little hotel room. Ev-er-y-thing,” cutting the world into four parts.  “But what was worse, everything that I wanted to be also died.  I’ve lived my life as a lie because I could not forget when I signed the agreement with this college when I was twenty that they took away my right to speak. Well, I’m taking it back. Can you give that all back to me, Mister Critic?  All the love I could have given, but didn’t trust enough to give; all the love that others felt for me and I could not receive? Can you give me back all the time I have hated myself, all the hours I felt the shame of that moment like a rash that would not heal? All the time I’ve spend locked in this emotionless box; all those things I have missed?  Can you give them back to me?  Never,” she said bitterly.

“A Game Called Dead” was  named a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf-Unbound Best Indie Book Contest

 

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; The Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa.

 

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

 

Posted in Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Weight of Living’ named a 2018 Notable 100 Book By Shelf Unbound

The third Frank Nagler Mystery, “The Weight of Living,” has been named a Notable 100 Book in the 2018 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Awards.

Thanks to Shelf Unbound, and to the Imzadi Publishing gang, Janice Grove and Anita-Dugan Moore.

Anita’s cover for “Weight” was presented a Gold Medal by authorsdb.com, an author/readers database site.

Also, a shout out to Kathleen Tate, Imzadi’s copy editor, who was so concerned about the abrupt ending of the story, when she sent back the proof, asked if I had sent her the complete manuscript.

It’s been quite an interesting few months for “The Weight of Living.”

It was also awarded FIRST PLACE  for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Content.

Both Shelf Unbound and Royal Dragonfly are multi-media companies who produce monthly magazines sent to schools, libraries and similar outlets. They also generate reading material for use in schools, and each are deeply in the business to reach parents and young readers.

In 2016, Shelf Unbound named the  second Nagler book, “A Game Called Dead,” a Runner-Up in their annual book contest.

Why contests?

Winners in these contests are chosen by blind readers, who are industry professionals. It seems a fair test. And I don’t have to bother friends and family to vote online a thousand times.

Entering the contests also gets the books out of the maddening clutter of Internet marketing, and seems to produce a fair result. If no judge likes your book, you don’t win.

And understand this, I’m not bragging.  I’m amazed, thrilled, honored, stunned – Pick a word.

And I’m out-of-this world happy for Janice and Anita. The two of them offered media support beyond what anyone might expect from a small publisher: YouTube trailers, ads, continuous online messaging and links, and then this month, a audiobook version of the first Frank Nagler book, “The Swamps of Jersey.”

The book was read and produced by veteran voice artist and writer Lee Alan.

 It’s available on Amazon.com, Audible.com and iTunes.

Anyway, here’s some links.

The first Frank Nagler mystery. Available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Wal-Mart

I would be honored and grateful if you read the Nagler mysteries, or listened to Lee Alan’s fine reading of “The Swamps of Jersey.”

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa..

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘The Swamps of Jersey’ released as an audio book

Very excited to announce THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY is now available as an audio book at Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Thanks to Anita and Janice at Imzadi Publishing for their efforts. They show how much a small publishing house can accomplish, and I am forever grateful.

The Audible version of the book is available at:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Swamps-of-Jersey/dp/B07BT8WHM3/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The book was read and produced by Lee Alan, a 35-year professional voice actor, artist, writer, composer, producer and published author.

According to his website, he is a Peabody Award Nominee, winner of 14 Silver Microphone Awards and a former ABC Radio and Television performer, program executive.

His site: http://www.leealancreative.com/.

“The Swamps of Jersey” (2014) is about political corruption and murder.

The central character is Frank Nagler, a cop, whose troubled heart is ever present.

Nagler is called out on stormy night to investigate the report of a dead woman in the Old Iron Bog. It is the first event in a chain of events that set the hard-luck city of Ironton, N.J. on edge. Besides the possible murder, the city was flooded when a week-long storm settled in and wrecked homes, businesses, and streets, and Nagler is trying to make sense of a series of letters that claim to expose theft of city funds, except they are so incomplete he wonders if it is really so.

Then there is Lauren Fox, a woman sent to Ironton to jump-start economic development. She and Nagler are attracted to one another and begin to become serious when she leaves town without an explanation. Nagler was an emotional recluse following the death of his wife years before. They had been childhood sweethearts, and her death crushed Nagler.

 

Also in paperback and ebooks: A GAME CALLED DEAD (2016). A Runner -up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Book Contest.

THE WEIGHT OF Living (2017).  First Place for  Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.

 

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library; Associated Libraries of Monroe County, Pa.

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The bribery of time and light

Ask again the question asked,

The answer unfulfilled;

The darkness of your eyes.

Things circle, endless

and come back incomplete.

How many times around does it take

For the loss to be scraped off

Like dust burning through atmosphere?

How many times around till you see

Your own shining soul?

Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

Peace is

Peace is

One step against the line.

One shout above the silence.

A hand reaching out

Another reaching back.

A broken thing fixed

An empty thing filled.

Peace is

Standing alone

Awaiting others.

A single singer

Joined in chorus.

An arm linked

Side to side.

Hands clasped …

Is…

Pain spilled to action

Is…

A bruised soul healing

A torn voice victorious.

Is…

The day we learn

Not to fear.

Peace is

A heart brave enough to love.

Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

Mystery as myth

Writing a prequel is hard.

I already know everything that is supposed to happen, and faithful readers (THANK YOU!) have an expectation that I will explain it all as I look back at the beginning of the series.

So, that’s what I’m trying to do with the Frank Nagler prequel, so far titled JUST COME HOME.

I’m wading back through the written pages to connect the parts that need connection, add red herrings as necessary and change dialogue to make it  more anticipatory or more pointed and reflective of the characters at that point of the story.

But while I was reading THE SHIPPING NEWS, the Pulitzer Prize winner by Annie Proulx, I was admiring how she layered the present and past and melded her cast of sharply drawn characters to pull the story together.

With that example in mind I thought about what I had tried to do in the three books in the Frank Nagler series.
They are mystery series, and crime solving drives the stories.

But they are more.

They are stories about a struggling city, Ironton, N.J.

I designed Ironton as an enclosed place, with a mythology all its own. To borrow the advertising slogan: What happens in Ironton, stays in Ironton.

In the series opener, THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY, Ironton, economically depressed and swept to near-disaster by a weeklong storm, is a picture of Hell.

In response, after several sleepless nights as part of the storm response, Nagler tells a Noah joke:

 

The ancients knew what to do with rain like this, he thought wickedly, squinting into the horizontal blast of water.

Conjure an honest man with a ship and spin a parable about the wages of sin.  Nagler laughed sourly. And then get out of town.

Nagler is the city’s “honest man.”

But more, Ironton is a city ripe for evil:

Nagler plowed his car through the treacherous bumper-deep water that filled the downtown streets. Random spotlights, swinging loosely from dangling wires on damaged poles or hanging off ripped roof tops banged with the hollow, doomed echo of cathedral bells at the end of times and flashed a shifting and sinister light on flooded parking lots or intersections rippling with dark water. Store after store was dark, some with boards covering glass windows; others had jagged shards of glass that gleamed menacingly in the fractured light, hanging in dented window frames.

 

How did the city get there?

That’s what JUST COME HOME is meant to explain. How does the city respond to a serial killer? Who is trying to gain political and economic advantage by the crimes? Who is trying to take advantage of these death for personal gain? How deep are all those connections?

 

At the same time, Nagler, facing the death of his wife, Martha, slides into a deep loneliness that borders on depression. The challenge is how to present this slide at the same time as we follow his effort to solve these murders. His methods of crime solving feed his isolation.

 

In this scene for JUST COME HOME, Nagler is revisiting the home of one of the two older women who are missing. In a previous scene, Martha had re-entered the hospital for medical tests.

The house felt as cold and stark as a mausoleum, Nagler thought.  The family had boxed up  many of the loose possessions and clothes and stored them in a back room, rolled up the rugs and wrapped them in plastic and covered the furniture with cloth tarps.  Valuables had been removed to a bank safe deposit box. Every step echoed.

Nagler’s question hung in the air: Are you planning for a funeral or for her return? It was odd, he thought, to be between the two, stuck unknowing, emotions both frayed with concern and buoyed with faint hope; odd how much they looked alike, the hollow of emptiness and the fullness of hope.

And here am I, he thought. What do I do?

 

From this point in the story forward, Nagler is caught between his broken heart, the loss of Martha, and finding the killer. Does one inform the other?

In the mythology of Ironton, N.J. the answer has to be yes.

The question is how.

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library.

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Awaken

Sunlight cracks the shell

Where you went to hide

When the world turned cold.

 

They did not leave you,

But knew where you were hiding

Convinced of your loneliness.

 

They come to the wall

And leave messages in the cracks.

Take them; reply.

 

All our shells crack

Worn thin inside and out.

We awaken.

 

Posted in Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Weight of Living’ featured in Kirkus Reviews

The Kirkus Review of the third Frank Nagler book, “The Weight of Living” will be one of 35 Independent book reviews featured in the upcoming (March 15) issue of Kirkus Reviews magazine.

The company says that fewer than 10 percent of all Kirkus indie book reviews are chosen for publication.

Thank you, Kirkus.

And thanks to the Imzadi Publishing team for supporting  the Frank Nagler series.

I’m amazed and thrilled to have the book get noticed.

 

The Review:

KIRKUS REVIEW

The third volume in Daigle’s (A Game Called Dead, 2016, etc.) mystery series tells the continuing story of a detective as he and his New Jersey manufacturing town recover from setbacks.

Frank Nagler is a dogged investigator with the Ironton, New Jersey, police department who’s seen his town decline over the years due to plant closures, crooked politicians, and a devastating flood. He shut down emotionally after his young wife Martha’s death, finding solace in his work. Lately, a burgeoning relationship with Lauren Fox, a city planner, has been bringing him back to life. Ironton is also enjoying a renaissance with a progressive mayor and small cluster of new stores downtown, including a bookstore owned by Frank’s friend Leonard. But a pall falls over Ironton when a traumatized young girl, wearing just a tank top and shorts, is found in a dumpster on a cold night. At the same time, a mystery group is illegally obtaining local properties. Investigating both cases leads Frank to unearth an evil family’s history. The cases eventually threaten the safety of people important to him, including Lauren; his ancient mentor, Sister Marie Katherine; Leonard; and Leonard’s girlfriend, Calista Knox. As Frank’s friend Del Williams explains, “You see how deep the poison goes, how strong is the wrong in what they doin’ and your soul cries out for justice and you just wanna bring ’em down.” Before the action is done, neither Frank nor Ironton will be the same. Daigle has done an admirable job of portraying the evolutions of Frank and the hometown that he loves and protects. The detective realizes that Ironton has flaws, some self-inflicted, but he’s not ready to give up on it or its people. Many of those people are shown to have his back, as well, including Lauren at home and his colleague Lt. Maria Ramirez at work. This helps him to unravel a complicated, sometimes-repulsive mystery that spans decades and several states. Daigle’s narrative is well-paced, allowing the reader to piece together the clues right along with Frank, and it all leads to a melancholy but satisfying conclusion.

An involving thriller with a memorable protagonist.

THE STORY:  A young girl is found in a grocery store Dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top. She does not speak to either Detective Frank Nagler, the social worker called to the scene, or later to a nun, who is an old friend of Nagler’s.

What appears to be a routine search for the girl’s family turns into a generational hell that drags Nagler into an examination of a decades old death of a young girl, and the multi-state crime enterprise of the shadow ringmaster.

The deeper Nagler looks, the more he and his companions are endangered, until the shocking climax that leaves Nagler questioning his actions to both solve the crimes and heal his damaged soul.

The story is entangled, deeply involving and holds an emotional grip.

The book was awarded FIRST PLACE for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards.

The cover by Anita Dugan-Moore was awarded a GOLD MEDAL  by the website authorsdb.com

 

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library.

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voice actor veteran Lee Alan to read and produce audio book of ‘The Swamps of Jersey’

In another step to place the Frank Nagler books before readers, my publisher, Imzadi Publishing of Tulsa, has engaged a voice actor to read and produce an audio  book of THE SWAMPS OF JERSEY.

The book will be read and produced by Lee Alan, a 35-year professional voice actor, artist, writer, composer, producer and published author.

According to his website, he is a Peabody Award Nominee, winner of 14 Silver Microphone Awards and a former ABC Radio and Television performer, program executive.

His site: http://www.leealancreative.com/.

The first Frank Nagler mystery. Available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Wal-Mart

I am honored and thrilled to have such an experienced voice actor take on our project. Welcome.

The plan is to have the piece produced by the end of April, with the general release to follow shortly thereafter, I’m guessing early May.

Watch this space and any other space I can use, for details.

In the world of publishing Imzadi is a small company. Janice Grove and Anita Dugan-Moore are it, with editing help from  Katherine Tate.

They took a chance on a first-time mystery writer from New Jersey and have helped craft what is now is a three-book, award-winning mystery series.

In the process Imzadi has produced advertising pieces, YouTube trailers and other display items. That is an outstanding effort from a tiny, tiny company.

At the same time, Imzadi has published  several new authors with multiple books.

Check out the website: www.imzadipublishing.com.

The growth of Imzadi is a feel-good story that feels great to be a part of – Following a dream and step by step, seeing it grow.

The Frank Nagler books:

“The Swamps of Jersey” (2014) is about political corruption and murder.

The central character is Frank Nagler, a cop, whose troubled heart is ever present.

Nagler is called out on stormy night to investigate the report of a dead woman in the Old Iron Bog. It is the first event in a chain of events that set the hard-luck city of Ironton, N.J. on edge. Besides the possible murder, the city was flooded when a week-long storm settled in and wrecked homes, businesses, and streets, and Nagler is trying to make sense of a series of letters that claim to expose theft of city funds, except they are so incomplete he wonders if it is really so.

Then there is Lauren Fox, a woman sent to Ironton to jump-start economic development. She and Nagler are attracted to one another and begin to become serious when she leaves town without an explanation. Nagler was an emotional recluse following the death of his wife years before. They had been childhood sweethearts, and her death crushed Nagler.

 

The story of Frank Nagler picks up two years after “Swamps”  in “A Game Called Dead” (2016)

    Ironton, N.J., is still a city struggling with its economic and rebuilding troubles, but new heroes emerge. Meanwhile a break-in at the local college leaves two women badly beaten, and one later dies. Following a series of criminal acts in the city, including several that damage the book store owned by Leonard, Nagler’s friend, the story takes on a sinister twist.  The title comes from the students’ name for a video game that has taken on a real-world life. They call it “A Game Called Dead.”

The story is tense and propulsive.

It was named a RUNNER-UP in the 2016 Shelf UnBound  Best Indie Book Awards.

 

“The Weight of Living” (2017) brings Frank Nagler face-to-face with a soulless, manipulative killer whose crimes stretch back decades.

A young girl is found in a grocery store Dumpster on a cold March night wearing just shorts and a tank top. She does not speak to either Detective Frank Nagler, the social worker called to the scene, or later to a nun, who is an old friend of Nagler’s.

What appears to be a routine search for the girl’s family turns into a generational hell that drags Nagler into an examination of a decades old death of a young girl, and the multi-state crime enterprise of the shadow ringmaster.

The deeper Nagler looks, the more he and his companions are endangered, until the shocking climax that leaves Nagler questioning his actions to both solve the crimes and heal his damaged soul.

The story is entangled, deeply involving and holds an emotional grip.

The book was awarded FIRST PLACE for Mysteries in the 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards.

The cover by Anita Dugan-Moore was awarded a GOLD MEDAL  by the website authorsdb.com

 Kirkus Review: An involving thriller with a memorable protagonist.

Also check out a short story: “Who Shot the Smart Guy at the Blackboard” on Kindle Unlimited.

The Frank Nagler books are available at the following New Jersey libraries:

Brick  (Ocean County Library System) Mountainside; Morris County Library; Somerset County Library System; Bernardsville Public Library; Hunterdon County Public Library; Mount Olive Public Library;  Phillipsburg; Warren County, Franklin branch and Independence branch; Mount Arlington; Wharton; Dover; Hackettstown;  Clark, Parsippany and the Ramsey library, as part of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System; The Palmer (Pa.) Branch of the Easton Public Library; Deptford Free Public Library and Franklin Township Library (Gloucester Co.), New Providence Memorial Library.

The Frank Nagler mysteries are available online at:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/hVQIII

Kobo: https://goo.gl/bgLH6v

NOOK: http://goo.gl/WnQjtr

http://www.walmart.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in BooksNJ2017, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hot in Hunterdon; Georjean Trinkle, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, Parsippany Public Library, Sally Ember, www.michaelstephendaigle.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walk away from war

When all the seas are empty

and the skies are boiling black;

When the forests are silent

and all the voices stilled

we will walk away from war.

 

When there is no one left to kiss you

or tease your trembling skin;

when all the blood has spilled

and there is no one left to sew your wounds

we will walk away from war.

 

When all the screams have echoed

and all the tears have fallen;

when all the hearts are broken

we will walk away from war.

 

When all debates have ended

and all the reasons failed;

when there is no one left to answer

we will walk away from war.

 

When someone stands beside you,

when someone takes your hand,

when someone’s arm encircles you

when a whisper tickles your ear,

when a word makes you smile,

when your body shivers with love

and your eyes close with passion,

when a soft sigh brings joy,

and joy brings relief,

then we will walk away from war.

Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment